Few things in life are more frustrating than a slow smartphone. You spend all this money on the latest technology only to have it crawl when you need it most.
Many factors can affect your phone’s performance. It could be something as simple as having too many apps open at once. Maybe your storage space is close to full.
You could upgrade to an expensive new phone, but you’ll eventually run into the same problems unless you take steps to fix what’s behind them. Here are some tips to get your smartphone running fast and smooth again.
1. The classic: Turn it on and off again
You’ve heard about turning your computer off and on again to diagnose a problem or get things running. The same applies to your smartphone. When you power your phone down then up again, you clear the RAM (random access memory). Busy RAM is a major culprit in slowdowns. You may think that closing all your apps solves the issue, but they could leave remnants of themselves in the RAM.
Turning your phone off and on again frees up the RAM and truly ends all running applications. Try it every once in a while and you should notice a performance improvement.
2. Clear your phone’s cache
Cache stores information that will likely be used again, which saves you time. For example, when you visit a webpage, the images may be stored in your cache. When you open that page again, those images will be ready to display instantly.
As with RAM, apps can use up your cache to the point where it slows down your phone. The same thing happens when you browse the internet.
Tap or click here to learn how to clear your iPhone cache.
Speed up your Android phone by clearing its cache.
3. Do an app audit
Clutter slows things down. Whether it’s your work desk or apartment, it’s harder to find things when there’s too much stuff in the way. The same applies to your smartphone. Too many apps mean more scrolling to get to what you need.
On a deeper level, apps take up storage space, which slows down the phone itself. Apps also eat up battery life and data, so the fewer you have, the better. Getting rid of unwanted apps is not as simple as tapping “delete.” Tap or click here for the correct and safe way to give your phone some breathing room.
4. Always be updating
People believe there’s a conspiracy out there to slow down your phone. To combat this, they avoid updates. The truth is these releases are optimized to improve performance, even on older devices. They can trim down software to run better while using fewer resources.
More importantly, regular updates help secure your phone against malware, bugs, hacks and more. You can check what version of the operating system your phone is running through its settings. If there’s an update, you can usually find it there as well.
Your apps can also be updated. Check on them from time to time, especially after a large OS update. This usually prompts an update from many of your apps.
5. Check your Wi-Fi
Sometimes a slow phone is not to blame. If you are running into problems while browsing the internet, it could be coming from outside. Try a mini reset to reconnect your phone to the Wi-Fi signal. Do this by turning on airplane mode, waiting a few seconds then turning it off.
If your browser is still running slow, try turning off your Wi-Fi and using a different connection, such as LTE. If you get a better connection this way, then the problem is with the Wi-Fi itself and not your phone.
6. Delete old texts
Your phone keeps all of your conversations intact. This includes any images and videos you or your contacts shared. You’d be surprised how much storage this eats up on your phone. You may feel a connection to old text messages but let’s be honest — how often are you scrolling back through months or even years to read them?
Save the files you want to keep and get to work clearing out old conversations. Your phone will run better and you’ll have an easier time navigating through your texts.
On iPhones, open the Messages app and find the conversation you want to remove. Swipe to the left and tap on the trashcan icon, then Delete. You can also set your phone to delete messages after a certain period of time automatically. Go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and select 30 Days. This will clean your texts up for you each month.
If you are running Android on a Samsung phone, open Messages and tap and hold on the conversation. Tap Delete on the bottom menu, then again in the popup window. To automatically delete old messages, open the Messages app and tap the menu icon (three dots) in the upper-right corner. Go to Settings > More settings and toggle Delete old messages on.
Note: Steps for Android phones could be different depending on your manufacturer and model.
7. When all else fails, try a factory reset
If nothing else works, you may have to bring your phone back to its original state when it left the factory. A factory reset removes all user data from the phone. This is everything you have done since you first started using it. The only thing left is the operating system.
Before taking this step, make sure to back up everything. iPhones can be backed up to the iCloud, your computer or a third-party app. Android phones can use Google, your computer or a third-party app. Tap or click here for 5 steps on backing up your data.
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To reset your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Enter your Apple ID then tap Erase.
If you’re using an Android phone, go to Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory data reset> Reset phone. Enter your passcode and tap Erase.