A pile of old phones that are slowing down due to the operating system having a lack of memory available.

Four reasons why your phone is slowing down and ultimately becomes unusable

It turns out that your once slick and fast, top of the line phone won’t always be running at top speed. Over time there are a number of different problems and quirks of technology that can result in your phone slowing down and potentially not working altogether.

Read on to find out why your handset may be slowing down and a few things you can do from home that may speed your phone back up again.

Running too many apps in the background

While you may not currently be using them, many of the apps that you have opened today are likely still running in the background. The maintenance and usage of these applications takes up RAM, much like on your laptop or PC.

However, unlike your laptop or PC, mobile phones have a very limited amount of RAM to run applications. So, having a few apps open at once can very quickly affect the performance of your device.

Some applications by themselves can take up a lot of processing power and memory. For instance, WhatsApp, the camera app and Facebook messenger are all notorious for not being optimized to run on older devices. Apps like these can take up a lot of your processing power and even your battery power.

If you are not using it make sure you close it.

Operating system updates

Operating system updates are a double-edged sword. Having an up-to-date operating system can both help and hinder your device in equal fashion.

Many applications and processes are only optimized to run on the latest version of your android or iPhone operating system. If you are behind on a couple of updates this can hinder the speed of your phone. What’s more, it can also limit access to certain services.

However, not all devices have access to the latest updates. As a result, your phone starts to fall behind as more apps are released designed for these latest updates which your phone cannot access. Your phone can run them, just not in the most optimal way and so it begins to have the side effect of slowing your phone down.

What’s more each year these updates get bigger and bigger taking up more space on your internal storage.

A number of broken old phones that are slowing down and are therefore now unusable.

Full Internal Storage

The internal storage technology used on modern smart phones, such as android and iPhone, is flash memory. Although Flash memory is very quick and allows your device to access the data on the phone in seconds. It does have a few downsides.

The main one is Memory degradation. As your phone’s memory gets fuller it can become harder to access the data stored on it. Typically this effect can be seen as your phone gets to around 75% capacity.

In this way, it’s a good idea to keep your phone below 75% of the storage limit. For example, if your device has 32GB of internal storage, make sure you don’t use more than 24GB or else you will see your phone slowing down.

It’s quite easy to manage this if you have a newer phone with a large memory. However, this can be quite crippling if you have an older device with a smaller memory.

Memory Loop

All of these factors contribute to one of the main reasons we see smart phones slowing down and ultimately become unusable after a few years… The memory loop.

When you first received your phone, the operating system was quite small in comparison to your internal storage.

You fill up your phone with the applications you need and use daily, take a few pictures and maybe download some music.

A few years go by, all of your apps and the operating system have had numerous updates and your phones storage is now full. You phone continuously notifies you with a “Internal memory is at maximum capacity” message.

You delete a few photos clearing a couple of MB of data. However, your phone immediately uses this free space to update an app and your memory is full again.

You delete an application freeing up a whole GB of memory. As a result, your phone immediately uses this free space to update the operating system and your memory is full again.

There is nothing else you can clear without making your phone unusable and there is no way to continue to use your device as the memory is full.

Unfortunately, once you get to this state there are very few ways to fix your device. You can try using an external SD card for a memory boost, but then you can’t save the operating system or any apps on it.

The other direction to go in is to factory reset the phone restoring it to a new like state. However, this may have the side effect of locking you out of downloading certain apps as they may no longer be supported on the original operating system.

Top four reasons your phone is slowing down conclusion

If you’ve got a phone that’s slowing down and have tried these ideas, something else may be going on.

Here at We Solve All, we offer free in-store diagnosis to determine fault at 20 Earlham West Centre, Norwich NR5 8AD. Feel free to come by our store and visit, we are here 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-6pm Saturdays.

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