Tablets have become an integral part of most people’s lives. Since everyone is using their tablets so much, these devices might have started to take longer to start up or open apps. To combat this problem, you have to know why your tablet slows down and what you can do to speed it up again. Everyone has experienced their electronic devices not working as fast as they used to.
Why do tablets slow down? There are multiple reasons as to why your tablet might be slowing down. The largest one is that as devices get older, they slow down. The hardware of the device may not be compatible with newer, faster-operating systems.
The remainder of this article will discuss other reasons why tablets slow down, and the many ways you can get them back up to speed.
Table of Contents
Reasons Why Tablets Slow Down
There are many reasons why your tablet might be slowing down. These reasons include:
As you use your tablet, you download more and more apps on it. These apps take up space on your tablet’s memory as you download and use them. The less memory space your tablet has, the slower your tablet will run.
As you download new apps onto your tablet, these apps have functions that sometimes run in the background, even when you are not using them. An example would be Facebook when it sends you notifications. The more apps you have running at a time, the slower your tablet will perform.
New and Improved Apps
As time goes on, developers and programmers aim to bring newer, more intense apps or versions of them to the consumer. These newer versions usually have more features and other add-ons. The new features and add-ons are demanding on all devices, especially on older devices that aren’t running the newest version of iOS. Therefore, the add-ons cause your tablet to not run as efficiently as it used to and slow down.
Along with newer apps and programs, the operating systems of devices get updated frequently. While these updates are usually given to most if not all of the devices that run the specific operating system, older devices have a hard time adjusting to the update. The changes in the update are not optimized for older devices, so older tablets might have a harder time incorporating the update into its system.
Malware on the Device
As tablets are used, sometimes, you might wander on to pages that aren’t secure or download an app with some bad coding. These mistakes happen to everyone.
When you download questionable content, the content sometimes comes with malware, which is malicious software that has any intent to harm you or your computer. The malware usually takes partial control over your tablet’s operating systems and proceeds to intrude into your private files. It can steal your data and spy on your tablet movements. It also hijacks core tablet systems, which maker your tablet run slowly.
If your screen is dirty, it is harder for the sensor pad to detect your fingerprints. Your tablet can take longer to respond when it struggles to detect your finger with the sensor.
How to Make a Tablet Run Faster
Many things cause your tablet to run slower than it should be running. Likewise, there are multiple steps you can take so that your tablet runs faster. The following lists 21 ways you can help your tablet run at the right speed:
1. Remove Unnecessary Apps
If there is an app on your tablet that you haven’t opened in over a month, then you should probably uninstall it. As you remove apps, it frees up storage space on your tablet. More storage space allows your tablet to run faster. Here’s a good way to go about finding which apps you should uninstall.
- Check Your Installed Apps: On your tablet’s settings, you can see all the apps you have downloaded on your tablet. Next to the app, it should tell you the last time you used that app. If it says you haven’t used it in over two months, consider getting rid of the app.
- See Which Apps Take Up the Most Space: This step differs slightly between Android and Apple tablets. For Apple tablets, you need to go into Settings, then into General, then into Usage & iCloud Storage, then into Manage Storage.
- Make Use of External Storage: If there is an app that you hardly use anymore but still has important information on it, you can save the data before deleting the app. By using an external memory card (Amazon), you can save the data of the app on the card and then delete the app. That way, if you ever need to bring the information from the app back, you can just insert the memory card and redownload the app.
All of these steps not only help make your tablet run faster, but they also help you keep your tablet contents nice and manageable.
2. Clear Out Data
Another way to clear up space in your memory is to clear out data in your apps. As you use apps over time, the apps collect data and store it so you can go back to where you were when you were using it. An example is YouTube. After using it once, YouTube records what videos you watched, so next time you use the app, it can recommend similar videos.
You can clear out this saved data by going to the specific app in your settings. There it will let you clear out normal data or cache data.
- Cache Data: Cache Data is just extra memory that was used for the app. If you clear out the cache data, your saved settings in the app should be fine, and you should be able to resume any activity that you were on in the app. On YouTube, this would mean that you would still get video recommendations.
- Normal Data: Clearing out normal data will also clear out storage, which will make your tablet run faster. However, clearing out normal data will also clear out any saved information from the app.
3. Keep Your Tablet Up to Date
Keeping your device updated helps your tablet run faster in multiple ways. The updated versions of apps and processing systems are designed to run faster, so your tablet will run faster with the update.
The updates released by companies also serve to fix bugs and weaknesses in the tablet’s or app’s systems, which makes it harder for malware to make use of the system. Preventing malware from getting on your tablet keeps your tablet running fast. The updates also force your tablet to restart, which closes background apps and clears some cache data, letting your tablet run faster.
4. Make Use of Antimalware Programs
Antimalware programs not only prevent malware and viruses from getting on your tablet. A lot of Antimalware programs also assist in removing malware from your device.
Programs such as Malwarebytes and Avast have free diagnostic tests you can run that will tell you if your device has any malware on it. Downloading these or similar antimalware programs will keep your tablet running fast as well as protect you from malware programs trying to steal your information.
