Apple has released iOS 11.1 to the general public. The new version of iOS includes a variety of bug fixes, feature enhancements, security improvements, and other additions to the mobile operating system, making iOS 11.1 a recommended update for iPhone and iPad users running a prior version of iOS 11.
Separately, Apple also released the final version of macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 for Macs, security updates to prior Mac OS releases, watchOS 4.1 for Apple Watch, and tvOS 11.1 for Apple TV.
iOS 11.1 includes over 70 new emoji icons, including dinosaurs, pie, broccoli, bearded people, breastfeeding person, gender neutral characters, wizard, pixies, zebra, scarf, brain, vampires, and a variety of other characters.
Be sure to save the IPSW file with a .ipsw file extension, otherwise iTunes may not recognize it.
iOS 11.1 Release Notes
iOS 11.1 introduces over 70 new emoji and includes bug fixes and improvements.
Over 70 new emoji characters including new food types, animals, mythical creatures, clothing options, more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters and more
Photos -Resolves an issue that could cause some photos to appear blurry -Addresses an issue that could cause Live Photo effects to playback slowly -Fixes an issue that could cause some photos to not display in the People album when restoring from an iCloud Backup -Fixes an issue that could impact performance when swiping between screenshots
Accessibility -Improves braille support for Grade 2 input -Improves VoiceOver access to multi-page PDFs -Improves VoiceOver rotor actions for announcing incoming notifications -Improves VoiceOver rotor actions menu when removing an app from the App Switcher -Fixes an issue for some users where alternative keys would not display when using VoiceOver with Touch Typing -Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would always return to default action in Mail -Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would not delete messages
Other improvements and fixes -Adds back support for accessing the app switcher by pressing on edge of display with 3D Touch -Fixes an issue that caused cleared Mail notifications to reappear on Lock screen -Fixes an issue in enterprise environments that prevented data from being moved between managed apps -Fixes an issue with some 3rd-party GPS accessories that caused inaccuracies in location data -Resolves an issue where settings for Heart Rate notifications were appearing in Apple Watch app (1st generation) -Fixes an issue where app icons were not appearing in notifications on Apple Watch
Separately, Mac users will find a 10.1macOS High Sierr3.1 along with security updates to El Capitan and Sierra. Apple Watch users will find watchOS 4.1 available, and tvOS 11.1 is available to download for Apple TV as well. A minor update to iTunes, versioned as 12.7.1, is also available for Mac and Windows PC.
Having the user Downloads folder in the Dock for Mac OS is undeniably convenient for quick access to downloaded files, so if you have accidentally deleted the Downloads folder from the Dock, or the Downloads folder is missing from the Mac Dock for some other reason, you may want to restore it back to it’s original Dock location.
Worry not, getting the Downloads icon back into the Dock on a Mac is super easy.
This is probably obvious and goes without saying, but if your Mac Dock already has the Downloads folder in it, which is the default state of the Dock for that folder to be included, then following these steps won’t do anything. But, you could add any other folder to the Dock this way.
Restore Accidentally Deleted Download Folder to Dock in Mac OS
These steps will return the Downloads folders into the Dock again in every version of Mac OS:
Open the Finder in MacOS
Pull down the Finder “Go” menu and choose “Home”
Locate the “Downloads” folder in the Home directory, then click and drag on Downloads and drop it into the far-right side of the Dock (look for the faint line, it must be on the right side of that near the Trash)
That’s it, the Downloads folder is no longer missing from the Dock, it’s now back in the Mac Dock where it is by default.
While having the Download folder in the Dock is very convenient, there are many ways to access Downloads on the Mac, including multiple methods of navigating to the directory in the Finder, using file search, keyboard shortcuts, and more.
Of course another option is to reset the Mac OS Dock to it’s default icon set which would also include the Downloads directory, but that also clears out every other Dock customization that has been made, including any app arrangements, so that’s less than ideal for most users and is really best as a troubleshooting step.
Why is the Downloads icon missing from the Mac Dock?
Usually the Downloads icon disappears from the Mac Dock because it was accidentally deleted from the Dock. This can be intentional too of course, but users will often accidentally remove icons from the Dock by clicking and dragging them.
You can remove any icon from the Mac Dock by dragging it out, much like you can use the steps above to add an item back into the Dock on a Mac.
