It’s bound to happen. After months and months of use, your Android has slowed down and you’ve tried just about everything to get it to its former glory. But what you don’t know is that there’s a small group of items that are notorious when it comes to slowing down your smartphone.
From unwanted visitors nosing around through your gear to having one too many photos stored, there are some easy fixes that are sure to make a difference.
In today’s Android tip, we’ll show you just what is causing the frustrating lag times and loading pinwheel of death. You won’t believe some of the things that can cause your smartphone to drag so much.
Muster up whatever patience you have left and get ready to breathe new life into your slow Android gadget. It’ll be just like new before you know it – believe me.
1. SNEAKY, SLIMY VIRUS
As a whole, Androids are a bit more open than Apple products. Their ability to download items directly from the Internet leaves your smartphone and tablet more vulnerable, and hackers can easily take advantage of this.
Not only can viruses leave your Android open to vicious hackers, but having one can also drag down your smartphone’s speed.
These viruses may be disguised in third-party apps and unreliable downloads, and once you install the program onto your Android, you’ll start to see the slowdown almost instantly.
To see if your phone has been pirated by hackers in some far-off land, the first step is to just look at your monthly data usage. This is generally located on your statement from your cellphone service provider. Look for a table or graph that displays your data use over the past few months. Compare the data used since you suspect you got a virus to data used from the prior few months.
You can also check the data used in a given month on your provider’s website. If there has been a spike in usage, this is a strong indication that hackers may have infected your gadget. Pop-up ads and unwanted apps installed by a virus can eat away at data upload speeds like a hungry hippo.
To remove an app you suspect is the product of a virus, go into your Settings page. Click Applications >> All Apps, and begin scrolling through the list of applications installed on your Android gadget. Bloatware will not prompt you with an option to delete the app, but a virus app will allow you to delete it.
The delete option is located in the upper right-hand corner, click it and verify you want to delete the app and all of its data. Once you clear you Android of those pesky viruses, it’s time to take the next step.
You’ll need to protect your gear from future attacks by downloading my favorite security app, Webroot. Webroot is the leader in Web security and protects you from threats like viruses, identity theft, phishing scams and spyware.
2. APP OVERLOAD
With over a million apps available in the Google Play store, chances are you’ve downloaded and installed at least a few.
After all, apps are what make your Android do so many incredible things. But there’s just one problem. Like any software program, apps put a load on your gadget’s processor and that slows it down from doing other things.
Apps also take up space in your storage. More about how filling up your storage can slow down your Android later.
Some apps begin running as soon as you start up your Android and then continue to run in the background, putting a constant drag on your processor and filling up your gadget’s memory. If you’ve installed more than a few apps that run in the background, they can seriously slow down your smartphone or tablet.
Here’s another hidden background process that can slow down your Android practically to horse and buggy speed. You may be tempted to use those pretty animated live wallpapers and install a lot of widgets on your home screen. But watch out. These are processor, graphics and memory hogs.
Simplify your home screen and you’ll probably see an immediate speed improvement. Disable live wallpapers and remove widgets.
To see which apps are running in the background, visit the Apps screen in the Settings page and swipe over to the Running category. If you see an app running in the background that you don’t use or could live without, simply uninstall it. If it came pre-installed on your Android and you can’t uninstall, then disable it.
Important: Don’t just end the service because it will automatically run the next time you restart your phone or tablet.
3. NO STORAGE SPACE FOR YOU
Phones and tablets have finite storage memory. That’s where you store your photos, music, videos email, apps and more. As your storage memory fills up, the time it takes to record new information and access stored information increases dramatically.
This increased time of information flowing in and out of storage will slow down your gadget more than anything.
But it’s not just photos, music and videos that are filling up your precious memory. Many apps, especially your browser, constantly save content and settings from sites you’ve visited in files called cache.
The idea behind cache is that rather than download photos or graphics over and over again from the sites you visit, you gadget stores copies in memory to help the page load faster the next time you visit.
But here’s the problem with that strategy: Depending on the app setting, the cache files may grow unchecked until your storage is filled to the brim. Long before you reach 99% full, your gadget will be so slow you may completely give up using it at all!
Before you toss your gadget in the trash out of pure frustration, follow along to easily open up some major storage space.
The Storage screen in Settings will show you how full your device’s storage is and what kind of files are using the space. Uninstall the apps you don’t use, delete files you don’t need, and clear app caches to free up space. To clear cached data for all installed apps at once, open the Settings page >> Storage >> Cached data >> select OK.
If none of the above steps work to speed up your sluggish Android, there is one last step I call “The Nuclear Option.” You’ll just need to perform a factory reset and only install the apps you need to end up with a like-new device.
To do this go to Settings >> Backup & reset >> Factory data reset. Now your Android will be as good as new.
Important: Beware that doing a factory reset will wipe out everything you have saved on your smartphone or tablet. Before resetting your gadget, you should consider saving photos, music, videos, contacts, email and anything else you wish to keep. For some suggestions where to save your stuff, check out my tip!