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Why is my Android phone running slow? Here's how to speed up your phone

Mark Wilson

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.

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If you're worried that your phone has slowed down, prepare to speed it up! / © AndroidPIT

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 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.

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.

Android includes various ways to free up space and help speed up your device. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

If you've been using your phone for a while, there are probably several apps you can remove. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Downloads and app caches occupy valuable space that could be put to better use. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

If you have a lot of apps on your phone and you want to speed up the process, you can install an app called App Cache Cleaner from the Google Play Store. This allows you to clear the cache on all the apps you have on your phone in one go, so you don’t have to spend a long time doing it manually.

Free up as much space as possible, and you might be surprised at the difference it makes. / © ANDROIDPIT

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 preloaded 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.

Widgets can be a waste of resources, so kill any you don't really need. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Those fancy extras offered by your launcher of choice could be slowing down your device! / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Terminating unused apps and freeing up RAM will help with the speed of your device. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Sometime, something as simple as a restart is all that's needed for a speed boost. / © ANDROIDPIT

Just hold down the power button, select the Restart option, and then tap OK to confirm.

Do you have any tips and techniques you use to speed things up? Do you have any apps you use optimize the process?

From the forum. Join the discussion now!


Write new comment:
  • Leslie Anne Chatterton 2 weeks ago Link

    I would dispute your claim that Android users have to be "worried about lags". My OnePlus One has never had that issue and it is almost a year old. IOS users have other issues... it is no more perfect than Android IMHO.

  • Madars 2 weeks ago Link

    ios users dont have to be worried about laggs, but android users have to download boosters becouse their phones are slow. that sucks

  • Leslie Anne Chatterton 2 months ago Link

    Coloured boxes have nothing to do with it.

    Your phone comes with "user" access; this means there are many things you cannot do. "Rooting" gives you full, unlimited administrative access to the heart of your phone. This allows you to remove "built in" apps and change the operating system (the rom) to 3rd party alternatives with more features. It also makes it very easy to ruin the phone if you don't know what you are doing. Only take this step if you are prepared to do a lot of research and proceed very slowly and carefully.

    You have been warned!

  • Koit Kranig 2 months ago Link

    Can anybody tell me what is rooting in android 4.4.2? Is it in about the phone and red screen with android 4.4..2 logo and some colored boxes flying around?

  • James Ahn 6 months ago Link

    Other tricks:

    1) Wipe your phone
    2) Install alternative apps that run FB, etc.
    3) Custom OS

  • Paisan NYC 6 months ago Link

    +1 on the recommendation for "App Cache Cleaner - 1Tap Clean". I've used it for a few weeks based on another AndroidPIT recommendation back then, and it sped up my phone greatly after deleting the crap cache.

  • Hans Meiser 6 months ago Link

    I guess even Win8.1 will do a better job. Gonna get a Lumia 630 today for just €99 and will report here.

  • Amat Mulisha 6 months ago Link

    No lagging on ios?

    • Hans Meiser 6 months ago Link

      Yep, no lagging - never.

      • Dimitar Berberu 6 months ago Link

        Google & you can find that ios can lag even it is designed for a few devices with limited functionality (much easier).
        Android is more generic/complex multitasking system that runs on many more devices including future Internet of Things (eg. cameras, watches...) - not as easy to implement.

        Your 'investment' will be tested when you have to mix & learn multiple interfaces.
        My investment was decided on a conclusion that I need a universally available (not just <15%), scalable (Chromium), with removable micro SD to back up & share with PC/Cameras without sw/cables. To move Android from one to any other brand is a matter of minutes by moving the SD with all content & apps & simple login. Try it on ios. Android apps can work on Chromium & other platforms.
        Horses for courses.

        You are right on windows (value for money). I expect Windows to eventually pick up on mobiles with a 'familiar' interface.
        Unfortunately Microsoft killed Nokia.

  • Mark Rgs 6 months ago Link

    Fanboy 🔝

    • Hans Meiser 6 months ago Link

      No, just somebody who invested in a better product.

  • Hans Meiser 6 months ago Link

    Problems iOS-Users don't have.

    • Lexcorp 6 months ago Link

      My devices:

      1.- Moto X 2013 (4.4.4)
      - Time To open an app: 0
      - Lag: 0.

      2.- iPad 2 (iOS 8)
      - Time To open an app: zzzzzzz...
      - Lag: zzzz.

      3.- iPhone 4 (iOS 7)
      - Time To open an app: zzz.
      - Lag: zz.

      iOS users have lag. A so much in some iDevices.

    • James Ahn 6 months ago Link

      What?! Apple has it even worse--when you install iOS 8 on your 4S lmao lags like a mother and destroys battery life, even Apple warned not to DL it hahahaha.

  • Amat Mulisha 6 months ago Link

    Clean master and greenify is perfect combo. Also after u restart ur phone. Leave it a while to processor doing its job. Heat also make ur phone lag and slow. Its also bad for ur battery. So keep ur phone stay cool

  • Collin Page 6 months ago Link

    Nice app to clear up space is CCleaner also

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