Rarely, the Downloads icon disappears from the Dock on a Mac because of some other issue or after a system software update. Regardless of why it’s gone, restoring the deleted Download icon to Dock is the same approach as detailed above.
An unusual error can happen sometimes on the iPhone and iPad where iOS app names are replaced with “com.apple.mobileinstallation”, and when attempting to launch the apps with such a name, the app instantly crashes. Furthermore, attempting to delete the app with the name “com.apple.mobileinstallation” via the the traditional Home Screen approach usually fails, leaving the curiously named app stuck on a device and unusable.
If your iPhone or iPad is displaying apps with their name(s) stuck as “com.apple.mobileinstallation” and those apps are crashing instantly on launch, you can fix the apps and make them usable again with a few steps.
How to Fix iOS Apps Named “com.apple.mobileinstallation” and Not Working
Quick tip before beginning: assuming you can still identify the apps by their icon, you should make note of what the app is. This will be helpful when you go to re-download the app, otherwise you may not recall what app(s) are being removed from the device since their names are “com.apple.mobileinstallation” rather than the expected app name.
Open the “Settings” app and go to “General”
Go to “Storage” (may be labeled as iPhone Storage, iPad Storage, or Storage & iCloud Usage, depending on iOS version), then choose “Manage Storage”
Locate the app(s) named “com.apple.mobileinstallation” and tap on that app in the Storage screen
Choose “Delete App” and confirm that you want to delete “com.apple.mobileinstallation” as well as all of its documents and data
Repeat with additional apps erroneously named “com.apple.mobileinstallation”
Now launch the App Store in iOS, then search for and re-download the apps you deleted
Repeat the steps with every other app named “com.apple.mobileinstallation”
You’ll find a side effect of this is that it also deletes and clears the apps Documents & Data, which in many situations can free up a notable amount of storage space on an iOS device. Deleting and reinstalling apps remains the only way to delete iOS apps Documents and Data, as there is currently no manual cache clearing or data dumping capability built into iOS for apps, unless they implement it themselves.
It’s not clear why some app names may randomly get stuck on “com.apple.mobileinstallation” but it usually happens during software updates or iOS restores. Whether the update gets interrupted or runs into some other issue may be while the name changes to “com.apple.mobileinstallation” and seems incapable of repairing itself on it’s own, but deleting the app via Settings and redownloading the app manually fixes the problem. seems to happen during an interrupted software update process.
Some iOS apps are for iPhone only, but that doesn’t mean you can’t download iPhone apps onto an iPad and use them on iPad too.
Many iPad users would rather use the scaled up iPhone version of an app that is intended for a different screen device than no version of the app at all. This applies to many games, messaging apps, and social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, where iPhone exclusive versions of an app exists, but with a little know-how you can download and use the iPhone app on an iPad.
This tutorial will detail how to download and install iPhone apps onto an iPad using the App Store in iOS.
You’ll obviously need an iPad and an Apple ID for this to work. The Apple ID is required to download any app from the iOS App Store.
How to Download and Install iPhone Apps onto iPad
Open the App Store app on the iPad
Search for the app name that you want to download which is iPhone only, the app won’t show up yet
Now tap on the “Filters” button next to the search box in App Store
In the search filters, tap on “Supports” and choose “iPhone Only” from the selection options (the default is iPad Only)
The searched iPhone app should appear on the iPad App Store now, tap on the download, buy, or “Get” button to download the iPhone app to the iPad
Repeat with other apps using the “iPhone Only” search parameter to download more iPhone apps to iPad if desired
Return to the iPad home screen to find the downloaded iPhone app, use it as normal
In the example here we download the iPhone-only app “Snapchat” to an iPad. It works fine on the iPad too once it is downloaded, but the app is a scaled version since the iPhone app is stretched to fit onto the iPad screen.
Remember to set the “Supports” filter back to “iPad Only” when finished so that iPad apps will be found by default again.
This is a great trick to download, install and use iPhone apps on an iPad, but it’s also helpful for situations where an iPhone version of an app is preferable to the iPad version for whatever reason. As long as the app is distinct for iPhone (or iPad) you can use this trick to download iPhone apps to the iPad.
