There’s nothing worse than a slow-running computer, phone, or internet connection. If your phone has been acting up, I’ll show you five surprising ways to make your phone faster and bring your stress levels down.

We all know a handful of tricks to use when our Android phone is laggy. A reboot fixes a lot of our problems, and it’s usually the first thing we try. You have other obvious solutions if that fails:

  • start uninstalling apps that you never use
  • do an anxious swipe 
  • shut down everything that’s open in the background

But, surprise surprise, that doesn’t always work.

So without further ado, here are the five lesser-known tips to speed up an Android phone:

5 quick fixes for a laggy Android phone

1. Uninstall Facebook

Boom, I went there. The first tip, too! You might have a feeling about this already, but Facebook isn’t the most resource-friendly app there is.

In fact, they sometimes do the exact opposite: back in January news broke out that Facebook deliberately made their Android app crash to test users’ loyalty. Apparently, they wanted to know how many people would keep using their app despite it working poorly, and surprisingly the majority of users kept using the app.

Regardless of these shady tests Facebook is running on us, uninstalling the app actually speeds up your phone. In this test conducted by Reddit user pbrandes_eth, it showed that uninstalling Facebook speeds up your phone by as much as 15%.

And that doesn’t even take into account the battery stress. Constantly checking the Facebook servers and tracking your location every minute doesn’t come without consequences, and a slow, laggy phone is right at the top. I tried this out myself and my phone does feel faster.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to say goodbye to Facebook for good – you can replace it with a Chrome bookmark on your phone and it’ll run just as well, if not better.

To do that, just go to Facebook.com from your phone, tap the menu icon on the top right and then tap Add to Home Screen. Here’s how the menu should look like:

homescreen shortcut

2. Clear your cache

Apps store data on your phone so they don’t have to keep downloading data every time you need it. Many of them will delete everything stored in the cache from time to time, but some apps don’t, leading to clutter that ends up slowing your phone down.

Think of it like this: we all have that pile of clothes in our bedrooms that we’re just too lazy to arrange properly. During the day, that clutter stays on the bed, and at night you move it on a chair. That mess is the cache, and cleaning it will make your phone look (and run) all tidy again.

To do this, go to Settings > Internal Storage, then tap on Cached Data to delete it. Here’s my amazingly untidy phone:

cached data android system

One tap and voila! All better.

3. Get rid of widgets

This has been featured on Updato before and I find that many people are surprised to discover that widgets are why their Android phone is laggy.

Unlike apps, which consume resources every time they’re used, widgets are always on display and they always need to be updated. Having essential widgets on your homescreen is a great idea, but having too many can be a drag.

So figure out which of them you use and get rid of the rest!

4. Speed up animations

Sometimes, your phone is already fast enough, but there’s still something you can do to make it faster: speed up the animations.

Almost everything you do on your phone has an animation tied to it, like opening an app or browsing the task manager. These animations have a fixed timing attached to them, and by going through the phone’s settings you unlock a secret menu called Developer Options which lets you fiddle around with some hidden options.

Super serious warning: don’t mess around with the settings that you don’t know in Developer Options! The menu is hidden for a reason, and you should only change the options you know are going to be okay. That being said, here’s how you speed up animations:

  • First, go to Settings, then tap on About Phone. Scroll down to the Build number and just tap on it. Tap, tap, tap until a message appears telling you that you’ve enabled Developer Settings.
  • Then go back to Settings and at the bottom of the menu you’ll find these Developer Options. Tap there and scroll down until you see three magical options: Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale.

android system animations

  • By default, they’re set at 1x (which is 100%), and you can change them to 0.5x to make animations move twice as fast.
  • Reboot your phone and strap on your seatbelt, the ride just got kicked into turbo mode.

5. Disable Encryption

Encryption is great. It makes your phone more secure and prevents third parties from snooping around your information. But it comes at the price of the loss of performance. When the Nexus 5x was released back in autumn 2015, it was put to the test against its ancestor, the 2013 Nexus 5, and the results were… surprising.

The 5x, despite being a shiny new device, was slower to work on. This is because encryption comes enabled by default on the Nexus 5X and 6P and it significantly slows down the phone.

Note: encryption is locked on by default on the Nexus 5X and 6P and while there are workarounds for this, it does come with risks, so I don’t recommend you do that. For all other Android users, you can turn it off.

If your Android phone is laggy and you’ve run out of magic tricks to try, here’s how you see if encryption is enabled, and disable it: 

  • First, go to Settings, then tap on Security. Encryption will be one of the menu items there, and it shows you whether it’s enabled or not:

android system encryption

  • Turn it off, and wham! Faster phone.

Enjoy your lightning-fast phone

Try the things above and you’ll see that if your Android phone is laggy it’ll be greatly improved. Hopefully, your device will be just as responsive as the day you bought it.

How did it go? Give your thoughts a voice and let us know below! Do you know any other hidden gems? Don’t hoard them all, share with the group – what other speedy tips do you know?

View Comments

  • Rebekah Voss

    Thanks for these great tips, Andrei! I had never thought about uninstalling Facebook but it’s a great call. Especially since you can use the bookmark to still access it quickly/easily when you need to.

    • Andrei M.

      Glad you found it useful! I use the bookmark just as I’d use the app, so far so good!

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