As an Android user, you might have sometimes experienced lagging or sometimes you feel like the android system is slowing down, which can be quite annoying, frustrating, and sometimes even hindering if you are trying to get something important done.
Well, rest assured. In this article, I am going to give you 27 ways to speed up your Android phone. Most of the tips I'm going to show you are simple to implement, but some other might take some extra steps to perform. Other tips will be informative. I highly encourage you to try every single tip and I guarantee that you will see a significant difference.
Table of Contents
- 1. Free up Storage
- 2. Clear out Cache
- 3. Restart your Android Phone
- 4. Update Android to Latest version (Or Don't)
- 5. Update your Downloaded Apps
- 6. Remove the recently installed apps
- 7. Close any Background Apps
- 8. Optimize your Device
- 9. Restart your Android Device on Safe Mode
- 11. Reset Android Settings to Default
- 12. Factory Reset Android phone
- 13. Remove potential Viruses and Malware
- 14. Remove Apps that slow down your Phone
- 15. Downgrade to an Older Android Phone
- 16. Remove Pre-Installed Apps
- 17. Delete Corrupted Cache
- 20. Do NOT Install task killers
- 21. Allow your Battery to Cool Down
- 22. Enable phone restart during sleeping hours
- 23. Ensure your phone is charged adequately
- 24. Block app notifications
- 25. Change battery
- 26. Fixing the Errors in the NAND Flash Drive
- 27. Check your SD card
- 28. Remove Widgets
- 29. Get rid of live wallpapers
- 30. Avoid hardwire-intensive games
1. Free up Storage
The biggest reason of why your Android phone is lagging behind is due to lack of storage space. The less the available storage, the more calculations your phone has to perform in order to load something. For example, if you have only 500MB left, more search has to be done for the Android OS to locate what you need from the memory, compared to having more memory left. The rule of thumb is to always have slightly more storage space available than the RAM capacity. For example, if your phone has 6GB of RAM, aim to have at least 8GB of free storage.
How to free up storage space on Android?
Start by deleting apps you never use.
- Open Settings.
- Go to Applications (or similar option).
- Sort the apps by size if possible. Usually there will be a 3 dots button on the top right of the screen.
- Select an app you would like to uninstall. Tap on the uninstall option or similar.
Another way is to go into the File explorer. Usually it will be called My Files or Files.
- Open the File Explorer app (My Files for Samsung).
- Tap on either Internal Storage or SD Card.
- Sort the folders by size. Usually there will be a 3 dots button on the top right of the screen.
- The folders you should look into are:
There are folders which you shouldn't touch at all, since they are either managed by your system or another application. These might be Android, Samsung, Ringtones, log.
- DCMI. All photos taken from your camera
- Download. All files you downloaded from the internet.
- Pictures. All pictures stored in your phone.
- Movies. All movies you have either purchased or downloaded.
- Repeat the same if you have inserted an SD card. Make sure you move any data you wanna keep to your computer or any other storage location.
I am against using cleaning apps, as they tend to overestimate what kind of files you need to delete. Usually, your phone will have an option in the settings, under Device Manager, which helps you to optimize your device, including freeing up junk files that you might have in your system. If this option is unavailable to you, download either Droid Cleaner, or Norton Clean.
2. Clear up Cache
Cache data files are temporary files created and stored by the applications installed in your android system, with the purpose of helping those apps to function smoother. The storage area filled with cache data can end up taking a good amount of space, if the app is being used repeatedly, such as social media or games, contributing to an overall slower experience. Deleting Cache files doesn't remove any progress you have made on the app, so by deleting your cache files, doesn't delete any data or progress you've made on the app.
How to clear cache on Android?
There are two ways to clear cache on your Android.
- Remove App Cache files.
- Remove Browser Cache. This depends on the browser being used.
Clear App Cache on Android
- Open Settings.
- Go to Applications (or similar option).
- Choose an app (focus on apps you have downloaded).
- Tap on Storage.
- Choose Clear Cache.
- Repeat this process on all apps you've downloaded.
Clear Browser Cache on Android
- Open Chrome Browser.
- Tap on the vertical 3 dots (usually, on the top right screen).
- Open History.
- Select Clear Browser Data.