Note that when you use an iPhone app on an iPad with a much larger screen, you will see the app is scaled to fit the iPad. With the scaling comes some pixelation and some artifacts on the image quality however, so don’t expect a perfect experience or a perfect fit. Despite that visual imperfection, the app will work fine, so enjoy those iPhone apps on your iPad!
A devastating flaw in Wi-Fi’s WPA security protocol makes it possible for attackers to eavesdrop on your data when you connect to Wi-Fi. Dubbed KRACK, the issue affects the Wi-Fi protocol itself—not specific products or implementations—and “works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks,” according to Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher that discovered it. That means that if your device uses Wi-Fi, KRACK likely impacts it.
Read on for what you need to know about the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, from how it works to how to best protect yourself against it. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available.
How does KRACK break Wi-Fi security?
KRACK (short for, uh, Key Reinstallation AttaCK) targets the third step in a four-way authentication “handshake” performed when your Wi-Fi client device attempts to connect to a protected Wi-Fi network. The encryption key can be resent multiple times during step three, and if attackers collect and replay those retransmissions in particular ways, Wi-Fi security encryption can be broken.
That’s the CliffsNotes version. For a more technically detailed explanation, check out Mathy Vanhoef’s KRACK attacks website.
What devices are affected by KRACK?
If your device uses Wi-Fi, it’s likely vulnerable to the KRACK Wi-Fi security flaw to some degree, though some get it worse than others. We go into greater detail about how particular devices are affected by KRACK in a dedicated section further below.
What happens when Wi-Fi security is broken?
For starters, the attacker can eavesdrop on all traffic you send over the network. “This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on,” Vanhoef says. For a deeper look at the potential impact, check out PCWorld’s article on what an eavesdropper sees when you use an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s a few years old, but still illuminating.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team also issued this warning as part of its KRACK security advisory, per Ars Technica: “The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection, and others.” HTTP content injection means the attacker could sneak code into the websites you’re looking at to infect your PC with ransomware or malware.
“We are not in a position to determine if this vulnerability has been (or is being) actively exploited in the wild,” Vanhoef says. US-CERT’s advisory didn’t include any information about whether KRACK is being exploited in the wild, either.
Now for some somewhat settling news: Iron Group CTO Alex Hudson says an attacker needs to be on the same Wi-Fi network as you in order to carry out any nefarious plans with KRACK. “You’re not suddenly vulnerable to everyone on the internet,” he says.
How to protect yourself from KRACK’s Wi-Fi flaw
Keep your devices up to date! Vanhoef says “implementations can be patched in a backwards-compatible manner.” That means that your device can download an update that protects against KRACK and still communicate with unpatched hardware while being protected from the security flaw. Given the potential reach of KRACK, expect those patches to come quickly from major hardware and operating system vendors.
Update: Microsoft told Windows Central that a patch quietly rolled out on October 10 protects Windows 10 PCs against KRACK.
“Microsoft released security updates on October 10th and customers who have Windows Update enabled and applied the security updates, are protected automatically. We updated to protect customers as soon as possible, but as a responsible industry partner, we withheld disclosure until other vendors could develop and release updates”
Until those updates appear for other devices, consumers can still take steps to safeguard against KRACK. The easiest thing would be to simply use a wired ethernet connection, or stick to your cellular connection on a phone. That’s not always possible though.
If you need to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot—even one that’s password protected—stick to websites that use HTTPS encryption. Secure websites are still secure even with Wi-Fi security broken. The URLs of encrypted websites will start with “HTTPS,” while unsecured websites are prefaced by “HTTP.” The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s superb HTTPS Everywhere browser plug-in can force all sites that offer HTTPS encryption to use that protection.
Alternatively, you can hop on a virtual private network (VPN) to hide all of your network traffic. Don’t trust random free VPNs, though—they could be after your data as well. PCWorld’s guide to the best VPN services can help you pick out a trustworthy provider. And again, keep your security software up to date to protect against potential code injected malware.
Device and router Wi-Fi security FAQ
Is my phone at risk?
KRACK is a different sort of attack than previous exploits, in that it doesn’t go after devices, it goes after the information you use them to send. So while the data stored on your phone is safe from hacking, whenever you use it to send a credit card number, password, email, or message over Wi-Fi, that data could be stolen.
So my router is vulnerable?
That’s closer, but still not totally accurate. It’s not the device that’s at risk, it’s the information, so the sites you visit that aren’t HTTPS are most vulnerable.
