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Factory reset to restore performance? What are the disadvantages?

I have a Motorola Droid 2 Global phone, but it has become somewhat slow. It sometimes takes it a couple seconds to do simple things like calling someone.

Would it speed things up if I did a factory reset on my phone? Is there a simpler way to get everything working quickly?

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marked as duplicate by Flow, roxan, Zuul, Al E., eldarerathis Aug 14 '12 at 13:58

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I am assuming you have had your Droid 2 for a while; and have installed a lot of applications on it. I also assume that it is out-of-warranty.

Performing a factory reset will remove all your apps and data - and without apps to run, yes your system will feel faster.

However, as you add more apps over time, it will slow down again. Some apps like to run in the background, silently using up your devices available RAM.

From a quick search, I found that the Droid 2 comes with standard Motorola Bloatware. This software runs (and uses RAM) even if you have never launched it.

Since you are probably out-of-warranty for your device, you can root your it without fear. Software like Titanium Backup can "Freeze" the applications so that they do not run, allowing more RAM for you and your apps.

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Dylan has a point here as well. I own a Droid 2 (not global), rooted it, and finally installed CyanogenMod 7.2 on it. That gave it a huge performance burst! So why didn't I include that with my answer? Because it involves rooting and flashing, which many people are afraid of. It's worth it -- but one should have a little background knowledge, and at least know what's that all about ;) –  Izzy Aug 1 '12 at 14:57
    
I would have included installing Cyanogenmod; but when I checked the site it said that the Global version was not supported. –  Dylan Yaga Aug 1 '12 at 15:01
    
It was just an example. The point is: Once the bloatware is out, a lot of background-processes are gone, a lot of ressources freed... (see my answer's part on the apps no longer needed or to be replaced). Any other custom ROM will probably do, as long as it strips off the "extra presents" nobody wants ;) –  Izzy Aug 1 '12 at 15:10
    
Thanks, but it seems its pretty difficult to root Android 2.3.4. –  Ari Aug 3 '12 at 19:24
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A factory reset might help here. But so does an atomic bomb help killing a mouse. You could also first check a couple of other things, as e.g.

  • uninstall apps you no longer use
  • Clean the cache of apps, which can free up a lot of precious internal storage (and as a side effect prevent some long scans there)
  • check for apps which are running continuously (and even start at boot time), see if this behaviour is really needed. If it's not, see if you can change that in the settings of those apps. If not, either ask the developer for help -- or look out for an alternative/replacement.

Doing a factory reset will help you short-term -- but as soon as all the old stuff has been re-installed, your problems come back. Better to look for a long-term improvement.

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Clearing cache is only a temporary solution; reducing background services is where you'll cut the most weight. –  Lie Ryan Aug 4 '12 at 14:22
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Check other ways first, often older phone's get slower because of the number of background services and/or widgets that are running. If this is the case, resetting may improve performance, but only temporarily until you reinstall all those apps or widgets you needed. Remove less important widgets, and avoid apps that uses persistent background services.

Another possible reason is that you have lots of data and one of the various database in the system are accessed in sub optimal way. Updating apps or replacing it with an alternative may improve performance, trimming the amount of data is another possibility.

Another common issue is the home screen apps. Having seven screens is nice, but they also consume more memory and causes performance degradation, because you inevitably put more things into it.

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