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Top 3 apps for boosting Android system performance

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Any phone will eventually become slower over time and overloaded with files, which can lead to frustrating delays in opening apps, changing settings and doing virtually anything else. Thankfully, there are a few handy tools to help you declutter, remove duplicate files and generally tidy up your phone to keep it in tip-top condition. We've put together a list of three essentials you'll want to consider downloading today.

1. SD Maid

Despite this being a non-ordered list of the best three apps for keeping your device running in top condition, SD Maid is first in this list for a reason: the free version is really useful, and the paid app adds even more options for cleaning your device in just a few taps. Best of all, it does it without overloading you with other dubious functions (like 'RAM boosting') or trying to get you to install other apps by the same company.

The main overview of the app gives you access to CorpseFinder, SystemCleaner, AppCleaner and Databases. These are all individual tools that each perform a different function. If you delve into the menus you'll also find tools for finding and removing duplicate files of all types and enhanced AppControl tools. The most frequently used tools are those four found in the Overview panel though.

androidpit sdmaid
SD Maid is well worth installing if you want to clear junk files. / © NextPit

CorpseFinder searches for and removes fragments of files or directories from apps you've uninstalled. SystemCleaner scans for known file types and locations that can be deleted without causing problems; advanced users can set their own rules for targeting files. AppCleaner, which requires the Pro version of the app, frees up space on your phone by deleting data from apps that it thinks can be safely deleted without losing any of your app settings. And finally, Databases attempts to speed up your phone by using an SQL VACUUM command to release empty pages without losing any data.

Duplicates aren't listed in the Overview menu but is a powerful tool in de-duping your phone of a whole bunch of different file types. It does that by checking duplicate file sizes and checksums to ensure they are indeed duplicates, rather than using file names or dates.

This is another Pro-only feature though. If you do decide to pay the $3.49 to unlock all the options, you'll also get access to a scheduler that lets you automatically run various tasks at certain times and a Statistics section showing you how much space has been saved.

2. Greenify

Greenify is a frequently cited app in lists like this, primarily for its core skill: saving your battery by stopping apps from draining your battery in the background. While Android 6.0 brought Doze mode, which offers similar functionality, it hasn't entirely eliminated this particularly useful app. Its simplicity also makes it pretty appealing.

Unlike other all-in-one type apps, Greenify focuses on just making sure your battery lasts as long as possible by controlling the behavior of your apps. It's mostly an automatic affair once you've installed it and set it up, but you can open up the app at any time to see what's running in the background and any other potential battery drains.

androidpit greenify 1
Greenify can help your battery last longer by hibernating your background apps. / © NextPit

Just select as many apps as you want to manually hibernate at once and then hit the 'Zzzz' button. Greenify is free, but if you want access to experimental features, you'll need to pay for the 'Donation' version of the app, which currently costs $2.99.

For that, you get things like an experimental boost mode, different options for receiving notifications from apps that have been put into hibernation, and more options for hibernating system apps safely.

However, all that is still experimental, and the developer warns that the features could crash, or at worst, brick, your phone. You'll also need root access for some of the more advanced features.

You get seven days to request a refund if things don't work out though, instead of the usual 15-minute refund window. For most people, the free version will be all you need.

3. File Commander

OK, file management apps do not sound like fun, and really, they're probably not. File Commander, however, is incredibly useful if you use your Android phone as your PC too. And if you're willing to spring for the paid upgrade, it'll give you even more.

If not, you'll have to put up with the ads, but there are enough pro features to make paying worthwhile, and naturally it supports files on SD cards, stored in the cloud, FTP servers and local network addresses.

As well as providing an overview of your storage (handily splitting items into common libraries like Pictures, Videos, Music, Documents, Downloads), there are options for getting an overview of what's using up the most internal storage on your phone, so you can easily delete or transfer those items. Indeed, there's also a PC Transfer option that provides you with an IP address to type into your PC browser, giving you direct access to files on your phone via your computer.

androidpit file commander
File Commander is much more than your average file manager. / © NextPit

There's also the option to share your screen with up to five other users of the app, provided you're all connected to the same Wi-Fi network or close enough to use Bluetooth. You're not going to use it very often, most likely, but it could come in handy one day or for anyone that regularly collaborates on work and needs to share files.

