Why Is My Phone So Slow?

Why Is My Phone So Slow

Why Is My Phone So Slow? 13 Ways to Speed Up Your Phone – Try The Following Steps If Your Phone Runs So Slowly It Lags Or Takes A Long Time For Apps To Respond

Why is my phone so slow? Is something I said to my phone just yesterday as I was trying to open up Google Maps while connected to WiFi. Like mine, your phone may be slow because it has too many apps installed, or your slow phone may be running out of storage. Many apps run full-time in the background even when they appear to be shut down. The apps use wireless data and or connecting to WiFi without your knowledge. The reason why your phone is so slow is that it is hacked with malware or spyware. No matter what the reason why your phone is so slow, it is a frustrating user experience and something most smartphone owners despise.

  1. Check Your Slow Phone’s Health
  2. Free Up Storage Space
  3. Delete Unused Apps
  4. Turn Off Location Data
  5. Remove Screen Widgets
  6. Clear App Data Cache
  7. Disable Bloatware
  8. Check Your Phone Battery
  9. Update Apps
  10. Update Operating System
  11. Reboot Slow Phone
  12. Upgrade
  13. Factory Reset

Like all electronic devices phone is running so slow because it does not have enough memory or something else is using up system resources. The internet may be so slow on your phone that you turn off WiFi and use your data connection instead. This may be because apps are set to connect and update automatically when on WiFi. Other apps may be updating your location to a high degree of accuracy which makes the phone slow and uses up battery.

Hopefully your slow phone is salvageable. The first thing to do is try and determine what is using up system resources ,storage and shortening your battery life.

Check Your Slow Phone’s Health

If you’ve been frustrated with your phone’s speed and performance you may be asking yourself, “Why is my phone so slow?” The way to hopefully solve the slowness problem is with a quick maintenance check. This involves using phone health monitoring apps that are preinstalled as part of the operating system.
Android phones have a device maintenance check which lets you see what apps and processes are using up storage, memory, and battery life. Device maintenance health check grades your slow phone on a scale of zero to 100 percent and helps you figure out why your phone is running so slow.

How to See Android Phone Health

  1. Tap the Settings icon to open the settings menu
  2. Scroll down to Device Maintenance
  3. Wait for the Device Maintenance check to complete

The device maintenance check will gauge your slow phone’s performance and let you know how you can optimize its performance. Apps that are using up large portions of battery life, storage space, and background data are candidates for removal or modifications.

You can also monitor RAM usage by going to Settings then selecting Apps.

Anroid Device Maintenance Screenshot
Anroid Device Maintenance Screenshot

Free Up Storage Space

Your Phone needs a certain amount of memory space to operate, just like your laptop does. While your new phone or laptop is working, it is swapping data back-and-forth from storage to RAM. Without a sufficient amount of storage space left on it to swap bytes of data from, the phone runs slowly or stops working completely.

For optimum performance to stop your phone from running so slow, it’s best to free up as much storage as possible. You’ll see how much storage space is left on the phone’s memory and in any added in memory cards, when you run your phone’s health check. If you find that if you find you to speed up your smartphone because it’s running so slowly then freeing up storage space is the place to start
Old videos and photos take up a lot of space on a phone especially if the camera settings are set for large image sizes and high resolutions. I more than one photo of everywhere I go so I can choose the best picture for Instagram. This leaves my phone with a lot of bad photos that need to be deleted to free up space.

Check on how much storage space is available on your Phone. Below are directions for both Android device or iPhones.

Android Phone – Check Storage Space

  1. Tap the settings icon to open the settings menu
  2. Scroll down to Device Maintenance
  3. The device check runs automatically

When the device check finishes you will can tap on any apps that are using up space and adjust their permissions and clear data.

Delete Apps – Android Phones

  1. Tap the app name
  2. Tap Storage and tap CLEAR DATA
  3. Then tap CLEAR CACHE
  4. Back up one screen and tap UNINSTALL

Check Storage Space – iPhone

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Select your device then [Device name] Storage>

You will see a list of installed apps and the amount of storage each one uses. At the top of the iPhone screen you can see what is using up storage space.

iPhone Battery Life Screenshot
iPhone Battery Life Screenshot

Motorola Moto Droid Z3 Battery Life

  1. Pull down menu
  2. Tap settings gear icon
  3. Tap storage

RELATED READ: What Are Ransomware Attacks?

Delete Unused Apps

Now that you checked your phone’s remaining storage space, you opt to delete apps that are unwanted or unused. The majority of apps and games are available as free downloads. Smartphones end up with loads of apps that we never opened or g unused. When I talk at a conference, I may have to download a conference app to track the agenda and my schedule while I’m in attendance. But then I don’t need the app for another year until I return next time. I make a point to delete the app about a month after the conference ends. This gives me time to connect with all the people I met and move their contact information to email or a messaging app.

To delete apps these instructions in my other pose about removing apps. You’ll need to clear any cached data or other storage space the app has used up before you go ahead and delete it. The post details how to get rid of all the cached data that goes with them.

Android Screenshot Apps
Android Screenshot Apps

Turn Off Location Data

Phone location data can be set to varying levels of accuracy. The more accurate your location is tracked the more data and battery your phone will use. This may be important when using Google maps when walking in a city, but precise location tracking does not need not be on all the time. All lot off apps request access to your location data. Location tracking precision can be turned down when it’s not necessary to be so accurate. It can be shut off all together for a phone that is slow that other apps won’t work well.