- Tick the Cached Images checkbox. If you however want to clear up the cookies (passwords, cookie preferences etc) and browsing history (websites you've visited before), check the other checkboxes too.
- If time range is available, choose All Time, to clear up all cache from your browser.
After this, you should clear several hundreds of MB worth of data, even up to 1G.
3. Optimize your Device
Nowadays, almost every Android phone will come with an Optimization feature. This helps to clear up junk files, free up memory, boost performance, improve battery and more.
How to optimize Android?
- Open Settings.
- Select Device Management (or similar).
- Tap on the Optimize button and let your phone do the rest!
Best Android Optimizer apps
Here's my list of the top optimizer apps if you would like to take this a step further. Please, only use one optimizer app and not all of them together, as these apps tend to work in the background and contributing to slowing your Android device down. Feel free to try all of them before choosing your favorite.
- Droid Optimizer
- Smart Phone Cleaner.
- All-in-one Toolbox.
When it comes to clearing your data, use that option on these apps with caution.
After this, your optimization score should be 100. It's advisable to do this very often throughout the day or week, in order to keep your device as fast as possible.
4. Close any Background Apps
By using your Android phone, you will most likely going to be using multiple apps per day. If that's the case, then when you quit your app, the app actually stays in the RAM.
Usually, Android phones have a button on the bottom left which if you tap it, it will show all the open apps which are in the RAM. Simply swipe up on each app, or choose Close All.
Do this frequently throughout the day to clear up your RAM and allow your phone to run smoother.
5. Remove any Recently Downloaded Apps
If you only started seeing your phone lagging or performing slower lately, this might contribute to an app running on the background that you've recently installed. Apps can run on the background doing some important tasks to improve your user experience and retrieve information faster. The best idea to investigate what's up, is to follow the following recipe:
- Clear all Cache in the latest downloaded apps.
- Clear all Data in the latest downloaded apps. Keep in mind that this will remove any progress you've made with the app, unless all the progress is done online.
- Delete the latest downloaded apps one by one and see if you see any difference with the performance.
After performing each steps, I highly recommend you to restart your device before moving to the next step. This will help to clear up all data in your RAM.
6. Remove Apps that slow down your Phone
While you may not notice, there can be multiple apps running in the background without noticing. Many of these apps can contribute to slowing down your device. While we covered ways to delete apps you no longer use, there's a way to see which apps contribute to slowing down your device the most.
Which apps slow down Android?
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down and choose Storage (or Memory).
- Choose Memory.
- Select Memory Used by Apps.
- This will show a list of apps using the highest percentage of RAM in the last 3,6,12 hours or 1 day.
- Delete or clear cache/data of these apps.
After this, you should notice a significant change on the performance of your device.
7. Remove potential Viruses and Malware
The degraded performance of your android phone can sometimes be attributed to viruses, if that’s the case running a virus scan and installing a proficient antivirus is the right call.
If you are browsing the internet a lot and you tend to download stuff online, you might end up in the case that you have downloaded malware or viruses on your phone. Most of the times, you won't even notice that a virus has been downloaded to your device and that can often not only contribute to a slower performance on your device, but a security threat which has to be resolved as soon as possible.
While, your built-in Device Optimization setting can do the job to remove malware and viruses from our system, there are other companies which specialize on getting rid of malware. One of them is AVG Free Antivirus which can help you get rid of all malware and viruses in your system. However, it's very important to avoid downloading stuff from websites that don't seem legit.
8. Delete Corrupted Cache
When you update your phone to a newer Android version, it can lead to accumulated corrupt cache which ends up making your device slower in the sort and long run. If you experienced a sudden slowdown, even if it's not a big difference, then this could be the cause of the problem.
How to remove Android Cache Partition?
To delete the cache partition, follow the following steps:
- Connect your Android phone to a computer.
- Turn off your device by holding down the Power Button.
- Press and hold the Power and Volume Up Buttons at the same time.
- Release the buttons as soon as the Android Recovery Screen shows up.
- Move the highlight by using the Volume Down (or Up) keys to the Wipe Cache Partition option.
- Press the Power Button to select the Wipe Cache Partition option.
- Use the Volume keys (Up or Down) to select Yes.
- Press the Power Button to confirm to clear the cache.