Oh, so I should change my Wi-Fi password then?
Well, you can, but it’s not going to stop the likelihood of attack. The exploit targets information that should have been encrypted by your router, so the attacker doesn’t need to crack your password to implement it. In fact, it has no bearing on the attack whatsoever.
So all devices are at risk?
Now you’re getting it. However, while any device that sends and receives data over Wi-Fi is at risk, the researchers who uncovered the attack said Android devices were more at risk than other mobile phones.
Great, I have an Android phone. But I’m running Nougat so I’m safe, right?
Unfortunately, no. Newer phones running Android 6.0 or later are actually more at risk since there is an existing vulnerability in the code that compounds the issue and makes it easier to “intercept and manipulate traffic.”
So are my iPhone and Mac safe?
Safer than Android, but still not entirely safe. Update: Apple said in a statement that all current iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS betas include a fix for KRACK.
And Windows PCs too?
Yup, same deal, but Microsoft said in a statement that it has a security update to address this issue incoming.Update: Nope. Microsoft released a patch to protect against KRACK on October 10, before the vulnerability was made public.
I run Linux. I’m impenetrable to attack, right?
Not quite. Researchers actually found that Linux machines were the most vulnerable desktop devices, with a similar bug to the one found in the Android code.
So should I turn off Wi-Fi?
That’s probably not a viable option for most people, but if you’re completely panic-stricken, then the only way to be completely safe is to avoid using Wi-Fi until you know your router has been patched.
OK, I’m not doing that. What else can I do?
Right now, all you can do is wait. Google has already confirmed that it is aware of the issue and will be distributing a patch, and Apple and Microsoft will presumably do the same, as well as Linux purveyors. So keep checking for updates and install them when they arrive.
I have automatic updates turned on. How do I know if my device has been updated?
The quickest way is to check the system our software updates tab in your Settings app to see when the most recent version has been updated. Also, Owen Williams is keeping a running list of companies that have distributed patches on his Recharged blog.
What about my router?
First, you should check to see if your router has any pending firmware updates. Most people aren’t as vigilant in updating their routers as they are with their phones or PCs, so log into your admin page and install any waiting updates. If there aren’t any, it’s a good habit to check back every day, since companies will be rolling out patches over the coming weeks, with some already being implemented.
Apple has released iOS 11.1 beta 3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users who are enrolled in the beta testing programs. Separately, tvOS 11.1 beta 3 and watchOS 4.1 beta 3 are also available for best testing too.
The iOS 11.1 beta 3 software update is available now for developers enrolled in the developer testing program, whereas the public beta testing version is usually soon to follow.
Users enrolled in the beta testing programs can download iOS 11.1 beta 3 now through the Software Update mechanism in Settings app of compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
iOS 11.1 focuses on bug fixes and feature enhancements, hundreds of new emojis, re-includes the 3D Touch gesture to access multitasking on iPhone which is missing from the initial iOS 11 release, and will likely include a few new features like Apple Pay Cash.
Additionally, watchOS 4.1 beta 3 and tvOS 11.1 beta 3 are also available for developers and those interested in running beta software on their Apple Watch and Apple TV. Those updates are available through their respective OTA software update mechanisms in Settings as well.
macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 beta 3 has not yet been released for Mac users, but if Apple follows the usual beta release cycle it will debut soon as well.
Some MacOS High Sierra 10.13.x users may wish to downgrade back to macOS Sierra 10.12.x or even Mac OS X El Capitan. Mac users can downgrade from High Sierra to a prior Mac OS release, either by formatting the hard drive and clean installing Sierra or another prior system release, or by relying on a Time Machine backup made prior to the update to macOS High Sierra.
The downgrade method we’ll cover here uses a Time Machine backup to restore to a prior version of macOS and downgrade macOS High Sierra 10.13. If you do not have a Time Machine backup made with a previous version of Mac OS, this will not be possible to follow.
Why downgrade from macOS High Sierra?
For most users, they should not downgrade from macOS High Sierra. Downgrading system software is probably most appropriate as a last resort or a final troubleshooting method, if some particular problem with High Sierra is making the Mac unusable or incompatible with your workflow. There are mixed reports of some Mac users updating to macOS High Sierra and then experiencing a range of problems, from rapid battery life draining, inability for some apps to open, apps crashing, strange performance problems or overall performance degradation, problems with mounting and reading disks, problems with networking connectivity and wi-fi, amongst other issues that could be considered deal breakers.
