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Top 3 apps for boosting Android system performance

Top 3 apps for boosting Android system performance

Any phone will eventually become slower over time and overloaded with files, which can lead to frustrating delays in opening apps, changing settings and doing virtually anything else. Thankfully, there are a few handy tools to help you declutter, remove duplicate files and generally tidy up your phone to keep it in tip-top condition. We've put together a list of three essentials you'll want to consider downloading today.

1. SD Maid

Despite this being a non-ordered list of the best three apps for keeping your device running in top condition, SD Maid is first in this list for a reason: the free version is really useful, and the paid app adds even more options for cleaning your device in just a few taps. Best of all, it does it without overloading you with other dubious functions (like 'RAM boosting') or trying to get you to install other apps by the same company.

The main overview of the app gives you access to CorpseFinder, SystemCleaner, AppCleaner and Databases. These are all individual tools that each perform a different function. If you delve into the menus you'll also find tools for finding and removing duplicate files of all types and enhanced AppControl tools. The most frequently used tools are those four found in the Overview panel though.

androidpit sdmaid
SD Maid is well worth installing if you want to clear junk files. / © AndroidPIT

CorpseFinder searches for and removes fragments of files or directories from apps you've uninstalled. SystemCleaner scans for known file types and locations that can be deleted without causing problems; advanced users can set their own rules for targeting files. AppCleaner, which requires the Pro version of the app, frees up space on your phone by deleting data from apps that it thinks can be safely deleted without losing any of your app settings. And finally, Databases attempts to speed up your phone by using an SQL VACUUM command to release empty pages without losing any data.

Duplicates aren't listed in the Overview menu but is a powerful tool in de-duping your phone of a whole bunch of different file types. It does that by checking duplicate file sizes and checksums to ensure they are indeed duplicates, rather than using file names or dates.

This is another Pro-only feature though. If you do decide to pay the $3.49 to unlock all the options, you'll also get access to a scheduler that lets you automatically run various tasks at certain times and a Statistics section showing you how much space has been saved.

2. Greenify

Greenify is a frequently cited app in lists like this, primarily for its core skill: saving your battery by stopping apps from draining your battery in the background. While Android 6.0 brought Doze mode, which offers similar functionality, it hasn't entirely eliminated this particularly useful app. Its simplicity also makes it pretty appealing.

Unlike other all-in-one type apps, Greenify focuses on just making sure your battery lasts as long as possible by controlling the behavior of your apps. It's mostly an automatic affair once you've installed it and set it up, but you can open up the app at any time to see what's running in the background and any other potential battery drains.

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Greenify can help your battery last longer by hibernating your background apps. / © AndroidPIT

Just select as many apps as you want to manually hibernate at once and then hit the 'Zzzz' button. Greenify is free, but if you want access to experimental features, you'll need to pay for the 'Donation' version of the app, which currently costs $2.99.

For that, you get things like an experimental boost mode, different options for receiving notifications from apps that have been put into hibernation, and more options for hibernating system apps safely.

However, all that is still experimental, and the developer warns that the features could crash, or at worst, brick, your phone. You'll also need root access for some of the more advanced features.

You get seven days to request a refund if things don't work out though, instead of the usual 15-minute refund window. For most people, the free version will be all you need.

3. File Commander

OK, file management apps do not sound like fun, and really, they're probably not. File Commander, however, is incredibly useful if you use your Android phone as your PC too. And if you're willing to spring for the paid upgrade, it'll give you even more.

If not, you'll have to put up with the ads, but there are enough pro features to make paying worthwhile, and naturally it supports files on SD cards, stored in the cloud, FTP servers and local network addresses.

As well as providing an overview of your storage (handily splitting items into common libraries like Pictures, Videos, Music, Documents, Downloads), there are options for getting an overview of what's using up the most internal storage on your phone, so you can easily delete or transfer those items. Indeed, there's also a PC Transfer option that provides you with an IP address to type into your PC browser, giving you direct access to files on your phone via your computer.

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File Commander is much more than your average file manager. / © AndroidPIT

There's also the option to share your screen with up to five other users of the app, provided you're all connected to the same Wi-Fi network or close enough to use Bluetooth. You're not going to use it very often, most likely, but it could come in handy one day or for anyone that regularly collaborates on work and needs to share files.

