Adjust Your Settings, Delete Old Files and Update Your Phone

iolo Tips

How to be an Android System Mechanic

Adjust Your Settings

There are various settings that affect the performance of your phone. Adjusting these will optimize your phone.

Delete Old Files

Old files can take up much-needed disk space on your phone. Clear them out to see noticeable improvements.

Update Your Phone

Check to see if your phone has a new update pending. This will speed up the software performance.

Speed Up Your Android

Look at an Android smartphone released today, and it is going to be far quicker than one released a couple of years ago. The top smartphone manufacturers are locked in a smartphone-tech arm’s race of sorts. Nowadays, people can expect the best processors, RAM, and storage to be loaded into your Android smartphone. This means that smartphones run quicker. They are basically minicomputers. The problem is that as hardware gets older, it starts to slow down. Often this is due to all sorts of files clogging up the storage of the device. There are apps running in the background that hog RAM and processor resources. There may even be bugs in an un-updated operating system, contributing to slow system speed.  While there will eventually be a point where the phone will need to completely be replaced, generally, once the smartphone is older than three years, there are ways for people to inject a bit more speed into their older devices. They just need to act as their own Android system mechanic and do a little bit of maintenance. 

Clear System Cache

When apps are used on a device, files are loaded into the system cache. The idea is that by caching certain files, they are easier to access. This can help to speed up an app. This works. However, over time, all of this caching can have a detrimental impact on the phone. Old cached files will be taking up storage space, and low storage space can cause Android phones to slow down. Thankfully, this is a simple problem to rectify.
  • Navigate to the settings on your phone.
  • Hit the link that says ‘Storage’
  • Select one of the categories that appear.
  • Click each of the individual apps and hit the ‘Clear Cache’ button that appears.

Turn Off Animations in Apps

Many applications will have cool animations built into them. These animations will normally be screen transitions or animated buttons. As brilliant as they look, they can have an impact on the speed of an older phone. Thankfully, they can be turned off. However, it isn’t going to be a case of accessing the settings of a phone and selecting one button. People will have to turn on the Developer Options for their phones.
  • Open the ‘Settings’ app
  • Select ‘System’
  • Select ‘About Phone’
  • Select ‘Software Info’
  • Look for the Build Number listed on this page.
  • Click the Build Number 7 times in quick succession. If you have a pin number, you will be asked to enter it.
  • Go back to the Settings App.
  • Select System again.
  • Select the new ‘Developer Options’ that has appeared to turn it on.
  • Find Transition Animation Scale.
  • Select the option to turn off Animations.
While the developer settings can be turned off at a later date, there is no real harm in leaving it on if your phone has a pin number locking system. It would be wise to leave it on as the developer options can be used a lot if you want to become a proper Android system mechanic. 

Delete Unused Apps

Unused apps are taking up system resources. Deleting most apps from a phone should be easy. A long finger press on the app on a home screen should bring up the ‘uninstall’ button. Clicking that will uninstall the app from the device. Some ‘system apps’ may not have a delete button. These will have to be deactivated rather than uninstalled. The process is as follows:
  • Open Settings
  • Select ‘Apps’
  • Select ‘App Info’
  • Find the app that needs to be disabled and click it.
  • Select ‘Disable’ or ‘Turn Off’

Turn Off Background Processes

A phone will always have a few apps running in the background. Some of these are important, i.e., ensuring that a phone stays connected to the internet, or notifications can be sent. However, it is unlikely that a person will need to have everything running in the background. This means that things will need to be switched off. This is a process that requires switching on ‘Developer Options,’ which was covered earlier in this guide. Once developer options have been turned on, this process can be followed:
  • Open the Settings app
  • Select ‘System’
  • Select ‘Developer Options’
  • Select the ‘Background Check’ option.
  • Go through this list and disable anything that you don’t really need running in the background. 

Remove Old Files

If somebody uses their phone regularly, then it will start to get clogged up with videos, images, documents, etc. Some of these are useful, others not quite so much. Thankfully, clearing them out should be easy:
  • Access the Gallery on the phone and delete any videos and images you do not need.
  • Navigate to ‘Settings’
  • Select ‘Storage’
  • Select ‘Clean Up’
  • Go through the various clean-up options to remove unneeded files.

Update the Operating System

Every so often, there will be updates to the Android system. This can help to speed up the phone in multiple ways. However, do bear in mind that older phones may not be able to cope with the bigger operating system upgrades. However, most manufacturers will block these upgrades on those devices, so this is not something that people should worry about too much.
  • Open up the Settings app
  • Select system updates
  • Select the button to check for a new system update
  • If there is an update, install it. 

Revert to Factory Settings

When everything else has been tried, and the phone still doesn’t seem to be getting any quicker, there is one option left. This is to revert the phone to factory default settings. This will remove everything on the phone, including personal files. This means that it would be wise to back all of the data up beforehand. Anything not backed up will be lost.  Follow this process to back up some information and reset your phone:
  • Open the Settings app
  • Select System
  • Select Backup
  • Select ‘Backup to Google’ and backup photos & videos
  • Select the Restart Reset option
  • Select Factory data reset
In the end, it’s all about learning enough about your device so that the next time you run into an issue, you don’t have to research “How do I fix my phone?”, instead of relying on your technical know-how to solve the problem.
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The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.