There comes a time in every smartphone’s life when age catches up, and even the lightest and most basic tasks start to drag. For the premium flagships, that time may be a year or two after you’ve bought them. But for most pocket-friendly gadgets, a few months are usually all it takes for the struggle to begin. Either way, there isn’t any such thing as “future-proof” in the smartphone world.
Mid-range and entry-level Android smartphones are particularly infamous for gradual slowdowns down the road, where slow booting, buggy apps, and lagging screen swipes become the order of the day.
Nevertheless, the situation isn’t exactly helpless. Although buying a newer and better smartphone may seem like the only way out, you could save the money and your device by performing a few simple tricks. Below are five strategies that can effectively rejuvenate your aging smartphone.
1. Removing Unused Apps
If you’ve had your smartphone for a while, you have probably amassed an impressive collection of apps, games, and utilities. Sure, some may be essential, but if you investigate closely, you’ll likely notice a good number that you hardly ever use. Having too many installed applications on your smartphone not only strains the storage but also hogs processing resources when they’re running in the background.
When your phone starts slowing down, therefore, getting rid of dispensable apps is a smart first step. Go to Applications in Settings, or just long-press on the app’s icon on the App Drawer and drag it to the top or bottom of the screen to uninstall.
Some pre-installed applications may not allow you to delete them entirely, but they can be disabled to free up some RAM.
2. Freeing up the Storage
Limited internal storage often takes a toll on performance, so if yours is a budget smartphone, it’s good practice to maintain a decent amount of free space at all times. After uninstalling useless apps, therefore, go through your files and delete as much as you can.
To free up even more space, go to Applications on the Settings menu and clear the cache data of your frequently used apps. Android applications tend to save some information on active memory when you close them so that they can be quickly re-launched when needed. Although cache data can speed up your device by promoting app loading speeds, it often builds up over time, eventually choking up your internal memory.
3. Updating the Firmware and Apps
Software and app updates aren’t always about introducing new features. In fact, developers often release upgrades to fix bugs and enhance performance. Therefore, updating the firmware and applications usually breathes life into a slow smartphone.
Available updates typically appear as notifications on the Status Bar, but you can trigger a manual search for a firmware or app update in Settings or the Play Store respectively.
4. Removing Live Wallpapers, Excess Widgets, Custom Launchers, and Animations
One of the best things about Android OS is that it enables users to do with the interface as they see fit. The Play Store is filled with customization utilities for everything, from the UI to native apps like Messages and the keyboard. While giving your phone a personalized feel is great, many customization apps aren’t exactly optimized to run smoothly on all Android smartphones, and could, therefore, be slowing down your phone.
If you have uninstalled useless apps, freed your storage and ensured that everything is up to date, but your phone is still struggling, try to restore the interface to default.
You may also want to avoid using live wallpapers, excess animations and data-intensive widgets to free up RAM for your essential applications. Live wallpapers and widgets are easy to remove, but disabling stock animations will likely require you to access Developer Options in Settings.
5. Resetting the Software
If everything else fails, reverting to factory settings could be the move that finally does the trick. Resetting an Android smartphone starts with creating a backup of all your data, either offline on a computer or in a cloud-based storage, then triggering a complete reset of the firmware. Resetting wipes the memory clean and restores the software to how it was when you bought the phone.
Backup and Reset will give your gadget the fresh start it needs. You can then start to employ proper storage and app management tactics to maximize your phone’s life before the next reset.
Smartphones, like most other electronic devices, are not immune to the ravages of time. The best smartphones on the market may keep going for a while, but even they will start slowing down after a few years. Nevertheless, the tips above will help prolong the life of your phone by keeping it in peak condition, despite its age.
| About the Guest Author:
Vigilance Chari is a freelance writer currently covering tech news and gadgets at LaptopNinja. She is an International presenter and published author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time as an enthusiastic professional party planner and part-time painter.