How to Reduce Memory Usage on Android

How to Reduce Memory Usage on Android

When you run out of available memory, your phone will slow down, drain its battery more quickly, and put a limit on how much you can do with it. By clearing excess and unneeded data from your cellular phone, you can save a ton of your phone’s memory and make it more usable.

Find the apps that are using the most memory. You can check your phone’s status to see how much memory (RAM) is currently being used, and which apps use the most. Note that RAM is meant to be used, so having just a little unused RAM available is not a bad thing. Android will attempt to keep the majority of your free RAM in use, as this is the most effective usage of it.

  • Open the Settings app on your device.
  • Scroll down and tap “About phone.”
  • Tap the “Memory” option. This will display some basic details about your phone’s memory usage.
  • Tap the “Memory used by apps” button. This will display the apps that use the most RAM.

Delete old apps. Deleting unused apps will help increase the amount of free space your Android has, as well as free up RAM if the apps ran in the background a lot. Both free storage space and free RAM will help improve your Android’s performance. Apps you’ve purchased or got for free can be downloaded again at any time from the Google Play Store.[1]

    • Open the Settings app on your device.
    • Select “Apps” or “Application manager.”
    • Scroll through the list of apps to find apps you no longer use.
    • Tap an app and then tap “Uninstall” to remove it. This will delete the app from your device. If there is no “Uninstall” button, then the app was packaged with your device and cannot be removed.

Disable apps that you don’t use and can’t uninstall. Many Android devices come with tons of apps preinstalled that run in the background and take up system resources. Since these apps cannot be uninstalled without rooting your device, you can disable them instead. You won’t get the storage space back, but they won’t run anymore.

  • Open the Settings app on your device.
  • Select “Apps” or “Application manager.”
  • Find the app you want to disable. These are often carrier apps or packaged apps that you didn’t install yourself.
  • Tap “Uninstall updates” if available. You’ll have to do this before you are given the option to disable the app.
  • Tap “Disable.” This will turn the app off and prevent it from running.

Transfer your pictures to a computer or the cloud. If you take a lot of pictures with your Android, you may want to transfer them to a computer or upload them to a cloud storage service so that you can free up that space on your device.

  • Transfer to PC – Connect the Android to your computer via USB cable. Open the Notification panel and tap the USB option. Select “Photo transfer.” Open the Computer/This PC window. Right-click on your Android device (it may just be a model number) and select “Import pictures and videos.” Follow the prompts to copy all of the images on your device to your Pictures folder. Click the “More options” link and check the “Delete files from your device after importing” box.
  • Transfer to Mac – Connect the Android device to your Mac via USB cable. Open the Notification panel and tap the USB option, then select “Photo transfer.” Open the Image Capture app on your Mac. Select your Android device in the left menu. Open the additional options at the bottom of the menu and select “Delete after Import.” Click “Import All” to transfer all of the images from your Android to your Mac and then delete them from your Android device.
  • Upload to the cloud – Download the Google Photos app if you don’t have it already. Google Photos allows you to back up all of your photos for free at slightly reduced quality, or upload to your Drive storage at original quality. Open the Google Photos Settings menu and tap “Back up & sync.” Tap “Upload Size” to choose whether you wan to use your free storage or your Drive storage. Ensure “Backup & sync” is enabled and your photos will begin uploading automatically. Tap “Free up space” from the Settings menu to delete all of the pictures you’ve backed up.

Delete the files in your downloads folder. If you still need to free up more space, you may be able to clear out your Downloads folder. This folder often fills with PDFs and other files that you’ll download and use once on your device.

  • Open the Downloads app from your app drawer. The app drawer button looks like a grid.
  • Tap the “Delete” button and then select all of the files you want to remove.
  • Tap “Delete” again to delete all of the selected files. Note that this process will vary slightly depending on your phone manufacturer.

Use alternatives for RAM-hungry apps. If there are apps on your phone that take up a lot of resources, try to find some alternatives. For example, instead of using the Facebook app, you can use the Facebook website. You’ll lose some features, but you’ll save a lot of system resources.

Avoid apps that claim to free up RAM. There are tons of apps on the Google Play Store that claim to boost your system performance. Because of the way Android is designed, these apps only rarely effective, and sometimes they hurt performance more than they help it.

Update your system software. Newer versions of your system software may improve performance on your device. These are occasionally made available by your carrier, and newer versions may not be attainable on older devices.

  • Open the Settings app on your device.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the menu and select “System updates.”
  • Tap “Check for update” and install any available updates. The update process usually takes around 20 minutes if one is available.