Mobile phones are a vital tool in the modern society, both for social and business uses.
Most people can’t go a few hours, let alone a few minutes, without uploading a selfie to Snapchat or Instagram, messaging their friends on Facebook or, for some, communicating with clients and other business contacts.
But what happens when the performance of your phone slows to a grinding halt? What if the camera roll stops rolling, or your phone is loading apps or websites at a snail’s pace?
Here are 5 simple tricks that you can try to heal your ailing phone before you make the hasty decision to buy a new SD card, replace it or send it in for repairs.
1 – Clearing The Cache
Clearing the cache is a simple and painless process for most, but it is often the most overlooked. This should be the first port of call for anyone having performance issues.
Simply put, the cache is a temporary storage space where a device stores files that it needs to access for a short period of time.
Examples are when you install or uninstall software, temporary files are created or extracted to this area so they can be executed and then they usually remove themselves, but some don’t.
Sometimes something as simple as starting a download which doesn’t finish can easily clog up your phone’s cache.
To remove these temporary files and free up storage space you can navigate into the settings of each app and clear its cache, but this is often time-consuming and a boring task.
2 – Restarting your mobile device
The most-simple, but more-often-than-not the most effective, solution is restarting your device.
Simply hold the power button and hit the restart option or, if that isn’t available, powering down and then powering back on again.
If your phone is really dire and is too slow to even restart, take the battery out and then put it back in again or if your device’s battery is non-removable, such as in most Google and Motorola devices or most tablets, perform a simulated battery pull by holding the power button until the device switches off.
This will close any background applications draining your resources that you might have not noticed.
3 – Closing background applications
This is one of the things that drive me crazy; when a friend opens their phone to show you something on a different app.
They press the button to open the App Drawer to switch to an open app and you see that they have so many apps open, there’s one for each person in your town.
It surprises me how these people can function in life, but not to worry because there’s an easy fix for this:
CLOSE THEM DOWN
In most phones, the operating system minimises background activity on apps you have open to allow for multitasking but sometimes you can open an app and then return to the home screen, thinking it’s closed, but in reality it’s still there in the background.
Depending on how many apps you’ve been on, or even website tabs, your App Drawer can overflow with running apps and make your phone perform really sluggishly.
The best thing to do is make sure that when you aren’t using an app, it’s closed down from the app drawer.
To access this it’s usually the soft-touch button to the far right. Then just swipe the app tab to the left to close it.
Not only will this improve performance, your battery will also thank you for it and you can get extra time from a single charge.
4 – Uninstalling apps you don’t need
We’ve all done it.
We’ve installed the brand new up and coming app.
THE APP that everyone’s talking about, only to find out that it’s overhyped and useless.
Most people’s instinct is to just uninstall it straight off the bat, but some people leave it installed and don’t use it.
Whether this is the case, or you’ve simply left an app installed that you don’t use much, you should simply uninstall it.
Uninstalling applications you don’t regularly use is an obvious benefit, because it will free up storage space and with this space available your phone will perform faster, because it will have much more room for manoeuvre in tasks, such as storing temp files 😉
5 – Checking your SD card
Your phone has internal storage but for many this isn’t enough, so a lot of people pick up micro-SD (Secure Digital) storage cards that can provide tons of additional space.
Sometimes if you drop your phone or even replace the sim or battery, an SD card can be slightly dislodged and this causes performance issues as it isn’t properly in place.
It’s good to make sure that your SD card is pushed as far in as it can go any time you open the back of your phone, or your SD slot.
Sometimes your SD card can’t be properly mounted as a storage device for whatever reason, due to an underlying software problem or a simple glitch.
A good way to make sure your SD card isn’t the culprit is to dismount and remount your SD card by going into your storage settings.
This can be accessed from most Android devices by navigating to Storage in your settings and scrolling down to the SD Card.
If your phone’s performance still hasn’t improved after performing every step so far, this is the best thing to do.
If this doesn’t work, backup your SD card and format it to remove every last trace of data on it and revert it to factory settings.
If that doesn’t work either then, as a last resort, turn your phone off and remove the SD card entirely and restart.
If your phone is fine after all of this, then your SD card is most likely corrupt and needs replacing.