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Like any computing device, even the best Android smartphones and tablets tend to slow down with use and age. This is especially true for low-end smartphones, which are not always designed to work with future software features and apps. But don’t despair – here are 15 tips you can use to speed up your Android phone and breathe a little more life into it.
Editor’s note . While this guide applies to most Android phones, the exact instructions may vary slightly depending on the phone’s operating system and software version.
Update firmware on Android phone
While the latest firmware updates don’t always speed up an Android phone, manufacturers often optimize and tweak their software over time. Several security fixes and bug fixes should improve the overall experience. The same goes for Google Play services, which are responsible for many modern Android features and receive individual updates through the Play Store.
Most Android smartphones periodically check for updates, but only under certain circumstances. To that end, it might be worth manually checking to see if you’ve missed any updates. Just go to “Settings” > “About device” > “Software update” and click “Check for updates” .
Disable preinstalled apps
From the wide range of smartphones we’ve tested, it’s clear that many of the apps that come with the manufacturer are simply never used. This is especially true for inexpensive, ad-supported phones that may be promoting their own services over the ones you actually use. Some noteworthy examples include specialized theme stores, music/video players, and device scanning apps.
Although manufacturers often prohibit the removal of these applications, they still allow you to disable them. In other words, while you can’t delete them, you can hibernate them so they can’t be opened, either manually or automatically. You can turn off apps in Settings > Apps > Installed Apps . You may also have to toggle the ” Show system apps ” setting.
Revoke unused permissions
If you don’t want to uninstall or disable a particular app, but you want it to consume as few resources as possible, consider revoking its permissions. In particular, allowing physical activity can significantly affect the usability of the phone. Meanwhile, disabling permissions such as location access and autoplay will reduce the frequency of app attempts to wake up in the background.
Just go to Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager to get a quick overview of app permissions. Alternatively, press and hold the icon of any application on the home screen, press “Application Information “, then “Permissions “.
Reboot your phone from time to time
Sometimes a slow computer can be fixed by simply turning the power on and off. It’s not hard to see why – restarting your phone cleans up previously running apps, background processes, and other things that build up over time. Just press and hold your phone’s power button and hit Restart.
However, the phone may end up in the same condition after a few days. Fortunately, some manufacturer skins, such as Samsung One UI, allow you to schedule an automatic restart at a set time. You can even set it up for specific days of the week. Other Android manufacturers offering this feature include Oppo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus.
As explained in the previous tip, an app on a smartphone can become very bloated with enough time and use. This also applies to chat apps. WhatsApp, for example, not only stores the downloaded data in local storage, but also the entire chat database. This can be a big problem on slower smartphones, especially if you’ve accumulated tens of thousands of messages over the years.
Fixing this problem is easy, but a bit long. You’ll have to manually purge unimportant conversations every few weeks. Don’t forget to delete media files. It will speed up the gallery app and image picker on android phone.
Replace productivity-hindering apps with lightweight versions
Lightweight apps offer an easy way to free up phone resources from full power-hungry apps. The Facebook app for Android, for example, has a reputation for being bloated and demanding on permissions. At the same time, others, like Instagram and Twitter, have too many heavy elements, like automatic video playback, that your phone can’t handle.
“Light” apps tend to forgo features in favor of faster load times and improved responsiveness. If that’s a compromise you’re willing to make, consider using apps like Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite to speed up your Android phone.
Disable Google Assistant Speakerphone
The Google Assistant can be handy when you need to quickly find something. However, running the service requires a fairly large portion of the phone’s performance budget. To this end, background functions should be disabled if you want to speed up your Android smartphone.
To turn off the hands-free assistant, go to the Google app and tap your profile photo (located in the top right corner of the screen). Then go to Settings > Google Assistant > Ok Google and Voice Match and disable this feature. Don’t worry – you can still access the Assistant manually. Either press and hold the home button or swipe diagonally from any bottom corner if you’re using Android gestures. If you are using a Samsung smartphone, consider turning off Bixby Voice as well.
Prevent automatic app updates
If the smartphone doesn’t have much processing power, heavy background tasks can potentially slow it down. This includes Play Store apps and game updates that happen automatically. On less powerful devices (including Chromebooks with the Play Store), such tasks can cause the user interface to freeze.
To turn off app updates, simply open the Play Store, tap your profile picture in the top right corner, and select Network Settings . Finally, just change the automatic update setting to ” Don’t update apps automatically ” as shown in the image above.
Installing custom firmware on Android
If updates have not been released for your smartphone for a long time, you can try to solve the problem by installing custom firmware .
Usually, such firmware has community-created mods installed that increase performance or add new features. Custom ROM can also update your device to the latest version of Android, even if the device is not officially supported.
But, there is a risk involved. After all, you will need to make root , which can kill your device. Some applications will not work. The device may be out of warranty. However, if you are confident in your technical skills or you have an old device, this method will give new life to an old gadget and really speed it up.
Clean up your Android desktop
Everyone cleans up their house from time to time. The same must be done on the Android device. If you have live wallpapers on your desktop , widgets showing you news, weather, social networks, then you may notice a slight slowdown when switching between tables. If you have visualizations like Bixdy enabled, consider turning it off .
