When you first open a new tablet, it’s amazing how sleek they look and how fast they run. Every tap and swipe flows smoothly with ease, and you wonder how you managed with that older device. However, even the fastest tablet can slow down over time. There are many reasons for this. Advances in the software and apps can cause this, but often this isn’t the only cause.
If your tablet is beginning to run slow, don’t worry. There are several different things you can try to speed up your tablet. Let’s look at several different ways you can speed up a slow tablet so you don’t have to run out and buy a new one. Most of these fixes will work if you have an iPad, an Android tablet or even a Windows tablet.
Turn Off Auto Updates
It may not seem like that big a deal, but if you have your app settings set to auto update your apps, you could be diverting valuable processing power to updates when you are trying to use your tablet. Since apps are constantly being updated with new versions, if you have auto update turned on, your tablet will continually look for and install the new versions of these apps once they are released. While this is great as far as app management goes, it can really hurt the performance of older tablets as the installations and upgrades compete for processing power while you are using it. Instead, turn off the auto update features and periodically check for and install new updates yourself.
Run a Malware Scan
Many people don’t realize that malware and viruses can be a problem on a tablet. This isn’t as much of a concern on an iPad, but on Android tablets malware is a big problem and on Windows tablets you have to worry about both malware and viruses just as you do with your PC. If your tablet has become infected, these malicious programs could not only be slowing your tablet down, but they could be stealing from you as well. Run a thorough malware scan using something like Malwarebytes on your tablet or Windows Defender if you have a Windows tablet and make sure you keep it protected to reduce the chances of becoming infected in the first place.
Clean Up Your Files and Apps
Honestly, this may be the least effective of everything on this list, but I still feel that it is important to do. Over time, you accumulate a lot of files and apps that you no longer need and never use. As more and more of your storage is taken, there is less room for the swap files that assist the processor and your RAM in the performance of your tablet. This is even more pronounced when you go under 1GB of free space on your device. Periodically clean up any old files you don’t need and get rid of apps you don’t use. If you find you are still low on space, try using cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive to store your files and get them off your tablet. The more space your tablet has, the better and more efficient it will run. Again, you will see the biggest boost if you are under 1GB and you clear out enough to get it above that threshold, but I still believe it’s a good idea to do even if you have tons of free space.
Reset Your Tablet Settings
Sometimes, your tablet will slow down because of a simple problem in your cached settings. These settings save things such as your network information, app preferences, and much more. If something becomes corrupt, you may need to do a reset. There are different levels of reset, and while this various based on your tablet’s operating system, most have three basic levels that you can try. Let’s break them down one by one so you can understand the function of each one a little better.
Reset Network Settings
Your network settings store all the network information for the different wireless networks you use with your tablet. Sometimes, this may be only one or two networks, but in other cases there could be several if you carry your tablet around with you all the time. If these settings are corrupt, you could find your tablet feels slow or even disconnects from the networks you use. A slow network means a slow tablet. By resetting these settings and then re-entering your network passwords, this can speed up your tablet quite a bit, especially if you rely heavily on the Internet when you are using your tablet.
This is one step above your network settings reset but not quite as far as the factory reset that I will discuss below. Resetting your settings will basically reset everything on your tablet, but it won’t remove your apps and your files. Think of it as a go between. It saves you the time of having to reinstall and copy your files back to it, but it does wipe away a lot of settings that will require you to do things like re-enter your passwords or re-link a few of your accounts here and there. If the network settings doesn’t do the trick, give this one a try before you go all in with the factory reset.
This is the ultimate reset of your tablet. A factory reset will remove everything from your tablet. That includes all your apps, saved files, all your settings, everything. Basically this will take your tablet back to day one when you first opened it. You will have to reset everything and reinstall any apps you have downloaded. While that can be a pain, if you have tried everything else and your tablet still feels slow, then this is a great way to make sure you take care of the problem once and for all. This process will take some time, both for the tablet to reset and for you to fix it back to the way you like it. But if your tablet is slow, it’s well worth the time. Once it’s refreshed, I think you will find it will run much better than it did before.
When All Else Fails, Buy New
Sometimes, your tablet will simply be too old. Yes, the useful life is much longer compared to a smartphone, but even with the longer life of tablets, sometimes there is nothing you can do. This is true for both Android and iOS, but chances are you will feel it much sooner with the iPad than you will some of the Android and Windows devices as Apple tends to stop updating their devices much sooner than the others. If you are looking for a new tablet, we have several guides to walk you through some of the best choices. I would encourage to begin with our best 10-inch tablet guide and then narrow your search from there.
Just because your tablet is getting slow, that doesn’t mean that you need to buy something new. Sure, in some cases, you tablet may just be getting too old so there is nothing else you can do. However, in many cases, by going through these different methods you can clean up your tablet and restore it to working order. Now that you know how to speed up a slow tablet, maybe you can save yourself from buying something new, unless, of course, you just want one!