Remove Screen Widgets

Remove lock screen widgets from your phone if your phone is running so slow that you cannot stand it. Although it may be fun, your phone might be running so slow because you have a lot of screen widgets that are always running. Lock screen widgets show information like the temperature, time, or animations. These widgets use up data in the background and make the phone slow to respond to keypad input.

Although screen widgets are convenient and may show useful information, can also cause your phone to run so slow and use up battery life faster than normal. Reduce or remove phone widgets to what’s essential.

Clear App Data Cache

Clear app data cache to help free up even more storage space. If your phone is running so slowly but you don’t want to delete any apps, you can clear cached data without losing any functionality. Cached data is just data the apps stores temporarily while is working or posting something. Cached data may be overwritten by new data, but usually it will not clear on by itself to free up space.

Both Android phones and iPhones can display which apps are suing the most cached data. Most of it is unnecessary and you can delete it safely.
Follow the instructions for your phone after you run the device maintenance check to figure which app are suing up storage space.

Disable Bloatware

Bloatware as any app that was preinstalled on your new phone by the device manufacturer or your wireless provider. Bloatware can include apps that you never wanted and probably don’t use. For example, on my Samsung phone came with a Samsung Health fitness tracker, an NFL football app, and Verizon account management apps, as well as other shopping apps these apps. Bloatware cannot be uninstalled unless you root the phone.

When you try to delete bloatware apps you will find that you cannot. However, you can clear their memory, stop them, and disable them from running. It is important to regain the used memory so you can solve why your phone is so slow. Follow the instructions below for your particular Phone operating system.

Check Your Phone Battery

The apps using up the most battery life also explain why my phone is so slow. Apps that are running in the background and using up data also use a disproportionate amount of battery life. Apps that drain your battery use up data are indicator of apps that make a phone slow.

If you notice that your phone is suddenly using a battery faster than normal, check the settings and permissions on any newly installed apps. If you can’t find anything new or unusual, adjust the settings to limit battery usage. A sudden decrease in battery life may mean that your phone is hacked or infected with malware. Optimizing battery life is one of the easiest ways to speed up a slow phone.

Check Android Battery Check

  1. Tap the settings icon to open the settings menu
  2. Scroll down to Device Maintenance
  3. Run the health check
  4. Run the health check
  5. In the lower left corner, tap Battery
Anroid Device Battery Screenshot
Anroid Device Battery Screenshot

iPhone Battery Check

Open up the settings app, and then navigate to Battery to see your phone’s percentage next to Maximum Capacity. This will give you an idea about whether or not your iPhone battery is in good health.

  1. Tap the Settings icon (gear)
  2. Scroll down to Battery
  3. Tap Battery Health

Motorola Moto Droid Z3 Battery Life

  1. Pull down menu
  2. Tap settings gear icon
  3. Tap battery

Update Apps That Cause a Phone to Run Slow

Update apps to the latest versions to keep your phone secure from hackers and optimized for the fastest performance. To keep your phone from being hacked and to use the latest features which may include using less battery and memory, keep all apps updated. You can save time by updating all apps at once.

Often app developers optimize programming and add new features. Apps that use less data will make your phone run faster than it used to. When you accept and app update, check the app permissions, data usage settings, and privacy settings. I’ve noticed that on my Samsung phone that app updates often undo my optimization settings causing my phone to start using more battery and run slowly.

Read the blog post about How To Update All Android Apps At the Same Time

Updates Phone Operating System

Update the operating system for phones that run so slow that you can barely use them. Updating the operating system to the latest version is one of the best things you can do to protect your phone against hackers and keep it from running so slow that its inoperable. Hardware firmware updates optimize phone memory too. They can also optimize battery usage and memory storage both of which can cause a phone to run slow.

With all updates, revisit data usage settings to stop apps from running in the background and slowing your phone down.

Reboot Slow Phones

It’s a good idea shut off and reboot your phone at least once in a while. If you don’t want to shut your phone off every night, try to reboot it at least once each week. Leave it off for a full minute to clear out the memory. You won’t lose any settings, data, photos, videos, or files.

Clearing temporary memory will help clear make your phone stop running so slow that you cannot get to apps fast. Apps that are running in the background may be the reason your phone is so slow.

To roboot any phone, hold down the power button until the phone shuts off. Leave your phone off for a least a minute before powering up again.

Upgrade to a New phone

If none of the above steps have worked, you may find that it is time for an upgrade. Even with plenty of storage space, a new phone will not work well with newer operating systems and the latest apps. You may need to splurge for a new phone that can handle running image heavy apps and the full featured operating systems. With a new phone you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest security features like biometric login including fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. These are the most secure way to protect your device against hackers or if it is accidentally lost.

It’s a matter of time before your old phone can no longer work quickly with the newest operating systems. Worse yet, it may be unsupported. Microsoft just announced the end of support and patches for Windows 7 forcing people to upgrade to new laptops and computers.

Do a Factory Reset

If you don’t want to buy a new phone but deleting apps and clearing the memory still leaves your phone running slowly, then try a factory reset. A factory reset is an extreme measure that will get rid of any malware or other problems with your phone operating system. This is why many people opt buy a new Phone rather than doing a factory reset.

You lose all of your app data, images, videos, and all settings on your phone. You’ll have to reinstall everything and have to adjust app permissions and optimize battery usage to keep your phone from running so slow again.

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Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers