Why you should always restore your iDevice when installing a new iOS version


Admit it, when was the last time you restored your iDevice?. Do you remember? That weird process of plugging your device to your computer using a cable, launch iTunes and click restore? Well if you’re like 80 to 90% of the iOS users out there you never restored it and, trust me, it’s a bad thing [while for Apple that’s super great news to hear, instead].

It all begun with iOS 5, when Apple introduced a new feature to his mobile operative system: over-the-air updates.

AirPort_logoYou should already know what over-the-air updates [also know as OTA updates] are but in case you don’t it’s a feature that let’s you install new updates available for your OS literally “over the air”, meaning that you can download them using any network connection [Wi-Fi and 3G in the iOS case] and install them right in your device instead on needing a Mac or PC [like with iOS 4 and prior]. Sound like a great thing, uh? Well on paper it is but only if you use it wisely.

While OTA updates are a great thing for iOS users, especially for those who are not computer or tech experts, because it make them up to date with the latest iOS version available without even knowing, and for Apple too, since they can be sure nearly everyone has the latest and greatest iOS version on their device, it has a few downsides and the biggest it:

It makes your iDevice slower. Sad news to hear but that’s true [sadly].

Why? Because when you perform an OTA update the OS does not clean itself from old caches, temp files, obsolete settings, etc., generally it only replace old files with new ones without looking for any dependencies around. And that can make your system slower and cluttered [OTA] update after update. While this is not evident with small updates like iOS 7.0.6, which weights nearly 16 MB, things gets worst with enormous updates like iOS 7 was [around 700+ MB of flat greatness], especially with older devices like the iPhone 4.


The only thing you can do to maintain your device as snappy as it was out of the box is to use that restore button when a major update comes out [like iOS 7.1]. Also, do not restore an older backup on to it after the restore process has done or the “restore magic” will be lost since the backup will bring back those cache and temp files right where they was, you can always restore your personal things with iCloud.

Recently the New York Times discovered this fact too:

When I called tech analysts, they said that the new operating system (iOS 7) being pushed out to existing users was making older models unbearably slow.

from “Cracking the Apple Trap
by Catherine Rampell

Remember: Apple wants you to buy a new device every year and OTA updates helps them with this process, who wants a slow device anyway?

So try it by yourself and restore your device! [instead of being lazy].

You [we] should stop thinking that iOS is a mobile OS, it is an OS like all the others like OS X and Windows are, and it has the same problems.