Sluggish smartphone? Speed up a slow mobile with these seven top tips

Is your smartphone annoyingly slow? Check out our simple tips to make it feel faster and get it running almost like new.

If your smartphone is getting sluggish or even stopping altogether when you try to do certain tasks, it might be time for an upgrade.

But don't rush out and buy a new model until you've tried these clever ways get your old phone running like new.

Here are seven of the best. Check out the video above to find out more.

[Read more: The basics of buying a smartphone]

Tip 1: Check for Software updates

Software updates

Software updates from your network or phone manufacturer can improve performance.

Check your smartphone is running the most up-to-date software by going to the Settings menu and looking for an option called System updates or Software update. Then download any that are available.

These updates also have the latest security features, so you'll be keeping your phone safe from hackers, too.

Tip 2: Close your unused apps

Close unused apps

Open apps suck up memory. Having lots open will slow down your phone, especially if they constantly check your location, like mapping apps. So shut any apps you aren’t using.

On an Android phone tap the Recent Apps button on the bottom right of the menu bar. Flick any programs you aren't using off the screen to close them. You may also see a 'Clear All' or 'Close All' option at the top of the screen.

[Read more: Make your smartphone battery last longer]

Tip 3: Uninstall apps

Uninstall apps

Keep an eye on how many apps you’ve got by heading to Apps in the Settings menu. You can check what you’ve downloaded and when, and how much space they take up on your phone. 

If there are any apps you don’t use, tap on them and select Uninstall.

Tip 4: Remove app caches

Remove app caches

Over time, apps build up a cache of information, which can slow everything down. Free apps like Files by Google let you to clear the system cache with one tap. Using an iPhone? Check out Phone Cleaner, which does much the same thing.

Tip 5: Choose static wallpaper

Static wallpaper

Moving - or live - backgrounds might look cool, but they slow down your phone. Pick static wallpaper instead.

[Read more: How to find a lost Android smartphone]

Tip 6: Clean your homescreen

Clean homescreen

Widgets are mini-programs that update automatically, consuming power. Too many on your homescreen will slow down your smartphone, so delete any you don’t need.

To do this on an Android device, hold down on the top of a widget and drag it to the Remove option that appears (in the example above you can see it in the top-right corner of the screen).

Tip 7: Check for app updates

Check for app updates

Apps are regularly updated, adding new features, fixing bugs and generally making them work quicker and smoother. Updating to the latest version can really improve how the app works, making your phone feel much slicker and more modern.

To see which apps are available to update, open the Google Play Store and tap the menu button (the three horizontal lines in the top left). In the pop-out menu that appears, tap My apps & games and you'll see a list of all your apps. Those with available updates will have an Update button next to them. Or you can hit Update all to do them all at once.

Remember to connect to a wi-fi network before you update. Some updates can be quite large files, so if you don't download them over wi-fi, you could use up your data allowance and/or rack up a big phone bill.

[Read more: Getting started with your new smartphone on BT Mobile]

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Special thanks to Oasis Go Kart Track for providing a location for the video. Oasis Children's Ventures is a charity based in South London, comprising of a nature garden, playground and karting track, which are available for free for local children. Find out more at http://oasisplay.org.uk/

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