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Why is my mobile phone so slow? 8 tips to speed up your device

Have you ever looked at your phone and wondered “why is it so slow”? Maybe you’re trying to quickly type directions into Google Maps to get to your destination, or maybe you’re just trying to figure out if it’s worth sitting through all the credits of the movie to see that extra scene. Either way, having a slow phone can be a major source of annoyance.

Even if you have a great mobile phone provider, your phone may be stuck with too much stuff in storage, in need of upgrades, or simply be an older model that is past its prime. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of tips that can help you speed up your phone or figure out what might be slowing it down in the first place, whether it’s your battery health, cache, internet connection or something else entirely.

Reasons why your phone may be slowing down

Wondering “why is my iPhone so slow” or “why is my Android device slower than normal”? If you’ve found that your Android or iPhone has been running slow lately, here are some possible reasons.

1. Insufficient storage space

The speed of your phone can be seriously reduced if your phone’s storage space is too full. Here’s how to check the storage on an Android:

Go to Settings.
– Tap Device Care
– Open Storage to see how much you have left.

On an iPhone, you can check your storage space as follows:

Press Settings.
– Select General.
– Tap iPhone Storage to check your remaining storage space.

If your storage is full, it might be time to get rid of old photos (let’s face it, you’re not going to see those old screenshots), clear your cache, delete unused apps and generally clean up your phone. See a later section on how to remove some of these old applications and clear the cache.

2. You have too many applications

If you keep asking yourself “why is my phone slow”, the usual answer is: too many applications. Too many applications can seriously slow down your phone and drain its battery. If your phone has screens and screens full of apps that you never use, it may be time to delete some of them. Scroll down for our tips on how to speed up your phone.

3. You are running an old operating system

We are all guilty of ignoring software updates so as not to disrupt our commuting habits. If this is the case, your phone may not be running the latest operating system or may be several software updates behind.

Tips for speeding up your phone

Wondering how to speed up your phone? If “how can I speed up my phone” is on your mind, take a look at these tips to speed up your device. You can also check out our guide on how to organise your phone for more tips on how to free up space and speed up your phone.

1. Switch the phone off and on again.

Like most technology, simply resetting the phone can solve many problems. If your phone is running slow, try doing a soft reset to see if that solves the problem. To reset an iPhone, press and hold the Home and Power buttons at the same time until the device turns off. For an Android, you can remove and replace the removable battery, or press and hold the power and volume buttons simultaneously. Android also offers the option to restart in safe mode, which temporarily disables all downloaded applications.

2. Spend some time deleting applications

Applications can take up a lot of storage space on our phones. If your phone is slowing down, it may be time to get rid of all those apps you no longer use (goodbye, 5 Minute Ab Workout). Don’t know how to delete applications? If you have an iPhone, press and hold the application you want to delete and an option to do so will appear. If you have an Android, you can manage your apps from your Google Play Store account.

Another non-manual way to reduce or remove unused applications is to have your phone download unused applications. If you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, there’s an option to enable this feature so your phone can delete apps it knows you’re not using. Android devices have a similar function in Settings > Storage called “Free up space”.

If you don’t want to delete a lot of applications, one way to still help your phone’s speed is to close the applications you’re not using. So once you’ve finished tracking your training, setting a timer, or absolutely crushing that expert level Sudoku puzzle, be sure to close that application if you no longer need it.

3. Upgrade your phone

If you have several overdue updates, this could be the reason why your phone is running so slowly. Make sure you always go to Settings to see if there is a new software update you need to run. You can even run them at night, so you won’t be without a phone during the day.

4. Clear the cache

Like a lot of unused applications, your cache may be slowing down your phone. Every time you use your phone to browse the internet, the cache stores snippets of data on your phone (yes, it knows how many times you open Reddit). To clear the cache of any Android application, go to Settings > Search for applications, then clear the cache of the applications of your choice, especially your typical web browser. To clear the cache on your iPhone, you can go to Settings and find your usual web browser (such as Safari) and tap “Clear history and website data” to clear the cache.

5. Disable live wallpaper (for Android)

Android offers live wallpaper, which is a type of moving wallpaper for your phone. And while it looks great, it can really slow down your device. You may want to disable the live wallpaper and see if that solves your speed problems.

6. Do a hard reset

We have already told you to try switching the phone off and on again. If that doesn’t work, and nothing else works, you can go to the nuclear option and try a hard reset: return the phone to factory settings. Now, be warned, this means you’ll lose all the data on your phone and anything stored on it, so you’ll want to back up everything on your phone to cloud storage BEFORE you do this. But if you’ve run out of options, this might be something to try. This is really a last resort, so you’ll want to try our other tips first.

7. Fix your Internet connection

If you have performed an Internet speed test and your connection is very slow, it may be time to contact your network administrator to see what is causing the problem with your connection, as it may be affecting the speed of your phone. And if your home Wi-Fi connection is very slow, you may want to temporarily disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your mobile data.

8. Check the condition of the battery

Battery health can be a major reason for your phone slowing down. If the battery is already 2 or 3 years old, it is practically an antique in battery years (it’s like dog years). If you have a phone with a really bad battery, there’s not much you can do except, well, buy a new phone. But first, you’ll want to check if it’s really the health of your battery that’s causing the problem. Fortunately, there is a way to check. If you have an iPhone, you can go to a section called Battery Status in the settings. From there, it will tell you how your battery is performing. If you have an Android, you will need to download an app to check the health of your battery.

9. Checking for damage

If you have checked the connection, battery and storage and your phone is a new model but still runs slowly, it is possible that your phone has water (or other liquid) damage, or physical damage of some kind. In the case of a badly damaged phone, it is best to dispose of the device. Some manufacturers and service providers will dispose of your damaged phone, or you can take it to a phone recycling programme.

Have you tried everything?

In the end, the best option may be to get a brand new phone. You may have tried all our advice and nothing seems to help. Maybe your phone is too old and it’s time to replace it, or maybe it’s damaged and can’t be repaired (unfortunately, rice doesn’t fix everything). Luckily, we have plenty of phone deals to help you find a device faster and help you say goodbye to your old, slow phone.

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