How to speed up your Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

We all love our tablets, be it Nexus, iPad or Kindle (other tablets are also available). But what happens when they start to get a bit long in the tooth, and aren’t as responsive as they were when they first came out of the box?

It’s a problem that can affect older tablets, and a question we get asked about a lot for the Google Nexus 7.

Read our in-depth reviews of the latest tablets.

We’ve come up with a few ideas to speed up your Nexus 7, bringing your apps back to life, and making your tablet feel like new again. And please note that though we’re picking out the Nexus 7, these tips should apply to the majority of Android-based tablets.

Clear some space

Everybody is a little sluggish after a big meal. Remember your Christmas dinner? Chances are you had a nice nap afterwards, instead of going for a run around the block. It’s exactly the same with the Nexus 7. The tablet can become slow and unresponsive if it’s weighed down with too many apps and programs. If you’re down to your last few gigs of storage, it’s time to make some space.


If you’ve had your tablet a while, there are likely to be many apps and files that you don’t even use anymore. Take a look at your apps and media by tapping Settings then Storage. Here, you can see a breakdown of what’s taking up your storage space on the Nexus 7.

Select one of the categories, and you can drill down further. If you’re not playing as much Angry Birds these days, or no longer need to carry that copy of Jurassic Park around with you, delete it. Any apps can be re-downloaded from the Google Play store again in the future (although if you’re deleting movies, music, or other files, make sure you have a copy backed up).

Check what apps you’re running

Like many of us, the Nexus 7 won’t be at its best when it’s trying to do too many things at once. To help keep your tablet focused, check what apps are running. Some apps will run in the background, even when you don’t think you’re using them. This can significantly slow things down, especially if you have several going at once.


Go to Settings, Apps then Running. Here you can see everything that is currently chugging away in the background. It should be a fairly short list, and if there are any apps displayed that you don’t think should be open, you can select them and choose the Stop option to manually close them (and don’t worry, you can always restart anything you shut down accidentally).

Stay up to date

One of the joys of tablets is that their operating systems are constantly being improved, and the Nexus is no exception. It’s worth making sure that your Nexus 7 is running on the latest version of Android. You can check this by tapping on Settings and then on About Tablet. Here you’ll see what version of Android you are currently running.


To check if there’s a newer version available, select the System Updates option on the About tablet page. There is also a Check Now button, that you can use to search for the latest version of Android, and update if necessary.

Factory reset

This is the most drastic option, and the most likely to make your Nexus 7 feel ‘like new’ again. As the name suggests, it will restore your tablet back to the way it was before you took it out of the box. Be warned though, this will wipe all your data – apps, passwords, music, movies etc, they’ll all be gone.

Google has made life slightly easier by allowing you to back up some information directly from the tablet, including Wi-Fi passwords and settings. These will be saved to the Google servers, and automatically reinstalled when you reset your Nexus 7, so do be sure to select the Back up my data option on the Backup & reset page. Media, like movies and music, won’t be backed up, so you’ll need to redownload these onto your Nexus again after the reset.

edited back up

Once you’ve backed everything up, select the Factory data reset option under Settings and Backup and reset. Your Nexus should now be as snappy and swift as the day you first brought it home.

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Categories: Tablets

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7 replies

  1. Some apps, like Google, are terrible for hogging space.

    Even if you delete History, and Cookies, if you examine how much space Google uses, you will find it occupies much more space compared with when it was first installed.

    Delete it, and re-install it from time to time.

  2. Presume the same applies to Android phones. Mine has come preloaded with all sorts of junk I do not want some of which I have uninstalled but others such as Chat On I have not deleted or disabled because I got the message. “Disabling built in apps may cause errors in other apps”. Is there anything sensible at risk if I disable? Will I save space if I disable as opposed to delete?

  3. You can make it faster in more ways like if you are running android kitkat and you are a developer then go to settings>developer options>run time and turn it to Art from Dalvik.This will reboot your tablet and show that android is upgrading and it will take like 5-15 minutes to reboot.then your Nexus 7 will be faster than earlier.and if you are not a developer then just go to settings>about tablet>tap the build number 7tes and you will become a developer and have developer options.another way to make you nexus 7 faster is To go to settings>developer options>turn window animation scale,transition animation scale and animation duration scale to.5*. Then you r tablet will feel way faster than earlier.

  4. I found deleting the cache worked a little but not as much as stopping the cloud and HP printing services in the settings, printing tab. Seemed to speed it up quite considerably.

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