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How to clear your iPhone's RAM

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This is a trick to use when restarting your iPhone just isn’t enough to solve a problem, but you don’t want to go the nuclear option and carry out a factory reset.

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This is one of those tricks that you don’t need to use that often, but when you do run into problems it can be a huge timesaver.

So how do you clear the RAM on an iPhone?

Well, I’ll tell you now that there’s no button to toggle in the Settings app to do this. And how you do it depends on whether your iPhone has a Touch ID button or not.

For iPhones that have Touch ID, here’s the process:

  • Unlock the handset
  • Press and hold the power button until the “slide to power off” option is displayed
  • DO NOT SLIDE TO POWER OFF! Instead, press and hold the Home button until the screen returns to the Home screen (usually about 5 seconds)
  • Done!

OK, so what about the iPhone X or later that don’t have a Touch ID Home button? Well, this is when you have to be creative and activate a feature called AssistiveTouch.

AssistiveTouch floats a small menu on your display (which you can move about on the screen to wherever suits you) that allows you to carry out gestures such as pinching or multi-finger swipes with a single finger, offers quick access to a variety of functions, and even allows you to activate Siri without pressing the Home button.

It also gives you access to a virtual on-screen Home button.

There are three ways to activate AssistiveTouch:

  • Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, then switch on AssistiveTouch
  • Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and then activate AssistiveTouch
  • Ask Siri: “Turn on AssistiveTouch”

I recommend using the first option because this then immediately allows you to then add the Home button to the menu by clicking on Customize Top Level Menu… and making sure the Home button is there. Tap on a button to add it if it is not there.

Now do the following:

  • Unlock the handset
  • Press and hold the power button until the “slide to power off” option is displayed
  • DO NOT SLIDE TO POWER OFF! Instead, bring up the AssistiveTouch menu and hold the virtual Home button until the screen returns to the Home screen (usually about a second or so)
  • Done!

You’ll notice that after you do this when you switch back to an app that was running using the App Switcher that the app will need to reload.

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