Samsung Phone is slow or lagging

Last modified : Feb 11. 2019

It's not always the age of the device that can cause Samsung phones or tablets to slow down - it's actually most likely that a phone or tablet will start to lag with a lack of storage space. If your phone or tablet is full of photos, videos, and apps; the device doesn't have a lot of "thinking" room to get things done. Storage space is taken up on your device by the amount and size of apps and games, as well as files downloaded from the internet, and photos and videos taken with the camera. If you let your device get to over 90% of its' capacity, you're likely to see a reduction of speed in the normal day-to-day use of your phone.


There are apps built right into your device to help clear out some storage space and perform other diagnostics of your Samsung phone or tablet. For newer phones, you can check out the page on the Device Maintenance feature - it's right in the normal Settings menu. For older Samsung phones and tablets please see the page on The Smart Manager app which is pre-loaded on most Samsung phones before the Galaxy S6.


You can also check out How to Back Up a Samsung phone for information on saving all of the data from your device before you start deleting anything to speed up your phone or tablet.


The steps below will cover troubleshooting anything else that could potentially be interfering with the speed of your device. Check the drop downs below for some ideas of how to figure out why your device is running slowly.

Boot into Safe ModeClick to Expand

Booting into Safe Mode will restrict all 3rd party applications from running. The standard Android operating system will run and calls, messages, and connectivity will all work the same way - but it's a good way to test if there's something interfering with the device's software and rule out any hardware issues 

1 Press and hold the power button on the right hand side and select Power Off
2 Wait for the device to turn off. When you're ready to turn it back on, hold the Volume Down button at the same time as holding the Power button on the right
3 Once the device turns back on, you'll see "Safe Mode" at the bottom of the screen and some apps will be greyed out. Try to see if you can replicate the speed issues in safe mode.

If you have the same problems in Safe Mode, it's possible that the lag is a result of corruption in the operating system. A factory data reset is the best option if you can't get to a Samsung location for further assistance.


If the device is faster in safe mode - we know it's likely to be a 3rd party app that is causing the issue, and we can try removing anything unused and taking up space or potentially malicious.

To get out of Safe Mode: Long press the Power button and select Restart, or manually turn the device off then on again.

Remove malicious and unused applicationsClick to Expand
1 Open the Settings application
2 Navigate to Apps (close to the top) or Application Manager (close to the bottom) - depending on your model.
3 Find any apps that have updated around the same time the speed has slowed down, or apps you downloaded a long time ago and haven't used - have a look at anything you don't recognise.
4 Select an app in the list to move into the information page. If you have the option to uninstall you can select this and you'll be prompted to confirm the choice.
If you don't see an uninstall option, it is an application required by the operating system and safe to keep. Operating system applications are unlikely to be the cause of slow usage.
5 If you've uninstalled all applications that you can with no change, the last option is to perform a Factory Data Reset. If a reset does not speed up your device, you may want to consider visiting a Samsung service location to have your device assessed.
Backup and Factory Data ResetClick to Expand

A Factory Data Reset should always be considered as a last resort option because it means removing all of your personal information and any photos or videos saved on your device to reinstall the operating system from scratch. Please make sure to Back up your Samsung Device before a Factory Data Reset. When you're happy that you have everything on your device saved, follow the next steps: 

1 Open the Settings application
2 If you have a Search icon in the top right of the settings - tap it and type Reset

Depending on your device this option will be in:

Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory Data Reset
Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset
3 Follow the prompts to Reset your device to Factory Default.

Please make sure you have your Google account details available - you may need your gmail email address and password to get back into the device after a reset. See our page on What is Factory Reset Protection for more information.

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