10 Tips to Improve Your Android's Performance

Make your device more efficient

Think of your Android device as a computer. As you fill it up with stuff: apps, photos, videos, files, and other detritus, it starts to get sluggish, the battery runs out faster, and it gets harder to find what you need among all the clutter. Like a computer, you need to take care of your device: reboot it occasionally, back it up, offload large files and unused apps, organize those that you keep, and make sure it's always up to date with the latest security patches. Fear not: these tips are generally easy to do and won't take up a lot of your time. It's all about maintenance. Here are ten ways that you can make your Android more efficient and longer lasting.

01
of 10

Update Your OS

man with smartphone

Updating your Android OS to the latest version not only means access to the newest features but also to the most up-to-date security patches. Depending on your device, carrier, and current operating system, the process will be a bit different, but most of the time it should be relatively easy.

02
of 10

Root Your Smartphone

Of course, if you have an older device, you may not be able to update to the latest OS, or you may have to wait until your carrier pushes it out, which can be months after it's released. One of the benefits of rooting is that you can update your OS and access new features without going through your carrier. Other benefits include the ability to remove built-in apps, access features blocked by your carrier, and much, much more. Read my how-to guide for rooting Android devices.

03
of 10

Kill the Bloatware

Focused college student studying at computer
Hero Images / Getty Images

Speaking of built-in apps... Known as bloatware, these pre-installed apps supplied by your carrier or sometimes the manufacturer of your device, often can't be removed without rooting your device. (See above.) If you don't want to root, there are other ways to deal with bloatware: you can uninstall updates to these apps to save storage space, and you can also prevent these apps from automatically updating. Also, be sure to check that none of these apps are set as defaults. You can avoid bloatware altogether by using a device that runs stock Android, such as the Google Nexus line.

04
of 10

Use the Built-in File Manager

If you've upgraded to Android Marshmallow, you can access a built-in file manager. (Don't have Marshmallow yet? Find out when Android 6.0 is coming to your device.) Previously, you had to download a third-party app in order to manage your device's files. Now you can dig into your files by going into the storage and USB section of your device's settings. There you can see how much space you have left, view all of the apps installed on your device, and copy files to the cloud.  

05
of 10

Make Space

Mobile phone and cloud storage
nihatdursun/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Like a computer, your smartphone or tablet may become sluggish if it's packed with too much stuff. In addition, the more crowded your device, the harder it is to find important information or images when you need them. Luckily, it's relatively easy to clear space an Android device, even if it doesn't have a memory card slot. Read my guide to making space on your Android device, including removing unused apps, offloading old pictures, and more. This is also a good time to back up your data, so you can easily transfer it to a new device or restore it should calamity strike.

06
of 10

Let Autocorrect Work for You, Not Against You

When you're sending texts, emails, and other messages from your smartphone all day, it's frustrating to get slowed down by typos and inaccurate autocorrects. Save yourself time, frustration, and embarrassment by customizing your autocorrect dictionary and managing settings. It's also worth trying out a third-party keyboard to see if its autocorrect functionality works better for you.

07
of 10

Extend Battery Life

battery low monitor

Nothing destroys productivity like a dead or dying battery. There are two easy solutions here: carry a portable charger at all times or make your battery last longer. There are a few ways to save battery life: turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you're not using them; kill apps that are running the background; use the power-saving mode introduced in Lollipop; and more. Learn about nine ways to save battery life.  

08
of 10

Set up Default Apps

This is an easy fix. Frustrated that the wrong app or web browser opens up when you click on a link or try to view a photo? Just go into settings and view which apps are selected as the default for certain actions. You can clear them all and start fresh or do it one-by-one. Here's how to set and clear default apps, depending on the OS version you're using.

09
of 10

Use an Android Launcher

Smartphone and computer
Smartphone and computer. Getty Images

The Android interface is generally easy to use, but it can sometimes get mucked up by the manufacturer. If you have an HTC, LG, or Samsung device, it likely runs a slightly modified version of Android. There are two ways to deal with this. First, you can switch to a device that runs stock Android, such as Google Nexus smartphone or the Motorola X Pure Edition. Alternatively, you can download an Android launcher, which lets you customize your home screens and manage apps. Launchers give you more options; you can personalize color schemes, more easily organize apps, and even resize the elements on your screen.

10
of 10

Take Security Seriously

Finally, Android smartphones are prone to security flaws, so it's important to be knowledgeable and to use common sense. Don't click on links or open attachments from unknown senders and be sure your device is updated with the latest security patches. Set up the Android Device Manager so you can lock your device remotely, track its location, or wipe it clean if you lose it. You can also encrypt your device for the utmost privacy. Learn about more ways to be smart about Android security.