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How to Speed Up Any Android Phone By Disabling Animations

android-slow-animations

Android phones — and tablets, too — display animations when moving between apps and screens. These animations look very slick, but they waste time — especially on fast phones, which could switch between apps instantly if not for the animations.

Disabling these animations will speed up navigating between different apps and interface screens on your phone, saving you time. You can also speed up the animations if you’d rather see them.

Access the Developer Options Menu

First, we’ll need to access the Developer Options menu. It’s hidden by default so Android users won’t stumble across it unless they’re actually looking for it.

To access the Developer Options menu, open the Settings screen, scroll down to the bottom of the list, and tap the About phone or About tablet option.

android-about-phone

Scroll down to the Build number field and tap it repeatedly. Eventually, you’ll see a message appear saying “You are now a developer!”.

android-tap-build-number

The Developer options submenu now appears on the Settings screen. You’ll find it near the bottom of the list, just above the About phone or About tablet option.

android-open-developer-options

Disable Interface Animations

Open the Developer Options screen and slide the switch at the top of the screen to On. This allows you to change the hidden options on this screen. If you ever want to re-enable the animations and revert your changes, all you have to do is slide the Developer Options switch back to Off.

Scroll down to the Drawing section. You’ll find the three options we want here — Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale.

android-developer-options-animations

Tap each option and set it to Animation off to disable the associated animations. If you’d like to speed up the animations without disabling them entirely, select the Animation .5x option instead.

If you’re feeling really crazy, you can even select longer animation durations. You can make the animations take as much as ten times longer with the Animation 10x setting.

turn-off-android-animations

The Animator duration scale option applies to the transition animation that appears when you tap the app drawer button on your home screen.  Your change here won’t take effect immediately — you’ll have to restart Android’s launcher after changing the Animator duration scale setting.

To restart Android’s launcher, open the Settings screen, tap Apps, swipe over to the All category, scroll down, and tap the Launcher app.

android-manage-launcher-app

Tap the Force stop button to forcibly close the launcher, then tap your device’s home button to re-launch the launcher. Your app drawer will now open immediately, too.

restart-android-launcher

Now whenever you open an app or transition to a new screen, it will pop up as quickly as possible — no waiting for animations and wasting processing power rendering them.


How much of a speed improvement you’ll see here depends on your Android device and how fast it is. On our Nexus 4, this change makes many apps appear and become usable instantly if they’re running in the background. If you have a slower device, you may have to wait a moment for apps to be usable.

That’s one of the big reasons why Android and other operating systems use animations. Animations help paper over delays that can occur while the operating system loads the app.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 11/5/13

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