5. Be Careful of Which Apps You Are Downloading
If you want to keep your tablet running fast, you need to be careful that you are not downloading any apps that might have malware. The best way to do this is to download apps that have been verified you can adjust the settings in your play store to make sure only verified, official apps are available for you to download. If you have any doubts about an app, you can check reviews and look up the app source before you download the app.
6. Keep Your Screen Clean
Cleaning your screen will make it easier for the sensor pad in your tablet to detect your finger and respond accordingly. By keeping your screen clean, your tablet will respond faster. You can wipe your screen with any device cleaner or use a specific screen cleaner (Amazon).
7. Format Your Device’s Storage
If you use external storage on your device, such as a MicroSD Card, you can format the storage, so it takes up less space. There are steps you can follow to format your external storage.
- To use a microSD card with an iPad, you will also need an SD card reader and a USB-C chord.
- Place the USB-C cord into the SD card reader on one end and the iPad on the other.
- Place the SD card in the SD card reader. Be careful not to force the card in.
- Tap Browse at the bottom of the screen, then the name of the device that appears below Locations. Tap Browse again if you do not see Locations.
- This should allow you to check the storage inside the device and arrange it the way you please to optimize space.
- To finish, disconnect the device; this should allow you to simply remove the connector from the tablet.
8. Switch to Lite Apps
Some apps take up more storage space and just tend to run slower on your tablet. Some of these apps offer Lite versions. These apps tend to have less of the features of the full apps, but they help your tablet run faster and more efficiently. They also are better if you are trying to restrict data usage. Some popular apps with Lite versions are Facebook Lite, Facebook Messenger Lite, Google Go, and YouTube Go.
9. Install Custom ROM
If your tablet seems to be getting slower and slower the older it gets, you could try downloading a custom ROM. These ROMs tend to get rid of industry add-ins that take up space in the software and cause it to run slower. However, downloading a custom ROM is more suited to those with an advanced understanding of tablets and how they work.
10. Cut Out Background Apps
Apps running in the background tend to drain your battery life and make your tablet run slower. Some simple ways to cut out background app usage is to disable any live wallpapers and remove widgets from your home screen. However, there is also a more advanced way to check which apps are running in the background. For more advanced tablets using iOS, you need to open the developer mode to do this. The steps are as follows:
- Plug your iPad into your Mac using a lightning cable.
- Press the Home button and the Power button on your tablet at the same time and hold them for a little over ten seconds.
- Keep pressing the Home button down but release the Power button and hold the Home button for another ten seconds.
- Stop pressing the Home button and wait for the iPad’s screen to go black; this should put your tablet in Device Firmware Update Reset Mode, or recovery mode.
- While your device’s screen is black, go to iTunes on your computer. iTunes should have a message saying your iPad is in recovery mode, which you can confirm by whether your screen is black or not.
- This should turn on developer mode on your iPad.
This will show you what apps on your tablet use background processes. If there are any apps listed that you don’t use, you can delete the app. Again, this is a more advanced method to help your tablet run faster.
11. Turn Off Animations
Turning off the animations on your tablet will make your tablet run faster; this is another advanced option if you are interested in making your tablet as fast as possible. Go Back into your settings, then to general. You can then go into the accessibility, then to reduce motion and switch it on. This option will mess with the aesthetic of your tablet’s running systems, so it might not be for everyone. If you don’t like it, you can go back in and change the option back to its normal output.
12. Clean Your Cache Partitions
Another advanced way to make your tablet quicker is to wipe the cache partition. To do this, you will need to put your tablet in recovery mode; this differs depending on the type of tablet, so you will need to look it up online. Wiping the cache partition will clean up memory space, allowing your tablet to move faster.
13. Make Use of Third-Party Launchers
Sometimes, you might feel that your tablet is running slowly because of how the tablet was made. Original Equipment Manufacturers sometimes add customizations to their tablets that make them feel like they’re running slow.
To combat this issue, you can use a third-party launcher, such as Nova Launcher or Apex Launcher. These launchers allow you to move some settings around. You can mess with these settings and see if they don’t make it feel like your tablet is faster than before.
14. Make Your Apps Use GPU
Devices usually consist of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which are used to run different functions. A lot of necessary apps use the CPU while gaming apps are supposed to use the GPU.
However, a lot of gaming apps end up using the CPU, which slows down your device. To make your games use the GPU, you can go into the Developer’s Options and select Force 2D GPU Rendering. However, doing this will most likely decrease battery life and might cause your device to be less stable.
15. Get Rid of Task Killer Apps
A lot of people feel like task killer apps will help increase their tablet’s performance; this is not true anymore. Such apps used to help clear data and storage by clearing data off of your RAM, but most processing systems have moved past this. Now, the systems keep unnecessary information off of the RAM, so your task killer app is just taking up space on your tablet. To have better performance
16. Overclock Your Tablet
Sometimes, to keep your tablet from overheating and make the battery last longer, the original equipment manufacturers will limit the speed of the device. If you need your tablet to run faster, you can overclock the device by using apps such as SetCPU. You should be careful while using these apps because it could lead to your tablet overheating. Overclocking your tablet can cause issues with overheating, if you experience this with your tablet then be sure to read our guide on why do tablets get hot?.
