How to fix an iPhone 6s that keeps lagging and freezing in iOS 13

When a phone starts lagging or freezing and those symptoms are recurring, its performance is more likely depreciating. In fact, frequent lags and freezes are two of the most common performance problems transpiring in old devices. Usually in that case, the problem is attributed to hardware damage. But that doesn’t denote that a faulty hardware is always to blame. The same symptoms can also occur in new devices due to some software-related factors. Tackled in this post is a pertinent issue on the iPhone 6s that suddenly keeps lagging and freezing in iOS 13. Read on to learn how to rule out software-related factors that might have triggered these symptoms and get your iPhone back up and running smoothly again.

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Troubleshooting an iPhone 6s that keeps lagging and freezing in iOS 13

If it’s not the hardware, memory-related issues are usually the underlying cause. Just like computers, smartphones also depict similar symptoms of performance degradation when the internal memory is shrinking. This is usually the case if you’re fond of downloading huge apps and multimedia files on your device. While iPhones are built with high storage capacity, time will always come for that storage to run out. And when that happens, various types of performance issues would start to manifest. Thus, the first recommended solution is on memory management. You may begin troubleshooting, if you’re all set.


First solution: Free up memory space.

The size of the iOS 13 update file is 2 gigabyte. This means that your phone must have double of that storage space to ensure that there’s still enough left to allocate other apps and processes after the update installation. If you’ve failed to check your iPhone before updating, then there’s a good chance that the remaining storage space wasn’t more than what’s needed. The update file might have been successfully installed but that resulted in your phone’s storage in critical amount. And since the internal memory is significantly low, performance issues instigated. This is when your phone started to act up. To fix the problem, free up memory space by deleting old files and unwanted apps from your device. Just refer to these steps to start managing your phone’s internal memory:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. View the data for USED and AVAILABLE memory. You can also check out the graph of what is using the memory of your phone.
  5. To see how much memory each app is utilizing, just scroll down the same screen.

If the available memory is less than 1 gigabyte, it indicates that your iPhone’s internal memory is shrinking and your device is therefore prone to performance issues such as lagging and freezing. To address the problem, delete all unwanted contents including old messages, unused videos, photos, audio files from your device. You can also move some of your usable files to your iCloud account or iTunes drive.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XR that is overheating in iOS 13


Second solution: Force close all background apps then reboot.

Apps that were left suspended or running in the background during the update are likely to end up being corrupted afterwards. If that happens, any of these background apps could cause conflicts with other apps and system functions. As a result, the overall performance of your phone wouldn’t be as smooth as it was. This is when clearing all background apps plays a significant role. In the case where some suspended apps had crashed or got stuck after the update, force closing them is needed. Just follow these steps:

  1. Double-press the Home button to pull up the Apps Switcher or Multitasking screen. This contains the previews/cards of all app you’ve recently used and left open on your phone.
  2. Tap and drag the app card/preview to the top-corner of the screen to close the application.

Follow the same steps to force close all other background apps on your phone. Once you’re done ending all background applications, reboot/soft reset your iPhone to clear memory cache and to refresh the operating system. Just follow these steps, if you haven’t already:

  1. Press and hold down the Side (Power) button for a few seconds until the Slide To Power Off appears.
  2. Drag the slider to the right to power off your device completely.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold down the Side (Power) button again until the Apple logo appears.

Allow your phone to finish rebooting then use it as you normally do to see how it behaves.

Third solution: Install all pending app updates.

Other possible culprits that you need to eliminate are outdated applications on your device. These apps can also trigger occurrence of atypical system behaviours, especially after a new platform implementation. This is likely the case if you haven’t configured your third-party apps to auto-install updates. Thus, your next move would be to manually check and install pending app updates on your iPhone 6s. Here’s how you do it: 

  1. From the Home screen, tap on the App Store icon to open the application.
  2. Tap on Today tab at the bottom. 
  3. Then tap on the user profile icon (Apple ID header) on the top right corner of the screen. You should see the account details. 
  4. Scroll down to the Available Updates section. 
  5. Tap on Update next to the name of the app to install pending update for individual applications.
  6. If multiple app updates are available, tap on Update All to update all apps at once.