- Wait until the process is done.
- Use the Volume keys again to highlight Reboot and press the Power button to select it.
Now your device should reboot and perform faster than it did before. Rest assured as this step can show a significant difference. Keep in mind that this process does not delete your data.
9. Block app notifications
If you have multiple apps installed on your Android phone and you have notifications enabled, this will cause your phone to run certain activities of these apps on the background in order to send you notifications. Furthermore, you are releasing more space on your RAM which can lead to a better experience using your phone. This not only contributes to a slowdown on your phone, but also shortens your battery life.
How to disable Notifications on Android (at once)?
- Open Settings.
- Select Notifications.
- You should see a list of apps.
- Disable notifications by toggling the switch on apps that you no longer need to receive notifications from. You may also have a toggle to disable notifications for all apps.
Of course, if you want to keep notifications enabled for certain apps, it's perfectly fine. Make sure to keep the apps you receive notifications from at a minimum.
Namely social media apps, blocking them from sending notifications reduces the background traffic and safes your RAM.
10. Remove Widgets
While widgets can help you get answers instantly, such as the weather, stocks, latest news etc, they can lead to a slower Android Device. The reason behind this is that these widgets are constantly running in the background to refresh the content live which contributes to more CPU and RAM usage. While it's not too much of a problem of keeping only 1 widget in your screen, having more than 2 is where you start seeing the difference.
How to remove widgets on Android?
- Tap and hold the widget.
- You will see a bin or delete button on the bottom.
- Drag and drop the widget to the delete area to delete it.
- Repeat for all widgets.
11. Get rid of Live Wallpapers
While live wallpapers are cool, they not only make your device slightly slower, but also contributes to a negative net of battery consumption. So I would highly recommend you to switch to a static wallpaper to take advantage of a last inch of CPU usage available.
How to remove live wallpaper on Android?
- Open Settings.
- Select App Manager.
- Tap on the All tab.
- Find the Live Wallpaper app and select it.
- Tap on Uninstall to remove the app.
Furthermore, you can head over to the settings and go to wallpapers to setup a static wallpaper.
12. Restart your Android Phone
One of the oldest and certainly simplest ways to stop a lag or make your system run faster is to simply reboot it. The reason why this sometimes work is that by rebooting your Android phone, it will stop all processes from the RAM and remove any potential problem, or even any data corruption happened in your RAM. After rebooting your phone, your RAM will be empty, meaning that some of the lag problems may be removed.
How to Reboot Android Phone?
This varies from phone to phone, brand to brand.
- For Samsung phones, hold down the power button and press on the Restart button. Enter your passcode/pattern if needed. Forgot your Android passcode/pattern?
- For Huawei phones, hold down the power button and press on the Restart button. There's no need to enter your passcode for this.
It may take several seconds or up to a couple of minutes for your phone to reboot and load.
13. Update your Downloaded Apps
Apps you download from Google Play store, will also need to be updated from time to time. This is crucial, as the developers behind those apps constantly are on the look for bugs and ways causing your device to slow down. Together with this, they include new features and new content with each update.
How to update apps on Android?
- Open Google Play Store.
- Tap on your Profile Icon on top right.
- Select Manage apps and device.
- Select the Manage tab.
- Tap on Updates Available.
- Check all the checkboxes for every app and tap on the update icon on the top.
Depending on your internet connection, this should take some time to finish. This means that you won't be able to use the apps while updating, but you can still use your phone for other activities.
14. Do NOT Use task killers
While the developers promise that task killer apps will help you to speed up a slow Android Phone by automatically killing apps in the background, they don't help as much as you think and you end up having an extra app running in your background which in many cases leads to a slower Android device than without.
Given that task killers used to be popular in the old days, nowadays, your phone will come with an optimization feature which will automatically kill all the background tasks, as well as optimize your phone all together.
If you have downloaded any task-killing app, it's best to head over to Settings > App Management and delete any task-killing apps you've installed.
15. Restart your Android Device on Safe Mode
Safe Mode is perfect to help you diagnose any problems with your device by simplifying the home screen and features you can use to the bare minimum. This is done by disabling any interference from 3rd party apps. With Safe Mode, you can still do all the basic activity you would do without Safe Mode, so you can very well keep using it if it's more convenient for you.
