Why Is My Phone So Slow and How Do I Fix It?

Mobile Phone

There comes a point where phone users might ask themselves, “why is my phone so slow?” While it’s a widespread problem for those who have phones, many don’t know the reasons why this happens and how to fix it, which often leads them to think that they might need to replace their current models. While a slow phone might be a sign of the phone’s aging, it can easily be fixed in a couple of minutes. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at the causes and possible remedies to boost your phone’s performance easily, even for beginners.


Why Is My Phone So Slow: The Reasons

There are many reasons why your phone is starting to slow down. The most common cause is the over downloaded apps, photos, and files on your mobile phone. 

While some of the apps might not look like they’re here to gobble up your memory storage, but the files within the app might. So, when they aren’t properly stored, it could slow down your phone. This is especially the problem if you’re overloading a phone with photos or videos. 

Having too little memory space is another common reason why phones slow down. The apps and the files that you keep on your phone may exceed its capacity, and in an attempt to function correctly, the phone will slow down. This is usually the problem for gamers who use phones with little memory to install a game that requires more. 

apps slow phones down
© Photo by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay

It’s always important to check the capacity of the phone before you download an app or purchase a new model. It’s also important to consider why you’re buying a phone in the first place because this will ultimately help you in terms of picking a phone’s memory size.

Another reason for your phone slowing down is that it is running on outdated software. While this problem can easily be solved by updating the software, this might not be the case for those who are using older models. In that case, maybe it’s time to consider getting a new phone. 

These are just some of the reasons why your phone is slowing down. In most cases, problems can be solved by performing a soft reset or a factory reset on iPhone or Android, but in case it doesn’t, we have a couple of ways to help you speed up your phone performance.


How to Speed Up Phone Performance?

If you’ve been using your phone for some time now, you’ll find yourself asking: why is my phone so slow? Usually, slowing down is a sign that your phone might be having a problem, you might not have memory left, or your phone is aging. 

It’s effortless to speed up your phone’s performance, and yes, you can do it by yourself. That said, here are a couple of ways to speed up your phone.


1.) Check Your RAM

check device status
© Photo by Avast

Many users don’t think about their phone’s RAM, which often makes the phone slow. RAM is used to run apps and store their data. It’s an essential thing to consider when getting a phone because having more RAM will not only make your phone run smoother, but it will also help you download and use more apps. 

To check how much RAM your phone has on an Android, go to Settings > System > Developer Options > Memory. There, you’ll be able to check your phone’s RAM usage, and it’s total capacity.

For iPhone, you can simply go to Settings > General > Storage to check how much memory you’ve used and how much you have left.

Alternatively, phone cleaners such as Avast can also show you the amount of RAM consumed and remaining.

Before purchasing a new phone, it’s advised that you get a phone with a RAM that will correspond with what you intend to do with your phone. If you plan to do heavy gaming or editing on your phone, 8 GB of RAM will not be enough for you. 

Again, remember that having more RAM will allow you to download more apps. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking of getting a new phone.


2.) Free Up Some Space

If you’re asking why your phone is so slow, odds are you have a lot of things on your phone. The best way to help your phone run smoothly again is to declutter your files and apps. By deleting apps and other types of media, you can effectively make your phone run at a high speed. 

An excellent way to free up some space is by deleting apps that you have not used in a long time. You can always check on the Play Store or App Store how long it has been since you lasted used an app. If you find an app that you haven’t used in months, it’s time to uninstall it to save space. 

Another way to free space is by storing your files and photos online. You can easily do this by syncing your phone to cloud storage or by backing up your phone. 

To perform a phone back-up on Android, simply go to Settings > Account, and choose the account that you want to sync with. You can also check here if your automatic sync function is turned on or not.

For iPhone, Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Tap Back Up Now. The process should automatically begin. If you’re having trouble syncing through your phone, you can always do it on a PC through iTunes.

Alternatively, it’s always handy to have a PC or a flash drive around so you can just transfer your files there to avoid clogging up your phone.


3.) Update Your Software

A phone that says 'Update' on screen.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pixabay

Often time, your phone will slow down because there are bugs that need to be fixed, or there are apps that are not compatible with your current software. For this, you will have to update your software.

