When you first got your shiny new Android handset you were probably blown away by how fast it was. But over time you may well have noticed that your phone is starting to run slow. Don't worry - it doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it. Here are some top tips you can use to help speed up your Android phone and get things running quickly again.
Just about every phone on the market is liable to suffer from slowdown at some point in its life. Your Galaxy S5 could slow to a crawl, or your Moto X (2014) may motor less than it used to. You may notice that apps take longer to load than they used to, that there is a lag between tapping an option and an app responding, or things may just feel generally sluggish. You don’t need to put up with this. Try some of the following techniques to make your phone run faster.
Identify the problem
The first thing you want to do is find out what is causing the problems: an app, multiple apps, the system itself? Trepn Profiler by Qualcomm will show you the real-time CPU load for individual cores, an overview of network traffic for both data and Wi-Fi, GPU loads and RAM usage (just for starters).
Trepn can also produce app-specific or system-wide profiles and contains various methods for displaying accumulated data. You can save your profiled data for offline viewing and analysis and even have performance overlays on running apps. Once you've figured out your specific issue, you can move on to the solutions below.
Running out of space
All those photos you've taken and all of those apps you’ve installed can take their toll. Your phone needs a little breathing room to run smoothly and if you're running low on space, things can slow down.
You can check how much space you have left by heading to the Storage section of Settings. One of the first ways to free up space is to tap Applications can see which apps you can uninstall.
Tap the entry for an app you no longer need and then tap Uninstall. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary for any apps you feel you can live without.
There are other ways you can free up space as well. The files you have downloaded are probably still sitting in storage wasting space and can be removed. In storage, tap Downloads, select the files you want to remove and then tap the Bin button.
Many of the apps you have installed use data caches in an attempt to speed up operations. This is effective up to a point, but if you are running short of space, it can actually be counter-productive. To free up this space, hit the Cached data option and then tap OK to confirm.
More files ripe for deletion can be found in the Miscellaneous files section. Tick the boxes next to any types of file you'd like to remove – backups, files that have been received via Bluetooth, playlist files, and so on – and then tap the bin button. You can keep an eye on how much space you have freed up by looking at the Available space section.
You can also disable the apps that came pre-loaded on your phone but you really don’t use all that much. If you have rooted your Android, you can get rid of these apps easily. If not, you can simply go to the app properties and disable the app to prevent it from running and using up your phone’s resources.
Cut back widgets
All those widgets you have running on your home screen may be useful, but they also take up their fair share of resources.
If you have any widgets running that you don’t really need, consider disabling them. There's no harm in having some active, but you will notice an element of slow down with too many running at the same time. Just be a little selective.
Animations and extras
Depending on the launcher you are using, you may find that there are various animations and special effects in place. These may look great, but they can also slow things down.
Check in your launcher's settings to see if there is a way to disable any of these unnecessary extras, and you could earn yourself a speed boost.
Close apps and free up RAM
Multi-tasking several apps makes it easy to switch between different tools, but there can also be an impact on performance. You can quickly close down any apps you are no longer using by calling up the running apps list Pressing and hold the home key and then swipe away any apps you want to exit.
While you are at this screen, tap the pie chart button to the lower right of the screen and then move to the RAM section. Tap the Clear memory button and any background processes that are running unnecessarily will be closed down.
Restart your device!
A quick and simple fix for a slow device is to simply restart it. This can clear out cache, stop unnecessary tasks from running, and get things running smoothly again.
Just hold down the power button, select the Restart option, and then tap OK to confirm.
Don't forget you can also keep tabs on the apps using lots of battery by going to Settings > Battery. You can also monitor RAM usage in Settings > Apps (or App Manager, depending on your brand of phone) and there's even more nerdy goodies in Process Stats in Developer Options – if you don't have this setting enabled, go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number seven times until a notification pops up.
We've shared some other great apps for monitoring system performance on Android, apps to give your Android a performance boost and tips to increase available RAM on Android. From what we can see Trepn Profiler deserves a rightful place amongst these other A-listers.
If you're looking for more device-specific speed tips, check out these solutions:
- How to speed up the Galaxy S5
- How to speed up the Galaxy S4
- How to speed up the LG G3
- How to speed up the LG G2
- How to speed up the Nexus 5
- How to speed up the Nexus 4
- How to speed up the Nexus 7 2013
- How to speed up the Moto X
Do you have any tips and techniques you use to speed things up? Do you have any apps you use optimize the process?