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How to speed up your Android phone in 2 easy steps

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Many of us have been there: That shiny, awesome new Android phone that could do no wrong when you bought it has turned into a sluggish, pain in the backside to use. Why do our smartphones become slow within just a few months?

Often this happens because the user has too many apps running at once, hogging all of the phone’s virtual memory and bringing things to a near-standstill. Other times it can be due to the phone’s internal storage being clogged up with stuff, but either way it’s extremely frustrating. Fortunately we’ve come up with a quick and easy way to speed up your Android smartphone.

Before we begin, this method will only work for phones running Android 4.0 and above. If you have an older device such as the Samsung Galaxy Ace and are running Android 2.3, then this guide unfortunately won’t apply. There are still ways of speeding up these older phones however, and we’ll have a guide for that real soon.

Part 1 – Enable Developer Options

The options we need to tweak in order to make your phone faster are often hidden within a Settings category called ‘Developer Options’. Go into the Settings app on your phone and see if it’s there – some phones have it there by default and if you do, you’re good to skip to Part 2. If not, try these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and select About phone / About device
  3. Select Software information
  4. Select More
  5. Keep tapping ‘Build number’ until you see the message ‘You are now a developer!’
  6. Developer options will now be an option within the main Settings menu

Note: Sometimes you’ll find the Build number option within Software information or another submenu. As long as you can find it, tap it repeatedly until you get the developer options.

Part 2 – Make it speedy!

Once you have access to Developer options you can tweak some settings in order to speed up your phone. Note that this should make scrolling through menus, opening apps and multitasking seem quicker – it won’t make your phone load webpages, download apps or do anything else faster, unfortunately.

The three options you need to edit are called Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale. You may find these in the first submenu of Developer Options or you may have to scroll down and select Advanced to find them.

  1. Tap Window animation scale and select Animation scale .5x
  2. Tap Transition animation scale and select Animation scale .5x
  3. Tap Animator duration scale and select Animation scale .5x

Restart your phone and voila! Look how fast it glides between homescreens, opens apps and swipes between pages. Your phone is now (hopefully) a joy to use again, or at least it’s performing well enough so that you don’t want to throw it through a window. If you’re not fussy about fancy animations of effects when you open an app or swipe across a page, you can opt to turn the three animation options above off completely. It’s your call.

Fun fact: This is essentially what Apple did with iOS 7.1 in order to make iPhone owners go “ooh, it’s so much faster now!” after updating.