Skip to Content
8 ways to get your Android phone to run better
© Damrong Rattanapong | Dreamstime.com
Smartphones & gadgets

8 simple tips to speed up and clean out your Android phone

Smartphones today are like mini-computers that can do just about anything. In the palm of your hands, you can get navigational help, take pictures, pay for dinner and so much more. Tap or click for seven things you didn’t know your Android could do.

Like a computer, your smartphone can get bogged down with software, viruses and too many files. When that happens, it can start to run slowly, which is less than ideal.

If you own an Android phone and want to keep it running like new, there are some steps you’ll need to take. Here are eight maintenance tips to keep your Android as good as new.

1. Get rid of bloatware

Your phone, no matter the version, comes pre-loaded with a ton of stuff you just don’t need. If you have had your phone for a while, there’s also a good chance you’ve downloaded apps that you no longer use. Keep your phone running smoothly and delete them:

  • Head to Settings.
  • Go to Apps and Notifications.
  • Hit See All Apps.
  • Uninstall the ones you don’t need.

RELATED: 12 smart Android tips and tricks you should be using

2. Clear out the junk

Every time you download a file or document to your phone, it gets saved…somewhere. Do you know where? What about all those duplicate photos? There is an endless list of junk that ends up hidden in the nooks and crannies of your phone, so delete it using a third-party app like Files by Google.

Files by Google will give you clean-up suggestions, delete duplicate photos and optimize your storage space, all for free.

3. Revoke location access

A recent Android update came with a security dashboard that allows you to see what permissions apps have. You’d be astonished to see how many apps have access to your location and how few of them need it. Thankfully you can review the apps and revoke permissions. Here’s how:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  • Touch and hold location.
  • Choose App Location Permissions.
  • Under Allowed all the time, Allowed only while in use, and Not allowed, find the apps that can use your phone’s location.
  • Simply tap on the app to change the permission.

4. Check your permissions

Outside of your phone’s location, apps can still access other things like your camera and microphone. You can easily check these permissions and change them as you see fit.

  • Open Settings.
  • Choose Apps.
  • Select the App you want to change.
  • Choose Permissions.
  • Select Allow or Don’t allow.

Don’t know when your mic or camera is in use? Tap or click here for a simple trick to find out.

5. Run the latest version

Your phone should automatically update, but it doesn’t hurt to check and make sure it’s running the latest operating system version. Out of date software leaves you open to hackers and keeps you from getting fun new features when they come out. Here’s how to check:

  • Open Settings.
  • Near the bottom, tap System > System update.
  • You’ll see your update status. Follow any steps on the screen.

6. Enable Security Settings

Your Android phone has many built-in security features, but you have to enable them to use them. Consider enabling safety features like Google Play Protect and Smart Lock.

Google Play Protect will keep your phone safe from harmful apps on the play store, and Smart Lock allows you to keep your phone unlocked depending on the situation.

Google Play Protect

  • Open the Google Play Store.
  • Tap your profile picture.
  • Choose Play Protect.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Choose Scan Apps With Play Protect.

Smart Lock

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Lock screen & security.
  • Tap Advanced.
  • Choose Trust agents.
  • Drag the slider next to Smart Lock (Google) to the right.
  • Find and tap Smart Lock.
  • Enter Pin or Password.
  • Choose your Smart Lock type and follow the instructions to enable it.

7. Optimize your battery

Your battery might be the most important thing in your phone because if it dies, you can’t use it until you find a charger. Thankfully there are several things you can do to prolong the length of your battery, including:

  • Turn on low battery mode.
  • Use battery optimization mode.
  • Delete unused screens.
  • Reduce the brightness of your screen.
  • Turn off Bluetooth or Wi-fi.

8. Cleanup your contacts

Do you still talk to Brenda from geometry class? Probably not. But she might still be a contact on your phone. If you haven’t reviewed your contact list in a while, or ever, try cleaning it up.

You’ll want to do this twice, once on your phone by going into your contact list and again through your Google account that backups your contact list. Here’s how to delete contacts on your Android phone:

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the Contacts app.
  • Select an option:
    • A single contact: Tap the contact. At the top right, tap More Delete > Delete.
    • Multiple contacts:
      • Touch and hold a contact and then tap the other contacts.
      • Tap Delete Delete.
    • All contacts: At the top right, tap More Select all Delete Delete.
  • Your deleted contacts are moved to your Trash.
    • After 30 days in your Trash, contacts are deleted permanently.
  • To delete contacts permanently, in your Trash:
    • Single contact: Tap the contact > Delete forever > Delete forever.
    • Multiple contacts:
      • Touch and hold a contact and then tap the other contacts.
      • Tap More Delete forever > Delete forever.
    • All contacts: Tap Empty Trash now > Delete forever.

You may also like: 5 best browsers not named Chrome to use with your Android phone

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me