The Chromecast with Google TV is a great, affordable streamer with some awesome software, but its low-cost nature lends itself well to the device feeling super slow at times. Luckily, there are a couple of easy tweaks you can make to help keep it feeling quick.

There’s no “magic pill” to solve performance issues on the Chromecast with Google TV. The low-end Amlogic chip inside paired with 2GB of RAM, while technically suitable for apps and Android TV, just have trouble keeping up with the heavy Google TV interface. Matters are also not helped by the Chromecast’s abysmal storage situation, which keeps storage maxed out for most users even with just a few apps installed at once.

However, I have personally found that these two tweaks make a pretty big difference in making the Chromecast with Google TV, at the very least, feel not as slow.

Limit background apps

First things first, we’ll put a limit on how many background apps can be running at any given time. This tweak and the one-two follow both require that Android’s Developer Options are turned on. You can do this one-time action by going to Settings > System > About and finally look for “Android TV OS Build.” With that option highlighted, rapidly tap on the “Select” button on your remote until a message appears that you’ve enabled “Developer Options.” That section will then appear under “System.”

Once Developer Options have been turned on, you’ll need to scroll down until you’ve found the “Apps” section, under which there’s an option called “Background process limit.” On the following screen, pictured below, you can impose a limit of 1, 2, 3, or 4 processes. Personally, I’ve found the sweet spot here to be three background apps, which ensures that necessary apps aren’t killed, but unneeded ones aren’t just left open infinitely.

Speed up system animations

A more immediate difference will come from tweaking Android’s system animations. This is also in the Developer Options under the “Drawing” section. You’ll find three options to change, including “Window animation scale,” “Transition animation scale,” and “Animator duration scale.” Changing all of these to “.5x” will speed up the animations and make the interface feel a lot more snappy in day-to-day use.

Will Google do anything about the slow Chromecast TV UI?

These changes won’t eliminate all of the “jank,” frame drops, or other stutters that boil down to the underpowered device, but they’ll help keep things feeling fast without any major compromises such as performing a factory reset.

Having these options available to make your device feel a bit faster is no excuse for the state of it, though. Google can and should be working to make this bloated, albeit useful software feel as fast and run as well on this hardware as possible. There’s almost no excuse for the Walmart streamers to perform better at nearly half the cost, but that’s where we are for the time being. Hopefully, it’s something Google will improve over time.

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Ben Schoon

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