Trish O'Loughlin

1 September 2016

Spring Clean Your Smart Device and Claim Back Storage Space

The winds of winter are slowly whittling away and spring has officially kicked off. It’s typically around this time of year that we feel inclined to embrace the seasonal transition by giving our homes a hearty spring clean. With technology being such a core component of our lives in this digital age, it only makes sense to apply the same concept to those devices we use every day.

Follow our checklist below and get to spring cleaning your smartphones and tablets for a fresh start to the season.

Back-up your data

Before launching in, it’s a good idea to back-up your data in case you accidentally delete anything that hasn’t been saved somewhere else. Ensure all your videos, photos, app data and contacts are safely stored somewhere like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Photos, or OneDrive.

Take out the trash and throw out old, unused apps

Often we download apps that are applicable to us at the time and forget to later delete them, resulting in the digital version of a hoarder’s den. Only keep apps that add value to your current lifestyle; the rest can be deleted from your device’s memory. Let’s face it – you’re probably not going to need that Hostelworld app six months’ after your European backpacking holiday, and that Candy Crush app is really hindering your daily productivity levels. By deleting unnecessary apps, your phone will start to run quicker and you’ll be able to savour the joys of a longer battery life.

Declutter your camera roll

Photos and videos are by far the biggest space-hoggers on any device. Just like that backyard shed bulging with old junk, your camera roll needs to be regularly cleared out so you can make room for new files. Even if you have all your snaps already synced to an online storage service, there’s a high chance you still have the originals unnecessarily floating around on your device, along with dozens of blurry or blank shots that simply belong in the virtual rubbish bin.

Tidy up your location settings

One way to drain your device’s battery life over time is by having too many location services switched on. Location services place a high demand on your smartphone or tablet, while also triggering concerns for privacy, so it’s a good idea to regularly check and maintain these settings. This part of the spring cleaning process is not quite as simple though: for instance, Android and Windows devices only offer the option of either turning Location on or off for everything, which means you need to uninstall each location-based app, reinstall it, and then refuse permission for location services when you are prompted. iOS users are much more advantaged in this regard – they can simply go to Settings>Privacy>Location and then select which apps they would like to access this feature.

Freshen up with updates

To ensure your phone or tablet is operating as smoothly as possible, check that all recent updates have been implemented. We know how tempting it is to ignore those pesky messages that pop up on your screen, but in order to get the most out of your device, you really are best off taking the time out of your day to plug your phone or tablet into your computer and getting those updates installed. It’s also a good idea to go into your app store once you’ve ditched all those old unnecessary apps from your device and updating the ones you have kept in order to maximise on their services.

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