How to instantly free up RAM on your iPhone and iPad to improve performance

iOS does a pretty good job of memory management. It dynamically allocates RAM to apps when they need it, suspend apps not in use, and frees up RAM when you close the app. However, a poorly written app can end up consuming RAM and degrading the performance of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch over time.

One way to resolve the issue is to try to hard reset your iOS device. But there’s a quick way to free up RAM on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to improve performance without needing to force restart your device.

How to instantly free up RAM on your iPhone and iPad

  • You can open the sluggish app or do it right from the Home screen.
  • Hold the Sleep/Wake button until the prompt “slide to power off” comes onto the screen.
  • Let go of the Sleep/Wake and hold down the Home button until the app is kicked off and you arrive back on the home screen
Force quit - home

This will make iOS instantly free up RAM and improve performance. Please note that this method not only kills the app but it also seems to kill all apps and processes running in the background. So if you have music streaming in the background, then it will also kill the music app.

Please note that it is not advisable to purge RAM on iOS frequently as it does a pretty good job of memory management as it can have a detrimental impact on battery life. You should only use this method when you notice that an app or your device has become sluggish.

How do I know it has freed up RAM?

You’re probably wondering how do you find out if this method has indeed freed up memory or not since iOS doesn’t provide that information out of the box. There are several apps available in the App Store that provide memory usage information. I use an app called ActMonitor (iTunes link – $0.99) to keep tabs on the memory used by my iPhone 6s Plus. It has a cool Notification Center widget, which gives you a quick glimpse of memory usage on your device from anywhere in iOS via the Notification Center.

You can check out the screenshot of ActMonitor’s widget below. The side-by-side screenshots show the memory usage before and after following the method explained above. As you can see there has been a big jump in free memory (it jumped from approx. 100 MB to approx. 900 MB) after following the method explained above.

free RAM before and after

Bonus

But the fun doesn’t stop there. If you are dealing with a slow or unresponsive home button, this little trick may help recalibrate your home button and fix those issues. The only difference here is that you need to force quit a stock Apple app.

  • Open any stock app from the Home screen.
  • Hold the Sleep/Wake button until the prompt, “slide to power off” comes onto the screen.
  • Let go of the Sleep/Wake and hold down the Home button until the app is kicked off and you arrive back on the home screen.

Nothing better than killing to birds with one stone. Also, I doing this method on my iPhone 6s, I did notice that the force closed app does stay in the app switcher. So, whereas the swipe up to close from the app switcher method removes the app completely, this secondary method simply closes the app if you were having issues with it.

So, let us know how it goes in the comment section. Did it help fix your Home button responsiveness too?

Hat tip: @MarcForest

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