I'm one of those struggling with serious lags on my new Nexus 5X phone (Android 6.0.1). The issues are basically those outlined here on Reddit. I normally have ~500MB of free memory left out of 2GB with all my relevant apps up and running, so this shouldn't be a memory issue. To compare, my good old Nexus 5 has pretty much the same set of apps and works smoothly.

What I tried without much luck:

  • clearing the cache partition;
  • a factory reset;
  • flashing the latest factory image (MMB29P).

One thing that seems to be helping is turning on the Don't keep activities switch in the Developers options, then rebooting the phone:

Don't keep user activities

So far, the lags seem to have improved, but I expect this to reduce the battery life.

Any other ideas/tricks to address this issue?

  • 1
    You shouldn't make this your own problem... Obviously their end. Anyway, was the problem gone when you first factory reset/flashed? Before you installed your apps again? Feb 4 '16 at 4:57
  • @AaronGillion, it indeed feels smooth after a factory reset and before installing any apps. Nevertheless I need those apps, and the same set of apps doesn't cause any lags on my older Nexus 5 with v6.0.1. I got read of all apps I don't regularly use already.
    – noseratio
    Feb 5 '16 at 5:38
  • BTW, enabling Force GPU rendering seems to improve the lags as well. I'm yet to see if still it does it alone without Don't keep activities.
    – noseratio
    Feb 5 '16 at 5:40
  • 1
    This seems like an app compatibility issue with Marshmallow. Your easiest solution is to email the app devs like crazy, or set up a scheduled email to those devs set for every day until they release an update. Feb 5 '16 at 10:05

My lag and freezes, too, have improved drastically with the Android 7 update. Bit strange that it took over a year to make my Nexus 5X actualily fun to use, but better late than never I guess.

However, I still think it's a hardware problem with some of the Nexus 5Xs, and better resource management in Nougat has sort of made the problem less palpable. But I would still say my Nexus 5 was generally snappier than the Nexus 5X.

  • It now sometimes have to do with the bad soldering on the motherboard that can lead to freezes and slowdowns, and eventually bootloops. Just look "nexus 5x lawsuit" on Google and you see that there are even lawsuits for it now, as it is a common problem for the Nexus 5X
    – Jason
    Apr 13 '17 at 7:24

If your situation is improved by Don't keep activities, this is a strong indication that you are running poorly developed applications. The whole point of preserving applications in the background is to make full use of memory and reduce latency. If this increases latency, this means your applications are trying to do a lot of work in the background.

I would not expect battery life to be reduced by Don't keep activities, if the startup time of your applications is lower than the latency of keeping them around and switching. I would actually expect your battery life to improve by killing resource hogs immediately.

If you do not mind spending time diagnosing this, you should work on finding the culprit application(s). This may involve a substantial amount of testing combinations of applications. It may be that a particular combination of applications is creating contention for a resource that is handled differently on the Nexus 5X than on other devices. One application alone may not be the problem; it may be a bad interaction among a combination of applications that causes a major issue.

A less time intensive solution is probably a service like Greenify, described in How to prevent apps and processes from launching in background and slowing my device.

I have a Nexus 5X, and I do not any issues with interface latency. I also do not use many applications that are not stock.

In the past, I have had significant issues with latency resulting from filesystem TRIM on a Galaxy Nexus. With a recent explanation of when fstrim is scheduled to occur, I have modified my charging behavior to leave the phone plugged in and unused long enough for fstrim to run, and this helps quite a bit. I don't know, however, if the fstrim behavior for Marshmallow is the same.


I also had a problem with lag on the nexus 5x. The problem was the protection case. It seems the phone gets warm very quick while using a protection case and this causes the A57 cores to turn off. Using the phone without a case solved the problem. The phone now runs very smooth.

  • is there an app that notifies when cores turn off because of overheating?
    – Sébastien
    Mar 14 '18 at 14:08

Though I haven't used anything above lollipop (or Lemon Meringue Pie as someone may call it), there are some strategies for lagging on systems, which you can have a try.

The first is to install a toucher pro (sorry I don't have the links now), and use the clear memory utility inside it. It comes handy when you are working, but it might clear out some important activities. By the way, it is really small, with a size less than 10MB. I always use this util to make my phone quicker, especially on Ginger Bread.

The second is to use the back button long press. You can enable this option at the very end of Developer Option, and whenever you leaves a application, long press the back button to kill the app you were using. It seems to be useful too.

Anyway, though 2GB RAM is well enough, I think with a Marshmallow running, leaving 500MB is still too little. For my personal experience, leaving about half of the RAM is okay and normal.


The two main cores 4 and 5 are off or throtled to 633mhz by default in most cases on the Nexus 5x. I installed the Elemental X custom kernel over the stock rom and the cores stay on and the battery seems to last the same and performance seems back to factory new.

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