April 1st, 2021

Why is my phone so slow? How to speed up your iPhone and Android

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Why is phone running slow Speed up slow iPhone Android Asurion

When your phone starts running slower than usual, it can be a headache. Sometimes it happens suddenly, and sometimes it's a gradual change over time. What's the cause? And what can you do to speed your phone up?

At Asurion, our experts help millions of customers get the most out of their favorite tech every day, from diagnosing your phone's problems to resolving them as quickly as possible. Here are their tips for fixing a slow iPhone and Android phone, as well as tips for helping your phone charge faster.

What is slowing down my phone?

If you've noticed your phone running slower lately, there are a few common issues that may be behind the speed decrease:

  • Not enough storage space on device
  • Too many open apps or programs
  • Poor battery health
  • Running an older operating system
  • Spotty internet connection
  • Phone is overheating

Related: 10 tips to keep your phone from overheating

Why do phones slow down over time?

It's normal for older phones to get a little sluggish. Not necessarily due to the device itself, but due to the storage and performance requirements of newer app and operating system updates that you download onto your phone. Those updates are typically built with newer phone models in mind, so older devices may not be able to handle them as well.

How to speed up an iPhone

If your iPhone seems to be running slower than usual, here a few solutions to try:

1. Close open apps

If too many apps are open, your iPhone might be working overtime.

  • For iPhone 8 and below, double-tap the Home button. Swipe up on an app to close it.
  • For devices without home buttons, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause without lifting a finger. Tap and hold the app that you want to close, and then tap the minus sign.

2. Restart the device

An occasional restart is a great way to clear unnecessary background processes that may be causing performance issues.

3. Check the storage

A phone may struggle to perform even simple tasks if it's low on storage. To check the available storage, tap Settings > General > iPhone Storage. If storage is low, check out our tips for how to free up storage space on your smartphone.

4. Look for damage

If the phone has physical or liquid damage, it may not work properly. Here's how you can tell if your phone has water damage.

How to speed up a slow Android phone

If your Android phone feels like it's slowed down to a crawl, here are four things you can try to speed it up:

1. Clear your cache

If you have an app that's running slowly or crashing, clearing the app's cache can solve a lot of basic issues. 

  • Go to your device Settings.
  • Choose Apps.
  • Click on an often used app, like Chrome. Then, click on Storage.
  • Click on the Clear Cache icon in the bottom right corner.
  • Repeat these steps for the other apps on your device.

2. Clean up your phone storage

Your phone speed will take a hit if your phone is cluttered up with too many rarely used apps. To see what apps are currently using storage space on your device and delete those you can live without, go to Settings > Device Care (depending on phone model, it might be Battery and device care) > Storage. For more tips on decluttering your phone, check out our guide for how to free up space on your smartphone.

3. Disable live wallpaper

Sure, live wallpaper on your home screen looks fancy, but it can be a big drag on your device's performance. If you're experiencing a long delay when switching between apps or when clicking out of an app to go back to the home screen, try going back to a static background and see it it helps. Use a favorite image from your gallery, or if you need inspiration, check out Unsplash's collection of free HD phone wallpapers.

4. Check for software updates

Software updates generally contain bug fixes, new features, and performance improvements. To see if there are new updates available, go to Settings > Software Update > Check for updates. Most updates are standard procedure, but it's still a good idea to back up your phone beforehand. 

What to do if your phone is still running slow

If you've tried all of the above and your phone is still lagging, you may need to perform a factory data reset. Only do this as a last resort. A factory data reset will erase everything from the phone and restore it to the software's original settings.

Why is my phone charging slow?

If your phone is taking forever to charge, there are three main things to look for:

Phone charging slowly Asurion

  1. Check the cable. A bad charging cord is the number one culprit behind a slow phone charge. Check the cable for any signs of physical damage – make sure it isn't frayed or bent. Next, make sure that the cable is manufacturer-approved. If not, it may not perform as well as one that is.
  2. Switch out the power adapter. A bad power brick can also cause your phone to charge slowly. Before you give the power cable the old heave-ho, check to make sure that the power adapter you have plugged into the wall is not the problem.
  3. Clean the phone's charging port. A charging port filled with dust and grime can keep your phone from charging properly. To clean your phone's charging port, grab a toothpick or a cotton swab and gently (and slowly) clean out the port.

Protect your phone

For more than 25 years, Asurion has helped 300 million customers protect, connect, and enjoy the tech they love most. And smartphones are no exception. Your life is on your device, make sure it’s protected. Learn more about Asurion phone insurance plans today.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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