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How to speed up your Android phone or tablet

Samsung Galaxy S20 review
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re a fan of Google devices, you’ll want to know how to speed up your Android phone or tablet. The good news is that there’s one easy way to do that straight out of the box, and it involves enabling developer mode.

But don’t worry if that sounds scary — this trick is actually a lot easier than you might think, and is also a great way to give an old device a new lease of life. 

So read on and we’ll show you how to instantly speed up your Android phone or tablet.

Note: This guide is based on Samsung devices running One UI 3.0 and above. Other devices may have different menu input options.

 How to speed up your Android phone or tablet

1. Open your device’s settings menu and tap “About phone.” 

A screenshot showing the Android settings menu

(Image credit: Google)

 2. Tap “Software information.” 

A screenshot showing the Android about phone menu

(Image credit: Google)

3. Scroll down to “Build number” and tap on it seven times. You will be asked to enter your PIN, password, or pattern.

A screenshot showing the Android software information menu

(Image credit: Google)

4. Go back to the main settings menu and scroll to the bottom. You will now see “Developer options” listed there. Tap it to enter the developer menu

A screenshot showing the Android settings menu with developer options enabled

(Image credit: Google)

 5. Scroll toward the bottom of the developer menu to the “Drawing” section. Then, tap “Window animation scale.” 

A screenshot showing the Android developer options menu

(Image credit: Google)

6. In the next box, select “Animation scale .5x.”

A screenshot showing the Android developer options menu with window animation scale highlighted

(Image credit: Google)

7. Repeat this process for “Transition animation scale.” 

A screenshot showing the Android developer options menu with transition animation scale highlighted

(Image credit: Google)

8. And also do it for “Animator duration scale.” 

A screenshot showing the Android developer options menu with animator duration scale highlighted

(Image credit: Google)

And with that, you're done! 

You’ll now notice that switching between apps and opening/closing menus is lightning fast. 

If you want to revert back to your previous settings, simply tap on “Developer options” then tap the “On” toggle to switch off the developer mode and restore your previous settings. 

A screenshot showing the Android developer options menu with toggle to turn it off highlighted

(Image credit: Google)

Note: As the developer menu contains a lot of advanced settings that could potentially cause issues with your device, we don’t recommend making changes to any other options in there. If you do accidentally change anything you're unsure of, switching off developer mode by following the step above should undo any changes and revert your device to its previous state.

Looking for more Android tutorials? You might find our guides on How to change Quick Settings on Android 12 and How to use the new Privacy Dashboard on Android 12 useful, as well as How to speed up Chrome on Android.

Dale Fox
Dale Fox

Dale Fox is How-to Editor at Tom's Guide, helping people get the most out of their technology. He's been a tech nerd ever since childhood, when he used the money from his first job as a paperboy to buy a subscription to GamesMaster magazine, and has a whole room at home dedicated as a shrine to the countless gadgets he's purchased over the decades. Dale was previously a presenter, reporter and editor in China, where he also worked as a copywriter for OnePlus at its Shenzhen HQ.

  • BeatriceAJ
    i love this article ! i have tried it but is it safe to turn on developer mode on my smartphone?
    Reply
  • dale_fox_tomsguide
    Hi Beatrice :D Glad you found this useful. Turning on developer mode to follow this how-to is perfectly safe, but I recommend not tweaking any of the other settings in there without proper guidance. It's fine to leave developer mode switched on though. Hope you're enjoying your new-found speed 🆒
    Reply
  • jones666
    After changing these settings, can I turn Developer settings off so I don't have automatic access and wander into other Developer settings?
    Reply
  • dale_fox_tomsguide
    Hi jones666. If you turn the developer mode off, it will undo the changes you've made in this how-to guide. If you're worried about changing something in the developer menu by mistake, just look out for the "Developer options" heading if you ever search the settings menu on your phone or tablet. If anything comes up under that heading, just avoid it. If you do accidentally change a setting in there, switching off the developer mode should automatically revert everything back to its previous state.
    Reply
  • RichardRemlap
    Didn't work for me. My smartphone became far slower. I restored the original settings and all is well.
    Reply
  • NESubnGuy
    Didn't work for me either and also slowed everything down 😞. My phone wasn't really all that slow to begin with anyway and sure am glad I was able to easily reverse it. Wonder why this only works for some?
    Reply
  • RichardRemlap
    Probably depends on the speed of the device's graphics chip.
    Reply
  • dale_fox_tomsguide
    Hi guys. It's strange that this tip made your phones slow down. I've done this with practically every Android device I've owned (and I also do it with friends and family members' devices) and never seen it make things slower. Do you mind if I ask what kind of phones you have?
    Reply
  • RichardRemlap
    Hi Dale, I tried this on a Wileyfox Swift. https://www.devicespecifications.com/en/model/6ecc3627. It's rooted and running Android 9. Works surprisingly well but is increasingly challenged by the quantities of data thrown at it.
    Reply