Important: Keep in mind there is no official downgrade path for macOS. Downgrading macOS High Sierra is accomplished by formatting the target hard drive, thereby erasing everything on it, then restoring from a prior Time Machine backup, or by formatting and then clean installing a prior version of macOS system software onto the computer, and then manually restoring files from some other backup. For our purposes here we will be covering a downgrade by erasing, then restoring from a Time Machine backup made prior to installing High Sierra.
If you do not have a Time Machine backup made prior to installing macOS High Sierra, of the Mac when on Sierra or El Capitan, then you can not proceed with this approach.
How to Downgrade macOS High Sierra to a Prior Mac OS Version
Backup your Mac before beginning this process, it requires erasing the hard drive and removing all data.
Connect the Time Machine backup volume to the Mac if it’s not already attached
Restart the Mac and immediately hold down Command + R keys together to boot into Recovery Mode on the Mac
When the “macOS Utilities” screen appears choose “Disk Utility”
Pull down the “View” menu in Disk Utility and choose “Show All Devices”
Select the hard drive with MacOS High Sierra installed on it, then click the “Erase” button in the tool bar
At the erase drive screen, name the drive and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the file system format, click “Erase” when ready – ERASING DESTROYS ALL DATA ON THE SELECTED HARD DISK, DO NOT PROCEED WITHOUT A BACKUP
When the drive finishes formatting, exit Disk Utility to return to “macOS Utilities” screen
At “MacOS Utilities” select the option to “Restore from Time Machine Backup”
Select the Time Machine backup drive connected to the Mac as the backup source and choose to continue with the restore process
At the Time Machine “Select a Backup” screen, choose the most recently available backup that has the version of MacOS you want to restore (macOS Sierra is versioned as 10.12.x, Mac OS X El Capitan is 10.11.x) and select Continue
Choose the destination to restore the Time Machine backup to, this will be the hard drive you formatted earlier
Now choose “Restore” to confirm you want to restore the hard drive to the Time Machine backup
The restore of macOS will begin, this can take quite some time depending on the size of the backup, the speed of the hard drive, amongst other factors. Be prepared to wait a while, and let the entire process complete uninterrupted.
When the restore from Time Machine completes, the Mac will boot back up to the state and with the system version where the restored Time Machine backup was made.
Note that if the process of formatting the hard drive mentioned above is usually only necessary for Mac users who changed their file system to thew new AFPS file system available in macOS High Sierra. If the Mac file system was not changed then a regular old restore from Time Machine is possible without bothering with the additional step to format the drive, but nonetheless the data on the driven will be removed and replaced with the data on the Time Machine backup.
Apple has released iOS 11.0.3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users running iOS 11. The latest small software update includes bug fixes to iOS and is therefore recommended to all users running iOS 11 on their devices.
Release notes accompanying the iOS 11.0.3 download mention the update fixes an issue here audio and haptic feedback were not working on some iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 devices, and also fixes an issue where some displays were unresponsive to touch on certain iPhone 6s models screens that had been replaced from third party sourcing (perhaps related, we recommend using Apple to replace a broken iPhone screen for best results). It’s unclear if any other bugs or security fixes are included in the iOS 11.0.3 release.
Users can download and install iOS 11.0.3 using OTA with the Settings app, iTunes, or using IPSW firmware files for iOS 11.0.3 with the provided direct download links below.
Download & Install iOS 11.0.3 on iPhone and iPad
The simplest way to download and install the iOS 11.0.3 update is through the Software Update mechanism in iOS Settings. Be sure to backup your iPhone or iPad to iCloud or iTunes (or both) before beginning the software update.
Open the “Settings” app, go to “General” and then to “Software Update”, then choose “Download and Install” on iOS 11.0.3
Users can also update to iOS 11.0.3 with iTunes on a computer with the generic update mechanism, or by using IPSW files.
iOS 11.0.3 IPSW Firmware Download Links
You can download iOS 11.0.3 as IPSW firmware files directly from Apple by using the links below, using IPSW to update iOS is considered advanced and is generally not necessary for most users:
There are mixed reports that updating to iOS 11 has slowed down some iPhone and iPad hardware, or that performance of tasks like opening and interacting with apps is slower after installing iOS 11. If your iPhone or iPad feels slow after installing iOS 11, then you might want to try a few of the tricks we have outlined in this tutorial to speed up your device again.
many of the tricks that help to speed up sluggish performance can also positively impact battery, so if you’re having iOS 11 battery life problems then you may find some cross-benefit to this approach as well.
