A man stares at his phone, clearly enduring some serious eyestrain.

Are your phone’s buttery-smooth animations causing motion sickness, eyestrain, or even slow app performance? Those animations are just for looks, and you can disable a lot of them on both iPhone and Android.

Reduce Motion Sickness and Speed Up Your Phone

Screen animations are great, and they’re often a part of what makes a new phone seem so smooth. But animations aren’t without their shortcomings, especially on older phones with updated operating systems.

See, modern operating systems use animations for every purpose imaginable. Whether you’re transitioning between apps, turning off the phone, unlocking the screen, or receiving a notification, your phone is going to play a quick animation to make things look nice.

That’s a problem for two big reasons. For one, screen animations can cause eyestrain, headaches, and nausea in near-sighted (or generally sensitive) people. Smartphone animations can trigger motion sickness.

Plus, older phones with updated operating systems don’t always have the resources to handle animations. As a result, an older phone can run a lot slower than it really should.

There’s only one remedy to these problems: turn off animations. Turning off animations is easier than you’d think, and the process won’t hurt your phone’s performance at all. It may even speed it up.

How to Reduce Motion on iPhone

Most people hate the idea of diving into a settings menu and flipping switches. But to be honest, Apple’s settings menu is extremely easy to navigate. Turning off an iPhone’s animations is practically a two-step process.

First, go to Settings, tap General, and select the Accessibility option.

image of the iPhone settings pageimage of the iPhone's general settings page.

From the Accessibility page, find and enable the Reduce Motion setting.

an image of the iPhone's Acessibility pagean image of the iPhone's Reduce Motion page.

There’s only one option on the Reduce Motion page. This, of course, is the Reduce Motion option. Tap it to turn off your iPhone’s animations. If you ever want your animations back, just open up the Reduce Motion page and toggle the Reduce Motion option back on.

How to Adjust Animation Scale on Android

Turning off animations on the iPhone is a walk in the park. But on an Android phone, you have to put in a little extra effort.

First thing’s first, you’ll want to enable Developer Options on your phone. Don’t worry, enabling Developer Options won’t break your phone or anything, it just opens up a more robust options menu on your Settings page.

To enable developer options, go to your Android Settings, scroll to the bottom, and tap About Phone.

About Phone option in Android phone settings

Scroll through the About Phone screen until you find your phone’s Build Number. On some newer phones (like the Galaxy S9 and S10), the Build Number will be hidden behind a Software Information options page.

Now, tap your Build Number until your phone announces that “You are Now a Developer!” Your phone may also ask for your lock screen password.

Build number option in Android phone settingsDeveloper mode enable notification in Android OS settings

You can now access the Developer Options menu. Go back to the Settings page and tap “Developer Options.”

an image of the Android settings page with the Developer Options now available

Scroll down until you find the “Window animation scale,” “transition animation scale,” and the “animator duration scale” options. They’ll be toward the bottom half of your Developer Options page, so feel free to start from the bottom and work your way up.

Animation scale settings on Android's Developer options screen.Various window animation scale options on Android

Now you can adjust your phone’s animation speed. These three options can be overwhelming (they aren’t as straightforward as the iPhone’s Reduce Motion feature), but they aren’t too difficult to understand.

“Window animation scale” determines the speed of in-app windows and notifications, “Transition animation scale” determines the rate of app-to-app transitions, and “Animator duration scale” determines the speed of in-app effects, like the loading wheel.

By default, animation speeds are set to “1x.” You have the option to turn animations off, increase their speed by setting their value to “.5x,” or decrease their speed by setting their values between “1.5x” and “10x.” If you want a quick laugh, set all your animation speeds to “10x.” Otherwise, just turn them off.

If you enjoy using your phone with animations disabled, you may want to disable desktop animations on a Windows PC or enable Reduce Motion on your Mac.

RELATED: How to Disable the Window Minimize and Maximize Animations on Windows

Profile Photo for Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew Heinzman writes for How-To Geek and Review Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers.
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