8 Ways to Help Your Android Smartphone Run Faster

Is your Android smartphone running a lot slower than it used to? Here are eight ways you can improve its performance.

If you’ve had your Android smartphone for a while, you probably noticed that it is not as fast as it used to be. While software bugs, malware, and other significant problems can slow down smartphones, the spiraling performance is often due to more mundane issues, such as too many apps fighting for the devices’ resources.

Fortunately, you can easily resolve many of these less-critical issues. Here are eight ways you can improve the speed of your Android device:

1. Do Not Use Live Wallpaper

Most Android smartphones come with live wallpaper. When it was introduced in Android 2.1, you had no choice but to use the wallpaper that came with the device. Nowadays, there are numerous live wallpapers available that you can use to personalize your device. While watching moving or interactive images on your home screen and lock screen is nice, live wallpaper uses more resources than a static background. To conserve resources as well as battery life, consider using a static image instead of live wallpaper. Alternatively, you might use live wallpaper that is designed to minimally impact a device’s performance.

2. Limit the Number of Widgets

Widgets are commonly found on the home screens of smartphones. Some widgets offer a quick preview of an installed app’s contents and periodically update that preview. Other widgets serve as a shortcut to an app or one of the device’s settings or features. While useful, widgets consume a smartphone’s resources, especially if their contents are updated frequently. So, if your device is slow, check to see how many widgets are running. Only having only one or two of them is best.

3. Stop Apps from Syncing in the Background

News, social media, and other apps are often configured to automatically synchronize (a.k.a. auto sync) with a remote server in order to bring you the latest content. Having a lot of apps auto sync every 15 minutes, though, can slow down a smartphone. For this reason, you might want to change the frequency in which your apps are auto syncing. You can have them synchronize less often or even turn off the auto syncing feature in some apps.

4. Disable Animations

Animations are fun to watch, but they can waste your device’s resources as well as your time. If you can live without animations in the Android operating system software, you can disable them. Specifically, you can turn off the “Window animation scale”, “Transition animation scale”, and “Animator duration scale” settings in Android’s Settings app. Alternatively, you can configure these settings to “.5x” so that they run in half the time.

5. Use a Different Launcher

Smartphones come with built-in app launchers. These default launchers are usually designed to showcase the devices’ best features. As a result, the launchers are not as efficient as third-party ones that have been optimized for speed. Many speedy third-party launchers can be download for free. However, as with any app, you should research any launcher you are considering and download it from a trusted source.

6. Get Rid of Apps You Installed but Do Not Use

People love smartphone apps, especially if they are free. Unfortunately, an app that you installed might not prove as useful as you expected. Keeping unused apps wastes space and bogs down your device. So, if your smartphone is slow, take inventory of the apps you have installed and remove those you do not use.

7. Disable Preloaded Apps That You Do Not Want

Smartphones often come with preloaded apps (aka bloatware) that manufacturers try to push on users. These apps can slow down your device and take up space on your hard drive. Uninstalling them is not a good idea, though, since it can result in instability and other problems. Plus, it often requires rooting, which is dangerous because it removes the security protections built into the smartphone’s operating system. (It will also likely void any warranty the manufacturer provides.) Although you should not uninstall preloaded apps, you can safely and easily disable them in modern Android devices using the Settings app.

8. Restart the Device Regularly

Like any smartphone, when an Android device is powered on for a long period of time, the operating system and apps tend to accumulate all sorts of cruft (e.g., temporary files). Cruft can slow down the device and cause other types of problems. Restarting your smartphone periodically removes a lot of the cruft, improving the device’s performance.

Photo by eleZeta