If you have an older Android device, you might be looking to increase your device’s speed, and make it run faster. 

You might have an old Samsung phone or an old Google Pixel that still has decent specs by today’s standards, which you want to keep using for another year or two before having to upgrade it.

In this guide, we’ve explained five ways to speed up an Android phone, to make it run faster again.

1. Delete unnecessary files 

If your phone is running low on internal memory, this could be part of the reason why it’s not running as fast as it once used to.

Often, the easiest way to clear up some space is to delete old photos and videos, and these types of files take up a lot of memory.

You should also clean up any downloaded files, such as large PDF files that could be taking up a lot of space.

Remember, on most Android phones, there’s no recycle bin, so once you delete a file, it will be gone forever. If there are important files you want to keep, take a backup on your computer before permanently deleting them.

2. Uninstall unnecessary apps

Another common reason for a lack of storage space is the apps you have installed, especially mobile games. Some apps have lots of visual assets, meaning that they take up gigabytes of space on your phone’s storage drive.

Begin by looking at apps you haven’t used for a long time, and uninstall what you don’t really need. 

In uninstalling old apps and deleting unnecessary files, you want to ensure that your phone has at least 25% of its storage capacity available for use, in order to speed up your phone. If you already have at least 25% free, it’s still worth deleting old files – you should notice a slight speed increase. 

3. Clear caches and temporary files 

For the apps that you want to keep, you can reduce the amount of storage space they take up by clearing the app cache.

To do this, go to Settings > Apps, and choose the app that you want to clear the cache of. Then, there will be an option to permanently remove this temporary data.

Normally, there are no major downsides to clearing the cache of all the apps on your device. Doing so will just mean that you’ll need to login to your accounts again, and any tabs that you have open on your web browser for example will be lost.

4. Update your phone’s Android version

If you have an old phone, you might be running an older, slower version of the Android operating system. In this case, you might be able to get faster speeds by doing an update.

In most cases, your phone will tell you when an update is available, and prompt you to download and install it. However, it’s always worth checking whether you’re actually using the latest version of Android that’s compatible with your device.

To do this, go to Settings > System > Advanced > System update > Check for update.

You’ll need to ensure that you have enough free space on your phone to download the update before doing this, assuming that an update is available. To clear up some space, you can follow the first three steps we explained in this guide. 

5. Update installed apps

If your phone feels slow when using apps, rather than when on the home screen or in Android system menus, it could be that it’s the old versions of apps that are slowing you down.

To fix this, go to the Play Store, navigate to your list of installed apps, and begin downloading and installing app updates. Ensure that you’re connected to Wi-Fi first of course, to prevent using 4G or 5G data.

However, we wouldn’t recommend turning on automatic app updates in the Play Store if you have an old phone. If your phone starts to download updates during the day, while you’re trying to use it, this could make the phone feel even slower.