10 Tips to Improve Your Android's Performance

The best ways to make your device more efficient

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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. They also should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. It's all about maintenance. Here are ten ways that you can make your Android more efficient and longer lasting.

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Update Your OS

Robot arm holding a smiling phone


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.

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Root Your Smartphone

Illustration of an arm pulling a tuber from a smart phone

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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 your phone 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. Rooting Android devices can be tricky, but might be worth it.

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Kill the Bloatware


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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 a pure Android OS, such as some phones from Nokia, Motorola, HTC, and Google.

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Use the Built-in File Manager

Android default file manager

If you've upgraded to Android Marshmallow, you can access a built-in file manager. 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. 

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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. Luckily, 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 your data, so you can easily transfer it to a new device or restore it should calamity strike.

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Let Autocorrect Work for You, Not Against You

Android personal dictionary settings

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.

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Extend 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 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.

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Set up Default Apps

Set default apps on Android

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.

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Use an Android Launcher

Smartphone and computer

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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.

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Take Security Seriously

Android security settings

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.