If your Android device doesn’t feel as fast as it once was, try these tweaks to get it running faster plus we’ve got some common “tips” to avoid!
We all wish our phones were just a little faster. Whether you’re chugging along with a device from three years ago or rocking one of the best new Android phones, it’s the same, more speed is always better.
There’s no shortage of ideas on how you can speed up your Android device. Unfortunately, not all of them work. The good news is, we’ve tested them all for you.
Read on to find out how to make your phone faster and what you should avoid doing.
If your phone doesn’t have much RAM or has a slower processor, then maintaining a lean home screen can help speed it up. Live wallpapers and widgets use resources, and the latter can even continue updating in the background.
Where you’re most likely to see their impact is through something called “home screen redraw.” When you switch away from a RAM-heavy app like Chrome, you’ll see a completely blank home screen and have to wait a couple of seconds while your icons, widgets, and wallpaper all reload. Keep your home screens tidy to avoid this.
Use a Different Launcher
The default launcher on your phone is usually designed to showcase your device’s best features. As a result, it isn’t always the fastest or most efficient, and will often include a lot of features that you don’t need or use.
You’ll find a lot of excellent third-party launchers in the Play Store, and many are optimized for speed. Nova Launcher is one of the best, but it’s worth experimenting with a few to find the one that’s right for you.
The default web browser on Android is Chrome, and it’s a pretty resource-heavy app. There are a few ways you can improve it, but a better solution is switching to an entirely different browser.
Some benchmark tests have shown Puffin as the fastest Android browser. If you prefer something more similar to Chrome, then take a look at things like Brave or DuckDuckGo. They’re both Chromium-based, but strip out a lot of the extra junk you find on a lot of websites to speed up your browsing experience.
Uninstall Bad Apps
Bad apps are often to blame for slowing down your phone. It’s not always obscure apps, either. Some of the biggest names are common culprits.
Snapchat is notoriously laggy on Android while uninstalling Facebook has been said to make your phone as much as 15% faster. Try switching to a third-party Facebook app instead. There are also lightweight versions of the main Google apps that use less memory and run faster.
Check for and Install Updates
Each new version of Android offers performance improvements over the last, so if your phone has updates available then you should always install them. Of course, not all manufacturers update their phones, so this is something to consider next time you’re upgrading.
The same goes for apps. Turn on automatic updates in the Play Store to ensure that you receive the latest updates as soon as an app’s resource-hogging, battery-draining bugs get fixed. Go to Settings > Auto-update apps to set it up.
Speed Up Animations
Android is packed with animations and transitions that give the operating system a slick look and make it fun to use. A hidden setting enables you to control the speed of these animations. In turn, this improves the speed (or at least the perceived speed) of your phone.
Go to Settings > System > Developer options or Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options, scroll down halfway, and set the Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale to .5x. This cuts the length of the animations by half (you can turn them off entirely if you want, but this looks jarring).
If you can’t see Developer options, you’ll need to enable it first. Go to Settings > About phone or Settings > System > About phone and tap Build number seven times to make the option appear.
Try a Different ROM
A custom ROM contains a complete build of the Android operating system and replaces all the software that came pre-installed on your phone. ROMs may have a different look or extra features or can be optimized for performance.
Installing a custom ROM is a good idea if the stock software on your phone isn’t great. Many manufacturers pack their devices with extra apps and features that make them bloated, buggy, and slow. Replacing it with a bloat-free ROM like LineageOS can give you an instant speed boost.
Remove Antivirus Software
Antivirus software claims to offer peace of mind to Android users, but it’s unnecessary. It slows down your phone and drains your battery. As long as you only install apps from official sources like the Play Store or Amazon Appstore, you’re extremely unlikely to encounter malware and don’t need an antivirus app.
Flash a Custom Kernel
The kernel manages every interaction between your phone’s software and hardware. Custom kernels enable you to tweak how the hardware functions. You can change how quickly the processor ramps up to top speed, or how busy it needs to be before it activates extra cores.
Some even offer per-app settings so you can have the device running on maximum power when playing a particular game, and drop back to normal as soon as you exit it
Finally, the simplest and best way to tune up Android is to reboot it regularly. This helps to keep the OS running smoothly. You don’t have to do it every day, but an occasional reboot will work wonders, especially if your phone gets particularly slow or starts running hotter than normal.
Of course, there’s only so far you can go to speed up your phone. You can keep it clean and running smoothly for a while, to optimize the performance as much as possible, but sooner or later you’ll hit the limits of the hardware.