Does your Nexus 7 lag after the 4.2 update? There’s a fix for that

Users are reporting severe performance issues after updating their Nexus 7 to Android 4.2. General lag, choppiness, and stuttering performance seem to be plaguing nearly every aspect of the device, from swiping across the home screens, opening the app drawer, typing on the keyboard, scrolling in the browser or even simply unlocking the device. Even getting the screen to turn on takes several seconds after pressing the power button! Needless to say, this is causing quite a frustrating experience for many users, especially since we’ve grown accustomed to the buttery smoothness of Android 4.1.

I personally experienced all of these issues and more, so I decided to do some research on how to fix it. Turns out the fix is a very simple one. Read on after the break to get the scoop.

If you’re one of the poor users experiencing major lag on your Nexus 7 after the Android 4.2 update, here’s what you can do to remedy the situation:

  1. Open your app drawer
  2. Open Google Currents
  3. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the app
  4. Tap “Settings”
  5. Uncheck “Enable  Background Sync”
  6. Reboot your Nexus 7

That’s it. You shouldn’t experience anymore lag and you probably won’t even need to reboot. For me the difference was night and day. I went an extra step and disabled the app completely just in case. If you want to disable Google Currents for good measure, you can do so by going into your main Settings menu, clicking Apps, swiping to the All category, clicking Google Currents, and then clicking Disable. (If you do this you won’t be able to use Google Currents anymore, but at least your Nexus 7 will be back to normal).

We hope this helps you get back to enjoying your Nexus 7.

Are any of you out there experiencing lag on your Nexus 7 after updating? Did this fix work for you? Let us know in the comments.

source: YouTube more info: google code

About the Author: Alexon Enfiedjian

Alex Enfiedjian is an Android enthusiast and tech journalist from Central California.

  • Epifano Valencia

    Don’t forget to disable currents in any additional profiles, that worked for me.

    • Alex Enfiedjian

      Ya…this is an important step if you’re running multiple profiles.

      • james

        My nexus runs slow online and when I’m trying to use YouTube a matter of fact I can’t even use YouTube because it just doesn’t load also I’m running the YouTube app and going straight from the browser can u help me figure this out please dude

  • Michel Pinquier

    Thank you. Your tips works like a charm and my N7 acts like under 4.1.2.

  • NickyA

    gaawwwd!! i updated last night and all day today i’ve been having niggling issues…i had problems updating my bootloader so i was assuming that i’d done something wrong and messed up my rom usability..THANK YOU for this, it was instantly better

  • sloaphman

    cant believe it, instantly notice a difference! thanks

  • Barry Fruitman

    Hmmm. My Nexus 7 has been running just fine after the 4.2 update, and bg sync is enabled in Currents. Strange.

    • Mike

      i do not believe I am logged into currents… currently, hence no lag

    • Yik Sheng Lee

      same here. no issues as well

  • Jan

    It helped! Although i have the impression that Google Now is also lagging….

    • hj

      From the lower right corner of the Google Now screen, touch Menu > Settings >Voice, uncheck Hotword detection

  • motozark

    Big difference…. Thanks for the info..

  • Devildadeo

    Didn’t help too much here unfortunately. As mentioned in a previous comment, the worst of my lag shows up when using Google Now.

  • Davide Cassenti

    I mainly have issues with the Nexus 7, and reboots more than lag. Then Nexus 7 seems slower, and I tried just now thus fix, let’s see. However, on the big tablet I never run Currents, so I don’t think that’s the issue. Thinking about hardware issue, although many reported these reboots problems.

    • Derek Ross

      A factory reset _should_ resolve your issue. It seems that during the 4.2 upgrade process, something system databases got corrupted or something else. A factory reset resolves the issue for most.

  • Calde Silk

    Upgraded a few days ago have Currents set to sync in the background and I’ve not had any performance problems, if anything the performance seems to be better.

    • Nudo

      Same here I never noticed a thing.

  • David Cutler

    Operating much better. I consider this a workaround rather than a fix.

    • Kary

      Sounds like an app problem, not an OS problem to me. Unless you consider not being able to uninstall apps an OS problem. ;-)

  • John Hinder

    The microphone on my Nexus 7 has stopped working since the 4.2 update. Any clues?

    • Nudo

      Not sure. Try rebooting or doing a factory reset

  • John P

    Works a treat….. N7 as it should be….. thanx guys…… :):):)

  • kevingannon

    The lag had been driving me crazy the last few days, but this fix seems to have done the trick. Thank You!!!!!

  • Nicholas M

    I’ve long suspected that the greatest part of Android’s OS design could potentially be the source of certain people’s problems lately–it’s so damn powerful. The screen flickering seen by some on the Nexus 7 seems to only happen when there are heavy Internet-consuming apps doing something in the background. Maybe it’s a battle between ARM’s power-saving architecture and Android’s potentially power-hungry behavior? All I know is that I’d rather have some issues like these, than only have the choice of a single thread at one time. The abundance of Internet background-services are going to be challenging for future coding of Android. All the syncing can obviously be turned off, but that’s not the way Google wants it to come out of the box.

