How to speed up your smartphone

Is your smartphone or tablet running a little slow? These tips below will help you get your iPhone or iPad device running faster. Click here for Android smartphones and tablets.

iPhone and iPad

There are plenty of little changes you can make that will increase the speed of your smartphone or tablet. And the more of these tips you follow, the bigger an improvement you will see.

Clear up space

The biggest drag on smartphone and tablet performance is a lack of free space – the less you have on your device, the slower it will go. If you have a lot of pictures on your device, you might want to consider backing them up to a cloud storage service, such as Flickr, and then removing the older ones from your device.

Deleting apps that you don’t use from your device will also free up a lot of space. To find out which apps are hogging the most space, go to the Settings app > General > Usage and then tap on ‘Manage Storage’. From here you’ll see all of your apps arranged by which ones use the most space on your device. Have a look for any apps near the top that you don’t use and delete them. Be careful that you don’t delete any apps you use or which may contain important data, as you may not be able to get them back.

Check for updates

Keeping your phone up to date will make it run faster and more securely, but if your phone is more than a year or two old, these updates might have the opposite affect, as users have recently discovered.

If you’re unsure about updating, try searching the internet. By googling something such as ‘iPhone 4s iOS 9 slow’, you’ll be able to find some forum posts from users who may or may not have experienced problems after an upgrade.

Change some settings

Apple added a feature to iOS a few updates ago, which uses a “parallax effect to create the perception of depth on your Home screen and other areas of your device.” This setting makes your phone look a little nicer, but it’s not really all that noticeable, and it uses battery and CPU power. To disable it, head to Settings > General > Accessibility, and then turn on Reduce Motion.

You can also disable Background Refresh, which enables apps to access the internet or GPS while they’re not open, using battery and CPU power. This can be disabled entirely, or you can choose which apps are allowed to use it by navigating to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

As a last resort to get some extra speed, you can reset your device. By going to Settings > General > Reset, you can choose to either Reset All Settings or Erase All Content and Settings. The former will reset all of your settings, including network and email settings, which may take some time and effort to set up again but can be worth it for the speed improvement. The latter will reset your phone entirely and delete everything. You should definitely not do this unless you have backed up your device recently and are certain of the integrity of the backup, and how to restore it.

Android

You can make plenty of little changes to speed up your smartphone or tablet. The more of these tips you follow, the bigger an improvement you will see.

Clear up space

The biggest drag on smartphone and tablet performance is a lack of free space, the less you have on your device, the slower it will go. If you have a lot of pictures on your device you might want to consider backing them up to a cloud storage service, such as Flickr, and then removing the older ones from your device.

Deleting apps that you don’t use from your device will also free up a lot of space. To find out which apps are hogging the most space, go to go to the Application Manager, which can be found in your device’s Settings app. Depending on the device you have, the Application Manager may be found in Settings underneath a subheading such as ‘Device’, ‘Applications’ or ‘Storage’. Once you have found it, you will see a list of all your apps. To sort them by size, either tap the category which states how much space they consume, or look for a ‘More’ button (often shown as an ellipsis: ‘…’) and select ‘Sort by size’. From here you’ll see all of your apps arranged by which ones use the most space on your device. Have a look for any apps near the top that you don’t use and delete them. Be careful that you don’t delete any apps you use or those that may contain important data, as you may not be able to get them back.

Check for updates

Keeping your phone up to date will make it run faster and more securely, but if your phone is more than a year or two old, these updates might have the opposite affect. If you’re unsure about updating, try searching the internet. By googling something such as ‘Samsung s4 Android 5 Lollipop slow’, you may be able to find some forum posts from users who have or have not have experienced problems after an upgrade.

Custom launcher

A custom launcher will replace your home screen with a new one, which is typically either highly optimised for speed or customisability. You’ll still be able to put all your apps and widgets onto the screen, but some settings may vary a bit. Nova Launcher is one of the best options. With over half a million users, it’s easy to use, highly customisable and much faster than the competition.

Change some settings

If you have a live wallpaper on your device, it might be worth changing it to a static image (it’ll save your battery as well).

And as a last resort to get some extra speed, you can factory reset your device. By going to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset, you can choose to reset your device, which will delete everything from your phone and reset all of your settings. You should definitely not do this unless you have backed up your device recently and know how to restore it. This article from Ubergizmo will explain how to back up your device for free.

Do you have any other tips for getting your smartphone or tablet running at top speed? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by ryanbo



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