So you really want a shiny new Android smartphone or tablet but can't afford one and your current device is getting slow and annoying. Well there are numerous things you can do to improve the situation. Here's how to speed up Android.

Before we begin, every situation involving a slow Android device is going to be different so we're going to cover a number of ways in which you can speed things up. You can try them all or the ones which apply to you.

How to speed up Android: Delete unused apps

A common cause of a slow Android smartphone or tablet is that you've filled it up with app, many of which you probably downloaded on a whim and don't actually use. Like a PC, your Android device will slow down if it's become bloated with applications.

Our advice to start with is to go through all your installed apps and pick out ones which you don't use to free up some space. Remember to uninstall them fully rather than just remove the icon from your homescreen.

With more available space on your Android device, things should run smoother.

How to speed up Android: Get rid of media

The next thing to cull on your Android smartphone or tablet is media. In the same way that apps can easily take up a lot of space, music, photos and videos do the same – even more so if you're shooting 4K video regularly or keeping your entire music library stored on your device.

To speed up your Android device, trawl through all the media you have and get rid of anything you can to create more space. Perhaps videos you've transferred to your PC or photos you've taken multiple times.

How to speed up Android: Remove widgets

Widgets are a great feature of Android but they take more processing power to run compared to simply displaying an icon.

If you're using a lot across multiple homescreens, consider which ones you don't use much or could do without. Having fewer will lighten the load on your Android device and help speed it up.

Android apps

How to speed up Android: Clear your RAM with an app manager

Android will automatically kill apps if it needs memory which isn't being used wisely but you can still have a user effect on what's going on in the background. For starters, you can simply open recent apps and clear anything you're not using by swiping it off the screen.

Furthermore, you can go into the settings and see what's using up all your memory; go to settings > apps > running. This may be different depending on your device so also look for an application manager or smart manager. Apps using the memory or cache isn't necessarily a bad thing, things are done like this to avoid loading everything each time you open an app.

However, you can often speed up your Android device by stopping an app or clearing the memory entirely. Although there are tools built into Android for app management, there are some apps which you can download from the Play store such as Advanced Task Killer.

How to speed up Android: Reboot

It's the classic 'have you tried turning it off and on again' but it really does still work for most technology. A good old fashioned reboot is likely to help you out if things are feeling sluggish, at least for a while. If it only sorts out the problem briefly then you'll need to take more drastic action.

How to speed up Android: Factory reset

If all else fails then we recommend trying a complete factory reset of your device. It's not ideal but a clean slate might be just what you need if you really can't figure out why your Android device is so slow. You'll need to re-download apps and the like and make sure you backup any data, such as photos, that you don't want to be gone forever.

See: How to factory reset an Android device.