Speed Up iOS 11 on iPhone and iPad
We’re going to cover a wide variety of tips here to potentially help speed up a device. Aside from the first two tips involving installing software updates and then having some patience and waiting a while, you can follow the others in any particular order.
1: Install Any Software Updates for iOS and Apps
Before going any further, check for software updates both to iOS and to your apps. Software updates can often remedy performance issues and are not to be skipped, particularly if a performance problem is related to a bug or some other problem that has been resolved in an available update.
For getting any updates to iOS 11 (such as iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.1, etc)
Open the “Settings” app and go to > General > Software Update > and choose to Download & Install any update to iOS 11
For getting updates to apps:
Open the ‘App Store’ app and go to the Updates tab, and install any available app updates
2: Just Updated to iOS 11? Have Some Patience and Wait
If you just updated an iPhone or iPad to iOS 11 and the device feels slow, have some patience. When a major software update arrives on your device, iOS will re-index everything for Spotlight, Siri, Photos, and perform other background tasks. This can lead to the feeling the device is slow because of the increased background activity being performed.
The best thing to do is wait a few days, leave the device plugged into a wall outlet overnight, and let it complete whatever system behavior is necessary. After a night or two things usually behave normally again and performance is often better, and often this fixes battery life problems too.
3: Turn Off iOS Background App Refresh
Background App Refresh allows apps to update themselves in the background. This is nice for multitasking quickness, but it can also lead to a hit in system performance. Turning it off is easy, and most users won’t notice the difference in how apps function anyway.
Open “Settings” and go to > General > Background App Refresh > OFF
4: Disable Siri Suggestions & Siri Look Up
You can often speed up how fast Spotlight behaves, as well as the Notifications screen and elsewhere, by turning off Siri Suggestions and Siri Lookup features.
Open “Settings” and go to > Siri & Search > “Suggestions in Search” to OFF and “Suggestions in Look Up” to OFF
5: Force Reboot the Device
Sometimes forcibly rebooting a device can help performance, particularly if some errant process is going haywire in the background, or some app or other event is out of control
For most iPhone and iPad devices, hold down the POWER BUTTON and the HOME BUTTON concurrently until you see the Apple logo appear on screen.
On iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, hold down the VOLUME DOWN BUTTON and POWER BUTTON concurrently until you see the Apple logo appear on screen.
Then just wait for the device to boot back up again.
6: Use a Simple Wallpaper
Using a plain or simple wallpaper originating from a small file size image can help to speed things up sometimes. The idea behind using a simple or plain wallpaper is that it requires less memory and system resources to display, thus it can help to speed up drawing and redrawing of the Home Screen of the iOS device.
Open “Settings” and go to > Wallpaper > Select a boring wallpaper, either of a single color or a very small file size
The Home Screen might look a bit more boring when a simple background wallpaper picture, (or not, depending on your taste) but it also might feel a tad faster. Try it out, you can use the simple tiny gray image wallpaper below if you’d like, or find your own.
7: Disable Parallax UI Effects and Reduce Motion
iOS uses various visual effects which look snazzy but require more system resources to draw and render properly. Disabling those system user interface visual effects can improve performance, or at least the perception of improved performance by disabling the animations.
Open “Settings” and go to > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn ON
* While in Reduce Motion settings, you might want to turn off “Auto-Play Message Effects” too, since those animations in Messages app can also make things feel a bit sluggish sometimes.
When you turn on Reduce Motion, the zipping and zooming effects of opening and closing apps is replaced with a simple subtle fading animation too.
8: Reduce iOS System Transparency Effects
Transparency and blur effects are scattered throughout iOS, from the Dock, to Control Center, to Notifications panels, and more. They look nice, but rendering those blur effects can use system resources and make things feel sluggish sometimes. Turning them off may help the device feel faster:
Open “Settings” and go to > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency to ON
Using Increase Contrast can make things look a bit plain, but using things like Control Center should feel faster as a result.
