Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Simple Steps to Declutter Your Smartphone

The longer you have your smartphone or tablet, the more you discover what you can do with it. Unfortunately, the more you do with them, the more digital clutter they tend to collect. Not only does this result in simple tasks such as locating pictures turning into long and tiresome undertakings but it also bogs down your device, making it run slower. These tips will help to minimize the clutter that has collected over the ages on your smartphone or tablet so that it can be used to its full potential.

1. Transfer photos from your device to the cloud
Pictures are among of the greatest offenders when it comes to phone clutter. Now that so many people have high-end cameras right in their pockets, they naturally tend to take quite a few photos. So, as your first order of business, go through all of your photos. Sort them into albums, decide which ones are worth keeping, which ones are worth backing up, and which ones you don't care to see ever again. After you've done some weeding out, download a backup program such as Google Photos, which allows you to save any pictures you'd like to hold on to in the cloud rather than on your phone. Once you've finished backing up all of your pictures, the program offers the ability to clear up space by deleting photos from your device and saving them to the cloud where you can still access them at any time.

2. Find out which apps you use -- uninstall the rest
The next order of business is going to be getting rid of any unnecessary apps. The most natural and obvious place to start is just looking through your apps folder and uninstalling anything you don't feel the need to keep. However, a lot of people tend to leave apps alone that they haven't used in ages due to the "well, I'm sure I'll use it again eventually" mindset. That is why there's another process you can use for more efficient screening. First, clear your home screen of any and all app shortcuts. From then on, any time you want to use a specific app, find it in your apps folder and drag it back to the home screen. After a couple of days or so, the apps that you use regularly will be on your home screen and the ones left collecting dust in the apps folder can be uninstalled. Remember, uninstalling the app doesn't mean you can never use it again. If you find yourself in need, just locate it again in the app store.

3. Clear your device's cache
Another thing you can do to make sure you're freeing up as much space as possible is clearing your device's cache. This one is a bit more subtle and often overlooked if you're not entirely tech savvy. "Cache" refers to the data that your device saves from different websites or applications to access them more efficiently when you reopen them. That can be a good thing, but sometimes data gets saved from sites or apps that you may never plan on revisiting. In this case, the cache data being stored is simply wasted space. The process of clearing your cache is going to vary between devices, but it shouldn't be difficult to find. Try navigating to your device's settings and locate the "storage" section. Here, you're shown how much storage space is taken up and what exactly is occupying it. Sometimes there will be a convenient "clear cache" button right on the front of this page! Sometimes you'll have to click on each app in the section and clear their caches individually. Either way, it's a short and straightforward process that has the potential of freeing up a substantial amount of storage space.

Additionally, while you're in the storage section of your device, it's good to take a close look at what is taking up the most space. This part can show you if you have anything particularly cumbersome installed that you could do without such as game data or photos. Take full advantage of cloud storage services such as Google Drive to keep your documents, photos, etc. saved online rather than on your device.

With these handy tips, hopefully you'll be navigating your smartphone or tablet faster than ever before! No more scouring through hundreds of pictures to find the screenshot you took last week or holding on to data from a game that you haven't touched in a month. Make sure to keep this list handy so that you can revisit it. Performing these steps on a regular basis will prevent your devices from becoming bogged down again in the future.

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Robert Blake

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