Add in the option to encrypt and hide any of your files behind a passphrase lock, a file converter and additional options for Nougat devices, and File Commander is well worth considering downloading.

What other apps do you use to help your system perform better? Let us know in the comments below - and don't forget why you like them.

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  • RowanRosh Dec 30, 2020 Link to comment

    It is very helpful tips and I tried to boot the performance of android phone.

  • Zeeshan_sid Mar 16, 2020 Link to comment

    Generally, I format my phone if a performance issue occurs, but this method is really helpful.

  • Sep 19, 2019 Link to comment

    Generally agree with sceptics for newer devices with surplus RAM and CPU, but on my aging Android J tablet I use Greenify, and Super Cleaner (Hawk App Studio) when it clogs up. [Updated - free versions of CCleaner, SDMaid do not work on the Android M cache - Super Cleaner does, and also has a few useful features for the old J tablet. A bit cartoonish for me, but works.

    On recommendation of another reader here I installed a feature rich dual pane file manager called X-plore. I got very tired of the ads on ES (and everything else Cheetah takes over) and wouldn't pay when a very good free ad-free file manager is available.

  • CJ Brown Aug 4, 2019 Link to comment

    There is always going to be a difference of opinion here at Androidpit. You are going to have those who prefer to have an App (or Apps) that can handle certain things on their device .... and you are going to have those who will tell you do not download and install an App, here is how you do it manually.

    So, I leave it up to the device owner what they do with regards to managing their Smartphone or Tablet (my own personal experience is if you like the App and you trust the developer? pay for it and don't tolerate pop up ads!)

    If we get more "how to's" at Androidpit? Chances are we will rely less on Apps to manage our devices OR it could be that the next OS will allow an easier time managing a device.

  • Guy Deridet Aug 1, 2019 Link to comment

    Sd Maid Pro : a very useful feature : Search. The quickest I know to find everything on tour smartphone.
    File Commander : I use this program for years, especially on Windows computer. On Android I've found another app very powerful and much "friendly" for neophyte users : Cx File Explorer. Not as powerful than Commander but able to manage quickly most of files managing tasks.

  • Afeef Tanvir Apr 6, 2018 Link to comment

    This post is very useful for those who want to increase the speed of their android device. I'll recommend "SD Maid" application. This application actually increases the speed of an android device & you can also add "360 Security" application to your chart & this post was really very useful. I appreciate your writing.

  • Hossain nirjhor akash Apr 4, 2018 Link to comment

    i agree with you @Ben woods . Sd maid is one of the best application i've ever used. But Greenify also offer you the best features .If you had given Greenify to the first place then it would have been better.

  • Aditya Kumar Feb 8, 2018 Link to comment

    I have been using SD Maid pro since last year and It is working like a charm for me. I'll recommend other users to use SD Maid Pro instead of other system cleaning tool. Cons of this SD Maid Pro works on Rooted devices.

  • Nefarious One Aug 25, 2017 Link to comment

    Been using SD Maid Pro for the last six years and it's the only Android application capable of cleaning and compacting the hundreds of local databases on your phone.

  • Delia Aruas Mar 13, 2017 Link to comment

    You forget SSD Boost (Top one App), Droid Optimizer and Purify. All require Root.

  • Andrea Pucci Dec 18, 2016 Link to comment

    Hi, I'm the dev of SSD Boost,
    a work in progress project which has the goal to speed performance and extend endurance of smartphone internal flash memory.
    Before installing read reviews, then try it and let me know.

  • Albin Foro Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

    Generally agree with sceptics for newer devices with surplus RAM and CPU, but on my aging Android J tablet I use Greenify, and Super Cleaner (Hawk App Studio) when it clogs up. [Updated - free versions of CCleaner, SDMaid do not work on the Android M cache - Super Cleaner does, and also has a few useful features for the old J tablet. A bit cartoonish for me, but works.]