9: Make Sufficient Free Storage Space Available on the iPhone or iPad
Having sufficient free storage available is ideal for optimal performance of an iPad or iPhone. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to have 10% or more free storage available. So if you have a 32GB device, then having 3 GB of free space or more is desirable. This is so there is plenty of available space for caches, updating apps and iOS itself, and performing other system functions.
Open “Settings” and go to > General > then choose “Storage” (now labeled as iPhone Storage or iPad Storage, respectively)
Once you’re in the Storage management section of your device, you can either follow the recommendations to free up storage space, or delete unused or old apps, or take other actions necessary to free up storage on the iPhone or iPad.
This is important, and if your iPhone or iPad is full or very low on storage, performance will suffer, plus you won’t be able to install updates to apps or system software, and other strange behavior can occur like locking a user out of their email, data being mysteriously removed from the device, amongst other curiosities. Always aim to have some storage space available.
10: Reset iOS System Settings
Resetting your iOS device settings may speed up performance for some users. Be aware if you reset device settings, you will need to make configurations to all of your custom settings changes again, like many covered previously in this article.
Open Setttings and go to General > Reset > Reset All Settings
11: Backup & Restore iOS
A common troubleshooting trick is to backup a device to iTunes or iCloud, then restore iOS. This can sometimes fix obscure performance issues, and if you contact Apple to troubleshoot a device they will likely want you to perform this action as part of their process.
You can backup to iTunes, or iCloud, or both. Always backup before beginning a restore process.
Using iTunes with the device connected to the computer, you then choose to “Restore” the device. Or you can choose to Restore directly on the device itself and select either iCloud or iTunes backup to restore from.
Some users may also try setting up a device as new which means nothing is on the device at that point. An obvious flaw to that approach is the iPhone or iPad would be lacking any data, images, pictures, photos, notes, apps, contacts, or any other personal information. This is why most users choose to restore from a backup instead of setting up as new. Nonetheless, if you don’t care about that, setting up a device as new can sometimes make it feel snappier.
What about reverting from iOS 11 back to iOS 10?
Some users may wish to downgrade iOS 11 back to a prior version of system software on their iPhone or iPad.
While reverting to the prior iOS release was possible for a while, unfortunately this is no longer an option for most devices, because Apple has stopped signing the iOS 10.3.3 firmware. You can learn about how to check iOS IPSW firmware signing status here if the topic interests you.
The Messages screen in iOS 11 is busier than ever before, displaying a row of colorful icons and iMessage apps on the bottom of every conversation in Messages on iPhone and iPad. While some users will love the quick access to their gifs, message stickers and apps, not everyone is satisfied with having a row of brightly colored app icons and the app drawer showing up with their Message conversations, and many professional users have sought out a way to disable or remove the Messages app icons from the iOS communication client.
If you’d like to hide the Message app icons in iOS 11 on an iPhone or iPad, you can do so with a little trick that hides the app drawer.
How to Hide the Messages App Icons in iOS 11
Open Messages app in iOS 11 if you have not done so already and open a message conversation thread
Tap the gray App Store icon button to hide the Messages app drawer *
The Messages app drawer and row of icons will stay hidden until it is revealed again by tapping the App Store icon again. Additionally, if you use an iMessage app or sticker, the Message dock row of icons will appear again, meaning you’ll have to tap the icon to hide it again.
How to Show the Messages App Icon Drawer in iOS 11
If you’d like to see and access the Message app drawer of icons, simply open a message thread then tap on the App Store icon to reveal the iMessage apps and stickers again.
* Note that some users have reported that tapping and then swiping down on the App Store icon is necessary to hide the iMessage app drawer. Whether or not the behavior is different per device is not entirely clear, but should you have problems hiding the iMessage apps row with the tap method try the press and swipe gesture instead.
This is a less than obvious method of hiding the feature, but like some other parts of modern iOS it’s often a discovery process to learn how to perform a particular function that is discretely implemented. Many users have wandered around searching for an option to disable the app icon drawer in the Messages section of Settings, but there is no app drawer toggle available there, and instead the ability to hide and show the iMessage app drawer is entirely contained within the Messages app itself.
Thanks to the various readers who emailed or left comments, like Lisa, who asked “How do I get the apps off the bottom of my text screen. Who had that bright idea?” for the question and tip idea!