7 tips to make your Android smartphone faster

Just like a PC, a smartphone or tablet can become cluttered with old apps, photos, files, and other junk. When that happens, the device may slow down or stop responding properly. To solve these problems on an Android device, here are some smart tips for you.

Assess the situation

Like PCs, Android devices can behave unpredictably if they are short of storage or memory. Symptoms of this are apps that freeze at random moments or do not want to load at all and the device becomes remarkably slow. To see if you have enough storage or memory, open the storage and system manager built into Android. (Note: The menus I refer to may look different on your device depending on the Android version you're running.) Also read: Find your smartphone with Android Device Manager.

First, open the notification bar or go to your apps, and press gear icon to go to Institutions to go. Scroll down until you see an item named Storage area. Click on the icon and you will see a list of information about the amount of storage space currently occupied by applications, photos, audio files and downloads, among other things. It also states how much storage space the device has in total and how much space is left.

The Storage menu lets you keep track of how much space is left on your device, but there's not much you can do other than format a storage volume - which you shouldn't do unless you want to completely wipe the device. To make changes without removing everything, you need to use Android's built-in app manager, the Application Manager.

To access the app manager, go to Institutions, scroll down to Application Manager, and press it (on some devices you may be able to press Applications and then Management or Manage applications must press). In Application Manager you can - by swiping your fingers across the screen - display three columns of apps: Downloaded, Running and All.

The Downloaded apps list shows all the apps you've downloaded from the Google Play Store, as well as many of the standalone apps that your carrier or device manufacturer has pre-installed. The Running Apps and Everything lists are self-explanatory. At the bottom of the Downloaded and All columns you can see how much space an app is taking up, and at the bottom of the Active column you can see how much memory the apps are using together.

Free up memory

If you tap an app in the Downloaded or All column, you'll be presented with a list of several options, including the ability to force an app to quit (to free up memory), uninstall or clear the cache and clear app data. If you want to remove an app, simply press the To clear-knob.

If you're trying to fix an app that's no longer working properly, the buttons Clear cache and Clear data come in handy. Clear cache removes any data or files associated with the app from the cache, and forces new versions to be cached. Clear data removes all personal data linked to an app, including your login details and game scores. The app should then function as new again.

If an app is not working properly, first press Clear cache. If that doesn't help, press Clear data. If the problem is still not solved after that, try uninstalling the app (by pressing To clear button), reboot the device, and reinstall the app.

Delete and move apps and data

Uninstalling an app is therefore very simple: You open the Application Manager, tap the app in the All list, and then tap To clear. Unfortunately, some apps that are pre-installed on your device by the manufacturer may be embedded in such a way that you cannot uninstall them unless you have root access to the phone.

Instead of uninstalling apps to free up internal storage space on your device, you can move them to a MicroSD card. Newer devices may not allow you to install apps to an SD card, but older versions of Android have a built-in SD card installation feature.

Before moving apps, keep in mind that apps that have their own home screen widget (or require access to Android system files) will not function properly when installed on an SD card. If you are not sure which apps you can move around without any problems, you can download App 2 SD from the Google Play Store. This is a simple tool that scans the apps on your device and generates a list of the apps that you can safely move to an SD card.

Of course, apps (unless you've installed a lot of them) probably aren't the biggest consumers of storage space. Photo and video files take up much more space than apps, so it's worth moving those to the SD card as well. To have your device automatically save new photos and videos to the SD card, open the camera app and you go to it settings menu (this varies from device to device).

In the menu go to the Storage areasection and press Mount SD card at the bottom. After that, you can choose to save apps and data by default to the SD card. If you also want to move your existing photos and videos, you can easily do this by connecting your device to your computer via a USB cable; the PC should recognize your phone or tablet as a removable storage device so that you can drag the photos folder from the device's internal storage to the SD card. If you don't have a PC at hand, you can also move the files on many devices within a file manager.

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