This story was originally published and latest update .
Amazon’s Fire tablets are of great value and offer an incredibly convenient way to watch movies, play games and browse the web on a larger screen than your smartphone. But they can be slow, there is no way around it. Much of this is just the budget-level hardware that Amazon powers its cheap tablets with and, unfortunately, there̵
Of course we’re not miraculous, and these steps won’t turn your tablet into a high-end device, but there’s a good chance you’ll see a noticeable difference in performance later on.
Clear cache partition
The first step to improving performance on a Fire tablet is to wipe the cache partition. If you don’t know it, the cache partition is the space that Android offers apps to store temporary data. Normally there is no need to manually wipe this partition, but it usually makes a difference on Fire tablets, especially those that have been used for a while.
First, turn off your Fire tablet by holding down the power button. Once turned off, press on both the power and volume down buttons. Once the Amazon startup logo appears, you can release the power button, but hold down the volume button until you access the recovery screen (pictured below).
On the recovery screen, scroll through the recovery menu using the volume buttons until you select “wipe cache partition”, then press the power button to enter. Make sure you don’t select the factory reset option by mistake. You will then be asked to confirm your choice.
After returning to the recovery screen, scroll down to “Power off” and select it. Then press and hold the power button again (without holding down the volume buttons) to turn the tablet back on.
Uninstall the apps you don’t need
This may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning explicitly: remove all the apps that you have installed and that you no longer need. Most of the pre-installed apps cannot be deleted (and disabling them could cause problems), but you can still go through the downloaded apps and games.
Turn off telemetry reports
By default, Fire tablets send data on how to use the device to Amazon. While turning them off will not result in a noticeable speed increase, there will be fewer services running in the background and it’s nice to reduce Amazon’s personal data collection. Here’s where you can find the options:
- All versions of the operating system: Settings app> Security and privacy> Marketing
Usage data of the app
- Fire OS 5: Settings app> Security and privacy> Collect app usage data
- Fire OS 6: Settings app> Apps & notifications> Collect app usage data
Install Google files
If you’ve had your Fire tablet for a while, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of junk files – downloads, game folders deleted years ago, and so on. Google Files is a useful app that can find and clean up junk files, all in a few taps.
While cleaning up unused files doesn’t directly affect performance, Android starts to slow down when you run out of internal memory. Google files are great at finding the type of data left over and junk that can quickly fill the tablet’s memory.
If you have already installed the Google Play Store on your Fire tablet (perhaps with our guide?), You can simply download Files from Google from the Play Store. If you don’t have the Play Store, you can still get the File app from APKMirror.
Do not install apps on an SD card
Most Fire tablets don’t have much internal space, so many device owners choose to insert a microSD card. Previous Fire tablets allow you to move some apps to the microSD card, but if you have one of the newer models with Android 7.0 Nougat (like Fire Fire 2019 or 2018 Fire HD 8), you can actually use an SD card as an extension for your internal memory.
However, moving apps to the SD card makes the Fire tablet slower. As we explained in detail, even the fastest microSD cards are slower than the internal memory used by modern phones and tablets. We tested this 16 GB SanDisk A2 microSD card (A2 cards should be the best for apps) with seventh generation Fire HD 8 and random read speeds were 3 times slower than internal memory, with still random write speeds worst. In other words, even one of the fastest microSD cards is twice as slow as the internal memory of the Fire tablet.
Disk benchmark on internal memory (left) and class 10 microSD A2 (right)
As a more extreme example, we also tested an old Class 10 microSD card (not A1) with an eighth generation Fire HD 8. These are among the lowest level SD cards you can still buy, and as you can see in the screenshots below, the random read performance was about 6 times slower than the internal memory. Random write speeds were unusable, 35 times slower than internal memory.
Disk benchmark on internal memory (left) and class 10 microSD (right)
It is important to note this SD card speeds don’t matter if you only use them for data storage. If you just want to save Netflix movies for offline use or keep a large collection of music on your tablet, any SD card will be fine. Running applications directly from an SD card is what will dramatically decrease performance.
If you really you need extra space for apps, you get a class A2 card like this SanDisk model. Your apps will continue to be slower, but they will not be as slow as they could be.
Turn off Alexa
Some people have reported that disabling Alexa voice assistant can help fix performance and battery drain issues, so if you don’t care about Alexa, it’s something you can try. Open the Settings app from the main screen (or swipe down from the top and tap the gear icon), select “Alexa” from the list and turn off Alexa. Easy.
If you continue to experience problems with battery slowdowns / drains, you can try enabling Parental Control from the Settings app, which prevents Alexa from working. I haven’t been able to tell a difference between that and just turn off Alexa normally, but maybe you’ll see different results.
Nuclear option: set a background process limit
If your Fire tablet is still slow, you can try another option: Android has a hidden setting to limit the number of applications that can be run in the background. Normally, Android will close apps in the background when it runs out of available RAM, but you can set it to be more aggressive. This will not affect push notifications and other activities that normally remain in the background, only the apps that you have opened and then closed.
Also, this option is not available on secondary profiles on Fire tablets, only the primary user.
First, you need to enable the Developer Options menu, if you haven’t already done so. Open the Settings app, select “Device Options” and keep tapping “Serial Number until you see the message” You are now a developer. “A new” Developer Options “menu will appear in the Device Options section.
Once you get access, open the Settings app, select “Device Options”, tap “Developer Options”, press “Background Process Limit” (located at the bottom) and set it to 2 processes.
Now the Fire tablet will only keep two apps running in the background, at most. If you want to disable this option later, return to the option and set it to “Standard limit”. The setting is usually reset even after a reboot, so if you notice that the tablet becomes slow, check if it is still enabled.
It is not possible to circumvent the bottom-the-barrel processors that Amazon inserts in its tablets, but it is hoped that some of these steps have helped to speed up the tablet a bit.