How To Fix Performance Issues On Samsung’s Flagship Devices


Samsung’s flagship S and Note series devices are generally quite capable, packing the latest Snapdragon (or Exynos) chipsets. However, every phone starts showing its age after two years or so, especially in handling the latest apps, games, and software features. This is true even for the most feature-packed Samsung devices to this date.

Whether you are still rocking your older Samsung flagship phone or recently bought a new one, one thing almost every one of them has in common is the OneUI skin on top of Android. The troubleshooting tips listed in this guide will help you fix the performance issues on your flagship Samsung device.

Restarting your device is always a good idea

The first thing you should try out when facing general performance slowdowns is to restart your Samsung phone. In fact, the same can be said for any Android device, not just the ones made by Samsung. However, before you make any sort of changes in your device settings, it’s always recommended to do a warm boot as the first step to troubleshooting the performance slowdowns. Here’s why.

When certain apps and background processes start behaving abnormally or use a lot of device resources for no reason, your Samsung device will lag behind in day-to-day tasks. Since you can’t force close all services in some instances, all you have to do is a reboot. Also, sometimes you should manually power off the device, then power it back on so that your device goes through a cold boot. Unlike a warm boot, a cold boot usually kills all the apps and services and starts them one by one during the booting process. In many cases, it’s more effective than ‘restarting’ your device.

To restart your Samsung device, hold the Power button for a few seconds and tap Restart in the power menu. If you use the Power button to activate Bixby instead, hold it along with the Volume Down button to bring up the power menu.

Check your device’s RAM (memory) usage

Samsung’s OneUI lets users check which apps are using your device’s memory in the background. High memory usage often results in worse device performance, causing slowdowns when opening other apps, playing games, or browsing the web.

To check how much memory or RAM is being used by an individual app or service, go to the Settings app, then scroll down to tap the Device care option, and go to the Memory page. From there, you will see all the apps that are currently using a particular amount of memory on your device.

However, you should look out at the top bar first, which shows how much memory your device has to spare. If it’s over at least 1 GB, you won’t have to tap the Clean now button, even when it claims to clean a massive amount of RAM. OneUI can intelligently reallocate memory to apps that you open most of the time. Cleaning the memory manually will force close all the apps that you use, causing you to miss out on notifications from messenger and email clients.

Unless a specific app uses a substantial amount of device memory and causes performance slowdowns, there’s no need to force close it. Furthermore, try to uninstall the apps that you don’t frequently use to avoid unnecessary memory allocation in the background.

Check for battery-draining apps on your Samsung phone

Apps that cause performance issues when actively running in the background can also degrade your device’s battery life in the longer run. Even a single app can cause massive slowdowns and drain the battery, so checking out the battery usage log might help.

To check for battery usage, go to Settings > Device care > Battery > Battery usage menu. Make sure to do it just before charging your device for detailed information.

Unless it’s a graphic-intensive game or a video streaming app that you had running on your device throughout the day, no other apps should have the reasons to consume a large percentage of your device’s battery. In most cases, regular social media and messenger apps that you may use daily should account for 1-15% of your battery usage. If there’s another app consuming more battery than that, then you definitely should either uninstall it or restrict it from running in the background from the Battery optimization menu.

Uninstall unused apps or disable system bloatware

When you have hundreds of apps installed on your Samsung device, it’s difficult to pinpoint the ones causing the performance issues. To make it easier for yourself, consider uninstalling the apps that you don’t often use. You can reinstall the app from the Galaxy App Store or the Play Store later when needed.

To uninstall apps that you don’t use, go to the Apps menu in the Settings app, then tap the action button on the top-right corner of the screen. In the drop-down menu, tap Sort by and select the Last used option. It will cause the list to get sorted by the apps you frequently use from the top. Apps that you don’t often use should be listed at the bottom of the list. You can take a look and Uninstall them to your preference. Apps pre-installed on your Samsung device can only be disabled unless you can take the hassle of running ADB commands or rooting your phone to uninstall them. When you disable a system app, you won’t be able to run it until you enable it manually.

Decrease the device’s screen resolution

Samsung’s high-end flagship devices are now packed with QHD panels, offering a superior pixel density and visual clarity that the company is known to provide on its phones, tablets, and televisions. While your current Samsung flagship has the capability to handle intensive tasks at the highest resolution, you might have to lower it down after a few years pass by.

When the device resolution is higher than FHD, the chipset inside has to work harder in order to keep the performance in line. On the other hand, decreasing the resolution also lowers the load on the chipset, effectively giving the device a higher performance headroom and better battery longevity in the process.

To decrease your Samsung device’s screen resolution, go to the Settings app and select Display, then tap the Screen resolution option. From the following menu, you can switch between HD+, FHD+, and QHD+ resolutions (depending on your device model).

Factory reset your Samsung phone

If none of the fixes above solve the performance issues you face on your Samsung phone, the last thing you can do is a factory reset. It will wipe all user data on the device, including apps, settings, and media files. Make sure to create a local backup or sync everything to your Google account before you completely reset your phone.

You will find the Factory data reset option in the Reset settings menu. Before you do it, you will be asked to enter the password of your Samsung account as well. After that, confirm the factory reset once again. The device will restart automatically and start wiping all of your data. When it finally boots up, you will have to go through the first-time setup process and reconfigure your Samsung phone.

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