    On recommendation of another reader here I installed a feature rich dual pane file manager called X-plore. I got very tired of the ads on ES (and everything else Cheetah takes over) and wouldn't pay when a very good free ad-free file manager is available.

  • Carmelo Rivera Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

    I've been using the pro version of SD Maid for years. Nothing out there comes even close. It gets rid of junk and leftover files from apps, and more. Stopping RAM and deleting cache too frequently does more harm than good, it also drains the battery faster. Google it, do your homework.

    • Cicely Sawin Dec 15, 2016 Link to comment

      Deleting cache too frequently does more harm than good? Really?? I never knew that. I do it daily usually. Sometimes more than once a day. I just reset my phone though because it was really acting up. So everything is good so far. But I will Google that info you gave us. Thanks!

      • 2
        Deactivated Account Mar 18, 2018 Link to comment


  • Sara Oct 12, 2016 Link to comment

    I used Purify, it is ok on my phone.

  • Jack beck Sep 25, 2016 Link to comment

    I use this one that his very useful

  • mark griesser Jul 17, 2016 Link to comment


  • João Ferreira Jun 30, 2016 Link to comment

    i use cleanmaster lite and i have no complaints

    • Alex Simpson Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

      cleanmaster and similar apps slow your phone more down than speed it up. chache is actually important to launch and use apps faster and android can automaticly manage ram,

    • The Multiverse Dec 27, 2016 Link to comment

      CleanMaster will eventually mess up your phone though; you may wanna google that.

  • Sneha Capoor Jun 29, 2016 Link to comment

    Unnecessary file, folders and cache in phone are main reasons to slow down the speed any android device.

    • Alex Simpson Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

      no it isnt. cache actually speeds it up because its like a like preload of the that than doesnt have to be calculated again

  • Robert William Jun 24, 2016 Link to comment

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  • CJ Brown Apr 24, 2016 Link to comment

    I tend to look at these articles as opinions which offer suggestions that can enhance your experience (on your Android smartphone) ..... so, if one finds an article which is a different opinion of another article, one does have the freedom of choice to decide what information is useful for them ....

    I found a lot of useful information in this article and I'm grateful that AndroidPit had it published. I don't think certain outbursts are going to solve much (but that's only my opinion). As for sponsorships? It's no different than the advertisements that pop up on a page when reading an article (I ignore everything unless it's relevant information to me)...

    As Rick Sanchez says to his grandson Morty " Wubba lubba dub dubs!" :)

  • Jamez Avila Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Android Pit seems to be allowing its editors/writers to dig themselves into a deep pit of bad writing, bad advice and spreading general stupidity.
    Isn't there an editor-in-chief who reviews articles before they are published or is it just a free-for-all at AP??
    Just an FYI for AP; android users tend to be more tech savvy than the average user so posting contradictory articles full of non-sense won't go unnoticed and you'll eventually just become a place to avoid. stop it!!

  • Flávio Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Sponsored article? Probably. Androidpit is made by many people and they don't have a common opinion on a variety of topics , hence the contradiction of this article with numerous others.
    In my opinion such apps are useless.

  • Kevin V Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    I had a good laugh about that as well! Telling us that we must remove boosters! Then you post the top 3! Make up your mind!

  • Thomas S Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Lol, exactly what I said on the other article: you publish an article telling how bad are cleaner apps and after, you write an article listing the top 3 of them? Is that a sponsored article or what?

    • Joshua Long Jul 2, 2021 Link to comment

      Ah his account is deactivated. Well, if anyone legitimately became confused having to absorb what could be conflicting information, the articles are different. The other article, recommending to avoid boosters and explaining why, did not conflict with this article.
      This list of apps offer solutions to specific problems. "Maid" can , relatively safely, analyze fragments and folders for the remnants of apk/apps that were left behind after the Uninstaller removes the program. It can also determine duplicates, i picked up several downloading different docs, based on various data and advise removal.
      As for cache and data removal EVENTUALLY you NEED to erase cache. Allowing 5 g (what i had) of unused data accumulated from an extended period of using my phone and playing with the many apps available to just exist uselessly is not something you can justify. This is not the same as avast or other apps doing what the system standard manager software can readily do.
      Please, read the articles before rolling your face across the keyboard in the ecstacy of criticizing those willing to find useful information, organize it and present it to an audience desirous of learning.

