5 Ways to Speed Up Your Android Phone in Under 5 Minutes

Speed Up Your Android Phone

You used to love your Android handset, but now that it has slowed down considerably, the bloom is off the rose. When you hit the home button or launch a new app, it takes what seems like an eternity to switch to the new task or back to the desktop. Maybe your Android phone has become so slow that letters appear a second or two after you type them. Fortunately, you can rekindle the romance and speed up your Android phone in under 5 minutes if you use these simple tips. Talk about a quickie!

1. Clear Your App Cache (30 seconds)

Over time, your programs write to the app cache on your phone and eat up precious system resources while slowing everything down. You can clear the cache on any individual app by visiting its property page in the Settings menu and tapping the clear cache button, but with dozens of apps on most phones, it could take an eternity to do this manually.

Clear Cache Settings

App Cache Cleaner, a free app, makes it easy to delete the cache on all your apps at once with just a couple of taps. After installing and launch App Cache Cleaner, simply tap Clear All and you’re done.

Cache Cleaner

Of course, the cache will fill  up again over time, and you’ll want to delete it again. App Cache Cleaner has an Auto Clear feature. If you enter its settings menu, tap Auto Clear Interval and select a duration, it will automatically clear the cache on a regular basis. However, this means that the app needs to run in the background. 

Auto Clear Interval in App Cache Cleaner

 Installing and using App Cache Cleaner for the first time should take around 30 seconds. 

2. Disable or Uninstall Unused Apps (60 seconds)

You may not know it, but many of the apps you never even use may be running in the background, eating up precious system resources. From the app that you tried for 5 minutes last month to the shopping app that came preloaded on your phone, every unused app has the potential to weigh your phone down. It’s easy to uninstall apps you’ve downloaded yourself, but crapware is a little harder to dispose of.

If you have rooted your phone, you can completely remove every trace of your preloaded apps. If not, you can still disable those apps through the settings menu. It should take about 10 seconds to uninstall or disable each app you don’t want. It should take you approximately one minute to get rid of 6 apps, longer if you have more crapware to dump.

MORE: How to Remove Android Crapware

3. Install a New App Launcher (30 seconds)

Your phone’s app launcher controls your desktop, lock screen apps menu, and other critical parts of the UI. Though every Android phone comes with its own preloaded app launcher, you can install a third party launcher that will not only change the look and feel of your device, but also speed the time it takes it to navigate around the OS. There are many different launchers available in the app store, but we found Lightning Launcher Home to be among the fastest and easiest to use.

To use Lightning Launcher or another launcher of your choice:

  1. Install Lightning Launcher from the Google Play store.
  2. Tap the Home Button. A menu appears asking you which launcher you want.
  3. Select Lightning Launcher and Tap Always.
     Set to Lightning Launcher and Select Always
Downloading the Lightning Launcher, and setting it to run as your default should take 30 seconds.

4. Remove Unnecessary Widgets and Shortcuts (30 seconds)

Even with a speedy App Launcher installed, your phone will use more memory the more widgets and shortcuts it has in memory. Look through your desktops for widgets you don’t absolutely need and remove them by long pressing and dragging them off screen.

Remove a Widget

A number of phones with widgets that advertise services such as media stores or news services. Unless you really want to look at a list of hot YouTube videos or Google Play Books on your home screen every day, remove these. 

Dragging half a dozen shortcuts and widgets off  of your desktops should take 30 seconds.

5. Limit or Disable Background Data (10 to 60 seconds)

Your email, your Gmail, your Facebook, your Twitter and your backup app all want to ping the Internet for data on a regular basis. All that syncing not only eats up your battery, but also takes up system resources and slows your device down. 

There are some services you may want to sync in real time, but there are others you can check manually. For example, if you don’t need to be alerted the moment you get a Facebook mention or receive an email to your personal account, you can prevent those from connecting in the background.  

To disable background data for all apps:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap Data usage.
    Select Data Usage 
  3. Launch the context menu by tapping the three dots in the upper left corner of the screen or hitting the menu button (on Samsung and LG phones).
    Select Data Usage
  4. Toggle Autosync data to off and tap Ok on the warning that comes up.
    Select Autosync Data

To disable background data for Gmail, Google+ and other Google Services:

  1. Navigate to Settings. You can get to the Android settings menu from the notification drawer or apps menu.
  2. Tap on Google under accounts.
    Tap the Account You Want to Stop From Syncing 
  3. Tap the account name.  If the sync icon next to the account name is green, it has sync permission. If it is gray, syncing is already disabled.
    Select Your Gmail account
  4. Toggle all types of data syncing to off, including email, contacts and calendar.
    Toggle Sync to Off 
To turn off background data in other apps such as Facebook or the standalone email client,  you must go directly into their settings’ menus and find the option to never update or update manually. Disabling all your background at once should take just 10 seconds, but if you want to manually disable Gmail, Facebook and email client autosync separately, this process could take as long as a  minute.
Depending on how many apps you need to uninstall and services you wish to disable, you could finish speeding up your phone in as little as 2 minutes and 40 seconds. That’s a very small time investment to make your smartphone snappier.
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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Submit Comments

  1. Suhas Tupsamudre Says:

    Very nice article, helped a lot. Thanks :)

  2. Karl Erich Martell Says:

    Thank you for a VERY useful article!