Installing a launcher very often helps to make the device cleaner. I personally try to limit the desktop of my smartphone to one desktop. It won’t speed up Android, but it will speed up my smartphone experience as I can jump to the right app faster.
Reduce animation on Android
This little trick is fairly well known. It doesn’t actually speed up the phone, but it reduces the time it takes to switch between screens and apps, making it faster.
To remove the animation on Android, you need to enable developer mode in the device settings. You need to activate the developer mode by going to “Settings” -> “About phone” and click 7 times on the inscription “Build number” on Xiaomi phones, you need to click on “MIUI Version”.
Now go to the “For Developers” section and find the items “Window Animation”, “Transition Animation”, “Animation Duration” and so on. Select in the listed items “no animation” or “off” , after that windows and applications will simply open without any slips, fading, etc.
Android Forced GPU Rendering
Do not leave the developer menu! There is another way to speed up your Android phone and that is GPU forced rendering . The phone will use its graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than software rendering for some 2D elements that have not yet enabled this feature. This means that the rendering of the user interface will become faster and the animations will be smoother, and will take the load off the main processor of the device.
Note: The GPU consumes more power than the CPU, so battery life may be reduced by 5-15%. The choice is yours!
Switch to SKIA Android
If your phone is running Android 7.0 or higher, you can try switching the GPU rendering engine to SKIA, after which, according to user reviews, the FPS in games increases. I tried it on Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes and can confirm that the game is smoother. Enable SKIA mode, you can in the same developer mode , as well as change other settings to speed up the speed of Android.
While you are in developer mode, you can try enabling Force 4x MSAA. This is an anti-aliasing technique that will not increase the FPS of the game, but it can make their visuals look prettier. But, it will increase the load on the battery and can lead to a certain slowdown of the smartphone. However, changing these settings will not harm the phone. Try to turn them on, compare them, and choose what you like best.
clear cache memory android
Cache is application data that helps to load faster – thereby speeding up Android. The browser can cache images of sites you frequently visit so it doesn’t need to download them every time you visit those sites.
The cached data should make the phone faster. But they can also negatively affect the speed of Android if the cache becomes bloated (not to mention that it eats up space on the device). For those applications where the cache has become unacceptably large, it can be deleted by going to “Settings” → “Applications” → select the application → “Memory” → “Clear cache” .
If you do not go or are afraid to manually clear the cache, you can use a special application, such as CCleaner.
Disable Android auto-sync
If you have a relatively new and modern phone, most likely it works well and quickly. But then one day you noticed a slowdown, especially noticeable when downloading and installing new applications.
The culprit is usually app sync. Find the item “Accounts” or “Synchronization” in the “Settings” of your phone , go into it and you will see that the “Automatic data synchronization” function is turned on. Select the app you want to disable or change settings for.
Answer yourself the question, do you need the application to sync every half an hour or will one sync per day be enough.
If you have a new modern smartphone, then there is no particular need to disable this feature, but you should definitely read the article how to extend the battery life of your phone .
Background processes in Android
Consider disabling and removing unnecessary background processes. Background processes are applications that constantly run in the background. For example, the Messages app running constantly in the background to receive messages. But sometimes there are applications running in the background that you practically do not use, and at that time they load the processor.
If you exited, then go back to the “For Developers” section and find “Background Processes”. Here you will see which apps are running in the background. Disable the ones you don’t need and the phone will run a little faster. It will also improve battery life.
Avoid antivirus and optimization apps on Android
Android phones manage their memory very efficiently – it often happens that after closing the application they continue to work. Launching a new app takes longer and puts more strain on the battery than one that has already been launched and simply minimized. When you open an app and it runs out of memory, Android automatically closes the less important ones to make room.
An app to automatically close apps actually slows down your device and eats up battery life.
For this reason, using ” optimizers ” actually slows down your device instead of speeding it up. If you notice that they have helped you in the past, I assume that one or more applications are poorly optimized by the developers. The best way to find the culprits and try replacing them with normal ones or removing them.
The same goes for data caching – clear the cache from time to time, but don’t abuse it!
If you need to speed up game speeds, overclocking is the way to go.
Overclocking is a proven way for PC gamers to maximize performance. This method works great on smartphones as well, unless of course you have root and a good overclocking app.
But this carries a certain risk. Smartphone manufacturers put restrictions on the processor clock speed to prevent overheating, high battery consumption.
Of course, don’t forget to check the settings menu of the games themselves! Lowering the graphics settings can often improve the smoothness of games and battery life.
Delete everything clean
If all else fails and you feel that your phone has become very slow, one of the last ways is a simple factory reset. This will remove all files and settings slowing down your smartphone and hopefully your phone will work like new again.
After the reset, just use all the tricks that I have listed on a clean phone and you will be able to get a smartphone with maximum performance.
Did I miss something?
If I missed one or two ways to speed up an Android phone, be sure to tell us about them in the comments below, and my readers will be very grateful to you! Good luck!