April 16, 2014

Slow speeds killing your Droid?

Lot’s of people have been complaining about really slow speeds and lockups ever since the the Android 2.2 update was released. I too was affected by this and became extremely agitated. On several occasions I was in the field trying to look up a patients medications or a medical condition and had to just set the phone down because it was taking too much time. That was completely unacceptable for me. I was ready to wipe the phone clean and re-install and older build of Android when I discovered this quick fix.

There are 2 things that you can do to improve the speed on your phone. One is changing your visual effect settings to a minimum and the other is clearing your cache. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry I’ll explain it in detail in a second.

1 of the 2 steps that I am going to show you only applies to the Motorola Droid. Unfortunately I only have that phone and can’t really test it on any other platform.

Disclaimer:

If you follow my instructions exactly, then you shouldn’t have any problems. I cant be held responsible for anything that you do to your phone. Please make sure that you do not deviate from these steps.

Step 1 – Change the Visual Settings

In this step, we are going to change the display settings to a minimum. This will help to reduce the amount of memory used for daily operation of the phone.

To start this process, hit the “menu” button on your phone and select “settings”. This will bring you to a menu with settings for all aspects of you phone. For the purpose of this fix, we are going to select “Display”. Now select “Animation” and change the setting to “No animations”.

Below is an example of changing your Display settings.

That’s all you have to do for this step. You should already notice some difference in speed. The next step will really speed things up, so read on!

Step 2 – Clearing Your Cache

Cache on your phone is like temporary internet files on your computer. It’s temporary memory that is designed to speed up the loading process of apps, web pages, etc. It does it’s job well at keeping your phone running fast. That is, until your cache drive fills up. Then it pretty much slows your phone to a crawl. Clearing your cache drive is super easy and only takes a couple minutes. This isn’t something that you should have to do as the operating system is supposed to automatically handle this for you. However sometime after the 2.2 update was released, this became a problem.

It is very important that you follow the next steps exactly as I describe.

  1. Turn the phone off by pressing and holding the power button. Once the shutdown menu pops up. Select “Power Off”. Now wait until the phone completely turns off.
  2. Once the phone is complete turned off. Slide out your keyboard. Now press and hold the power button and “X” button on your keyboard until you see a triangle with an exclamation point. Here is a picture of what it should look like:
  3. Now press and hold the “volume up” button. While holding that button press the “camera” button to bring up the recovery menu. Once the menu comes up you can let go of both buttons. Note: For the sake of getting a good picture I left the keyboard in. You should still have it out while doing this step.
  4. Using the “D-Pad” (rectangular pad on the right side of the keyboard), scroll down and select “Wipe cache partition”. This process may take a minute but usually only takes a few seconds. You will know when it’s done when you see “Cache wipe complete” on the bottom of the screen. Here is a picture of the “D-Pad”:
  5. Now use the “D-Pad” to select “reboot system now” and you are done.

If your Droid was really lagging, this should fix the problem. I realize that this may be a workaround and not a permanent fix. Technically, the problem could come back with time. You would then have to repeat this step to speed your phone up again. Now having said that, I can say that I applied these steps to my phone 3 weeks before writing this post and the problem has not returned. So who knows.

If you do these steps, please comment below or e-mail me. I would like to hear some feedback. Success or not, I would really like to hear from you so I can evaluate the effectiveness of my tutorials. If you have any questions regarding these steps, don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll be more than happy to assist.


About Sean Eddy

I'm a paramedic in North Texas. I have been working in EMS for over 10 years now. I enjoy the outdoors, music, shooting, computers and fitness. I currently run DroidMedic.com, and MedicMadness.com . You can e-mail me at sean@medicmadness.com.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04074009859384023843 Raymond

    Great site i am so glad somebody has taken up the ems android cause. I have the origional G1 and have it rooted and flashed with cyanogenmod. 6.0 I like having the features of 2.2 but its killing my speed (not that the G1 was ever a speed deamon ) Have you tried the informed guide for the android yet?? i have it on my wife’s Iphone and my itouch but really dont like having two things to carry around.

    Raymond

    • http://www.droidmedic.com Sean Eddy

      Thanks for checking out the site. I have tried Informed’s Android guide and I’m currently working on publishing a review.

      • Chris

        Thanks for the great advice!  It’s not running perfect but is running a whole heck of a lot better than before.  At least now when I exit an app my whole phone doesn’t freeze up anymore.  Thanks for the advice again!!!

  • Pingback: This Week In EMS Blogs: Minors Eating Chilli Is News? | EMS Blogs

  • Pingback: Weekly Digest for October 18th

  • Avi Golden

    Sean, :).

    Avi

  • DroidGuy

    Incredibly helpful, phone works like it did the day I bought it now! It was becoming unbearable

  • DroidyMcDroid

    Mr. Eddy, thank you! I was ready to give up and get a new phone, great advice. My phone is like new and I didn’t lose a thing including my call log or anything I had in my favorites. Great advice. I hope Android has a fix for this on their next update.

  • Chinglipuff

    i can’t past the step of pressing and holding X and the power button,
    mine is not from verizon, can it be a different key? life the shift or something?

    • http://www.medicmadness.com Sean Eddy

      What phone are you using? If you give me the details on it, I can get you
      the instructions on how to clear the cache.

      • Cwriz

        Im having the same problem. Holding down X does nothing on my Verizon Droid. Power is off, slide keyboard out, hold X, ……nothing.

  • Grant

    Someone needs to buy you a beer, because you basically just saved my phone.

    • http://www.medicmadness.com Sean Eddy

      Thank you sir. I’ll go grab a beer or 2 out my fridge in honor of your “saved” phone :)

  • http://twitter.com/LordBaltimore19 Andrew Baltimore

    Hey. Your tips have been working so far, but I seem to have hit a wall.  I have a Droid Pro and when I hold the “power off” and “x” buttons, nothing happens.  Can you plase let me know what I should do so I can clear my cache?

    Thank you so much!

  • Abmore

    Actually, just for your information Sean. To put a Droid Pro into recovery mode you hold “r”, “m”, and “power off.”  You will then get the triangle. Once you have the triangle, hit the “@” button. This will put the phone into the recovery mode menu. use the volume keys to go up and down the menu.  Use the “enter” key on the keybord to select “wipe cache.” After it is complete, use the volume buttons to scroll up to “reboot system” and hit “enter”.

  • Andrewpaltholz

    thanks for this post.  it is very helpful.

  • Anonymous

    i noticed my Droid1 had begun running terribly slow, not showing anything on the home screen(s) or in the menu, even after locking and unlocking (i’ve had it 5 months). i had cleared the cache of every app individually but noticed no difference.

    i changed from All to No Animations and noticed less lag already and no real difference in “animations,” so that’s great!
    followed the steps for clearing the cache; the only problem i had was it took me a few to realize you scroll by using the right and left keys, not up and down. rebooted and noticed it’s running pretty much like new (even Hanging with Friends, which was almost non-responsive)!

    we’ll see how long til i have to do this again, but it’s an easy process and the speed increase was dramatic. thank you!!

  • Trekkievet

    I did this but still had slow performance and my caches were still full.  I usually just go to applications – manage applications – all.  Then go to each program that usually has a cache (browser, email, facebook, gmail, and google play store) and empty them manually.  I also go to my email folders individually and delete the trash, since I haven’t found any way to mass delete the trash.  I do maintenance stuff while waiting to pick my daughter up from school.