If you’ve been getting frustrated with your iPhone’s pokey performance and frequent hangs and crashes after upgrading to 2.0, you’re not alone. In fact, everyone I know who upgraded their original iPhone to 2.0 has been complaining about these issues! But I found a fix that brings back the stability and most of the performance – restore your iPhone and set it up as a new phone. This isn’t perfect (it’s still sluggish opening some apps) but my phone has been solid since I performed this trick.
Warning: Restoring and re-setting up your iPhone will delete all settings, accounts, and content! This means you will have to reconfigure Wi-Fi networks, mail accounts, etc after doing this! Now on with the show…
There are three ways to load a new OS on an iPhone or iPod Touch:
- Upgrade, which loads the OS in place and leaves the settings and content untouched. This seems to be causing the trouble with stability and performance when going to 2.0.
- Restore, which blows away the entire OS, content, and settings, and then restores the content and settings from a backup. This works better in general, but my phone was still crashing right and left.
- Restore as a new phone, which is a modification on the Restore procedure. Here, you blow away everything and then don’t restore from the phone backup. This seems to be much more stable under 2.0, and is what we’re doing below.
Now for the instructions:
- Sync your phone and download the latest 2.0 OS (2.0.1 was just released as of this writing) with iTunes. It will back up your phone’s content (which might take a while) and sync all of your apps, bookmarks, contacts, etc… You won’t be using this backup, but you might want it if something goes awry. Note that if you are a Windows user and are not using Outlook, ActiveSync, or MobileMe, your calendar will not be synced with anything and you will lose all of your appointments! This stinks! Contacts, email, and bookmarks will probably be synced in other all cases.
- Copy your photos off the phone if they’re not already syncing with an application or folder. These will get nuked in this process!
- In iTunes, select “Transfer Purchases From iPod/iPhone” a few times – it may not get some of them on the first go for some reason.
- Write down your email account settings if you don’t have them memorized. Pay special attention to server names and authentication settings.
- Now, in iTunes, click your phone in the sidebar and then click the “Restore” button in the main pane.
- Your iPhone will now be wiped out and a clean 2.0.1 image will be written to it. This will take 20-30 minutes.
- iTunes will then ask if you want to restore a previous phone backup or set up as a new phone. Select “new phone”, but don’t worry, this won’t change yourphone number, account, or voice mail…
- Your phone will activate and you will have a fresh, clean phone to work with. You might not want to let iTunes sync right away, as it will try to load up every song and application in your library, sync it with Internet Explorer, and other fun/obnoxious behavior. If it starts syncing, just cancel it.
- Unplug the phone and reconfigure your email accounts with the information you recorded before. If this includes a MobileMe or Exchange ActiveSync account, you can also sync your contacts and calendars wirelessly, and iTunes will detect this when you plug in again.
- Now plug it back in, cancel the sync, and configure the iTunes sync process. Select which apps, playlists, and ringtones to sync and make sure everything else is good before finally letting it sync. For some reason, my refreshed iPhone wanted to load every song and app but no ringtones or movies. I guess this is the default behavior…
- If you saved any photos, you can re-load them on the phone now as well.
- Note that you’ll have to also reconfigure application locations in the home screen, reset weather and stock symbols, re-pair BlueTooth devices, reset Wi-Fi networks, and other such fun stuff. But your iPhone should at least be stable enough to use.
Before performing this trick, my phone was pretty bad, crashing frequently in the home screen and on loading most apps. It also couldn’t load or update an app from the App Store – every single one would stall and cause the phone to lock up, sometimes multiple times before it loaded!
After this restore, my phone is back where it was in the winter with 1.1.4 in terms of performance and stability. Safari still chokes on some web pages, but it always did. But at least I can now use the phone, and most apps are much snappier on load and use.