Your Android phone is running slow. Here’s how you fix it!

Updated! This is an updated version of the original article. Last Update: October 06, 2020

It has a year since you got your new Android phone and you used it every day since. Suddenly you noticed that it starts slowing down and, sometimes, even becomes unresponsive. Sounds familiar?

You are likely one of the 80% of users who experience the same phenomenon. So, what causes a once so fast device suddenly losing that much of its performance? What makes millions of people ask themselves this question: Why is my phone so slow?

The general answer to this problem is simple: It’s the operating system that slows your phone down. But let’s explore outside this general assumption and look at a couple of tricks that can revive your Android phone, returning some of its original performance power.

After a few months of usage and your Android phone does not have the same tool with flash-like responses that it did when you bought it. Here are some of the reasons why your phone is going slow over time, and some usage:

Your phones memory is nearly exhausted

You had if for a year, taken close to 5000 pictures, and who knows how many videos. You installed, on average, around 15 helper apps and games. Logically, your phone’s memory usage always varies around the 90% mark, which means most of your memory chips are in heavy use most of the time. The more digital data you collect on your device, the higher the probability that it will engulf all available resources, consequently slowing down the overall performance.

Some people consider changing their phone battery and think it might be fixing phone problems with delay and reduced performance. However, this is a myth. Regarding hardware-related reasons for lags and delays, the culprits are the phone’s memory and processor, not the battery.

There are too many apps running in the Background

One of the great features of the Android Operating System is its capability to handle multiple tasks . Multitask means executing several applications simultaneously. However, once you launch an app, it does not automatically close the apps and frees up its occupying resources. When you exit an app or tune it down as a background process, it still leaches out of your total phone’s performance capacity.  Although making the interface and navigation all the more comfortable, home screen widgets drain a lot of energy. The same thing counts for animated wallpapers, and all the apps that run in the background – all of these are major culprits when it comes to impacting your Android phone’s performance.

The Operating System Version is just overloading your phones capabilities

Phone producers preload phones with the latest Operating System Version, which is great. Since you probably don’t renew your smartphone monthly, your user experience is enhanced by upgrading your phone’s Operating System.
On one side, mobile upgrades are a good thing since they usually fix flaws and loopholes, which would otherwise expose your phone to security risks. On the other hand, upgrades do also include apps which the phone promotes. These apps bloat the performance of your phone, running in the background, and draw resources.

Now that we know more about Android running slow, let’s try and fix them

Before you do anything, try to determine what amount of storage you use and compare it to the total storage amount. Anything close to 80% or above is an indicator that some cleaning might do some good service.

Therefor find “Settings” and from there tap “Storage”.

Android Settings Dialog
Android Settings Dialog

In this specific example, you can see that there are only 587 MB free space available. The device is very likely to run slow since there is less than 10% free space available.

So, how do you get your device back to its original performance?

There are a few indicators that suggest your phone might be running slow – this can be caused by an input lag, taking the phone a long time to respond to your actions. Let’s review some of the most common web solutions to this problem:

  1. Uninstall all unused apps and regularly check for apps running in the background
  2. Install the latest updates for your device
  3. Find a good performance-boosting app
  4. Remove apps that you are not using
  5. Factory reset your phone (last resort)
  6. Root your device and get rid of all of the bloatware apps installed when your OS updated

These are all valid advice, but each comes with a downside. They are all prone to losing data somewhere in the process, and they do not have a permanent positive impact on your phone’s performance.

So what has a permanent impact on your phone’s performance?

Step 1: Close all running apps, which you are not actively using. This action will not impact Communication Apps like Skype or Viber. They will continue to run in the background and display messages if someone contacts you in real-time.

Step 2: Unload your phones memory. Get rid of all images, videos, and music you do not need. You could do two things:

  1. Connect your phone to a Desktop Computer and transfer everything to this computer, then delete your phone data. However, personal computers are not as safe as cloud backups - pay attention, or you risk losing your precious back-ups.
  2. Install a Cloud Storage App such as Dropbox or iCloud and have everything backed up to the cloud. Once the data is safely synchronized to the cloud, delete it from your device. Your pictures and videos will still be with you; the only catch is that you’ll access them through the cloud, but you won’t lose them if something happens with your phone.

As I have mentioned at the beginning, keeping your Android from running slow is about keeping it tidy. ‘Tidy’ starts by mainly removing all unused data (images, videos, music) from your device.  Applications are notorious energy and performance drainers. When phones are running slow, the problem often originates in a couple of particular apps or even a single one. Make sure you examine your apps individually and carefully – there is no need to clean your home screen clean just because only one of the programs causes most of the underperformance.


Andreas Maier | CEO

Andreas is a result-oriented CEO who brings nearly 30 years of experience gained in the high-tech industry. His experience ranges up to leading positions in Fortune 100 companies such as (PCLN) or Intrasoft International, a leading EU based R&D software vendor. He holds a Ph.D. in Neural Networks from the University of Cologne, Germany.
In the past Andreas has successfully founded and co-founded several startups among others XXL Cloud Inc., eShopLeasing Ltd, and WDS Consulting SA. His expertise is strongly focused on modern headless Commerce and the optimization of processes in IT ecosystems.