Add in the option to encrypt and hide any of your files behind a passphrase lock, a file converter and additional options for Nougat devices, and File Commander is well worth considering downloading.

What other apps do you use to help your system perform better? Let us know in the comments below - and don't forget why you like them.

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Readers' favorite comments

  • Peter Harwood Apr 13, 2016

    Just can't believe you androidpit only three articles before this one your telling everyone to remove these useless apps because there no good and just use battery power


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  • There is always going to be a difference of opinion here at Androidpit. You are going to have those who prefer to have an App (or Apps) that can handle certain things on their device .... and you are going to have those who will tell you do not download and install an App, here is how you do it manually.

    So, I leave it up to the device owner what they do with regards to managing their Smartphone or Tablet (my own personal experience is if you like the App and you trust the developer? pay for it and don't tolerate pop up ads!)

    If we get more "how to's" at Androidpit? Chances are we will rely less on Apps to manage our devices OR it could be that the next OS will allow an easier time managing a device.

  • Sd Maid Pro : a very useful feature : Search. The quickest I know to find everything on tour smartphone.
    File Commander : I use this program for years, especially on Windows computer. On Android I've found another app very powerful and much "friendly" for neophyte users : Cx File Explorer. Not as powerful than Commander but able to manage quickly most of files managing tasks.

  • This post is very useful for those who want to increase the speed of their android device. I'll recommend "SD Maid" application. This application actually increases the speed of an android device & you can also add "360 Security" application to your chart & this post was really very useful. I appreciate your writing.

  • i agree with you @Ben woods . Sd maid is one of the best application i've ever used. But Greenify also offer you the best features .If you had given Greenify to the first place then it would have been better.

  • I have been using SD Maid pro since last year and It is working like a charm for me. I'll recommend other users to use SD Maid Pro instead of other system cleaning tool. Cons of this SD Maid Pro works on Rooted devices.

  • Been using SD Maid Pro for the last six years and it's the only Android application capable of cleaning and compacting the hundreds of local databases on your phone.

  • You forget SSD Boost (Top one App), Droid Optimizer and Purify. All require Root.

  • Hi, I'm the dev of SSD Boost,
    a work in progress project which has the goal to speed performance and extend endurance of smartphone internal flash memory.
    Before installing read reviews, then try it and let me know.

  • Generally agree with sceptics for newer devices with surplus RAM and CPU, but on my aging Android J tablet I use Greenify, and Super Cleaner (Hawk App Studio) when it clogs up. [Updated - free versions of CCleaner, SDMaid do not work on the Android M cache - Super Cleaner does, and also has a few useful features for the old J tablet. A bit cartoonish for me, but works.]

    On recommendation of another reader here I installed a feature rich dual pane file manager called X-plore. I got very tired of the ads on ES (and everything else Cheetah takes over) and wouldn't pay when a very good free ad-free file manager is available.

  • I've been using the pro version of SD Maid for years. Nothing out there comes even close. It gets rid of junk and leftover files from apps, and more. Stopping RAM and deleting cache too frequently does more harm than good, it also drains the battery faster. Google it, do your homework.

    • Deleting cache too frequently does more harm than good? Really?? I never knew that. I do it daily usually. Sometimes more than once a day. I just reset my phone though because it was really acting up. So everything is good so far. But I will Google that info you gave us. Thanks!

      • F1xteR Mar 18, 2018 Link to comment

        Deleting cache frequently does harm, Yes. But deleting cache weekly is good and will get you more space, but if you want really performance go on Google play store, My apps and my games and stop all updating, that will boost performance alot, but you will need to update manualy or update only apps you really need to.

  • Sara Oct 12, 2016 Link to comment

    I used Purify, it is ok on my phone.

  • I use this one that his very useful

  • .

  • i use cleanmaster lite and i have no complaints

    • cleanmaster and similar apps slow your phone more down than speed it up. chache is actually important to launch and use apps faster and android can automaticly manage ram,

    • CleanMaster will eventually mess up your phone though; you may wanna google that.

  • Unnecessary file, folders and cache in phone are main reasons to slow down the speed any android device.

    • no it isnt. cache actually speeds it up because its like a like preload of the that than doesnt have to be calculated again

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