Android, How To

Tip: Speed up Android animations by tuning Animation Scale


What is the animation scale in Android?

Chances are you’re using a phone that’s at least a year old. And if current industry trends are to be believed, you’ll probably stick with it for another year before upgrading. Now, depending on where your phone was on the specs scale initially, its present performance is either (still) a smooth ride or an obstacle course.

If you didn’t want to spend a lot of money in the first place and bought a budget device a year or two ago, you’re probably experiencing certain lags and slowdowns in your daily usage. So, I’m going to show you a useful trick that will make your phone a little bit faster and more responsive. At least, it will feel like it.

One of the oldest tricks in the book when trying to enhance the performance of your smartphone is tuning the animation scale. Keep reading, and you’ll find out what the animation scale is, how to tweak it, and what benefits it brings.

What is the animation scale in Android?

There are three types of animation scales in your Android system: The Window animation scale, the Transition animation scale, and the Animator duration scale. All three of these scales control the animations that appear when you scroll through a page, open an app, or transition between different screens. You can guess from the names which option does what.

Animations take up resources. So, the bigger the value, the more work on your CPU and GPU. Obviously, if you want crisp, fast, and responsive animations, you’re going to beef up the animation scale. The visual experience will be better, but it will come with “a cost”. You’ll be sacrificing the performance.

Since today’s focus is to speed up your phone, you’ll probably want to downscale the animations or even disable them completely. Sure, scrolling and transitioning between screens will feel a bit dull, but it will also appear noticeably quicker. Not to mention that this fixes UIs with questionable optimization, especially on budget low-end devices.

How to disable (change) the animation scale in Android

To even access the animation settings, you need to have Developer Options enabled. If you already do, skip this step; if not, here’s how to enable Developer options in Android:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap About phone.
  3. Find the Build number section.
  4. Start tapping the Build number section continuously until you get a pop-up message saying that you’re a Developer now.
  5. After this, the Developer Options section will appear in Settings.

Now, that everything’s set. You’re ready to play with animations. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Head over to Developer Options.
  2. Scroll down until you find the Window Animation Scale, Transition Animation Scale, and Animator Duration Scale.
  3. Here, you can play with all three options, and see which one brings the best results for you. Each animation scale can go from Off to 10x.

Animation scale

There you go, if you choose to scale down the animations, for example, to 0.5x or disable them completely, your phone should feel faster, but the transition between screens or scrolling might be a bit flat. It’s your choice between performance and aesthetics at the end of the day.

Do animations drain the battery?

Okay, you now know that smoother animations put some extra pressure on the CPU. But, does disabling animations also extend the battery life? Technically, yes. If you scale down the animations, your CPU will have one less operation to perform, and therefore will use less power. You can learn more about this in our article about CPU usage on Android.

However, when looking at the big picture, handling animations is an insignificant task, compared to other processes your CPU has to handle. So, even if disabling animations reduces battery usage, you probably won’t even notice any difference. If your battery drains fast, it’s not because of animations. Instead, try some other options to save battery on your Android phone. From the top of our heads, we can suggest disabling Bluetooth and NFC when not in use, disabling Mobile data always on in Developer options, lowering brightness manually, and reducing the refresh rate to 60HZ.

Important note: These actions, whatever animation level you choose, won’t affect your device negatively whatsoever.

That’s about it. I hope this trick worked for you, and that your phone now at least feels faster and more responsive. If you still don’t see a difference in performance, you should probably go back and enable animations. Because it’s better to have a slow phone with smooth animations than a slow phone with no animations.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, just let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading and feel free to check out our social media. We are currently on  Twitter or Facebook.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in October 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

#android tips, developer options

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11 thoughts on “Tip: Speed up Android animations by tuning Animation Scale”

  1. How do i find the setting in an Android Samsung Tab A7 tablet which enables me to set the speed of all actions taken in using the tablet? It offers a range of from zero to 4 seconds and i mistakenly changed mine from zero to the 4 second setting, and now i cant find the setting to change it back. Any help appreciated. I dont want to reset the tablet if i can avoid it but cant use it like this…way too slow.

  2. UI animations often do look nice, but even when they do, I don’t really like them, because it puts a limit on how fast I can do things with muscle memory.

  3. Unfortunately, reduce animation s is now called remove animations. .5 doesn’t have the same feel, and shutting them off is too fast. It’s jarring. Man, still haven’t warmed up to android 11.

  4. I was wondering does the Animation scale have anything to do with the front page of my Homepage Chrome I’m having a problem trying to figure out why I only have 2 rows of 3 Apps on my Homepage Chrome instead of the 2 rows with 4 Apps it’s supposed to have when the new version of Chrome come out I download the app and everything was fine now I’m not sure about using the App the way it is now so I’ve been using the chrome BETA TESTER it’s to far away for the next new version of Chrome I’m using the 83..106 App version now..

    • Well I found out today that the 3 transition windows do have something to do with the size and structure of the screen when you are looking at it for 2 weeks my Google Chrome Homepage was to wide someone changed the transition windows from .5 to 1 after putting the windows back on .5 the chrome homepage was back to normal thanks for the information you guys left for me to use and find the problem..thank you..

  5. 0.5x on all with “off” for “window animation scale” does it for me. As it that turned off makes the keyboard show up instantly… The other two let them on 0.5x or just 1x as they are if your phone is mid range.

  6. If i off all the three options then is it Will be harmful for mobile and with that i do mobiles gets heater issue or not


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