How to speed up your Android device

Android devices are like any mobile device, laptop or PC in that they slow down over time. Of course, faster processors, more RAM and speedy flash storage speeds help keep your device running quicker for longer but, whatever’s powering your smartphone or tablet, it’ll eventually become gummed up and slow down.

How to speed up your Android device

New versions of Android can make newer devices run faster, but generally older devices just can’t cope and slow to a crawl. Nobody likes a clunky smartphone, so here’s our guide to speeding up your Google-powered device.

How to speed up your Android device: Start afresh with a Factory Reset

Sometimes the best way to speed up a lagging Android device is to delete everything – yes, everything – and start afresh.

It may sound like a radical step, but it can prove effective. Just remember to back up all of your files to your PC, Mac or to Google   Drive’s various services (Google Photos, Android Backup) before you start.

No matter what version of Android you’re running, head to Settings | Backup & Reset | Factory Data Reset.


After a few minutes of wiping data, your phone will restart and should feel much snappier than it did before.

How to speed up your Android device: Use a cleanup app

If wiping your device isn’t for you, there’s a less invasive way to keep things well oiled: a third-party app. The best app around at the moment is Cheetah Mobile’s Clean Master (Boost & AppLock), so we recommend getting that.

  1. Download Clean Master from Google Play.

  2. Follow the onscreen instructions so it can calculate device storage, RAM and any useless files on your device.

  3. Tap “Junk Files” and let it scan your cached files. Once complete, make sure there’s nothing vital in the list of files and, when you’re happy, tap the Clean Junk button to remove the files.

  4. Next, tap App Manager to see if there are any removable unwanted apps installed. Tick the box next to any app you no longer want and Clean Master will help you uninstall them one by one.

  5. Finally, run Clean Master’s Antivirus tool to scan your device and remove any found threats that could be sucking up processing power in the background.

How to speed up your Android device: Developer options

If your device still feels sluggish after trying the two methods above, one simple – and entirely aesthetic – option is to just speed up how Android works.

You can do this in the Android Developer Options menu, making window transitions, app closing animations and general system browsing snappier. It won’t actually improve the performance of your device, but it does feel noticeably nicer to use. Just be warned: hanging around in the Developer Options menu could be dangerous if you start poking around at other options you don’t need.

  1. Head to Settings on your Android device and scroll to About Phone/Tablet.

  2. Here, tap on the Build Number seven times. You’ll see a prompt appear onscreen counting down the time until you become a developer.

  3. Navigate back to the main Settings screen and you’ll now see a Developer Options section. Select it.

  4. Scroll down to the Drawing section and you’ll see a set of options for Window Animation Scale, Transition Animation Scale and Animator Duration Scale.

  5. Tapping each of these brings up a menu of options to turn all animations off, and to change the default amount of time each animation runs, with options from 0.5 times the default all the way up to ten times the default. The lower the number, the faster things feel. It should be on 1 or 1.5 by default, but notch it down to 0.5 or completely off to make things snappy.

[Image: Tom Small – Flickr]

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