You’ve just purchased a new Android phone and it’s working beautifully. Everything runs quickly with little or no delay, and it feels so good to not have to wait for apps to open.
But we all know what happens. Over time, things get slower and slower. Apps lag, screens take longer to load, and animations become glitchy. That blazing fast phone you used to have now crawls along.
And while a simple restart may temporarily speed up your device, it’s not going to make a long-term difference. You need a more effective solution.
In this article, we’re going to give you 17 tips for truly speeding up your Android device. By the end, you’ll have a precise plan for getting your Android back up to speed, literally.
How to fix a slow Android phone?
#1: Delete all the apps you don’t use
We all download apps without thinking about it and rarely get rid of the ones we don’t use. But apps use free memory, fragment memory, and hog CPU cycles for background services. Go through all your apps and delete any you don’t use on a regular basis.
#2: Clean up all your storage
A quick look at your storage will reveal a ton of junk that you don’t need and use. This includes unnecessary photos, files you’ve downloaded, and miscellaneous files created by various apps. To free up the space:
Delete unnecessary photos from the “Gallery” app
Clean out all the files from your downloads folder
Clear the “Misc” or “Other folder in your storage page
If storage is a problem for you, consider using our Android app, which allows you to put all your files in the cloud and then access them from anywhere.
#3: Remove all cached data
Generally speaking, cached data is a good thing, allowing you to access information more quickly rather than waiting for it to load every time. But cached data can also slow down your phone and make it buggy. Clearing your cached data every now and then can significantly speed up your phone.
#4: Examine your SD card
If your Android has an SD slot, you want to ensure that your SD card is running smoothly and not bogging down your entire phone. Power down your phone, remove your card, and then backup all your files onto your computer. If you don’t do this step first, you’ll lose all your data. Then insert your card back into your phone, go to your storage section, and format your card. This will remove all the files you’ve saved on that card but don’t worry – you backed them up. Then put your card back into your computer and put all the necessary files back on the card, including any apps that were stored on the card. This is a bit time consuming, but it can yield significant improvements.
#5: Get rid of unnecessary widgets
Widgets look great and can give you quick access to fantastic information, but they are also massive resource hogs, sucking up CPU cycles and constantly fetching data. Delete all the widgets you don’t use on a regular basis.
#6: Stop using live wallpapers
Live wallpapers are really cool, but they are a terrible use of resources, draining battery life and slowing down your phone’s performance. Stick to a standard wallpaper to improve the overall performance of your phone and battery.
#7: Regularly perform software updates
If you’re like most people, you probably ignore those notifications that tell you to update your software. Software updates, however, often remove bugs and improve overall performance. To ensure peak performance, regularly update your phone’s Android to the latest version available (there is an exception of this rule – keep reading to get to it).
#8: Disable apps with background processes
Having applications run processes in the background is certainly convenient, but it also requires more CPU resources and memory. Determine the apps running processes in the background and then either disable them or uninstall them if you don’t often use them.
#9:Switch off unnecessary animations
Some app launchers have extra animations which look fantastic but noticeably slow down performance. Examine the launcher settings to see if it’s possible to disable these animations.
#10: Close apps you’re not using
Running multiple apps simultaneously certainly makes switching between them easier, but it also eats up your memory, which slows your phone. Call up the apps list by holding down your home key and then swiping away any apps you aren’t currently using.
#11: Disable “bloatware” apps
“Bloatware” are apps that come preinstalled on your phone and often run background processes, slowing down your CPU and filling your RAM. Unfortunately, unless you root your phone, you can’t delete preinstalled apps. However, you can disable them to prevent them from running and showing up in your apps drawer.
#12: Increase Chrome’s memory limit
By default, Chrome only uses 128MB of available RAM. With a few quick taps, you can quadruple that, increasing the performance and smoothness. Simply navigate to: chrome://flags/#max-tiles-for-interest-area and then choose “512” from the dropdown menu.
#13: Disable location services
Location services are really useful when using apps like Yelp, Foursquare or Swarm which use your current location. Location services can, however, slow down the CPU on your phone. If you don’t use location services, consider turning them off altogether.
#14: Downgrade your operating system
In rule #7 we advised you to always run software updates, however this may be an issue if you use a rather old device. Depending on the age of your phone, it may not be able to handle the most recent version of Android, which in turn will cause significant performance issues. You may have to give up some bells and whistles with a downgrade, but the increase in speed may be worth it.
#15: Install performance enhancement apps
There are some Android apps which will automatically and continuously improve the performance of your phone. Greenify for example will automatically put background apps into hibernation in order to reduce background processing. Android assistant allows you to easily monitor and make one-click improvements to various elements of your phone.
#16: Do a factory reset
In most cases, this is your last resort. It clears everything off your phone and returns it to the original state. This means you’ll need to reinstall all your apps, put all your photos back on, etc. Always be sure to backup your phone before you do this. But, despite the hassle, it certainly will improve the overall performance of your phone.
#17: Root your phone
Only those with the necessary knowledge should root their phones – if you’re not qualified to do so, you may end up needing to buy a new smartphone or bring yours to the repair shop. It often voids the factory warranty and, if you’re not careful, can cause significant problems with your phone. However, rooting your phone does allow you to install a variety of applications which aren’t approved by the Google store, many of which can improve the performance of your phone.