Simple tips to optimize Android phones and boost performance

If you don’t have a top-of-the-range Android phone with top-end CPU, lots of RAM and gigabytes of storage, you should clear the memory, restart and optimize your device on a schedule.

Android phones need a bit more care and maintenance than an iPhone and this is because there is a wider range of specifications, which range from quite limited CPU, RAM and storage to very powerful devices. Many budget to mid-range phones do not have the luxury of the latest specifications, but with a few tweaks and a bit of optimization, they are fine for everyday use.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the latest specs and a mid-range device or even a budget model can do a lot more than you think. Provided they are not overloaded with apps, they can offer reasonable performance. Here are some ways to keep your Android phone optimized.

Restart and clear memory

If you have an Android phone, you should restart it once a week because it can have a beneficial effect on performance. After a restart, it will often run a bit better than before.

Restarting clears out the phone’s memory and it stops apps that are running in the background. There could be many apps in the background that are using memory and processing power. Some of them will automatically restart when the phone restarts, but even so, it is still useful to do and it can boost performance a little. Some apps will not auto-start and clearing them out provides an even bigger benefit.

Some phones, like my cheap-ish Samsung Galaxy M31, have an option in the Settings app to automatically restart the phone on a schedule. It can be set to automatically restart at a convenient day and time, like 3 AM on a Sunday morning and this gives it a good clear-out, which can boost performance a little.

I have Android 11 and Samsung One UI 3. The menus and options might be different on your phone, Android and One UI version, so you might need to hunt around for these features on other devices.

Samsung Device Care in the phone settings
Tap the three dots and go to Automation
  • Pull down from the top and tap the gear icon or open the Settings app
  • Find¬†Device Care and press it to open it
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner to show the menu and then press Automation
  • Press Auto restart at set times (press the text, not the switch)
  • Set the schedule and turn on the switch
Set a Samsung phone to automatically restart to optimize it
Restart the phone on a schedule

The days of the week are listed under Schedule and as many as required can be selected. It is possible to restart every day, but that is not really necessary. Press the time in the schedule section and choose a convenient time, such as sometime during the night when you are asleep. Mine restarts once, on Sunday, at 03:00 and is optimized for the week ahead.

Automatically optimize an Android phone

There are some useful optimization settings that keep the phone clean, free up memory and stop apps from consuming resources. RAM, storage and CPU might be limited on your phone, so optimizing it on a schedule will help to maintain performance.

Automation options in the Settings app on a Samsung phone
Samsung automation options
  • Go to the Settings app
  • Press Device care
  • Pres the three dots in the top right corner and select Automation
  • Press Auto optimize daily (the text, not the switch)
  • Turn on the master switch at the top
  • Turn on Close apps to free up memory at the bottom
  • Press Time and select a convenient time to do it every day
Auto-optimize a Samsung phone on a schedule
Optimize the phone on a schedule

When is it convenient to perform this automatic optimization? At night when you are asleep. Set it to 3 or 4 AM for example. When you wake in the morning and pick up your phone, it will be optimized for the day.

A faster phone

Don’t expect a huge difference when the phone is restarted each week and after the daily optimization, but it can be noticeable. It tends to affect the user interface and starting apps more than in-app performance. When an app is running, the CPU, RAM and storage speed affects the app performance.

Restarting and optimizing can help make the phone feel a bit snappier and less sluggish. It helps prevent the decline in performance over time that comes with running multiple apps and switching between them.


Photo by Mark Chan on Unsplash.

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