How To Speed Up My Nexus 5 [3 Methods]

If you’ve recently updated your Nexus 5 and noticed it’s been a slower, there are a few ways you can fix that quickly. An update is designed to increase your phone’s performance, not decrease it; so, let’s shoot right to what could be the heart of the problem.

Method 1: Clear the Cache

Something as simple as clearing your phone’s cache doesn’t sound like it would make that big of difference, but this is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your phone’s performance.

However, before you sweep out your cache, be aware there are two different levels of cache clearing. The first is a light clear, which you can easily do from your memory settings. The second is a complete clear that will require a little more effort since you’ll be wiping your system cache partition. I’ll show you how to do both, so here we go.

Step 1:

A light cache clear

If you’re lucky, you won’t have to do much more than this step. To perform a light clear simply go into your phone’s Settings, then proceed to Memory or Storage.

Settings overview

From the Memory or Storage tab, then select Cached Data to receive a warning prompt.

Clear cache

Read the warning and decide if you want to clear your cached data. If you’ve gotten this far in the step, you’ll most likely want to hit OK.

If your phone is running smoother now, then congratulations, you’ve fixed the problem! Unfortunately, for most, it won’t be that easy. If a light clear hasn’t fixed the issue, you’ll need to try a complete clear next.

Step 2:

A complete cache clear

If Step 1 wasn’t successful, then in Step 2 we’ll need to wipe the system cache partition. If you’re concerned that this process will wipe your phone’s data completely, have no fear. All of your integral data, such as contacts, saved data, pictures, music, videos, and misc files will be right where you left them.

Thankfully, wiping the system cache partition isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. You can find an in-depth explanation of how to do so here on most Android devices.

If neither of these cache clears worked, we’ll need to move on to another method to crack open the issue.

Method 2: Tweaking Transitional Animations

While animations that play during transitions can be distractingly eye-catching, they could be causing slowdowns that you can prevent. One way to speed up your phone is to turn them off, or just tweak them. If you don’t know how to do that, I’ll explain.

Step 1:

Turning on the Nexus 5 Developer Options

If your Developer Options aren’t already enabled, you’ll need to turn them on.

Hop into your Settings and then scroll down to About phone, give it a tap and then scroll all the way down to your Build/Model number.

Model number

Give your build/model number a tap, then another, one more after that, and then a few more until you’ve tapped it seven times.

Congratulations, if you weren’t already, you’re now a developer and have little more say about what goes on inside of your phone.

Step 2:

Editing animations on the Nexus 5

Now you that you have developer access you can mess around with your phone’s animations how you please, or just turn them off entirely.

As you scroll down in your Settings, there should be a few more options available, specifically Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale. They should be at 1x by default, but if you give each a tap you can scale them anywhere between 0.5x and 10x.

Tweaking each to 0.5x should be your first step to see if you notice any large differences in phone speed. If you don’t see any changes, you may need to restart your Nexus for the changes to take place.

If even after a restart no noticeable changes occur, try turning off the animations entirely. Then, if you notice an increased rate of performance, it looks like you’ve found the culprit. However, if your phone’s performance is relatively unchanged even with animations turned off entirely, more drastic measures will need to be taken.

Method 3: The Dreaded Factory Reset

This isn’t an option most people want to hear, even I got a little worried when I typed factory reset, and I’m not even planning to do one! However, if nothing else so far has worked, resting your phone entirely may be the only method left that could do the trick.

Before you attempt a factory reset, make sure everything important on your phone, and your SD card, is backed up properly so you won’t lose it forever. If you’ve readied yourself for the worst, let’s look into performing the last tech support resort, a factory reset.

Step 1:

Finding the history eraser button

First navigate to your Nexus 5 Settings, and scroll to find Backup & reset.

Backup and Reset

At the bottom of this section will be Factory data reset. It isn’t a giant red button saying “Do Not Press!” but it may as well be.

Factory reset

After you’ve made sure everything important is backed up and your phone’s last will and testament has been authenticated, hit the button.

Step 2:

Master Reset your Nexus 5

Thankfully, this can’t be something done through a mistap, there’s another menu past Backup & reset to go through to confirm your decision.

Confirm factory reset

Once you’ve confirmed this is your decision, hit RESET PHONE to begin the process. This could take anywhere from five to ten minutes, and you may even have to input a password, but once you’re done your phone will reset on its own.

If, at this point, your phone is still under-performing, then I’m afraid the issue goes much deeper than software alone. However, most phones should be restored to their previous state after a factory reset, so if your speed is back up to where it should be, you can breathe easily once more.


For most Nexus 5 owners, slowdowns can be fixed easily with the first method. Clearing your cache, or wiping the system’s cache partition, can be done quickly and is mostly hassle free.

However, if the problem goes deeper than cache clearing, some of the Nexus 5’s animations can be tweaked like mentioned in the second method. These animations can be altered or turned off altogether, which should mark a noticeable improvement with most users.

If all else fails, there’s always the factory reset mentioned in method three, as scary as it is. If you have no other option and have doubly made sure no other options exist, this is all you have left to attempt.

In the case of at least 99% of Nexus 5 slowdowns, these three methods should take care of the problem. If your phone isn’t at its proper speed after trying each method, then the issue lies deeper in the phone’s hardware itself.

The Nexus 5 is a speedy little Android machine, so there’s no reason a lollipop should slow it down.

Have you had Nexus 5 issues that you’ve fixed some other way than any of the methods listed above?

You should share it in the comments below, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask them!

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    1. Hi Manju,
      If you are talking the apps that clean cache and web history, those are actually helpful, but task killer apps have been known to hurt your phones performance. There are things your Android phone needs to do in the background to give you the best performance and task killers prevent them from doing that. Task Killer apps sacrifice some of the phones RAM and CPU and they can actually cause a big drain on your battery life. I hope this helps. =-)

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