    • purplelinny

      That’s good to know. The flickering has been the biggest peeve for me, especially when reading at night on low light. I’ll just go into airplane mode, and hopefully that will fix the flicker.

  • sachin

    She I went to the app it was already unchecked! What do I do? My biggest issue is that sometimes when I lock it it takes too long to wake.

    • Nudo

      Uncheck “sync currents” under your Google account settings

  • 1huckabuck

    My Nexus 7 has been working fine ever since I got it. But oddly enough I turned it on earlier and checked the Battery and Currents had used up most of my battery and I don’t even use Currents, so I disabled the Auto Sync Background Sync, sweet! I tried uninstalling the app at first when I read the battery usage but soon thought against it.

  • yvan

    I knew something was wrong !!! Deactivated Current, 100% better now. Tkx a lot. I love you, would marry you, now give me my old clock back plze

    • Alex Enfiedjian

      Won’t marry you, but will agree with you about the lockscreen clock. Ugly!

    • Jakob

      Just delete the new one and replace it with this. Worked like a Charm for me :)

      • yvan

        Yah I know but it fixed only half of Google brain fart. If you click on it or want to use the alarm you will get the native clock. For myself I bought HD widget. More choice and the weather

  • Mystery Man

    seems legit

  • LaptopJB

    I had the issue last week, before this advice. It sucked, I did a restore and that worked as well. Now I also disabled Currents – just in case.

  • jc

    i believe it worked! it was so sluggish going thru my apps, but it is running much faster and smoother now. thanks!

  • Jay

    I thought you were nuts at first that something so simple would fix such a big problem, but I figured, what the heck. Big difference! Thanks for the tip!

  • reigouki

    Other than the attempt at a gesture keyboard being quite laggy, I haven’t seen much lag. The prediction and intuitive bits were better than TouchPal, which I have been using, but not enough to make me put up with the lag.

    As a point of reference, my Currents isn’t causing any lag. I don’t normally use it but have subscribed to a few feeds. Perhaps it’s lagging due to subscription to too many feeds?

    And yes, the clock it’s not pretty, as is the edit box that appears on the left when you touch the lock screen.

  • Giulio Ardoino

    No difference here. 4.2 Is still the worst update ever.

  • Bacon Frazzle

    Can I just bin Google Currents off altogether without any undesired consequences?

    My Nexus is rooted and I have Systemapp Remover installed so it’ll take no time at all to do.

  • Disceater

    Works great ! Thanks for the tip!!!

  • lisa

    Thank you! Things are much better–I was going crazy before I read your tip.

  • Nudo

    I disabled sync for currents a long while ago because it felt unnecessary and didn’t realize how much that was a good thing :)

  • Alexander Jessey

    Disabling Currents helped me too. I can’t believe how slow my Nexus 7 was running after updating to 4.2. Still not as fluid as 4.1. Why aren’t Google offering advice on this problem?

  • Jay

    I did this and commented on how well it worked, and it did, for about a day. Now it’s right back to its normal laggy self. Do you know of anything more permanent?

  • Jivester

    I just realized that both of my Google accounts were syncing Google currents even though I only set one of them up. Had to go into Google accounts and make sure both of my accounts were unchecked to sync!

  • Yvan

    As I said in my previous comment, your suggestion fixed the sluggishness thanks again but for your info I still get random reboot …….and the clock is still ugly……Geeeee 4.2 was it an experiment ?

    • yvan

      Just updated to 4.2.1. So far so good

  • cbcboozer

    Did the Nexus 7, 4.21 update fix the lag that everyone was having with the 4.2 update ?..

  • NTP

    If Gmail has become too laggy after your recent system update and your N7 experience has become a little slow, try this: disable Google Currents in Settings:Apps:All. Don’t just disable Currents from synching, fully disable it.
    Clear the caches of Chrome and Gmail and other Google apps.
    Then download Forever Gone from Play and run it. It may take a while but it will solve the recent N7 lagging issues.
    Plus Gmail DOES now have pinch to zoom, open Gmail app, go to Settings:General Settings:autofit messages.

  • Jake

    Thank you so much!

  • steve frahm

    Yeah! Wow! Thanks! That was really lame, background sync of text based media lagging entire device experience? What ever happened to ‘don’t be evil’..? Thank you for the fix!!!

  • Billy DeWaal

    Disabling Currents didnt work for me, but I turned off gesture typing for the Android Keyboard and now it works great.

  • Arthur Hicken

    Unfortunately it didn’t help on mine.

  • charlie

    I found that removing large widgets like my library from home screen and clearing cache every like 12 hours really sped up my nexus 7

    • james

      Hello my name is James and in don’t know jack shit about servers, hard drives, caches? Or anything. Recently my nexus7 has been a little slow with everything u can name. I could ussauilly tolerate that but I can’t even use YouTube because the shit takes foooorrrr eevvverr to load the vid idk if I have viruses or what but someone please help me

  • robin

    It doesnt work for me. I did everything but it doesn’t seem to fix it.