How to Use Safe Mode on Android
- Press and hold the Power Button.
- Tap and hold Power Off until a prompt to reboot on Safe Mode appears.
- Confirm on the Safe Mode prompt by tapping ok.
Your device now should boot on Safe Mode. You should notice immediate speed improvements. If this is the case, then there's a 3rd party app you've installed (from Google Play Store) is causing a mess. All you will need to do now is to turn off Safe Mode and check what's up with your downloaded apps.
How to Disable Safe Mode on Android
- Press and hold the Power Button.
- Tap on the Restart Button.
Now, that you are back on default mode, refer to step 1 or 2 to either delete them or clear their cache data respectively.
16. Reset Android Settings to Default
Resetting your android system to its original setting can boost your android phone, this is easily done and doesn’t cause any data loss.
After using your Android device for a while, you almost certainly have changed many settings depending on your needs. However, too many changes can also be the cause of the slowdown. While it's nearly impossible to remember every single change you've done in the settings, there's actually a way to reset your Android settings back to default without losing your data.
How to Reset Settings on Android
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down and choose General Management.
- Select Reset.
- Select Reset Settings.
- Tap on the Reset Settings button.
This should take a couple of minutes to complete. After this is done, your settings will go back to default. Keep in mind that settings such as WiFi passwords, bluetooth connections might be reset after this process.
17. Update Android to Latest version (Or Don't)
Depending on your Android device, several patches and newer version will be released for your device. This can contribute to a faster processing speed, if explicitly mentioned on the update page in Settings, or it might make your device slower, especially if you own an older Android phone.
Should I update my Android phone to the latest Android version?
- Do update your phone to the latest Android version if you bought your phone less than 2 years ago.
- Don't update your phone to the latest Android version if you bought your phone more than 2 years ago.
How to update Android to its latest version?
- Go to Settings.
- Go to Software Update.
- Tap on Download Updates Manually.
Keep in mind that this process will take some time to finish. The latest Android version needs to be downloaded from the provider and then installed on your Android device. Please, make sure you have enough battery life on your device before you perform an update.
18. Allow your Battery to Cool Down
After a long time of constant usage of your phone, your battery will heat up and your device will be forced to slow down in order to avoid burning your battery or any electronic components in your phone. This not only contributes to a slower Android phone, but if you're not in a room temperature place (20-22 °C or 68–72 °F), you are at the risk of causing permanent damage to your phone. Because of this, many Android phones come with a Low Power setting to not only prevent consuming too much battery, but also allow your phone to not overheat.
How to Enable Low Power mode on Android?
- Open Settings.
- Select Battery.
- Tap on Power Saver Mode to switch it on or off.
In worst cases, it's a good idea to take frequent breaks to allow your phone to cool down. Remember that playing games or using performance-draining apps constantly for a long period of time, is what leads to an overheated phone the fastest.
19. Enable phone restart during sleeping hours
If you are using one of the latest Android OS version, you might have a feature to automate your phone to restart at certain times. As we discussed on Step 9, restarting your phone can certainly stop some causes behind the lagging problem of your phone.
How to automate Android to restart?
- Open Settings.
- Search for Auto Restart at Set Times.
- Set the time and days of the week you would like the device to automatically restart.
Keep in mind that your Android will restart only when:
- The screen is off.
- The phone isn’t being used.
- The battery is above 30%.
- SIM card lock is off.
It's ideal to set the time to be at a time you normally sleep, so you don't have to keep track of when the restart will happen.
20. Remove Pre-Installed Apps
Depending on the device you have, there will be certain apps that come with your system. This can be apps like: word processing, Google-related apps etc. While these apps can be useful, you may end up never using most of them.
If that's the case, you can delete some of these apps by tapping and holding down the app you no longer need. Tap Uninstall from the dropdown and uninstall it.
Of course, you will be able to re-download these apps form the Google Play Store, so you don't have to worry that you will never get those apps back if you ever need them.
21. Ensure your phone is charged adequately
Usually when your battery life is below 20%, your phone will automatically drop the speed performance in order to make the battery last longer. Because of that, it's important to keep in mind that when your battery is running low, the power of your battery also drops which can contribute to more lags and slowdowns. There's nothing much you can do to fix this, but make sure that you follow proper battery management and charging your batter at the right times.
