Mobile Geeks

What to do if your smartphone is slow

Even the most powerful devices around can get the dreaded lag that comes around after using it for a prolonged period of time. We have all experienced it, right? You start noticing your phone is no longer as fast as it used to. Suddenly you start noticing more hiccups and slow-downs.

It’s no fun, and we know it’s getting on your nerves. There are ways to reverse this negative effect time and usage has on our smartphones, though.

It’s all a matter of how your phone is handling your apps and data, which can become overbearing as you accumulate photos, videos, applications, files and other content. Let’s go over some of the best tips for speeding up your device.

Wipe your cached data

Cached data is where your phone stores temporary data for quick use. For example, instead of loading the same images and icons from a website or app, these can stay around in the cached data, allowing your phone to open display the content much faster.

This is usually great, but after some time things start going downhill. Some apps are not great at handling it, cached data can be buggy and this data does take up space. It’s best to clear it from time to time.

Doing this is very easy on iOS and Android. iOS labels it as “Clear Cookies and Data”, which can be found under the “Privacy” section in the Settings. To do this on Android, just go to your Settings app, tap on “Storage” and then select “Cached data”.

Windows Phone users will have to struggle a bit more, as there is no native way to do this yet. You can download certain apps that do this. Or you can uninstall and install your apps, which is an annoying solution, really.

Get rid of apps you don’t use

There’s a plethora of apps out there, made for everything. Who are we to say no to at least trying these? Most of us are guilty of having too many apps in our devices. I probably don’t even use a third of all the apps I have, but I still have them there.

The problem with these is not only that they are taking up space, but they are also using up your resources. Most apps have background services and tasks, which means they are often creating a load for your device… unnecessarily.

If you don’t use it, get rid of it!

Clean up your storage!

Similarly to apps, having too many files on your device can directly, and indirectly, affect your smartphone’s performance. Try to keep your device neat and tidy. Get rid of all those repeated images, old videos you won’t be watching, downloaded content and anything that may be hogging on your phone’s performance.

Get a fast SD card

Those of you who still use SD cards will know that some of these storage accessories can be a pain. Some micro SD cards use very slow transfer speeds, which ultimately results in a slower phone. Buy a faster micro SD card if you really want your phone to perform at top speeds.

Also, sometimes files and data in your SD card can become a burden on the phone. There’s a lot of hidden stuff applications and services shove in there. From time to time, back up all your important files and format that SD card. Wipe it clean!

Speed up your processor

OK, so this one is not exactly for everyone, but I thought I should mention it. It’s possible to overclock your processor to make your device faster. This does require tinkering, rooting, jailbreaking, flashing and the like. We don’t recommend this step to the faint of heart, and advice that you do some extensive research before you take the plunge.

Your device may have a built-in performance booster, though. For example, the HTC One M8 has what they call “High Performance Mode“. This will make your device faster, even if it does affect battery life.

Factory reset?

Lord knows you have tried it all! You have exhausted all options and that annoying phone is still as slow as a tired turtle. Now what?

If nothing else seems to help, I always tell people to try a factory data reset. This does mean wiping your device completely, so it’s best you back up important files before you do this. A factory data reset will delete everything and take your phone back to the state it was in when first purchased (at least software-wise).

This tends to get rid of most phone issues, unless the problem is hardware-related. Chances it will speed up your device are very high. We do have a good collection on factory data reset tutorials. Look through them to find your device’s factory data reset instructions.