  • 31
    Deactivated Account Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Tried Android Assistant ( paid version) a while back, taught me about Android and that for me I'm better off managing my device myself... the biggest performance gain I got came from tapping uninstall..

  • Vince Dichoso Apr 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Deactivated AccountTom S

  • Peter Harwood Apr 13, 2016 Link to comment

    Just can't believe you androidpit only three articles before this one your telling everyone to remove these useless apps because there no good and just use battery power

  • Michael Mossman Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

    I think you should probably look up the meaning of a Derag program before you call SD Maid the Windows system defrag tool for Android

    • Amy Hays Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

      I agree. SD Maid is not a defrag application.

  • parayil h. Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

    Es file explorer is a best one it will show and clear all hidden files. With so many options in it's menu.

  • FunkyGTC Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    Been using Android assistant for years now & is a superb little app that I've had on numerous Android Moby & pads does exactly what it says on the tin! (Although not sure about the New design)
    Otherwise 10/10

  • Jeffrey Siegel Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    Can someone tell me if it would be safe to install all three apps and then let them run on my Nexus 5 continuously? Or would I have troubles with some conflicts? Thanks and Merry Christmas

  • parayil h. Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    For smooth performance of my device, I am clearing cache in settings before opening an app,and disabled all apps that I am not using, if our device is in top clean it is the best. There is one option to increase browsing speed in chrome. Normally by default chrome browser uses only 128 mb of available ram but this limit can be changed to 256,512or 1024mb( as the availability of free space in ram) by changing default values. This is an experiential test so read the warnings in the site. Open chrome browser and type " chrome://flags" and click to search, a long page is coming then scroll down more than 40 notifications for see this " Default tile hight " then tap on the "Default" button and change the values as you like and tap on" #default-tile-hight " see the" launch" button below ,tap to launch and setting is finished. When you want to cancel the settings open this page and see at top " Reset all to default " tap on this . and if you tap " clear data " button in settings >storage>apps>chrome ,Default setting will be enabled

    • Guy Deridet Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

      Thanks a lot for this trick. I used it before but it was named "number of tiles" and disappeared with newer Chrome versions. What about tile width ? Is it worth changing it too ?

      • parayil h. Dec 26, 2015 Link to comment

        Hi,tile width is not a problem.

  • Alicia Dawn Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    Ugh! The app stop working

  • Guy Deridet Dec 25, 2015 Link to comment

    Try Doze for Lollipop or better, Netguard, which can close everything when your screen is off. Possibility to modulate everything, even system apps, even unrooted !

  • Loretta M N Barnes Barnes Aug 4, 2015 Link to comment

    I think that this is a great boost my phone please keep me informed.

  • cherry Apr 29, 2015 Link to comment

    I have used CleanWiz for about six mouths an app for boosting android perfermence. It works well with my phone. It's easy and secure to use with low memory. It also has the feature to monitor the temperature of your device and cool down it as you want.Pretty awosome!!!

    • Alex Simpson Dec 12, 2016 Link to comment

      these clean apps are only a placebo effect.

    • The Multiverse Dec 27, 2016 Link to comment

      It will actually slow down your phone and deteriorate your RAM over time. Google it.

  • Master Dk Sep 1, 2014 Link to comment

    it kills background apps...... And while downloading it will kill it quite often

  • David Rawlinson Mar 17, 2014 Link to comment

    I found Clean Master to be effective. It also showed me a security feature that I installed as well. Seems to do the trick. But always looking for better solutions. I thought i would have to root my device to be able to freeze apps. So I will check into the Android Maid app. Thanks.

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