How to properly charge my Android phone?
- Don't leave your phone connected to the power source for too long after it's done charging. This can negatively impact your battery life.
- Don't let the battery to drop to 0. Plug your phone to charge it when the battery is below 20%.
- Avoid using your phone while it's charging. This make the phone hotter and hence more prone to battery-related damages.
- If you are not planning to use your phone for a while, switch it off, ensure your battery is at around 50% and store it in a room temperature place.
By following good battery management and charging practices, you will slow down the battery aging and also, you will also make the battery degrade slower.
22. Change battery
If you see that your phone is running out of battery rather quickly, much faster than it used to do, then it's time to change your battery. Usually battery repairments wouldn't exceed 100$, depending on the phone. However, make sure to plan carefully on this, as if you're planning on buying a new phone, it might not be the best investment to repair your battery on your current phone and just buy a newer phone.
23. Check your SD card
If you notice that apps or files that are stored on your micro SD card, are the cause of the slowdown experience on your phone, then your SD card may be the culprit. The best micro SD cards are usually MicroSDXC or SunDisks. Each offer high reading and writing speeds making data access much faster.
While it can be pricey to get a high-capacity SD card with high reading and writing speeds, it's still enough to get a micro SD Card with capacity of 128GB nowadays, thanks to the cloud and the fact you can easily transfer your photos or other files to your computer. You will often find micro SD cards of 128GB for under 20$.
24. Fixing the Errors in the NAND Flash Drive
After using your phone for so long, the flash memory used as the permanent storage on your phone (where the OS is stored or your apps), will degrade and will cause errors that end up repairing the flash drive, with result, slowing down your phone. While this is mainly because your phone is aging, there aren't many things you can do in order to fix this problem.
The best thing you can do is to move as many apps as possible to your micro SD card. This also includes moving your photos, videos, other files etc. Make sure that your primary storage for taking pictures, videos and downloading files is switched to your micro SD card. While accessing those files will result with a faster reading time, the OS in general will still cause a bottleneck for pretty much any use.
Usually in these cases, you will need to consult a professional phone repair service to investigate and fix this problem for you by usually changing the flash memory if possible. While that could cost more than 100$, you may very well invest that money into buying a new phone and sell your current one.
25. Avoid hardwire-intensive games
If you love games, and of course you will have downloaded many games. Some of those games might be intensive for the phone too with all those fancy graphics. While these games contribute to a net negative effect on your Android device, you can try to incorporate breaks instead of playing non-stop which leads to an overheated device. Charging your phone and playing a high-intensive game is a big no no.
26. Downgrade to an Older Android Version
If the lagging and the slowdown occurred after your latest Android update, then it's an indication that the latest update is the sole cause for the slower performance of your Android device. Because of that, you may look into ways to downgrade you current Android OS to the previous stable version. This can vary from device to device, as each device can have different steps involved to downgrade to the previous OS.
Keep in mind that most likely this will lead to losing all of your data from your Android phone, so if this is the last option available, then make sure you backup your data first before proceeding.
27. Factory Reset Android phone
After doing whatever it takes to speed up your Android device, you might reach to a point that you have tried everything possible and still seeing little to no difference. If this is the case, then the last resort to avoid buying a new phone, is to perform a factory reset. This will involve all your apps, files, photos, videos, settings to be deleted forever. I highly recommend you to back up your Android phone before proceeding with this step.
How to Factory Reset Android?
- Open Settings.
- Select Backup and Reset.
- Choose Factory data reset.
- Select Reset Device.
- Tap on Erase Everything.
- If any warning messages popup, confirm.
This process should take several minutes to complete. This involves removing all of your data, re-installing the Android OS, setting up your device just like new. Keep in mind that you will have to add all your accounts from the beginning again. It will be the same process you did at the time you first bought your phone.
While many of the above tips can help you release some stress on your device, part of the reason of why your device is running so slow and lagging, could be because your phone is outdated. When I bought a Samsung Galaxy S7, it began degrading after 2 years of normal usage. A good rule of thumb, is to update your Android phone every 2 years. Hopefully the above tips will extend the lifespan of your Samsung phone!
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