Why is My Android Running So Slow?

When you first get your brand new Android phone, it runs so smooth. You’re mesmerized by how responsive it is. Then a few months go by. Suddenly you have to tap things twice for it to respond. Apps now take forever to load. What happened? Why is it running so slow? There could be a few reasons.

Not enough memory

If you have loaded your Android with tons of apps and data, it can slow down the device significantly. Check how much memory you have available under Settings > SD card & phone storage and look in the “Physical memory” section. The more you have available, the better. Consider removing apps that you don’t need or ones that take up a lot of space.

App services running in the background at start-up

Some apps install services that constantly run in the background. As you install more and more apps, more items may be constantly running. This can use up precious memory. Restart your Android, then check under Settings > Applications > Running services to see a list. Uninstall the apps associated with the services you don’t need if possible. Some apps may not be removable because they are forced upon you by your wireless provider. If there are too many of those (Hello Samsung on Verizon) you may want to root your device so that you can remove the bloatware.

Cache needs wiping

There is a cache partition on most Android devices that stores items that are accessed the most. After a while, it can become clogged with junk, causing slow performance. You can usually wipe the cache by accessing the recovery screen at startup. Each device has it’s own method for accessing the screen.

Rooted users sometimes claim that clearing the “Dalvik Cache”  helps with speed. The steps for clearing the Dalvik Cache differ depending on the ROM and device you’re using. So you’ll have to “Google it” if you want to learn how.

Android System Recovery screen

A typical recovery screen for an Android device.

Your device is too old for the version of Android you’re running

Device makers want to do their best in providing the latest version of the Android OS to their users. On a few occasions, over-the-air updates have been provided to devices that shouldn’t have. For example, running Android 2.3 on a Droid 1 may be too much for the hardware to handle.

Some people may root the device and try to push a newer OS on their device as well, resulting in sluggish performance. You’ll need to turn off some of the bells and whistles, such as animations or sounds so the hardware doesn’t have to work as hard. Downgrading your version of Android may also help increase speed.

Well, that covers some of the reasons your Android is running so slow. Do you have any advice to speed up your Android? Please share them in the comments section.


  1. Kishan Makwana says

    Download “Clean Master”, it will clean all the unnecessary cache data of the phone.
    & always have “Fast Reboot Pro”, it will reboot your device & you’ll have instant speed on your device.
    And If Your phone have Root Access then use “Rom Toolbox Pro” to handle all apps & process on the device.

  2. John says

    I have a HTC wildfire S, my phone is stupidly slow i have 3 apps downloaded, twitter, gtunes V6 and google. I have 44mb hard drive left. Whenever i choose something it take 0.5-2 seconds before anything happens which is very frustrating. any help apreciated

  3. celos says

    It all started at work. I noticed that my phone wasn’t loading youtube videos as quickly as before. I bought this s2 in December 12. My buddy told me to reset the phone back to factory setting. I did and it has gotten worse. I used to keep my phone clean. cleaned cookies, cache, web browsing history, etc. what should I do now?

  4. jose says

    i have a droid x and my android has been running stupid slow but i dont believe its anything to do with my apps or data because before it was running smoothly it takes 10 secs or even 30 secs just for me to do something on the phone as simple as just unlocking it but this has recently happened. i think it may be because i got a new update or because of the what happened to the wifi yesterday

  5. Dave says

    I agree with Jose. I have a Samsung Note 10 Tablet and Motorola Razr maxx HD. Both as of recently are running slow. There is a hesitation that occurs when running almost any function. Even the android menu bar on the phone and tablet stalls out and is unresponsive for a second or two. Tap and wait.., tap and wait… it is annoying. I have a ton of available memory and storage available. I think it is a recent update. I am uninstalling some recent updates to see if i can location the issue. Any one having similar problems?…?

  6. cici says

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 which was running incredibly smoothly until a couple days ago. Now apps take forever to open and constantly freeze, especially if they require internet, and internet pages take forever to load and often time out. I thought that it might be my wifi, but every computer in my house runs fine, and when I switch over to just using data, nothing changes…I’ve tried deleting some extra apps and clear my caches normally (I have 10 GB free space on my card too). Help?

  7. luckygosne says

    My phone is also running sluggish, I’ve been going thru all my apps trying to delete all I don’t need or rather my kids put game on it that take alot of space . How do I closemy tabs on google after I’m done and how can I block certain apps so kids can’t get on them .

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