10 Tips to Improve Your Android's Performance

The best ways to make an Android device more efficient

Your Android device is like a computer. As it fills up with apps, photos, videos, and files, it starts to get sluggish, the battery runs out faster, and it gets harder to find what 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. Here are ten ways to make your Android more efficient and longer lasting.

The instructions in this article should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Need more help with your Android? Check out our list of helpful Android tips.

01
of 10

Update the Android Operating System

Robot arm holding a smiling phone

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Update the Android OS to the latest version to access the newest features and the most up-to-date security patches. Depending on your device, carrier, and current operating system, the process will be slightly different, but most of the time it should be relatively easy.

02
of 10

Root Your Smartphone

Illustration of an arm pulling a tuber from a smart phone

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If you have an older device, you may not be able to update to the latest OS, or may have to wait until your carrier provides an update, which can be months after it's released.

One of the benefits of rooting a phone is that you can update the OS and access new features without going through your carrier. Other benefits include the ability to remove built-in apps, access features blocked by the carrier, and more. Rooting Android devices can be tricky but might be worth it.

03
of 10

Kill the Bloatware

Bloatware

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Bloatware refers to the pre-installed apps supplied by your carrier or by the manufacturer of your device. Bloatware can only be removed by rooting a device. If you don't want to root, there are other ways to deal with bloatware. For example, uninstall updates to these apps to save storage space or prevent these apps from automatically updating. Also, check that none of these apps are set as defaults.

To avoid bloatware, use a device that runs a pure Android OS, such as some phones from Nokia, Motorola, HTC, and Google.

04
of 10

Use the Built-in File Manager

Android default file manager

If you upgraded to Android Marshmallow, you can access a built-in file manager. Previously, a third-party app needed to be downloaded to manage device files. To view your files, go to the storage and USB section of the device settings. There you can see how much space is left, view all the apps installed on your device, and copy files to the cloud.

05
of 10

Make Space

Storage, Free up space, and Free up 6.21 MB buttons on Android

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.

It's relatively easy to clear space on an Android device, even if it doesn't have a memory card slot. This is also a good time to back up data, so you can transfer it to a new device or restore it.

06
of 10

Let Autocorrect Work for You, Not Against You

Android personal dictionary settings

When you send texts, emails, and other messages from your smartphone, it's frustrating to get slowed down by typos and inaccurate autocorrects. Save time, frustration, and embarrassment by customizing your autocorrect dictionary and managing settings. Or, try a third-party keyboard to see if its autocorrect functionality works better for you.

07
of 10

Extend the Battery Life

Battery Saver, Automatic turn on toggle, Turn on now button on Android

Nothing destroys productivity like a dead or dying battery. There are two easy solutions here: carry a portable charger or make the battery last longer. To save battery life, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you're not using them, close apps that run in the background, and use the power-saving mode introduced in Android Lollipop.

08
of 10

Set up Default Apps

Set default apps on Android

If the wrong app or web browser opens when you click a link or view a photo, go to the device settings and find out which apps are selected as the default for certain actions. You can clear them all and start fresh or do it one-by-one.

09
of 10

Use an Android Launcher

Smartphone and computer

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The Android interface is generally easy to use but is sometimes changed by the manufacturer. If you have an HTC, LG, or Samsung device, it likely runs a modified version of Android. There are two ways to deal with this:

  • Switch to a device that runs stock Android, such as the Google Nexus or Motorola X Pure Edition.
  • Download an Android launcher to customize your home screen and manage apps. Launchers provide options to personalize color schemes, organize apps, and resize elements on the screen.
10
of 10

Take Security Seriously

Android security settings

Android smartphones are prone to security flaws, so it's important to be knowledgeable and to use common sense. Don't click links or open attachments from unknown senders and update your device with the latest security patches.

Set up the Android Device Manager to 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.