To update or check if you’re already running on an updated version for Android, go to Settings > About Phone > Software Updates. From there, you can check if your software is up-to-date. Otherwise, it will prompt you to update it.

If you have an iPhone that didn’t automatically update, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update. If it’s not updated, you can still prompt updates on your phone itself or iTunes.

Software updates are essential because they contain security updates and patches against bugs that might be the cause of your phone slowing down. You might also want to update your apps after updating your software to make sure that they run smoothly.


4.) Clear Cache and Cookies

clear cache on iPhone
© Photo by Avast

Cache and cookies from your browsers take up space too. If you have Google Chrome as your default browser, simply head to your browser and open its settings that you can find on the hamburger menu. Once you’ve opened settings, go to Privacy > Clear Browsing Data.

From there, you’ll be able to select which data to clear and the timeframe of cookies and cache to clear.

While you’re at it, you might also want to clear up your system cache. System cache is temporary data from your software or your apps that are stored on your phone. To do this, go to Settings > Storage > Other Apps. From there, just choose the app that you want to delete cache from.

Note that system cache gets rebuilt by the system, so its best to check your apps from time to time and clear it.

For iPhone users, you can go to Settings > Safari > Clear History & Web Data. It’s as simple as that! Doing this will boost your iPhone in minutes.


5.) Turn Off Background Apps

A common reason why your phone is slow is that there are existing background apps. Background apps are applications that continue to run even after you’ve moved on to doing something else. If not optimized, it can use up a lot of your battery and also take up some valuable memory space. 

You can check which apps are running through Settings > System > Developer Options > Processes. There, you’ll be able to identify which apps are taking up too much space and the ones that run in your background.

You might find that some of the apps are default apps that the phone needs to function correctly. You don’t want to mess up with these. Instead, look for the apps that you installed personally and choose which one to terminate or stop.

To check the apps, go to Developer Options > Running Services. Here, you can automatically choose which apps to stop. However, be careful when tapping because if you mistakenly select a system app, your phone could encounter more problems.

iPhone ideally lets its system take care of the background apps, but you can also check the Background App Refresh to keep them from running in the background. Simply go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh to toggle which apps can run in the background.

You can also opt to delete or uninstall the app that’s taking too much space, provided that it’s not an app that’s essential to you.


6.) Use Phone Cleaner Apps

Photo taken from novahax.com
An Essential tool: AVG Cleaner

Phone cleaner apps or even anti-virus apps are a great way to help stop your phone from slowing down. They monitor and optimize your phone to help keep it in shape. Some cleaners have functions to automatically clean your cache, stop background apps, and delete unwanted files. They also help to monitor your phone’s battery and mass-delete apps, if necessary. 

Having a phone cleaning app on your phone helps to not only clean up space but also keep your phone in check.

Depending on the brand and the model of your phone, a phone cleaner should be one of the default apps that come with your phone. If you don’t want to use your phone’s default cleaner app, you can opt to install and use apps like the AVG Cleaner Pro or Avast.


7.) Factory Reset

samsung settings via reset
© Photo by Samsung

If you’ve tried doing everything but still go back to the old question “why is my phone so slow?”, your last resort will be a factory reset. Doing a factory reset or a hard reset will erase all of the data on a phone’s internal memory. This means that the settings, applications, and data stored in the memory will be removed, and the device will be reverted to its original state when you first bought it. This process will fix most problems that phones have that troubleshooting won’t fix. 

Before you perform a factory reset, though, you’ll want to back up your data and perform any other troubleshooting precautions such as enabling USB debugging. You might also want to learn how to root your phone. Note that performing a factory reset on an Android or Samsung device differs from the process to factory reset an iPhone. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the process to minimize errors.



How Much RAM Do I need?

How Often Should I Clean My Phone?

How Do I Optimize My Phone? 


Why Is My Phone So Slow: Wrap-Up

Always remember to keep an eye on your phone for problems and always try to look for the cause of it before you result to replacing phones. Often, users will replace their phones just because it’s slowing down, but what they don’t know is that it is a problem that has simple remedies they can do at home.

In all, it’s best to keep your phone clean at all times. It helps to regularly check your phone’s storage and keep track of what is running on your phone. Don’t install apps or keep files unless you need them so that you won’t use up too much of your phone’s memory.