We won’t sugarcoat it – we spend an awful lot of time on our phones and PCs every day. Be it because we use them to work, hooked with social media, YouTube videos, or gaming, or simply out of boredom, most of us know this to be true. Such intense use obviously takes its toll on those devices. Photos start to pile up. The OS starts to clutter. Files get disorganized. And, amid that increasing chaos, our phones and PCs begin to perform more poorly.
In reality, all of that is easily preventable through some routine maintenance. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 7 things you can do today to get your devices running more smoothly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student that only uses them for gaming, a developer working for an IT software outsourcing company, or a NASA astronaut – this list is surely for you.
7 Tips to Clean and Organize Your Phone
1. Get Photos and Videos out of Your Phone
Do yourself a favor and open up your phone’s gallery. The chances are that you’ll find it filled with all kinds of pictures and videos. Be it because you like to capture everything on camera or because your friends and family keep sending you photos of everything they do, it’s highly likely your phone is filled to the brim with them.
So, it makes sense if you get rid of them. Of course, you can delete them quickly and effortlessly. But maybe you want to keep some good memories. That’s why the best thing you can do is upload the photos and videos you want to the cloud. Doing so will free up much-needed storage space, and you’ll also notice the difference in your device’s performance.
2. Back-Up All Your Important Files
You can drop your smartphone on the floor, and your laptop can be stolen, the operating system can get corrupted and useless, and so on. There are so many ways you can lose your precious data. That’s amazing; most of us don’t even think about backups. Since nothing guarantees those things won’t happen to you, backing your important information is probably the best you can do.
Again, cloud storage can come to your rescue. By using services like Dropbox or Google Drive, you can be safe that all your files will be there if you need them. From photos and videos to documents, receipts, music, and other files, you should back all them up. And if you’re backing the files from your phone, it’s even easier – you just need to auto-sync your device with a service like iCloud, and you’re good to go.
3. Manage Your Apps and Software
Another common error a lot of people make is installing software or apps and just leaving them there. It can bring two different issues down the line.
The first one is regarding the apps you use on a regular basis. We’re talking about not updating them. Some people think updating apps or software is a nuisance; others just forget about it. However, having all your digital tools up-to-date is a must to protect your devices from attacks and to enjoy new features. That’s why you have to make sure everything is updated. Be sure to turn automatic updates on if you don’t want to be bothered by it again.
The second issue has software and apps you never use taking up space. In this case, the solution is really simple – just take some minutes to go over all the things you have installed on your device and uninstall those you aren’t using. It’s highly likely you’ll find at least a couple of apps you forgot were there.
4. Tidy up Your Email Inbox
Maybe you don’t use email anymore (perhaps just to sign up for certain services). But if you’re one of the millions of people that still use it every day, then you need to step up your game and get your inbox organized. First of all, get rid of all the unread messages you might have laying around.
Then, it’ll be time to unsubscribe from mailing lists that don’t interest you or that are spamming your account. You can use a service like Unroll.me to do it more easily. Finally, you can take a little more time to have emails more organized in the future. Set up folders and tags, define filters that automatically sort any incoming mail, and flag any spam you can find.
5. Delete All Trash
If you have noticed that your devices are slowing down more and more, you should take a look at how much trash you have in your system. You might not notice it, but using your devices so much can generate a huge amount of junk files that affect the system’s performance over time. System updates, installation processes, and even browsing the internet all generate temporary files that a lot of times end up taking space for no reason.
Additionally, communication apps like Whatsapp store all multimedia you send and receive by default. It can quickly add up and consume a lot of space. Finally, there are other seemingly harmless things, like searching histories that can slow down apps and even the entire system. You can delete all of this by using the options built into apps and systems or use a specific app like CCleaner.
6. Refresh your Passwords
A good resolution you could have for this year is having stronger digital security. This doesn’t just mean installing antivirus software or hiring a VPN service. It also implies something that’s so basic that most people overlook it: refreshing passwords. Yeah, it might be a drag to change all your old passwords to new ones, but doing so today isn’t just advisable – it’s a must.
You can also use this moment to add multifactor authentication to the services that offer them and even consider using a password manager. By using this tool, you’ll only have to remember one password (the one to access the manager). After login into it, the tool will automatically fill all your credentials in the services you add in there.
7. Set Up Automatic Security Scans
Even if you are convinced that your systems are clean, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Since some threats don’t show significant signs of their actions, it’s best if you carry out a preventive scan. Run it from an antivirus or antimalware solution. Both of them can spot a lot of malicious software you might have hidden in your system.
Don’t have one of those installed in your system? Then it’s high time you install one in your system. Today’s web is filled with threats and potential attackers, so you need a basic defense line, to say the least. While you are at it, you can also read more about security, especially what you can do to prevent other kinds of attacks, such as phishing scams.
Some Final Words
All of these things might seem basic to some people, but that doesn’t make them less necessary. Quite the contrary! Carrying all of them out can make your devices run smoother again. Even if you are already using all of them, use this list as a checklist of what you need to do to get the most out of your devices.
And one final thing. Though we presented this list as something to better organize your year, it’d be best if you did all of these on a regular basis. Doing that will prevent your system from getting cluttered, and you’ll enjoy your phone and laptop at their peak performance at all times.