We all spend so much time on our phones that they can get a bit messy sometimes. It isn’t until we get the “Storage Full” message that realize we should have been more proactive about taking some time to clean our phones and declutter them. Since we use our phones for hours every day for everything from an alarm clock to sending work emails, we need to ensure that it always runs in tip-top shape.
Since everyone uses their phones for different purposes, you may not need to take all of these steps, but you should definitely consider taking a few of them:
1. Clean Out Your Photos
The biggest culprit to taking up tons of room in our phones is our Camera Roll. From screenshotting random text messages to saving Memes and then just taking pictures on top of that, your camera roll is filled with things that you don’t actually want. You have multiple copies of photos with slightly different filters, pictures of weird things you saw that you already sent to the rest of your friends, and even things you accidentally screenshot.
Everything that exists somewhere other than on your phone – on social media, in physical properties, and on the Cloud should be eliminated. For some people, just doing this will give them more space than they’ve had in years.
2. Clean Your Contacts
Haven’t talked to your lab partner from that freshman year biology class in five years? You probably don’t need their contact information. Go through your phone and clean up a bit, eliminating people you haven’t talked to in two years and won’t have to talk to again. Just looking through my phone, I have 10 different contacts named “Jessica” when I only talk to one in real life.
While you’re at it, look over the contacts that you plan to keep to make sure they are current. Your sister may have five different phone numbers under her name but only uses one. You may have your parent’s home phone number from ten years ago listed, but they cancelled that plan when they both got cellphones.
3. Eliminate Songs You Skip
Remember when you watched Glee and you downloaded every song they did? Chances are you skip over most of them by now. Go through your music library and delete the songs that you skip over every time it comes up – sure the Glee version of Teenage Dream is still better than the original, but do you really need every version of Don’t Stop Believing? Or that awful cover of Bad Romance?
The same goes for genres of music that you don’t listen to anymore – delete the songs. You should also delete Christmas music until the appropriate time of the year – we’ve all been caught dancing to Santa Baby in the car in the middle of July, and its embarrassing.
4. Create Folders for Your Apps
On an iPhone and Android phones, you can put apps into folders so that there is at least an appearance of organization. Drag the apps together to create these folders that you can name whatever you want. Some of the most common categories include social media, messaging, photos, music, browsers, shopping, email, and work.
“Don’t Use” used to be one of the most common folders, but now you can delete the apps you don’t use (more on that later).
5. Delete Games
Simply put, games take up a huge amount of room on your phone, especially if you play them frequently. Delete the games that you haven’t spent a lot of money on and you will not only declutter your phone, you will save yourself precious time.
6. Simplify and Save Time
When you start to organize your apps, you might notice that you have a lot of apps that do the exact same thing. For example, you may have the FitBit app and the My Fitness Pal apps, instead of logging your food on one and your steps on the other, choose the one you like better to do that. The same goes for email – why have three email apps for different accounts when you can easily switch back and forth on certain ones? Simplifying your life will save you time and make using your phone less stressful. Who wants a million notifications when you’re just trying to order an Uber to get home?
7. Delete Apps That You Don’t Use
Apple recently made it possible to delete every app that comes preinstalled on their phones. This means that you can erase the Stocks app if you don’t use it or the iBooks app if you’d rather not read on your phone. Go through and delete all of these apps. While they might not take up a lot of room on your phone, it will at least give you the appearance of a more streamlined phone.
8. Clean Up Your Notes Folder
If you use your Notes app frequently, there are probably tons of stored notes there that have no relevance anymore – grocery lists, important notes from a meeting, and a gentle reminder to pick up the dry cleaning. Go through and delete the notes that you don’t have a need for anymore. If you can, condense the remaining notes so that you don’t have as many.
9. Backup to the Cloud or External Hard Drive
Backup everything that you want to keep, like your photos and videos, on a desktop or an external hard drive. Of course, you should also back up to the cloud. For important pictures or videos, this means that even if you lose your phone, you’ll still have a copy of it. If you run out of room on the cloud, you can purchase a monthly plan for pennies that will allow you to backup more. It’s worth it to keep those precious memories safe and your phone running smoothly.
10. Delete and Reinstall Big Apps
Take a look at your storage stats on your phone and see the big ticket items. For many, there are apps that are absolutely huge. On my phone, Facebook, SnapChat, and Tumblr were all over 1 GB of space. To cut that number significantly, delete and reinstall the app.
For example, Tumblr was over 1.2 GB because it downloads the photos, gifs, and memes and puts it all into local memory. Once I deleted it and reinstalled, it was only 81.9 MB. Over time, that number will grow again until I have to repeat the process.
A phone that runs quickly and allows you to take pictures is key in today’s world. You want to keep it as clean as possible so that you are always prepared for the best moments when you want to take 100 pictures or so that you can download and listen to that new album as soon as everyone else does.