10 Ways to Speed Up a Phone That's Running Too Slowly

Storage, battery, and Wi-Fi issues are often the culprit

Smartphones, like all tech, start to slow down after a while. Before you ditch that expensive phone and buy a new one, try a few troubleshooting steps to see if you can resolve the problem instead.

Why Your Phone Is So Slow

There are plenty of reasons why phones start lagging, many of which you can resolve relatively quickly. It’s also important to note your phone might only seem slower, as it seemed much faster when you first bought it.

The four most common reasons phones slow down are:

  • Bad data or Wi-Fi connection
  • Out of date software and apps
  • Power-hungry apps
  • Low storage space

How to Speed Up Your Phone

There are many solutions for speeding up a slow phone, which include anything from rebooting, updating the operating system, offloading data, and resetting to factory settings. Many of the solutions can solve all sorts of other problems too.

  1. Check the Wi-Fi signal strength. Sometimes it’s not your phone that’s slow, but your Wi-Fi connection. It could also be a mobile network issue. Check these connections and switch to another Wi-Fi network or move to another location.

  2. Reboot your Android or restart your iPhone. If you haven’t restarted your phone in a while, that might do the trick. It’s always a good idea to give it a try before looking into other possibilities as it can fix an array of performance issues.

  3. Check for updates to your Android or iOS smartphone. Operating system updates often contain fixes for issues that might slow a phone down, such as background processes. If there’s one available, go ahead and update your Android or iPhone operating system

  4. Uninstall Android apps or iPhone apps you don’t use anymore, or that take up the most space or bandwidth. If anything, this frees up space for new apps, photos, and other data.

  5. Check for Android app updates or updates to iOS apps. For apps that you do use, make sure they’re up to date. As with OS updates, app updates often contain bug fixes that can cause performance issues.

  6. Free up storage space on your Android or your iPhone. Take advantage of cloud storage, and back up your Android or iPhone using a cloud service like Google Drive, Google Photos, iCloud, and Apple Photos.

  7. Clear the cache data on your Android or your iPhone. Occasionally, the data your smartphone saves to make things move faster can slow things down. Clearing it can immediately fix smartphone issues and also free up space.

  8. Reset your Android to factory settings or reset your iPhone. If nothing else works, try a factory reset, but be sure to back up your data first. 

  9. Contact tech support. For Android phones, contact your carrier or manufacturer; iPhone users can set up a Genius Bar appointment. If your smartphone is still running slow after a factory reset, it’s time to get outside help.

  10. Consider upgrading. If you’ve had no success, it might be time to upgrade to a new model. Android users should consult our guide to when it makes sense to upgrade. Apple users can sign up for the iPhone upgrade program or check if they’re eligible for an upgrade.

  • How do I speed up my internet on my phone?

    Clear your cache, close any apps you're not using, and turn off auto-updates. You can also try resetting your device's network settings, or take steps to make your Wi-Fi network faster.

  • Why is my phone charging slow?

    To make your phone charge faster, turn on Airplane Mode or power down your device before charging. If your device supports it, use USB-C chargers that speed up charging time. Also, don't use your phone while it's charging.

  • How do I speed up a slow motion video on my iPhone?

    To speed up a slow motion video on an iPhone, open the Photos app and tap Albums > Slo-mo > select your video > tap Edit. Use the vertical lines at the bottom to change the speed, then tap Done.

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