iPhone displaying the time

There’s nothing more satisfying than a blazing-fast smartphone. Unfortunately, like most things, your device will slow down over time.

Smartphone slow-downs can happen for a variety of reasons: Too many apps, not enough storage, poor battery life.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to keep your device running smoothly and efficiently. Here are five simple tips for speeding up your smartphone.

Restart your phone

First thing’s first. Many of us never shut off our phones; over time, that can lead to performance issues.

How to restart your smartphone

iPhone X or higher:

  1. Press and hold either volume button and the side button until you see the power off slider
  2. Drag the slider to power off
  3. Then, press and hold the side button to turn your device back on

iPhone SE, 8, 7, or 6:

  1. Press and hold the side button until you see the power off slider
  2. Drag the slider to power off
  3. Then, press and hold the side button to turn your device back on

iPhone 5 or earlier:

  1. Press and hold the top button until you see the power off slider
  2. Drag the slider to power off
  3. Then, press and hold the side button to turn your device back on

Android devices:

  1. On most devices, simply press and hold the power button until your phone powers off
  2. Your screen may prompt you to tap Restart

Update your operating system

If your phone has started slowing down, or you experience unusual glitches in your favorite apps, your operating system (or OS) may be out-of-date.

OS updates keep your device working at its best by removing outdated features, patching security issues, and improving the stability of your device. 

How to check for OS updates on your phone  

iPhone users: Go to Settings > General > Software Update

Android users: Settings > About Phone > System Updates (or Software Updates)

Delete apps

Too many apps can slow down your device’s performance. To keep your phone running efficiently, take some time to review the apps on your phone, and delete the ones you aren’t using. (Remember: You can reinstall apps if you need them later.)

How to review and delete apps

 iPhone users:

  1. Tap and hold on the app you wish to remove
  2. Tap Delete App
  3. Tap Delete

Or, tap and hold on any icon until all the icons begin to wiggle. Then, click the X in the corner of the app you wish to remove and select Delete. Select Done in the top right corner of your phone screen when you’re done.

Android users:

  1. Open the Play Store app on your device
  2. Tap Menu (or Settings) > My apps & games
  3. Find the app you wish to remove
  4. Tap Uninstall

Delete your old text messages

Slowness often means your device is simply running out of space. That’s because your device is, by default, set to keep every message you send and receive, forever.

Here’s how to save space on your phone by deleting old text messages.

iPhone users:

To delete all old messages:

  1. Go to Settings > General
  2. Select iPhone Storage
  3. Enable ‘Auto Delete Old Conversations’

This will automatically remove your messages and attachments sent before a certain time period (which you can change.)  

To delete messages in batches:

  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Tap the three dots in the top right > Select Messages
  3. Select the messages you wish to delete
  4. Select Delete in the bottom right

To delete messages one-by one:  

  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Swipe left on the message you wish to delete
  3. Select Delete

Android users:

  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Tap and hold each conversation you wish to delete
  3. Select Delete

Run a factory reset

If the tips above don’t improve your phone’s performance, your final option may be a full or factory reset.

A reset will restore your phone to like new condition, eliminating any junk that’s bogging down its performance.

But a factory reset will also wipe out all of your data, like your photos, texts, apps, and important files. You’ll need to backup your data to avoid losing it.

To backup your data, check the Apple website (iPhone users) or Google Android website (Android users.)

How to reset your iPhone or Android

iPhone users: Open Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings

Android users: Check the Google Android website for device-specific instructions.

Don’t forget to clean your phone—literally

Improving your phone’s performance is helpful, but keeping it clean is even more important.

This may shock you, but research has found that phones can be up to 10 times dirtier than toilet seats. And according to a survey, the average person touches their phone over 2,000 times a day.

Makes you want to wash your phone, doesn’t it?

Phone manufacturers recommend cleaning your phone by wiping it down with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or disinfecting wipes (such as Clorox.)

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