iPad 6 iPadOS13 & 14 ... memory leaks, Safari crashes

As most users, I keep updating my trusted iPad 6, but have found the stability of the OS to grow worse with 13 and now especially with 14. I don’t use too many apps on my iPad. Mostly Safari, some apple apps, a few weather apps, some small games, … and I am finding that I need to force close all open apps and do a forced restart every week. Otherwise I run into various app crashes. Tabs that stop loading. Safari crashes.

I cannot count how many times I have lost all my Safari information / open tabs between crashes and iOS updates.

The force restart always used to take care of it for about a week or two.

But in the past couple months I have found Safari to struggle pretty much daily with cannot open this page, where it will load 1/3 … 2/3 and then crash. The other day it was even doing it on Apple’s homepage and any common Mac website we may visit, CNN, etc.

Youtube has been a giant pain in the side. Refusing to work in desktop mode.

Other sites will load with content blockers on, but crash with content blockers off.

Unless I do the force close everything, force reboot thing and Safari will happily hum along for several days of usual activity, a dozen tabs, two dozen tabs. And then the memory leak creep starts to set in. Stuff will start to fail. Force closing and reopening Safari does not fix things.

So, is the memory management in iPad OS 13 and now 14 that much worse than in iOS 12?
I never had these issues since the original iPad one and the 3 iPads since.
No such issues either with iPhone 8 & 10.

With a tinfoil hat, one might think forced obsoletion.
And I am not keen on spending on a newer model that would have 1 extra GB of RAM, or worse spend double towards an iPad Pro, in order to escape these RAM issues, that to me, seem to have really come about with the introduction of iPad OS and multitasking feature, which I actually do not use myself. I am very much a one app at a time in front of me user.

I don’t have any solutions but have noted the same thing. iOS 12 seemed pretty rock solid, I basically only restarted it when installing an update. In iOS 13 and 14, I have to restart every few days, or I see symptoms like the ones you’re seeing, apps crashing or running slow, Safari refusing to load pages that have loaded just fine and load fine again after I restart Safari, etc. It’s very annoying.

I’d say that any time iOS performs like that on decent hardware it might be time to do a good backup (iCloud or iTunes encrypted backup), factory reset, and restore from backup.

Let me second what @ddmiller says. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen Safari crash on an iPad using any version of iOS or iPadOS across generations of iPads, much less seen repeated crashes that cause data to be lost. Repeated crashing is a symptom of something specific to a particular iPad, not iPadOS in general.

It’s not inconceivable that your iPad is suffering hardware failures, but erasing it and restoring from backup is the first thing to try. If that doesn’t work, erasing it and setting it up from scratch would be the second.