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how to improve the performance of a smartphone

How to Improve the Performance of a Smartphone?

via Unsplash | Nicholas Hirajeta

Smartphones are one of the most frequently used mobile devices of our time. It is what we often use when we go about doing our thing. Everywhere you go, and anyone you know owns one. It’s become a crucial part of our daily life.

The use of smartphones has never been far more prominent than in 2021. With about 6.37 billion users worldwide, there is no doubt it has already taken over the use of PC or desktops. 

There are more websites being viewed at this moment on a smartphone than on a desktop.

With almost everything managed in our phones, we can expect that its performance deteriorates like computers. Soon you’ll need to replace your old mobile device with something new and updated. 

Even if your smartphone hasn’t been that old, it can experience slowing down. Sometimes, it takes time for your phone to open an app, or the battery is draining faster than you expected. Of course, buying a new smartphone after a year or two is not the first option. There are some ways you can improve the performance of a smartphone.

But first, what slows down the performance of a smartphone?

Causes of Smartphone Slow Down

Outdated Operating System

No matter what device you are using, an operating system is the most vital part of it. Without an operating system, how can a smartphone work? 

Operating systems (OS) of Android and iOS are different, and so are the versions available currently. Android 11 is the latest for Android and iOS 15 for iPhone. On each of them, it receives updates to patch the version and its security. Furthermore, each has hardware specs specific for that device.

Once an operating system gets outdated, it is hard to maintain its performance, speed, and other features. Therefore, the device starts to slow down as it cannot cope with the demand for the latest app updates, connectivity, and more.

Running Apps

Apps are software installed on a device and have a specific purpose. But an average person only uses nine apps on their smartphone in a day and 30 apps in a month.

What’s even surprising is the number of apps on a smartphone. There are around 80 apps on average, and with only nine apps used per day is a waste of memory and performance.

Some of these apps run in the background without the user knowing about them. They always remain active for the user to get the best out of the app. However, these apps take up CPU and RAM, which then affect the performance of the device.

Full Storage Space

Full storage space on your device can result in slow smartphone performance. Like your computer, apps require your phone’s RAM and CPU to perform their action. If there is no space left, it will affect the performance of an app.

Battery Life

Battery life is the most common concern for mobile devices. Its life capacity declines after two or three years of use, and it can no longer last a day on a full charge. Furthermore, an increase in internal resistance within the battery as a result of electrode film build-up is another aspect of the aging process.

Memory Failure

Flash memory and RAM are affected by the passage of time. A maximum number of write cycles is used to grade flash memory. This is due to the deterioration of the oxide layer that traps electrons in a NAND flash memory cell during the program/erase process, rendering them unusable. It doesn’t assist with the mentioned fragmentation problem, and it increases the number of writing errors over time, slowing down memory from the user’s perspective.

Presence of Malware

Malware can slow down your smartphone. It runs in the background, taking up the space and RAM of a device. It can even drain the battery too.

How to Improve Your Smartphone’s Performance?

Get to Know Your Device

First, you need to know about your device. In such a way, you can limit the apps or not overburden your phone. You’ll be able to see which apps are resource-hungry and get rid of those that compromise the performance of your device.

Update Your Device’s OS

As mentioned, outdated OS can affect the performance of a phone. Updating your Android or iOS can provide the latest firmware, security, and other hardware requirements your device needs.

Check for updates on your device. Or, you can automatically set it for auto-update.

Here’s how you can update your Android’s OS:

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll down to About Phone
  • Click on Check for Updates
  • Click Install (or reboot and install, depending on the phone).

How to update iOS:

  • Go to Settings
  • Open General
  • Click Software Update

Update Apps

Like the operating system, apps are also required to be updated, as it provides patches on security issues and solves bugs that cause the apps to crash.

Remove Unnecessary Apps

Every program on your device consumes memory in some way. Since every smartphone has a limited amount of capacity, it is best to keep only the programs you use. 

Check on apps that you don’t use or rarely use, and get rid of them. It will leave more space for you to run other necessary apps.

