Three easy ways to spring clean your smartphone

Posted by (RetiredModerator)
15th Oct 2018, 2:38pm

Spring cleaning is a tradition that makes a lot of sense to follow. During winter, you hibernate and close your house up to avoid the icy wind. In spring, the weather gets warmer and you finally have a chance to throw open your windows, air out your place and get rid of all that clutter.


But just because the tradition has its roots in ancient religious practices doesn’t mean you can’t bring it into the digital age by using the season as an excuse to lighten your digital load.


Here are our tips for spring cleaning your smartphone.


Cull your apps


Have a look at your phone screen. Is it littered with apps you’ve never gotten around to using?


Just like sometimes you should donate those shoes you’ve never worn to goodwill, uninstalling unused apps is a great idea. The best way to ensure you only have the apps you need is to organise them into folders. On most phones all that’s needed to create folders is to hold and drag apps together. Then you can rename and edit the folders.


You can have folders for things like ‘travel’, ‘shopping’, ‘life admin’, ‘entertainment’, ‘work’ and ‘games’. If an app doesn’t fit into one of your main categories, you probably don’t need it.


Remember, you can always download it again.


File away those photos


Without even realising it, you can have a lot of files saved on your phone that are taking up valuable space. Large media files are the first place to look if you’d like more space on your device.


Back in the day, you wouldn’t have left piles of your Polaroids on the coffee table because they belonged in an album. Rationalising the photos stored on your phone is a good idea.


Scrolling through your images and deleting all but the best photos will free up so much space. A good place to check first is your file of screenshots. You’re unlikely to need that reference number for a concert ticket booking from 2016 again. Also – do you need 17 photos of your yummy brunch from last year, or just one?


Once you’ve done a high-level check for the photos it’s a good idea to back up what’s left. That way, if you end up needing to delete more at a later date, you know you have them somewhere safe.


If you have an iPhone, here’s how you do it: connect your device to a Wi-Fi network > go to Settings > [your name] and tap iCloud >tap iCloud Backup > tap Back Up Now.


If you have an Android, open the Google Photos app > sign in to your Google Account > at the top, tap Menu > select Settings > Back up and sync.


If you need more help with backing up your device, check out our device guides.


Location, location, location.


Some apps need to know where you are to function. Taxi services, food delivery – apps like this need to know where to pick you up, or where to drop off your food, so allowing them to locate you is fine.


But this is not true of all apps, and location services uses a lot of battery, not to mention it makes sense to only give apps access to the data they really need.


Optimise which apps can use your location on an iPhone by granting permission or denying apps access to your location. Head to your settings > tap privacy > location settings (here you can toggle your location settings on or off completely) > scroll down until you find the application you’re looking for > tap the app > you’ll see two options under the header, “allow location access” > select never or chose to allow location access only while the app is being used.


On an Android it varies but try opening the Settings app and then looking at the Apps section.


What do you do to clean out your phone and keep it running smoothly?


by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-14 03:35 PM

With an Android phone I use Piriform's CCleaner, an app available in the Google Play store.  It removes cookies and unused files, saving on storage and speeding up your phone.

I run it every month or so and it's amazing how much storage space it frees, over 2GB for me yesterday.



by Blog Author Kara_YC
‎2018-10-14 03:52 PM

That's a great tip @Davelew, I could definitely use some more storage. I wonder if there's an iphone equivalent

by Trusted Contributor
‎2018-10-14 03:56 PM

Soap and water for my Note 8....



It already has a built in cleaner and that works pretty well for me so have not instlled any 3rd party apps to do the same job.

by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-14 04:01 PM

@Kara_YC There is an IOS app available called Phone Cleaner - Clean Duplicate.  As I don't have an iPhone I never tried it.   Perhaps someone out there has or can recommend a different cleaner.

by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-10-14 04:04 PM

I posted before IIhad finished.  With the app I think there are in app purchases to be of any use.

by Blog Author Kara_YC
‎2018-10-14 04:12 PM

 Thanks @Davelew, I'll check that one out Smiley Happy