7 Super Tips and Tricks to speed up Android smartphone/tablet

Few years ago I wrote a similar post on speed booster tips for Symbian mobiles. Mobility scenario has changed completely since then and Android is dominating the world now. The good thing about Android (and one of the main reasons of its popularity) is that it’s compatible with many different devices of all sizes, shapes and budgets. Unfortunately this very quality becomes a bottleneck when it comes to performance and speed. No wonder low-end Android phones (having less than 1GB RAM, cheap chipsets and processors) become slow, hanging sloths overtime.

Thus the story of an average mobile user (having limited knowledge of Android, specially the first-timers) goes like this – you have got your swanky new Android smartphone, you are very excited setting it up, you load it up with tons of apps, it’s amazing for the first few days (or hours in some cases) and then… it becomes a headache – slow and laggy, draining battery too fast, becomes hot and freezes frequently etc. Every single Android user experiences some or the other such issue at some point of time (especially common with low-end devices). However the good news is that these issues are very easy to resolve in most of the cases. Here are some easy tips and tweaks which will make your Android phone superfast (as if it were new) and will also improve battery performance –

1. First up take a look at the apps you have installed in your phone – do you really need all of them – I am sure you don’t, many of them – so why they are there, occupying memory, (many of them) running in the background and using data by connecting to internet. Just uninstall unnecessary crap (apps, themes, live wallpapers) from your phone. Apps can be uninstalled from “Settings – Applications manager” or “Settings – Apps” (vary according to the phone manufacturer).

2. Free the RAM by closing apps running in the background – by doing this you can give a quick boost to phone speed. Did you know that when you exit an app in Android, it still keeps running in the background consuming valuable RAM. Here is what you can do to resolve this –

Running apps_Android

Running apps in Android

Press and hold the “Home” button (or touch and hold “Home” icon in case there is no physical button) until a list of open app(s) pop up – now select the “Delete” or “Clear all” button to close all the running apps – or you can also swipe out apps one by one. In some devices (especially tablets) there is a dedicated soft-key for this function at the navigation bar. Furthermore in Samsung phones (and in some others) you can also launch the “task manager” by above method – press and hold the Home button and select the “Pie chart” icon – task manager will open – go to RAM tab and select “Clear memory” button – you will be notified of “x number of applications closed” and the used RAM bar will retract.

You can also set this “clear all” function at automatic mode – go to Settings / Developer options / Apps – tick the option “Do not keep activities” and set “Limit background processes” to “No background processes”. This option will completely disable multi-tasking, which may be annoying for some – for example if you are downloading something in a browser and want to run facebook app at the same time, it will not be possible. In simple words the moment you exit an app or press the Home button all background processes will be terminated completely. So this option is recommended only for very low-end phones and when multi-tasking is not needed.

Despite above steps some apps are still stubborn enough to keep running (like facebook which has push notification feature), for these you will have to use force stop function under Applications manager as described below

Force-stop a running app via Applications manager – go to Settings / Applications manager – swipe left for Running apps tab – from the running apps list select the app you want to close – select “Force stop/Stop” button and done, if there are more than one “Stop/Force stop” buttons for an app then close all of them one by one (Caution – do not force close any system process as it may result in a hanged phone, restart or other malfunction).

3. Unless you REALLY need to be always online, keep your connectivity options off (WiFi, Mobile data, Bluetooth etc) and better use them in “when needed” mode. It is very simple to toggle these options on/off via drop-down notification panel. This will prevent data-hungry, push-notification enabled apps (WhatsApp, FB, WeChat etc) to wake-up and send network requests.

4. Similarly keep the GPS (location services) and automatic Sync off – remember you can always manually activate and use these functions as and when required. Not only this will prevent them from running in the background but will also conserve the battery.

5. Better do not use (or limit the use of) live wallpapers as background as they consume more RAM and CPU power

6. Clean unnecessary junk files (cache, thumbnails etc) which pile up overtime – you can do this easily with the help of some great free apps like Android Assistant, Clean Master or Advanced Mobile Care (Iobit)

7. Restart your phone say once every two days (if you are glued to the phone day and night) to once every week (for average user). After all phones are electronic machines which also need rest in my opinion. My personal usage pattern – I switch off my phone for a whole night once in a while (say every Sunday) or when it becomes hot after heavy sessions of gaming or browsing.

I am sure these tips will help you, do share here if you know similar tips which I missed…

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2 Responses to 7 Super Tips and Tricks to speed up Android smartphone/tablet

  1. Paramveer Singh February 1, 2014 at 2:32 AM #

    Although there are a lot android apps available in the market nowadays for speeding up the mobile by using methods similar to those which you provided here,but still an informative post for beginners 🙂

    • Shoaib Siddiqui February 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM #

      I did not mention such apps here just because any available app can not be a substitute for using phone in a proper way (which most of the above tips are all about). Plus any kind of installed app uses phone’s CPU/RAM which ultimately affects its speed.
      Any way thanks for your thoughts…

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