Why Is My Android Phone So Slow? 10 Ways to Speed It Up

Google and Powered by Android logo seen during the Android 13 bootup screen on the Pixel 7 Pro
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

If you’ve had your Android device for a while, you’ve probably noticed some lag that wasn’t there before. Apps load slower; menus take a bit longer to show up. This is pretty normal—but you don’t have to live with it.

This problem isn’t unique to Android, either—try using an older iPhone with a new version of iOS and feel how slow it’s become. But the solutions are slightly different for each platform, so let’s explore all the ways you can try to fix this on Android.

How to Restart Android

The first thing we can try is the easiest—simply restart your Android device. This will clear the memory and give everything a fresh start. A lot of the time, a restart will fix minor problems and speed things up.

On many Android devices, you can access the restart option by pressing and holding down the power button until a menu appears. Select “Restart” from the menu.

The Power Menu on a Samsung Motorola Android phone.

Some Android devices have remapped the power key to launch the virtual assistant. You can also restart the device by pressing the power button in the Quick Settings panel. Swipe down once or twice from the top of the screen, then tap the power icon.

A restart will often give you a little performance boost, but it won’t be long-lasting if there are bigger issues causing the device to be sluggish.

How to Clear the Cache on Android

You can clear the cache on an Android device by going to Settings > Apps > Select an app > Tap “Clear Cache.” Removing these temporary files can sometimes improve performance, but they will eventually be redownloaded.

First, open the Settings and go to the “Apps” section.

Open the "Apps" section.

Here’s the list of installed apps on your Android device (you may need to expand the list to see them all). Select an app.

Select an app.

Go to “Storage & Cache” or just “Storage.”

Tap "Storage and Cache."

Select “Clear Cache.”

Select "Clear Cache."

The cache will be cleared! This works for pretty much any app, but you may want to take some extra steps to clear the cache for Android browsers.

How to Update an Android Phone

Sluggish performance can be a result of running outdated software on your Android device—check for an update by going to Settings > System > System Update. It’s important to keep your device as up-to-date as possible. Even if the latest version of Android isn’t available for your device, you may have monthly security patches to install.

Android update settings.

Chances are there won’t be an update waiting for you, but it never hurts to check. It’s not safe to use an outdated Android device for a variety of reasons.

Free Up Storage Space on Android

An Android device filled to the brim can suffer from poor performance. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to free up storage space. Clearing the cache—as shown above—is just one method.

In our guide for freeing up storage space on Android, we outline eight methods you can try. You can use the feature built-in to the Files by Google app, clear out the downloads folder, empty the trash, move photos to cloud storage, and more. If limited storage space is causing performance issues, this is a good place to start.

How to Delete Apps on Android

Unused apps take up space and can slow down your phone—it’s easy to uninstall Android apps in bulk from the Play Store. Android has features intended to limit what unused apps can do, but removing them entirely is your best bet.

Open the Play Store and tap your profile icon in the top right. Select “Manage Apps & Device” from the menu.

Tap "Manage Apps & Device."

Go to the “Manage” tab and select the apps you’d like to uninstall. Tap the trash icon in the top right to remove them.

Delete the apps you aren't using anymore.

It’s always a good idea to get rid of apps you aren’t using anymore. For performance and security’s sake.

How to Update Apps on Android

Updating apps can solve performance issues—open the Play Store on your Android device and go to Manage Apps & Device > Update All or See Details > Update. The infamous “bug fixes and improvements” changelog can sometimes mean the developer fixed performance issues.

First, open the Play Store and tap your profile icon in the top right.

Select “Manage Apps & Device” from the menu.

Select "Manage Apps and Device."

On the next screen, you’ll see either “Updates Available” or “All Apps Up to Date.” If you see the latter, there are no updates available.

"All Apps Up to Date."

Otherwise, tap “See Details” to look at which apps have updates.

Select "Update All" or "See Details."

Now you can tap the arrow to read the update changelog or select “Update” to start the update.

Expand the details and tap "Update."

Regardless of your Android device’s performance, it’s always a good idea to regularly check for app updates.

Speed Up Animations on Android

Android’s hidden “Developer Options” menu has options to speed up the animations on your device. This is a long-time trick to make Android devices feel faster, and it still works.

After enabling Developer Options, open them and look for “Window Animation Scale,” “Transition Animation Scale,” and “Animator Duration Scale.” By default, they’ll all be set to “1x.” Switch to “.5x” or “Off” to speed them up.

Android animation scales.

Now, when you’re navigating around, animations won’t take as long, making your device feel snappier. The Developer Options menu has a lot of other features to offer, too.

Use “Lite” Android Apps

Some of the most popular Android apps are pretty beefy in size. They require a good chunk of storage and resources to function smoothly. Some of these apps have “Lite” versions intended for low-powered, budget devices, but there’s nothing stopping anyone from using them.

Here are a handful of “Lite” alternatives to some popular Android apps:

Automatically Turn On Wi-Fi on Android

Slow performance can sometimes mean slow internet—so make sure you’re always using Wi-Fi when you can. Android can automatically turn on Wi-Fi when you’re at places you frequently use Wi-Fi. This way, you never accidentally stay on a slower data connection.

For Samsung Galaxy devices, you’ll want to go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Intelligent Wi-Fi > Turn Wi-Fi On/Off Automatically.

Toggle on "Turn Wi-Fi On/Off Automatically."

On Google Pixel and other Android devices, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Internet > Network Preferences > Turn On Wi-Fi Automatically.

Toggle on "Turn on Wi-Fi Automatically."

Not only can this make sure you’re using a solid internet connection, it can also prevent you from accidentally racking up data on a mobile connection if you forget to turn on Wi-Fi.

How to Factory Reset Android

If nothing seems to solve the performance issues on your Android phone, the last thing to try is a factory reset. A factory reset completely erases everything off your device and takes it back to the way it was “from the factory.” Essentially, it will be like new again, and that often solves common problems.

To get started, open the Settings and go to System > Reset Options > Erase All Data (Factory Reset).

Tap "Erase All Data (Factory Reset).

The next screen will tell you everything that will be erased and show all of the accounts you’re currently signed into. Tap “Erase All Data” to continue.

Select "Erase All Data."

You’ll be asked to enter your lock screen PIN or password, then tap “Erase All Data” once more to confirm.

Select "Erase All Data" one last time.

The device will go through the process of wiping all data and restart. You’ll need to set it up again just like you did when you first got the device.


Sadly, performance that slowly degrades over time is just part of owning a gadget. The methods outlined above will buy you some time, but eventually you’ll want to upgrade to a new Android phone or tablet, and the clock will start ticking again.

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