Limit Widgets

Widgets are not apps, but they do affect the performance of a device when there are too many of them running on the home screen. Although widgets don’t run in the background, it doesn’t slow down the device when not in use. But, it is best to limit them to important ones.

Don’t Use Live Wallpapers and Animations

Live wallpapers on your phone are amazing. However, it requires a lot of CPU cycles that drain the battery and affects the performance of your smartphone. So, as much as wallpapers and animations look stunning on your device, it’s best to avoid it for a faster smartphone.

Turn of Sync

Sync is vital when you need to receive updates from your email or notification from your app. You don’t need to visit the app to check if there is something new, or you won’t miss an email. However, syncing can take time and slow down the device. 

The best way is to turn it off or only leave it on for apps you require notification from, like email.

Kill Bloatware

Bloatware is an unwanted software program that runs in the background. It takes up space and battery life, causing it to slow down. It often comes pre-installed with other apps and runs with it. Sometimes, it’s even hard to get rid of it.

How to remove Android bloatware:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Apps and Notifications
  • Check See All Apps
  • Select apps that you don’t know or use and tap Uninstall 

In case you can’t uninstall the app, you can choose Disable. It will stop the app from running in the background and taking up resources

Remove or disable bloatware on iOS:

  • Go to Settings > General
  • Click on iPhone Storage
  • Select the app you don’t use or recognize
  • Click Offload App or Delete App

If you want to take control of your smartphone, the best way is to root or jailbreak your device. You can delete bloatware in this case. However, rooting or jailbreaking puts your smartphone at risk of installing apps from a third-party source. 

Use an Antivirus App

One reason your smartphone slows down is the presence of malware. Although a virus on a smartphone is the first thing that comes to mind when a phone’s performance is affected, you need to first check on other causes.

If you have done everything mentioned in this list but still have a slow phone, maybe it’s time to consider the presence of a virus.

You can check on it by using a legitimate mobile antivirus app. There are plenty of mobile security apps on the market. 

Try our Bitdefender for mobile devices.

You can even include other online security tools to protect your smartphone. 

Clear Cached and Data on Apps

Every action you take on your phone leaves traces or junk files. All of these accumulate as RAM cache. Getting rid of them can help you restore your smartphone’s speed. These traces are used by apps and other tasks to open faster. However, it takes up space and reduces the amount of RAM available.

Clear Android cache and data:

  • Open Settings
  • Go to Apps Menu
  • Choose Installed Apps
  • Select the app you want to clear cache and data
  • Go to Storage Tab
  • Click Clear App Cache/ Clear App Data

Clear iOS app cache:

  • Go to Settings
  • Choose General
  • Click on iPhone Storage
  • Select the app you want to clear cache 
  • Tap Offload App

Extend Battery Life

If you want your device to run smoothly with no issues, you must extend the battery life. You can do so by disabling unnecessary apps and turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use. 

However, you need to take note of your battery’s age. Old batteries drain faster. 

Restart Device

Similar to computers, your smartphone will need a little bit of restarting. When you restart your device, it gets rid of temporary or junk files accumulated on your RAM. When temporary files are gone, your device can function at its top performance again.

Use High-speed Memory Card

If your device’s memory is running low, you can boost it by using a high-speed memory card that reads or writes data. In this way, you don’t have to compromise the performance of your device when you want to use an app.

Never Use a Task Killer

Task killers can immediately stop a running app and give your device’s speed a boost. That may sound like what you exactly need to enjoy a fast smartphone.

However, task killers can interrupt the flow of an app. When an app is suddenly stopped, it will 

take time to start again, and it consumes more battery. 

Instead, let your phone’s system take care of it. It will automatically kill apps that are not required.


Keeping your smartphone in check and knowing its capacity can help you use it at its best. Don’t overload your device with unnecessary apps, wallpaper, or content. No matter if you have the latest smartphone, abusing it will only affect its performance.

Don’t also forget to keep your devices safe from threats like malware. Use the best security software for your device. 

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