Is your phone slow?
You bought a shiny new phone, and a few months later realize it isn’t quite as fast as it used to be. We’ve all been there, and the issue isn’t limited to budget devices — a few high-end phones are also prone to the occasional slowdown after several months of usage.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can try to get your phone running back at full speed.
1. Use Google’s file management app
Google’s file management app is awesome. It not only analyzes your phone for unused files and apps, but also lets you easily transfer files. The app has a minimalist design with two tabs: Storage and Files. From the Storage tab, you get an overview of the amount of storage you have left on your phone, as well as tips on how to free up space. You’ll also be able to easily clear apps’ cached data from within Files.
2. Disable unused apps
Most phones aside from the Pixels and Android One devices come with some form of bloatware. Thankfully, you can disable — or in some cases uninstall — most of the apps that come pre-installed on your phone if you’re not going to use them.
3. Make sure your phone is up to date
It’s good practice to make sure your phone is up to date, as most manufacturers roll out regular updates containing bug fixes and stability improvements. Google also issues monthly security updates, which are important as they offer fixes for security vulnerabilities. While you may not see a huge difference in the overall user experience when installing a security patch, major platform updates and maintenance builds feature a laundry list of fixes that significantly improve the performance of your phone.
4. Install lightweight versions of apps
Facebook has a lightweight version of its app that works just as well while utilizing a fraction of the resources of the full-fledged app. Facebook Lite was initially designed to run on entry-level devices in emerging markets, but the app is available globally.
Facebook Lite is optimized to work on 2G connections, and on devices with as low as 1GB of RAM. It has a tiny footprint — coming in at under 5MB — and offers a similar set of features as the regular app. You’ll still be able to scroll through your news feed, post status updates, comment on your friends’ posts, find local events, and more.
5. Clean up your home screen
Using a live wallpaper tends to slow things to a crawl, particularly if you’re using a budget phone. If you’re seeing a lot of lag when switching between apps or when exiting an app to go back to the home screen, try switching to a static background and see if it helps.
6. Optimize your phone battery
If you notice your phone’s battery draining faster than usual, it’s usually down to an errant app hogging up the CPU. Apps in the back also tend to use up the battery, so it’s a good bet to regularly monitor your phone’s battery usage from the settings.
7. If all fails reset your phone
If your phone still isn’t working as smoothly as it did before, try resetting it and starting over. Head to the phone’s settings, and go to System -> Reset -> Erase all data to reset your phone to factory settings. Log back in with your Google account and restore data from the cloud and see if the issue has been resolved.