A slow phone is more than an inconvenience

Slow Phone Bogging You Down? Here’s How to Speed It Up

If your phone's slow speed is starting to affect the way you do business, it's time to make a change. Here are a few ideas to help SMB owners fix a sluggish device.

Small business owners rely heavily on their smartphones. These devices are the most commonly used technology in small companies — 82 percent of owners polled by resource center Business.com say they use their phones as part of daily business.

That means a sluggish phone isn’t just an annoyance; it drains your time and hampers productivity, which is something no small business owner can afford. If you are losing precious time because of phone lags, try these fixes.

Avoid an OS SOS

In the time-crunched day of a small business owner, it is tempting to disregard notifications to switch to a new operating system for your phone. But accepting these updates will fix bugs and improve overall performance. Without them, you miss out on substantial speed gains for both iPhones and Androids, according to Android Authority and Macworld.

Check whether you’re running the most up-to-date OS and make any necessary changes in the “Software Update” section of your phone’s settings. If you must put off an update, use the “Remind Me Later” feature to prompt you to download the new OS at a date and time of your choosing. It may take a while to install the latest version, but the subsequent speed boost will enhance your phone’s performance.

Do note that if your phone is on the older side, updating your OS might actually make the problem worse as your phone works to run on new software it wasn’t built to handle. Use your best judgement here to determine whether this is the right tactic for your particular device.

Clean Up Your Downloads

Everyone can benefit from periodically cutting back on rarely or never-used apps, downloads and photos — having too many will inevitably slow down your phone. You can check in your phone’s settings menu to see what’s taking up the most space so you’ll know where to direct your attention.

If you find that photos and music are zapping your storage, consider hosting them in the cloud or on an external hard drive so you can still access them when needed. If it’s apps and widgets, gauge which ones are vital to your day-to-day work and which ones you can do without.

Cut Back on Background

You might be surprised at how much happens behind the scenes on your phone when you aren’t using it. Certain background operations both drain your battery and eat into your phone’s memory, further slowing it down.

One example is the automatic app update feature, which allows apps to download the latest version in your phone’s background. Disabling this in your settings menu gives you more control over how your phone’s memory is used. It also allows you to see which apps require frequent upgrades and decide if any of them might be worth deleting if you don’t use them often.

Another example is animation effects — when you open and close apps or transition from one app to another, for instance — that slow down your processor. Turning off these features in your phone’s settings can speed up your device.

Keep Your Battery Out of the Red

Lastly, nothing slows you down like having your phone battery abruptly die on you. One minute you think you’ll have enough juice to last through the day — the next, you’re looking at a blank screen.

One fix for this is, not surprisingly, to replace your battery. Before you do, verify that your battery is the problem by taking a deeper look at its performance. Apps such as Battery Life help you determine how long your phone will run on a full charge. You can also look at how the battery life decreases over time. This information helps you determine whether a new battery is necessary.

To ensure you’re not voiding your phone’s warranty, check to see if you can handle the replacement on your own or need to take it elsewhere. You can ask your manufacturer or a cell phone repair provider to replace it for you.

If your phone still lags after implementing these fixes, consider a reset or restore as a last-resort option, which will clear your phone of all the data you had saved on it. Back up your data first so you can easily upload it once your phone is working again. Taking the time to speed up your smartphone’s performance can net out in big business benefits and far less frustration on your end.