We can all agree that the Android phones we have are awesome and fast. This is mostly true considering the amount of RAM and internal storage that a mid-range model usually has (leave alone the high-end models).
With that said, any user of an Android phone can attest to their devices getting slower over time. This can be frustrating considering how fast the phones were in the beginning. Before we get into the steps, we can take to speed up the Android devices. We need to understand why this happens.
What is the problem?
It’s only by identifying the source of the problem, can we fix it. There are many reasons as to why an Android phone slows down over time. We won’t get into much depth, but multiple apps running in the background or during startup could be a cause.
The size of the RAM, the model of the phone, the software version. All these contribute to slowing your phone down. It’s not easy to quickly identify what might be slowing your phone down, so here’s a general troubleshooting guide to help speed up your phone.
What you can do to Speed up the Android Smartphone
Now, let’s directly jump into the methods to speedup Android smartphones, tablets, or any other devices which runs on Android OS. Follow them in the same order given below becuase it may prevent you from stepping into advanced methods without trying the easy ones.
Free up storage space
The first place to check is your internal storage. It’s possible that the apps and data on your phone are taking a toll on the phone, thus slowing it down. If you’re low on storage space, the best move is to delete things you don’t need.
This could be in the form of apps, photos or even those backup files that you left on the phone. You can check how much storage you have left by going to the settings, then storage section. Here, you can check the apps you don’t use as much and uninstall. You can even delete the files you don’t need to free up some more space.
Tone down the widgets
Widgets are wonderful and help the home screen look better. In addition, they can act as a sort of shortcut allowing you to reach the apps you need quickly. Remember the old adage “too much of anything is harmful”, this also applies to widgets.
Too many of them on your home screen could cause your phone to slow down. The best option would be to remove the widgets you don’t really need or don’t really use. It will help reduce the toll on your phone’s resources.
Turn off animations
Phone companies such as Samsung have been trying to improve their UX over the years (they might have just got it right with the S8) as many people have complained about how ugly they look. This made many of us take up the idea of launchers to help improve the look of the phone. One thing that these launchers have that slows down our phones is unnecessary animations. Be it Nova launcher, GO launcher or Hola Launcher, they all tend to have some animations. The best thing to do is to check the launcher settings and ensure that there are no animations active.
Take it easy on the RAM
One cool feature that many Android phones have is the ability to multi-task. On paper, this looks great, but over time this feature tends to take a toll on the RAM. It’s always best to keep an eye on the RAM and the possible apps that are running in the background. There is a quick way to know what apps are running in the background.
This is via the running apps list. You can get to this list by pressing and holding the home key or the left key depending on the model of your phone. This will give you a long list of apps that are running. You can choose to either swipe the apps you don’t need or simply clear the memory. To clear the memory, all you need to do is go to the running apps list and tap the clear memory button, and that’s it.
Restart your phone
Funny enough like a PC, a good restart on the phone can help solve any issues that were slowing down the device. This could have been anything to do with the cache or an app running in the background that is using too much of the resources. Restarting the phone allows the device to clear out the cache and stop any unneeded tasks from running.
An annoying thing that many Android phones tend to have is bloatware. Bloatware is an app that comes with the phone pre-installed. These apps wouldn’t be an issue except that they do the same things other apps do, but worst (this is not the case with every bloatware). In addition, they take up phone storage and can run in the background, thus slowing down the phone. You have two options when it comes to these apps, to remove them or disable them.
Removing bloatware is strictly for rooted Android users as there are some restrictions put in place by the manufacturers. If your phone is rooted, feel free to remove those that you don’t need. A word of warning as some of these apps tend to be important for the system to function. The other option (which many of us are stuck on) is to disable these apps.
You can’t disable bloatware via settings, a third-party app has to be used. We can suggest the use of Greenify as it does a great job of this. Greenify is intuitive and easy to use and can hibernate the bloatware, so that they don’t take up too much RAM that could be used by other devices.
