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Smartphones are useful little gadgets that most of us can’t do without. We communicate using them and also plan our personal and professional lives on them. We use them to capture special moments and alleviate boredom.

However, if your phone is running slow, it can take forever to perform even the simplest tasks, let alone switch on. And, in this day and age of instant gratification, that’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you. I’ve been there. It’s frustrating!

If your trusty mobile device no longer performs at the speed it used to, below are some things you can try to get your phone to run faster.

Restart your phone

Let’s start with the obvious. Sometimes a simple restart is all a phone needs to pick up some speed again. Restarting your phone clears all the temporary files, clears the RAM, and closes all active apps.

Restarting your phone can boost performance but it’s only a temporary fix if the issue of speed is caused by something other than a tired phone that needs some rest.

Update your software

It’s very possible that the reason why your smartphone is running slow is that your software is outdated. This could be an outdated app that’s running slow or the entire OS (operating system) that needs an update.

Whenever app or OS developers update their software, they do so in order to improve the performance of their systems. This could include security updates and bug fixes that could help speed up the performance of the app.

Security updates for your operating system could prevent the latest malware attacks from causing havoc on your smartphone. 

In software and app terminology, a bug refers to coding issues that affect the user experience or how a program runs. An operating system or apps that have bugs can make an otherwise okay smartphone (hardware-wise) seem slow and lagging.

Bug fixes in software updates can solve some glitches that make the app or operating system lag.

Keep your home screen simple

A lot of us like customising our smartphones because it reflects our personality and interests. One way of doing that is by installing a new theme with a cool, dynamic home screen launcher because, let’s face it, the standard home screen that comes with many smartphones can get pretty boring.

But as cool as customised home screens can be, they can be quite resource-intensive, especially if they are very complex. And if your phone’s specs can’t handle the demands of the home screen launcher, you may find that it takes forever to go to the home screen and launch a new app.

It’s generally a good idea to keep your smartphone’s home screen simple in order to help it run a little bit faster. For example, using a simple theme on your phone without a complex home screen launcher with tons of animations can help.

Also, using a static image instead of a live wallpaper and turning off screen animations can improve the performance of your phone. You can also boost the general look and feel of the home screen by removing unnecessary widgets, icons, and shortcuts. The less clutter, the better.

Remove and disable unused apps

Some apps, whether you use them or not, keep running in the background. The more apps are running, the more system resources the device requires to keep up. And if it can’t keep up, the phone will be slow to respond.

If you have a lot of apps that you haven’t used in a long time, consider getting rid of them. If there are apps you don’t recognize or don’t remember installing, then you should remove them immediately. It could be malware.

Some apps come pre-installed on some smartphones and, whether you want them or not, you can’t remove or uninstall them. Yet they keep using your phone’s system resources. This is known as bloatware because it bloats the system and can possibly slow it down.

Getting rid of bloatware involves rooting your smartphone, which is not recommended for people who don’t know what they’re doing. A simple solution is to disable the app to prevent it from running in the background and wasting resources.

Remove malware

While on the subject of removing apps, as already mentioned, look out for malware. Malware is malicious software that includes apps that are secretly installed on your device without your knowledge and run in the background.

Obviously, the more of these sort of malicious apps you have running on your phone, the more resources they will take up, and thus slow it down. Sometimes updates can turn a previously innocent app into a nefarious program. So, although it’s a good idea to keep your apps and software updated, be aware of what you’re agreeing to and installing on your phone with every update.

The best way to deal with malware is to avoid it altogether. However, if it has already made its way to your phone, you can uninstall it or use an anti-virus app to get rid of it. If all else fails, you can do a factory reset on your phone.

ALSO READ: 9 Simple Ways To Protect Your Smartphone From Intruders and Hackers

Use “lite” apps

Popular apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Uber, and many others take up a lot of space and require a lot of resources to operate smoothly. If your smartphone doesn’t have enough RAM and processing speed, using such apps will definitely slow your phone down.

Fortunately, the are some developers who have lite versions of their apps. Often times, the lite versions have reduced features, so they take up less storage space and require less RAM. This will help make the user experience smoother and a bit faster.

If you’re using an entry-level smartphone, chances are your phone is running on the Android Go OS. For a faster and better user experience, you should consider installing apps optimized for Android Go.

Change the browser or browser settings

If your phone seems particularly slow especially when you are browsing the internet, then the problem could be with your browser. If you’re using Chrome, you can optimize it by enabling ‘Data Saver’ mode. This will not only make the browser run a bit faster, but it will also use less data. But unfortunately, it comes at the sacrifice of picture and video quality.

Though it’s an awesome and very popular app, the Chrome browser can be a bit resource-heavy. If Chrome is running too slow for you, perhaps you should consider downloading an alternative lite and faster web browsing app.

Clear cached data

Cached data is information saved from an app or website that makes the reopening of that app or website faster. As beneficial as this sounds, over time, that data can build up quite a bit and take up space.

If you don’t use an app on a daily basis, then you should clear its cache. Clearing the cache data of several apps you don’t use regularly can help make your phone run faster by removing old data which might make it lag, freeze, or even crash.

Keep in mind that clearing the app cache will delete all app preferences and saved data such as auto-login details, saved addresses, payment methods, etc. If you clear the cache for apps you use regularly, you may have to re-enter your details every time you clear their cache.

Factory reset

If things are really bad for your phone and it has slowed down to a snail-pace even after trying everything else in this article, then perhaps you should perform a factory reset on your phone. Doing a factory reset will take your phone back to the way it was when it was brand new. This should get rid of any junk and items that might be slowing the phone down, including malware.

However, you need to be mindful that a factory reset will erase everything from your phone. That includes contacts, messages, videos, pictures, and others. Therefore, it’s important that you backup all your files from your phone if you want to explore the factory research option.

Root your phone

Rooting your smartphone gives you access to the administrator level of your device. That means you can make changes to your phone that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to when using your phone normally.

One of the things you can do with a rooted phone is to remove apps that came with the phone that serve no purpose to you but to bloat your phone. Another thing you can do that could be more effective is to overclock the processor to make it run faster.

But you need to be very careful. You should only root your phone if you know what you’re doing because rooting can be tricky. If things go wrong, your phone could turn into a useless brick. Also, most manufacturers deem the warranty of a rooted phone null and void.


Hopefully, the solutions above can help you speed up your smartphone without having to resort to a factory reset or rooting your phone. But if all else fails, then desperate times call for desperate measures. Just make sure you back up the contents of your phone.

Note that the above is aimed at helping phones that used to work fast to speed up again. If your phone is slow because it has very poor mobile specs, then, unfortunately, there is very little you can do except getting a phone with better specs that can run fast.


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