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Secret settings hidden in your Android phone will make it feel twice as fast

Published Jun 26th, 2018 10:42AM EDT
Android Vs iPhone
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Modern Android phones are so much faster and smoother than they used to be even a few short years ago. Of course, speed on a smartphone is just like battery life: you can never have enough. The latest-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor has been combined with extra RAM in 2018 Android flagship phones to create the smoothest and most powerful Android experience to date. In fact, technology has progressed so much that a couple of recent Android flagship phones have been found to be even faster than current-generation iPhone models running iOS 11. That’s right, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and OnePlus 6 both actually managed to beat the iPhone X in real-life speed tests on YouTube.

Phones like the OnePlus 6, Samsung’s latest flagships, the LG G7 ThinQ, and the new HTC U12+ are all wonderfully fast right out of the box. But what you might not know is that there’s a simple secret setting hiding inside all of these phones that can make them even faster. And the best part is this hidden setting can be found on every single Android phone out there. So whether you have a brand new OnePlus 6 or an old Galaxy S7, there’s a wonderfully easy way to speed up your phone — and all it takes is a few seconds.

We’ve covered this trick before here on the site. In fact, we cover it at least a couple of times each year. Why? Because more and more people learn about these secret settings each time we write about them, and we receive tons of thankful feedback each and every time. People can’t believe how much of an impact tweaking three simple settings on a smartphone can have. But believe us when we tell you, the impact is huge.

Here’s how it works: each time you open an app, close an app, switch between apps, and so on, your phone displays a transition animation to take you from one screen to the next. It’s the sort of thing that fades to the background as you use your phone, so you probably don’t even notice these transition animations anymore. But playing these transition animations on your phone’s display takes time, so speeding up the animations results in faster app loads.

We’re sure that you see where we’re going by now.

Inside every Android phone is a secret Settings menu called “Developer options” that’s filled with all sorts of advanced options. There’s a simple trick to enable this special section of the Settings app, and here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone
  2. If your handset runs Android 8.0+, tap System (skip this step if you’re on an earlier version of Android)
  3. Scroll down and tap About phone
  4. Scroll down again and tap Build number 7 times consecutively

Important note: if you’re not a savvy user, we recommend that you don’t mess with any of the settings in this section other than the ones we’re about to show you. You can’t do any real damage to your phone, but better safe than sorry.

Once you’ve enabled the Developer options section, open it and scroll down until you see the following three settings:

  • Window animation scale
  • Transition animation scale
  • Animator animation scale

You’ll see a “1x” next to each of those settings by default, and that’s what we’re going to adjust to speed up your phone. Simply tap on each of those three settings and change “1x” to “.5x,” then exit the Developer options section. To ensure that we’re clear, you want to select “.5x” and not “5x.” This means each animation will take half as long to play, so things will move twice as fast as you do things like open and close apps. Needless to say, we spend a ton of time opening and closing apps on our phones, so the impact is huge.

If you have an older Android phone that’s starting to feel a bit sluggish, adjusting these settings will help make your phone feel like new again. And if you have a newer Android model that already feels fast, this will make it even faster. And the impact is immediate so you’ll feel it right away.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.