Clear cached data
Your apps normally perform this process known as caching. They keep small pieces of data to help speed up the phone (that’s a brief explanation of what caching does). The only problem with this is when you’re low on phone storage as this tends to become more of a nuisance than a benefit. When low on space, the best thing to do would be to delete the cached data. You can do this by navigating to your settings > going to the storage section > and tapping on the cached data section. This will bring up a prompt asking whether you’d like to clear the cached data, click OK and that’s it.
Don’t forget the SD card
The SD card is normally forgotten when it comes to components that can slow the phone down. A slow and messy SD card can do some harm on your phone speed as well. The best thing to do is to always clean up the SD card. You can do this via a PC. You start by powering down the phone. Remove the SD card from its slot, place it in an adapter and plug it into your PC.
Once the SD card is mounted, be sure to back up its contents to a folder on your PC. You can choose to either format the SD card on the computer or on the phone, the choice is yours. You can also go back to the backup folder, delete things you don’t need (don’t delete files you don’t understand or seem confusing as they could be system files) and put everything left back on the SD card. That’s it, your card should be good as new.
Perform a factory data reset
Again, like a PC a phone might also need a good reset from time to time. This could be because the software gets clogged up with a lot of unnecessary things that it bogs it down. This is normally the case for those that have been using the same phone for quite some time. If you try the above and nothing works, then a good factory reset might prove to be the difference.
We’ll admit that a factory reset is annoying as the phone is wiped clean. This forces you to set up the phone again, but that could prove to be the difference. The option to factory reset is normally found in the “Backup and reset” section in your settings menu. You could also use the recovery menu to do a factory reset, the choice is yours.
Keep your Phone up to date
Finally, it might be that your phone needs a new update. When many of us think of a new phone update, we normally think new features, probably useless features as well. This is not always the case. Many OTA updates that are sent to your phone are meant to help improve the phone’s performance and remove any bugs that might plague the phone.
Remember, that notification that your phone needs to be updated may be the medicine to your problems. Sometimes the notification doesn’t come through, so you need to go to the settings menu > about phone > then software updates to see for yourself.
For Android Nerds Only!
Don’t let the title scare you as anyone can do this, it just needs a bit more effort. Apps that consume a lot of battery and RAM are normally culprits for slowing down the phone. You need to monitor and keep an eye on them. You can do this via the settings menu, then battery or settings menu, then Apps or App manager. If you’re feeling adventurous, then visit the developer options and check out the process stats to get more info. In addition to all this, there are some other methods that are open to users with rooted phones. Let’s explore some of these options:
Use a custom ROM
A custom ROM is probably one of the nerdiest things that you could do with your android phone. It takes time and patience, one wrong move, and you might brick your phone. There are some benefits to installing a custom OS with one of them being more freedom on your phone.
This allows you to remove bloatware as well as tweak the settings on your phone to speed it up.
Partition the SD card
To be honest, this is for both rooted and non-rooted users. The reason it’s here is that only nerdy people would be willing to take the time to do this. This is despite the fact that there are programs that have simplified this process immensely.
This solution works for people with the low memory issue. By partitioning the SD card, you add more storage to which you can move apps to. It’s best that you use a class 10 SD card (found in the top right corner) as this will ensure that the write-up speed is good, thus the phone speed will be good as well.
Use third party apps
There are some third-party apps that you can use to help speed up your phone. These apps work on rooted phones, and a good example is Set CPU. This app allows you to choose to overclock the CPU that might help make your phone faster if done right.
A point of warning is that this might stress your phone more if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Ever heard of Swapping?
Swapping is a memory cleaning operation performed in the RAM. The process normally swaps the data from the RAM to the virtual memory in the device. The swapping value is when the RAM is triggered to perform a swap.
Many phone manufacturers set the value a bit low, thus making the phone laggy at times. You could choose to use an app to change this value, or you could use your memory card to “increase” the RAM via swapping.
Note that the increase is in “ ” as you can’t truly increase the RAM. In addition, the effectiveness of this method depends on the class of memory card that you use.
These are just some of the few methods that you can use to speed up your android phone. Rooted users tend to have more of an advantage than non-rooted users. If you can root your phone, then that’s better, but if you can’t then implement the methods above and experience a better phone.