17. Get Rid of Photos and Videos
Low storage space causes your device to run more slowly. Besides apps, the next biggest culprit of using up storage space is media such as photos and videos. These can add up quickly, and before you know it, you’re almost out of storage space.
A great way to remove the photos and videos from your storage but still keep them on your tablet is by using Google Photos or some other cloud storage option. Once they have been uploaded to the cloud, you can delete the other version from your tablet. If you would still like a hard copy of the photos, you can move them to an external storage device, such as a microSD card.
18. Turn Off Auto-Sync
Most people have multiple accounts linked to their tablets; this allows them to read emails and other notifications as they come in. However, the syncing slows down the tablet.
To speed your tablet up, consider turning off auto-sync. To do this, go into Settings and then Accounts. Find Auto-sync, and you can turn it off altogether or just reduce the frequency of syncing. For apps that sync, such as Facebook, you will need to go into the app’s settings to reduce sync frequency.
19. Factory Reset
Do you have a lot of apps and just don’t know where to start getting rid of them? You can always perform a factory reset. A factory reset will completely reset your tablet, getting rid of all of the apps you have downloaded up to that point in time. From there, you can think about which apps you really need and then redownload them as applicable. This option is like approaching your tablet like a clean slate.
20. Save Power
Along with a factory reset, you should try to save your tablet’s power. The amount of battery power being used by an app is usually related to the amount of processor power the app is using. By turning off or deleting an app that is using a lot of power, you will also likely be making your tablet faster.
21. Download an App
Even though most of these suggestions are about deleting things from your tablet, there are actually apps you can download that will help your tablet run faster. Most of these apps help speed up your tablet by deleting unnecessary data, causing some of your apps to go into hibernation, or telling you when you should delete certain files from your tablet.
Basically, these apps serve as assistants for your tablet and let you know what you could do right then to speed up your tablet. An example of such an app is Battery Doctor.
How to Make a Tablet Run Smoother
Maybe you’re fine with the speed your tablet runs at, but you wish it would run more smoothly. If you want to stop your tablet from glitching and lagging, you will need to do a lot of the same things that make your tablet faster.
1. Pay Attention to Battery Life
The battery life of your tablet is directly related to how smoothly your tablet runs. The lower your battery life is, the more likely your tablet will start experiencing problems, like glitching.
There are multiple things you can do to preserve your battery life. Make sure you have exited out of any apps you aren’t currently using. You should also consider checking your storage and clearing out your storage. Try using your tablet on a lower brightness level or installing apps that help preserve battery life.
2. Use the Safe Mode
Sometimes, there are apps or malware on the tablet that prevents it from running smoothly. To figure out if this is the case, you can start your tablet in Safe Mode. If Safe Mode starts and runs normally, you know you have a malware or app issue. To use Safe Mode, you:
- Turn off your iPad.
- Press on the Power and Home button at the same time until the screen goes black. Keep holding down the Power button and release the Home button.
- Press the Volume Up button when you see the company logo appear. Your device is now in Safe Mode.
- To disable Safe Mode, just reboot the device as normal.
By using safe mode, not only are you checking for any malicious content that might be on your tablet, but you can also find the source of what is causing your tablet to not run accurately.
3. Check Your Apps
Like with tablet speed, some of your apps can affect how smoothly your tablet runs. If you have a few glitchy apps, they could be causing the whole tablet to experience glitches. Go to Apps under Settings and click on the apps that are glitching. Try clearing the cache data first. If the apps keep on glitching, it might be a good idea to delete the app.
4. Try Some Repairs
If your tablet is not running smoothly and is experiencing problems, it might be a good idea to try to repair the system. In Apple tablets, there is professional software you can use to fix various types of issues in the iOS system.
There are many repair tools, such as ReiBoot, available that do not require you to have any technical know-how to use. A lot of them are also up to date with the latest software and should be compatible with multiple devices with the same software system.
5. Restart Your Tablet
Sometimes, your tablet has just been on for too long. The longer your tablet is on for, the more likely the tablet starts experiencing problems like shorter battery life and quicker overheating. It is good to turn off your device once in a while and then let it restart.
6. Hard Reset
If there was a downloaded app or a webpage that was causing your tablet to freeze or not run smoothly, you might have to do a hard reset of your tablet. A hard reset will erase everything on the device, so make sure you save anything important that you will want to import back into the tablet.
If you do a hard reset, your tablet should run more smoothly. Keep in mind that if you reintroduce the app or webpage that was causing the crash, your tablet might start crashing again.
There are many things you can do that will help your tablet run faster. The most general thing to look out for is ways to create more storage space on your tablet and get rid of any apps that could be slowing your tablet down. You should also pay attention to what you are downloading. For those of you who are more comfortable messing with the settings, you can self-optimize.