  • Dan McEvoy

    I like Currents, it’s great so I won’t be disabling it but I have done as advised and hopefully that’ll smooth things out :)

  • MacMC

    Wow. You just made my day. I got the Nexus 7 yesterday and was SO pumped with how well it worked. Today, I figured I would update to 4.2, being all on-point and whatnot. Suddenly it wouldn’t even perform a Google search. I thought my dreams were being dashed before my eyes, and in less than 24 hours. Not the case–this fix worked perfectly. I can sleep knowing all is not lost in the world of tablet functionality. Thank you!

  • avengergirl

    I just did this, INSTANT improvement! I actually laughed because I couldn’t believe it! Thank you for posting this fix!

  • michaelhall

    Wow this is AMAZING! Worked instantly ;-)

  • Ron Blankenbeckler

    Wow, thanks a ton!

  • JSWolf

    Wow. This worked like a charm! Even without rebooting. Still, I disabled the app (which I don’t use) and rebooted for good measure. Thanks!

  • jeremytarling

    wow my n7 instantly went from being maddeningly slow to being back to it’s old whizzy self after following this tip, thanks for posting it.

  • Derp

    The single most retarded thing about this phone is that they do not allow you to choose when you want a system update, if you don’t have a data plan and a System update comes out, the phone automatically starts downloading it!!! I blew way over my data plan, now I have to pay extra – Thanks Google!

    • Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Phone? The Nexus 7 is a tablet.

  • Nick Klouda

    Wow….this just made all the difference. Lag….gone!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

  • Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Fantastic. I’ve been avoiding accepting how slow my crazy-fast Nexus 7 has gotten recently, but finally broke down and decided to do some research. This fixed it, notably. Good thing I hadn’t grown to rely on Currents.

  • hate google 7

    Still lagging and Google chrome freezing. No change and I done your trick.

  • James

    I followed everyone’s steps and found that this wasn’t my problem. I don’t no very much about hard drives or anything like that but my main problem is its literally impossible to watch YouTube. Because its takes so long to load. This is really starting to make me angry someone please help

    • Alex Dunlop

      have you tried to phone asus itself, maybe they could help you out?

    • anon

      Maybe your ISP and/or internet connection. Try changing the default DNS on your router to Googles DNS i.e.

  • happy camper

    Wow, this was exactly what I was looking for, I thought I just bought a bad Nexus.. Thank you

  • Brad Majors

    Thanks that helped.

  • Plamen

    Your fix work great – tablet now is far more responsible again. But there still exists problem for me. I have additional account added for my daughter and currently its not accessible. When I try to use her account Nexus restarts – I found this problem yesterday your fix not helps in this.

  • Shejtan Vrbaski

    I’m also experiencing bad performance on 4.2.2…it’s not the visual lag that’s bothering me, but I’ve noticed something else – for instance when listening to the music while I browse the internet or just ‘click around’ – I’ll occasionally get to hear tiny droputs, *hick ups* during playback – no matter what kind of playback it is (Spotify, streaming music locally, playing local MP3 / Flac with various players). Anyone else experienced this? I’m having it extremely hard to believe that a 4 core processor would have performance this bad. This must be software related (or maybe I just got a faulty device?). Just downgraded to 4.1.2 and will see how it sounds/looks there.

  • Alex Dunlop

    omg that seemed to fix the problem. I dont know why a built in app would slow down my Nexus 7 so much. Dose anyone know how to install 4.1 on to the nexus and get rid of 4.2 if so reply would love to hear back.

  • dennis

    Wow thankyou we have 2 n7s and the updates killed them both but after you,re fix both now back to doing everything fast.

  • jessiejames

    Worked for me. Many thanks :-)

  • Kato

    I tried all fixes suggested but still have the same lag/freeze problems. Will still look for other fixes before I toss this brick out the window

  • violet

    We just updated Nexus 7 and the keyboard has gone weird/scattered letters not formal keyboard style. and the home/back icons have changed too. Can I change it?

  • violet

    PS Update was 5.0.2.

  • violet

    Is there anyone out there? Nexus battery has now gone dead even though fully charged a couple of hours ago after update. Am getting really fed up. Will probably revert to original settings as no response here either.

  • violet

    No there is no-one out there. Are we alone?

  • Lisa

    I do not have the three dot’s in the right corner

  • paulmoloney

    OK, it turns out there _is_ a fix. I have a Nexus 7 (2012) which after a year or so ran like molasses; 10 seconds to do anything, black screens, etc. Resetting, reinstalls,
    setting various settings related to GPU, number of processes, etc,
    didn’t help at all. Hated using the damn thing even as a Kindle.

    The following worked, however, and the result is unbelievable: tablet
    runs absolutely fine with multiple apps at once. Feels better than brand new:

    In summary, you install a new ROM Slimkat but at same time use a new file system F2FS, which was quote:

    “developed by Samsung for use with NAND flash devices. It was built
    with the intention of being used on eMMC, SSD’s and SD cards, resulting
    in improved performance over the existing ext4 system used by Android.”

    The instructions are very clear and even an Android novice like me
    managed it in an afternoon. The only cost is 99c for an app which is
    used to perform the file system conversion on the downloaded ROM.