  3. Daniel Says:

    Excelente resumen gracias me fue de ayuda

  4. Stephen Lipscombe Says:

    Done all this, except not loaded any additional apps.
    Apps caches were all at 0 anyway.
    Unable to know which apps are safe to disable.
    Phonebook still takes an age to open up.

  5. Nitin Says:

    Thanks a lot it worked for me.

  6. Tom Morow Says:

    In Android 4.0 open Settings > scroll to Developer Options and UNCHECK everything in it period.

  7. Terrill Malicoat Says:

    It helped clear my phone.

  8. Rajesh raf Says:

    Nice article Thanks For your Guidance Avram…..

  9. VNDbUkR Says:

    225045 56218Does your web site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, fantastic blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time. 464784

  10. ChanaGoanna Says:

    Did everything except install new app launcher and it’s running like a dream. Thank you!

  11. Alish paija Says:

    thank you very much it works on my device

  12. Matt Says:


  13. Alex Says:

    Awesome guide! It helped me alot!
    Thank you :-)

  14. Someone Says:

    The first point about clearing the cache is nonsense. Caching is used for speeding up programs. By clearing the cache you force the app to re-create data which means wasting time on something the app already did before. Except for a bit of storage space cached data does not use up “precious system resources” and certainly does not slow down the overall system performance. If you think of file system fragmentation, that’s also not an issue. We’re not dealing with Windows here.

    Manually clearing app caches makes mainly sense in case of data corruption or when an app behaves in some unexpected way and does not want to update its state – think of the Facebook app that does not update the message feed for example. By clearing the cache you can try making an app recover again. If that doesn’t work either the last resort is clearing the app data.

  15. Axel Says:

    Not so useful for Android 2.2 Devices.

  16. laurie Says:

    This was so helpful – thank you.

  17. Anupam Saikia Says:

    Thanks for the tips. It is very helpful for me.

  18. cnashford2 Says:

    Thanks for all the tips. Hopefully, they’ll work for me.

  19. Marc Says:

    Thanks — I cleared all my caches and installed that Lightning thing, and my 1.5 year old Android phone is suddenly really fast. Great advice.

  20. jt Says:

    Excellent! Just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks a bunch!

  21. Charlie D. Says:

    With my past 2 droids, I fought with speed issues after the phone was 1.5-2 years old. What worked for me was deleting LONG TXT THREADS, esp ones with photos inlaid in them. Deleting photos and apps and clearing cache did not work. Trim down your contacts and phone book and delete txt threads and i’m sure it will help.

  22. DK Says:

    Dumbest article ever. Any newb would be 1000x past this ignorant garbage. Cache is there to speed things up, not slow them down. Moron.

  23. Jonde Says:

    Very helpful, thank you.
    Two Galaxys, clean, lean and clutterless. ;-)

  24. Sohil Memon Says:

    Wow, it’s really awesome tips. I have made my Smartphone better using the mentioned tips! Really thanks for it and looking more about it!

  25. Mack Says:

    No such thing as “Data Usage” in my settings. And if I clear all my cache with a cache cleaner, doesn’t it also wipe out all my browser bookmarks (data cache)? I made that mistake once before. Was there moreto the section of getting rid of/disabling crapware for non-rooted users? I clicked on the subtitle below the section and nothing happened.

  26. Joseph Says:

    Absolutely. Amazing. All I did was install the cache clear and lightning launcher, and my phone has like, upteendoubled in speed! Thanks so much!

  27. Christopher Omar Says:

    Clearning cache really helped alot and my Android device runs smoothly now :) thanks alot !

  28. diana Says:

    This article is terrific. However, my Android phone is SO unresponsive, that I have a black screen for 10-15 seconds after turning it on and 4-10 seconds after each screen tap. It’s almost impossible to answer a phone call any more. Maddening! Uninstalling apps and emptying cache may make it an all nighter for me. Ugh! But thanks for the easy steps. I’m up to 1GB free and 2 used, but the screen responsiveness is still abysmal. Wish me luck.

  29. kartick sarkar Says:


  30. vinod Says:

    my android mobile getting too slow and hanging also.tell me some good applications.
    and how to move apps sd card

  31. John Says:

    Power Clean can help me to speed up my phone & tablet. Just one click, I will be the Optimize Master of Android.

  32. Brant Says:

    5. Limit or Disable Background Data

    This is not 100% accurate any longer. You should look into google cloud messaging. A lot of apps including most Google apps have switched to GCM, which uses a broadcast event to launch a ping check for a particular app. This means there is literally NO service running in the background for that specific app and the app is NOT pinging the server regularly. This is however not the case for all apps (you should check which ones use GCM). If they don’t use GCM, you are correct they will be pinging a server somewhere with a service open in the background.

    Cheers, Brant

  33. natillas Says:

    A great option to accelerate your smartphone (android) is deleting the cache. But also you can do things like install this App, that accelerate the processing images, and videos, and the slow content. You can install it through your smartphone browser directly: http://goo.gl/dh2YCh Good luck!!

  34. Phone Works Again! Says:

    Thank you. I was blaming the wrong entities – very simple when you have the step by step!

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