A lot of us no longer carry around cameras, books, maps, diaries or even laptops as we know our phones are able to perform most of these functions instead. We also expect our phones to be able to keep up at the same pace as us, but with so many uses it’s not a surprise that sometimes our phones can just be a little overwhelmed and can get, well, a little sluggish.
It’s likely that your phone probably just needs a bit of a clean up – just follow a few of our tips in this article and we’ll help you get it back on track and back to it's usual speed again!
Before you start to make any changes to your phone we would definitely recommend backing up all your data to a computer, cloud or memory card. The only thing more excruciating than a slow phone is losing all of your data and any important photos/critical information.
Step 1 - Back up data
We do find it’s usually best to store your data both in the cloud as well as transferring it to an external hard drive for that extra layer of security. Depending on your setting and permissions you may already be syncing your data automatically to the cloud through Apple’s iCloud or Google account on Android devices.
Once you’ve backed up all your data, just make sure to have a final check to ensure that everything has been backed up and is in a safe location that you can access without your phone. This is a good idea anyway even if you don’t need to clean up your phone!
Step 2 - Identify what’s taking up your phone’s memory
The most likely reason our phone is slowing down is because, just like a computer, you’ve filled up most or all of its internal storage space.
To find out what is taking up most memory, check out the setting section of your phone and you should be able to find out which apps or data are using most of your storage. this can be found, on most devices under "settings" then "about phone". Please contact us for any more guidance for finding this information.
Apple gives the option to upgrade your iCloud storage for a monthly fee. However, unless you’re adamant you need all your original files and photos on your phone and iCloud, we feel it’s a bit of an unnecessary cost – it’s £2.49 a month for 200 GB of space, which over a year works out at nearly £30.
With photos and videos being the usual culprit for a shortage of memory, it would seem logical to start here to free up some space. Simply moving them off the phone elsewhere will help you to avoid these sorts of costs.
Step 3 – Removing videos and images
With our phones getting used more and more for photography, images can quickly accumulate on our phone’s internal storage.
However, we also found that in some circumstances it wasn’t always the photos that were taken directly by us on our phone that took up the majority of our space. For example all images that are sent across by apps such as WhatsApp are by default stored directly onto the phone’s memory. While this may have some benefits it also means that we’re inadvertently filling our phones with images sent over by friends and family. It’s unlikely that we have the same attachment to these images, as those that are taken by ourselves, so these may be the images to remove first.
You can also go into the apps setting to stop these images saving by default in the future. The other benefit of this is that if you have a limited data plan this may help you stop going over your monthly data limit.
When removing images there’s usually a way to delete multiple images and videos at the same time to save deleting every image one by one. You could also download an app that deletes duplicate photos and videos. Try Gallery Doctor for Android devices or Photo Cleaner for iPhones; both are free with in-app purchase options. Delete the app once you’ve finished cleaning your photo space as you won’t be using it frequently, which leads as nicely to the next step.
Step 4 – Remove unnecessary apps
If you like keeping all photos and videos on your phone, you could look at removing some unnecessary apps to save space. Not only do unused apps take up valuable storage space they can also make the home pages of your phone a bit of a mess, slowing you down when trying to find your favourites. Delete unused apps and make sure you have a good organisational system for apps using folders on your phone.
We’re definitely not saying that all app downloads are bad - if you have a useful app that you use, say, on a weekly basis we certainly aren’t suggesting removing it, Just have a check on what you actually use every now and again.
Odds are though, if you’re the type of person who’s tempted to try out the latest apps, most of these will only get used a couple of times and are then forgotten about. That game that you downloaded six months ago, and played for a week, might be taking up valuable space – you may also be paying on a monthly basis for some of these apps so there may be a chance to save a bit of money here too.
A lot of phones come with apps pre-loaded; again, if you’ve no need for these, they can often be removed to free up space.
It’s fairly straightforward to remove an app on an iOS device; simply hold down your finger on the app until it starts to wiggle and then just click on the “x” to delete. This should also uninstall the app. Similarly on Android devices. hold and drag the icon to the bin. If this does not offer you the option to uninstall the app, please contact us and we shall talk you through the next steps. Each Android device will differ slightly.
Other reasons why your phone might slow down over time:
I hope this helps, if you are still experiencing problems don't hesitate to give me a call.