Android tablet or phone running slow?

android running slowAndroid is a great operating system, no question, but sometimes things can go wrong and you end up wanting to throw the thing out the window right? I’ll try and help you with this problem.

The first thing to do is to check that your settings are being backed up to the Google ‘cloud’. Go to settings then Backup and Reset. There should be a tick beside ‘Backup my data’ and one beside ‘Automatic Restore’. If those are not ticked, do so now and give it 30 minutes or so to ensure that the backup has been completed.

Next step depends on whether the slowdown problem has just started (within a few days or so) – if it has then it could have been caused either by a problem with the last installed app or an app that has reserved a large chunk of memory for itself. Try uninstalling the last few apps that you have installed (always tap the ‘clear data’ setting before tapping uninstall first as this will clear up any space the app has reserved or taken up). Then restart the device by shutting it down completely (hold the power button down until the prompt to shutdown or restart appears and choose shutdown). Turn it back on again and see if the slowness problem has been fixed.

In my case this didn’t work. I had a Nexus 7 that had been performing well until I noticed it had been showing down over a couple of weeks. I didn’t follow my own advice so had no idea what the cause was and the tablet was rapidly becoming impossible to use. Uninstalling all the most recent apps had no effect so I had to do the next step.

The final thing to try – and this usually is the answer for most Android slowdowns – is to do a ‘factory reset’. I know, this sounds drastic, but as long as you have checked the backup settings, no real problem. BUT, you must check some things before doing this process. You must know –

Your Gmail account (email address) and password and any logins for apps you have installed that need a username/password.

Then you must check –
* If you have an email account other than Gmail setup on your device, the reset will wipe all emails stored on it too, so you might want to save or send anything important to your Gmail account. The email settings will also be cleared, so you will need to know what these are – username/password/servers etc. If you just have your Gmail account then you can skip this step.
* If you have downloaded any documents or files that you want to keep then you will need to save these also. Again, this is unlikely, but I need to warn you just in case.

Finally, you should be in range of a WiFi connection as after the process all your favorite apps will be (automatically) reinstalled and your device settings will be restored from the Google backup which will use a considerable amount of data downloads.

When you are certain you have what you need, go to Settings, Backup and Restore and this time choose Factory data reset. Tap ‘Ok’ to agree to the warning about erasing all the data on the device and it will do just that. Note that devices with an external memory card may ask if you want to erase this also, you can answer no to this and of course, if you have been using the card to backup your photos or music please ensure you don’t erase it if you have used it for this purpose!

In most cases this will restore your phone or tablet back to the state it was when purchased. My tablet was running KitKat as it had updated itself several times since it was purchased and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was still running this after the reset process completed. I expected that it would have gone back to the original version which was Jelly Bean. In my case, the Nexus 7 was now back to running as quickly and smoothly as it had been so it was a very successful procedure for me.

If it saves your sanity then my job is done! Let us know in the comments how it worked for you if you tried a factory reset.



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About the Author : Andy describes himself as "an older geek" and has been assisting seniors with understanding technology for many years. He is involved with his local seniors computer club and believes that seniors appreciate assistance from those of a similar age group.

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Thanks, Andy

2 Comments on Android tablet or phone running slow?

andy said : administrator Report 3 years ago

Hi Andy, I don't have much experience with low priced phones other than the ones that I've reviewed here. Maybe another reader can help?

Andy Faithfield said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I desperately need a new phone with a decent camera but am also broke. Can you recommend a decent phone for as low a price as possible.

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