Getting Ready for Spring Cleaning? Don't Forget Your Smartphone

Get rid of what you don't need from your phone as well as your closet

Samsung Smartphone Recording Soccer Match / Getting Ready for Spring Cleaning? Don't Forget Your Smartphone
Image: Pexels
May 02, 2017

It's May again, so you're probably doing one of two things: spring cleaning or planning your next vacation.

If you're cleaning, make sure you get rid of everything you don't need from your smartphone as well as your closet. You'll speed up your phone and get a sense of achievement from very little work, to boot.

  1. Back up your photos and videos
  2. Most people have pictures and videos on their phone that they want to keep. Give your phone a boost by backing up these items on an external hard-drive or a cloud-based service, then deleting them from your device.

  3. Uninstall unnecessary apps
  4. At some point, you probably downloaded an app that you didn't actually need, especially if you have children. The problem is that apps take up data, slow down your phone, and use up your battery power.

    Review the apps installed on your device, and if you see any that you don't need, get rid of it.

  5. Organize the apps left over
  6. Have you ever had to spend way too long just looking for an app on your home screen? Organizing your apps saves you time and frustration. Put the apps you use most often on the home screen. If you have more than one home screen and you really can't uninstall the extra apps, make folders and put the apps there.

  7. Permissions
  8. Some apps—such as Google Maps and Uber—need to know your location. Others—Facebook, anyone?—do not. Location tracking drains your phone's battery, so if the app really doesn't need to know where you are, disable location tracking for it.

  9. Clear out the cache
  10. Caches are useful because they save your data, enabling you to use less data to pull down the same resources all the time. However, caches can build up too much and slow down your phone. Clear out the cache once in a while.

  11. Factory reset
  12. If you think you need to take drastic measures, you can always do a factory reset on the phone. Beware, however: this deletes everything on the device except what the manufacturer pre-installed. If you're going to do a factory reset, back up everything first because you won't get another chance.

Get Connected with Consumer Connections

Stay up-to-date about issues that really matter! Get the Consumer Connections newsletter!

We're committed to providing you with information you need to make you a better, more informed consumer. Whether it's a vehicle recall, a product recall, or a new scam, we feature it in Consumer Connections.

So why not give it a try? Go on. All of your friends are doing it. It's completely free and comes just once a week.

Have you noticed your iPhone slowing down at all since its last update? If it's slow to respond, crashing, or freezing on random screens, it may be a problem with the device's memory. Although the iPhone's RAM automatically clears when you restart the device, you don't have to reboot it in order to speed it up and fix these memory issues.

Dell laptop computers have a built-in battery sensor that, upon occasion, may fail to be detected by the computer. You may find that a fully charged and functioning battery won't power on the laptop or will flash error lights. If this is the case, you don't necessarily have to run out to buy a new battery!

There are numerous causes for poor signal strength. It could be a problem with the carrier, or it could be that materials in the walls of your home are blocking the signal. Regardless of the cause, there is a way to boost your cell phone's signal to get the most possible at home.

Whether your phone is wireless or connected to a landline, you know that you'll be getting a bill every month. What you may not know is what all the fees and charges listed on the bill actually mean. Savvy consumers know what they're paying for. If you want to avoid any nasty surprises, get to know your bill and make sure you know what you're being charged for.