Touchscreen Lag in Apple iPhones Caused by Outdated iOS Versions

Does your iPhone screen respond slower than usual? This could be the frustrating issue of touchscreen lag, which is fairly common, particularly after updating the iOS.

Touchscreen lag on iPhones can be due to several reasons, such as an excess of junk files, dwindling storage, corrupt data, outdated software, too many background apps, software bugs, or even hardware damage. It’s worth noting that new iOS updates, like iOS 14, 15, or 16, may come with bugs that can lead to unexpected lagging, disrupting the smooth operation of your iPhone.

Ready to find solutions? Let’s dive deep into the iPhone touchscreen lag problem and explore various easy-to-follow methods to fix it, ensuring your device remains responsive and a pleasure to use.

Causes of Touchscreen Lag

Touchscreen lag can result from several factors. An overabundance of junk files, running out of storage, corrupted data, outdated software, too many background apps, software bugs, or even hardware damage can all contribute to the problem.

apple iphone touchscreen 1

New releases of major iOS updates, such as iOS 14, 15, or 16, often come with bugs and issues that lead to unexpected lagging.

Outdated Software

If your iPhone is running an older version of iOS, it might have compatibility issues with newer apps or processes, causing the touchscreen to lag. Updating to the latest version of iOS can often help resolve this issue.

Software Bugs

New iOS updates or app releases sometimes come with bugs that can cause your touchscreen to lag. Usually, Apple releases software patches to fix these bugs soon after they’re discovered.

Overloaded System Memory

If too many apps are running in the background, your iPhone’s system memory (RAM) can become overloaded, leading to a lagging touchscreen. Closing unnecessary background apps can help free up system memory and resolve this issue.

Insufficient Storage Space

When your iPhone’s storage is almost full, the device’s performance, including touchscreen responsiveness, can be affected. Clearing up storage space by deleting unnecessary files and apps can help alleviate this problem.

Hardware Damage

Physical damage to your iPhone, such as a damaged touchscreen or internal component, can also cause touchscreen lag. If you suspect your iPhone has sustained physical damage, it may need professional repair.


If your iPhone gets too hot, it can cause the device to slow down and the touchscreen to become less responsive. Keeping your iPhone in a cool environment can help prevent this issue.

Junk Files and Cache

Over time, your iPhone accumulates temporary files, or “cache,” from various apps. These can take up storage and slow down your device, including causing touchscreen lag.

Solutions to iPhone Touchscreen Lag

Now, let’s focus on the solutions. We’ll discuss methods to fix the lag immediately and prevent it in the future. The guide covers various topics, from closing all background apps, force rebooting your iPhone, installing available app updates, freeing up storage space, disabling the background app refresh feature, downgrading from iOS 16/15 to iOS 15/14, and more.

Close All Background Apps

One of the common reasons behind iPhone touchscreen lag is too many applications running in the background. To fix this, double-click the home button (or swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhone X or newer) to open the app switcher and swipe away the apps you don’t need running.

too many background apps iphone close bg apps

Force Reboot Your iPhone

A forced reboot can often resolve minor software glitches that could be causing your iPhone to lag. To do this, quickly press and release the volume up button, then the volume down button, and then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

apple iphone random reboot

Install Available App Updates

Outdated apps can sometimes cause issues with your iPhone’s performance. Ensure all your apps are updated by going to the App Store and clicking on your profile at the top right. Under the “Updates” section, click “Update All.”

Free Up Storage Space

If your iPhone’s storage is nearly full, it can slow down your device. Go to “Settings > General > iPhone Storage” to see what takes up the most space. Consider deleting unused apps, old photos, or large files.

Disable Background App Refresh

This feature allows apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular in the background, but it can slow down your iPhone. To disable it, go to “Settings > General > Background App Refresh” and turn it off.

Downgrade iOS Version

If you’ve recently updated to a new version of iOS and have noticed your iPhone lagging, it may be worth downgrading to an older version. However, note that this is a more advanced step and could lead to data loss if not done correctly. Be sure to back up your iPhone before proceeding.

check app updates iphone auto update

Reset All Settings

If the lag continues, consider resetting all settings on your iPhone. This won’t erase your data but will reset all your settings to their defaults. To do this, go to “Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.”

Contact Apple Support or Visit an Apple Store

If you’ve tried all the steps above and your iPhone is still lagging, it may be time to get professional help. Contact Apple Support or schedule an appointment at your nearest Apple Store. They can diagnose if a hardware problem might be causing the lag.

Understanding iPhone Performance Degradation

iPhone performance degradation can be attributed to various factors, often associated with hardware and software issues. Let’s explore these factors and how they impact your iPhone’s performance.

fix system ui error iphone remove app

Aging Hardware

Over time, the physical components of your iPhone can become worn out or less efficient, which can contribute to a decrease in overall performance. For instance, the battery capacity decreases with time and use, potentially leading to slower processing speed and shorter battery life.

Software Updates

While software updates often include performance improvements and new features, they can also introduce new bugs or incompatibilities that may slow down your iPhone. Furthermore, newer iOS versions are designed to take advantage of the latest hardware in newer iPhone models, which may perform slower on older devices.

Full Storage

When your iPhone’s storage capacity is near its limit, it can significantly slow down your device. The operating system needs free space to function efficiently; without it, you may experience lag and slower performance.

Running Multiple Apps

Having multiple apps open and running in the background can use up a substantial amount of your iPhone’s resources. This can slow down the device, particularly if the apps are resource-intensive.

Outdated Apps

Outdated apps that need to be optimized for newer versions of iOS can also cause performance issues. If an app still needs to be updated, it may run slower or cause other problems on your iPhone.

Accumulation of Cache and Junk Files

Over time, apps on your iPhone accumulate cache and other junk files. While these files can speed up certain processes, they can also take up storage space and slow down your device if not managed properly.

Malware or Virus

Though less common, iPhones can get malware or viruses, slowing down the device, draining the battery, or causing other performance issues.

Understanding these factors can help you maintain your iPhone’s performance. Regular updates, managing storage, closing unused apps, and keeping your apps updated are some strategies you can use to prevent performance degradation. If your iPhone continues to perform poorly, it may be worth scheduling an appointment with an Apple Store for professional assistance.


  1. What causes my iPhone’s touchscreen to lag?

    The lagging of an iPhone’s touchscreen can be due to various factors, including an overabundance of junk files, insufficient storage, corrupted data, outdated software, multiple apps running in the background, software bugs, or even physical damage to the hardware.

  2. Why does my iPhone lag more after an iOS update?

    Major iOS updates like iOS 14, 15, or 16 often present their share of bugs and issues, especially in their first release or beta versions. These bugs can lead to unexpected lagging. Additionally, if you rush to install a new iOS version, it might not have been fully optimized for your device yet, resulting in lagging.

  3. How can I fix the lag on my iPhone?

    There are several ways to fix lag on your iPhone. Some of the most effective methods include closing all background apps, force rebooting your iPhone, installing available app updates, freeing up storage space, disabling the background app refresh feature, and, if necessary, downgrading from a newer iOS version to an older one.

  4. Does a lagging iPhone mean the device’s performance is degrading?

    Yes, a lagging iPhone often indicates the device’s performance degrades. This could be due to any factors causing the lag, such as outdated software, insufficient storage, or too many apps running in the background.

  5. Before updating to a new iOS version, what should I do to avoid lag?

    Before updating to a new iOS version, it’s recommended to back up your iPhone, ensure that your device has enough storage space, and close all running apps. You might also want to wait a little while after the iOS update is released, as the first version can often come with bugs that cause lag.

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