In the case wherein the phone is suddenly lagging or freezing while running a certain app, the problem is more likely isolated to an errant application. In that case, deleting the problematic app will likely solve the problem. Just follow these steps to delete any errant apps on your iPhone 6s:

  1. Long-press on the app icon from your Home screen.
  2. Stop pressing on the icon when the context menu appears.
  3. Tap the option to Rearrange Apps. Doing so will get you to the jiggle mode, where the familiar X buttons appears on the top-left corner of each app icon.
  4. Tap on the X button on the problematic app icon.
  5. Then tap the red Delete button to confirm that you want to delete the app.

Reboot your iPhone after making all these changes to your apps and then see if the problem is gone.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XS apps that keep closing and freezing in iOS 13


Fourth solution: Reset all settings.

Settings that aren’t properly configured can also be the main reason as to why some apps and/or system services fail to work after the recent update. This is very possible if you’ve customized some settings on your device. To clear this out, reset all settings on your iPhone 6s to eliminate all existing customizations and restore original values. Doing so will allow you to reconfigure individual features like new. Simply refer to these steps whenever you’re all set to continue:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will erase all customized options and new settings overrides from the recent update, without affecting your iPhone data.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

When the reset is finished, your phone restarts on its own and then loads up the original values and options. This means you’ll need to re-enable individual features (those that are disabled by default) that you want to use on your phone again. 

Fifth solution: Factory reset to fix your iPhone 6s that keeps lagging and freezing in iOS 13.

A factory reset can be deemed among the last options if all prior methods failed to resolve the issue. The underlying cause could be a complex system error that could not be rectified by basic procedures. Typically, complex system errors including those inflicted by major iOS bugs are dealt with by a full system reset. This means wiping all data from your iPhone and then restoring the factory default settings. By doing so, you can set up everything as new. Just don’t forget to back up all critical data stored on your iPhone beforehand, so you’d still be able to recover them afterwards. 

A factory reset can be carried out through your iPhone settings or using iTunes on a computer. The former method is applicable only if your iPhone is responsive. But given that your device is lagging and freezing, a reset through iTunes would be a better option. To proceed, get your computer ready. You can use either a Mac or Windows PC for as long as it runs on a later or latest operating system and has the latest version of iTunes program in it. Once you have the equipment ready, follow these steps to start erasing your device:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer, if you haven’t already.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the USB cable and Lightning cable that came with it.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to show up in iTunes and then click on its icon to select it.
  4. Scroll to the Summary section then click the Restore [iPhone] button.
  5. If prompted, click the Restore button again to confirm.
  6. This should serve as a hint for iTunes to start erasing your phone and then installs the latest firmware/iOS version.

Allow your device to finish restoring all its factory default settings and once everything is done you can use the start-up wizard to set everything up as new.

Last resort: Restore your iPhone in iTunes (recovery mode restore).

Software-related issues that could not be dealt with by a factory reset are often addressed through a system restore. As your next option and possible solution, you may restore your iPhone in recovery mode through iTunes. Again, this will erase everything from your device. If you wish to proceed, don’t forget to back up all important data from your iPhone to iTunes beforehand. Once everything is ready, refer to these steps to put your iPhone 6s in recovery mode and restore it through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied US cable/Lightning cable. While your phone is connected, proceed to the next steps.
  2. Press and hold both the Home button and the Top/Side button simultaneously.
  3. Keep holding the buttons until the Recovery Mode screen appears.
  4. Wait until you see the message prompt asking you to restore or update your device. 
  5. Select Update if you want iTunes to reinstall iOS on your phone without erasing any saved data. Otherwise, choose Restore to erase your device and restore from a recent iOS backup.

Wait for iTunes to finish downloading the software for your device. In normal instances, the restore process would be completed within 15 minutes. If it isn’t finished after 15 minutes, your iPhone will exit recovery mode and so you’ll have to start all over to put it back in recovery mode again.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XR iOS 13 delayed touchscreen response issue


Is your iPhone 6s still lagging and freezing in iOS 13?

Performance issues depicted by recurring symptoms of lags and freezes may also be attributed to hardware damage. Although the symptoms had instigated from the recent iOS update, it’s still possible that your device has already obtained the damage and the onset of the symptoms was just in conjunction with the iOS 13 update. To rule this out, better take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center in your place and have it scrutinized by an iPhone technician for more thorough hardware assessment. 

For other official suggestions and further assistance, you may report the issue straight to Apple Support. If you’re certain that your iPhone 6s is totally free from any sort of physical or liquid damage, then what you’re dealing with could really be an iOS 13 bug that requires a dedicated fix patch.


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