Boost the Speed of Your Android Phone or Tablet

Your Android phone or tablet probably seemed fast when you first bought it. As time went by, particularly if you upgrade the operating system or add a lot of apps, it may seem to be running slower. There are a few simple steps you can take to improve the speed of your device.

Free Up Space

Your device will run faster if the memory isn't being overtaxed.

Screenshots of an Android phone showing how to delete an app
  • Evaluate the apps you have on your phone or tablet. Remove any you no longer need or use. This frees up space on the device. To delete an app you downloaded, go to Settings and look for the App Manager (sometimes it seems a bit hidden, so you may need to look around for it). Tap any app listed in the App Manager that you want to uninstall to open its info screen. Tap the Uninstall button at the bottom of the screen to remove it.
  • Also, disable any apps that came on your mobile device but that you don't use. In most cases, you go to the App Properties to disable an app.
  • Look at your photo and music libraries. If you take several photos each time to get the best one you should review and delete those extra shots. Also, if you see songs that you thought you'd listen to but haven't, get rid of them.
  • Check your Downloads folder. You may find it crammed full of files you no longer need.
  • Go to Settings and open the storage page. Look for an "Other" or "Misc" heading. Tap it, and you'll probably see a bunch of files that apps downloaded to your phone or tablet. If you're sure you no longer need a file, delete it. If you aren't sure, it's best to leave it alone.

Go Widget and Animation Free

Screenshots of an Android phone showing how to turn off window animation

As with apps, widgets that you don't need should be disabled. The widgets or launcher you use may provide animations and special effects that look great, but they require extra processing power and can slow down your phone or tablet. Check in your launcher to see if you can disable these extra effects and gain a little speed.

Close Apps You Aren't Using

Android close app

Keeping several apps open makes it easy to multitask, but closing open apps can improve speed. Just pull up the running apps list to see active apps and how much memory they are using, and close the ones you don't need open.

Clear the Cache

Android clear cache

Go got the device storage page in Settings. Look for a Cached data entry topic and tap it. You'll have an option to clear out all the cached data. 

Restart the Phone or Tablet

The trusty restart has been a problem-solver since the beginning of the computer age. Put it to use with your phone or tablet occasionally. A restart can clear caches and clean up the system for a new—hopefully faster—start.

Know Which Apps Are Resource Hogs

Android battery settings

Monitor which apps use the most battery power (usually in Settings > Battery) and be aware of which apps use the most RAM (usually in Settings > Apps or Apps Manager, depending on the device).

Download Apps That Boost Android Performance

Android Greenify app

Apps that remove duplicate files from your phone or that declutter it help keep the phone in its best operating condition. There are several of these on the market. Among them are:

  • Greenify stops background apps from draining the battery
  • File Commander displays an overview of storage and identifies the categories that are using the most storage: Videos, Music, Pictures, or Downloads.
  • SD Maid includes four individual tools: CorpseFinder, System Cleaner, App Cleaner, and Databases. Each of these handles a different job. There are also tools for locating and deleting duplicate files.

The Final Option

If all else fails and your Android phone or tablet is running unbearably slow, go for a factory reset. Your apps and data disappear (yes, all of them) and the phone returns to its original factory condition. You'll need to redownload the apps you want.

Screenshots of an Android phone with the System, Reset Options, and Erase All Data settings highlighted

Depending on your phone or tablet, look in Settings for backup or restore or privacy to locate the factory reset option. After the reset is complete, your device should be back to running smoothly.

Was this page helpful?