Phones are costly investments, and given how important they are to our everyday lives, some regular housekeeping will help keep them in top form. From backing up your data to clearing your cache, there are a bunch of things you can do to take care of your iPhone® or Android™ device.
Asurion Experts provide 24/7 tech care to our millions of customers so they can get the most out of the devices, appliances, and connections they rely on. Here's how they recommend you keep your phone clean and organized—from the inside out.
Back up your phone data
While we all want to speed up our phones and reduce clutter, we don't want to lose precious memories and data along the way. Be sure to back up your photos, videos, and other items you want to keep safe by using a cloud storage system, like iCloud® or Google Photos™. For step-by-step instructions, check out our detailed guide on how to back up your phone.
Offload unused items
Smartphone slowdown is real. If you've accumulated digital clutter on your device, there's an easy fix: Delete it. Take a moment to go through your phone and get rid of any applications that do the same thing—or those you thought looked cool but never used.
Uninstalling useless apps will free up phone storage space and might even speed up your phone. Check your messages for old videos and photos wasting space in your storage and remove those too. Remember to include your outgoing messages in the purge. Photos you've sent friends and family are usually already stored somewhere else on your phone, so get rid of any duplicates that take up much-needed memory.
How to delete an app on Android devices
On a Samsung® phone:
- Press and hold the app you'd like to delete until a menu pops up.
- Tap Uninstall, then tap OK.
On other Android phones:
- Press and hold the app you'd like to delete.
- Drag it to the "Uninstall" prompt at the top of the screen and drop it.
How to delete an app on iPhone devices
- Press and hold the app you'd like to delete until a menu pops up.
- Tap Remove App > Delete App.
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Organize your apps
If you can't find the applications you're looking for when you need them, it's time to organize your phone screen. Once you've cleared out all the unused apps, it should be a lot less intimidating to figure out where to house the remaining ones.
Consider keeping your frequently used applications on one screen (like your camera, messaging, calendar, and phone apps) while sorting the rest of your apps into groups by category (like social media and games). Pick a system that works well for you. Just be sure you don't bury your favorite app deep inside a full folder.
How to create app folders on Samsung smartphones
- Press and hold an app on your Home/App screen to drag it, then move it on top of another app. A new folder will appear.
- Enter the folder name. You can also change the folder color by tapping the color picker circle next to the plus sign in the top-right corner.
- To add more apps to the folder, press and hold another app, then drag it in.
- If you want to drag multiple apps simultaneously, press and hold an app until you see the app settings menu. Tap Select, then select multiple apps and drag them into the folder.
How to create app folders on iPhones
- Press and hold your Home Screen until the apps jiggle.
- Drag an app onto another app to create a folder, then drag other apps inside it too. (Each folder can hold multiple pages of apps.)
- To change the folder's name, press and hold it, tap Rename and enter a new name.
- Tap Done when you're finished, then tap the Home Screen background twice.
- If you want to delete a folder you created, tap it open and then drag out all the apps inside it. The folder will automatically disappear.
- If you want to move an app from a folder to the Home Screen, tap open the folder, then touch and hold the app until it wiggles. Then drag it to the Home Screen.
How to create app folders on Android
- Press and hold the app you want to move.
- Drag it on top of another app you want to combine it with, then lift your finger.
- You can add more by dragging other apps to the folder.
- You can name the group by tapping it, tapping the suggested folder name, and entering your own.
Clear your cache
As you use apps and browse the internet, your phone stores tiny pieces of information to ensure a smooth user experience. But all those files build up over time and should be cleared out periodically to free up a little storage space. That's where clearing your cache comes in.
How to clear the Chrome cache on Android devices
- Open the Chrome™ app and tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner.
- Tap History > Clear browsing data.
- At the top, select a time range. If you want to delete everything, select All time.
- Select the checkbox next to Cached images and files. Only select the checkbox for Cookies and site data and Browsing data if you'd like to delete those too.
- Tap Clear data.
How to clear the cache on iPhone devices
- Go to Settings > Safari.
- Tap the option marked Clear History and Website Data. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm. Your AutoFill information, like for history, cookies, and browsing Safari, won't be affected.
Clean your screen
To keep germs from spreading, you should clean your phone screen nearly as often as you wash your hands. Get this: Americans check their phones 96 times a day, according to Asurion research. That's once every 10 minutes! So if you use your phone in a public restroom, while standing on a bus, in the supermarket, or after working out in the park, it's a good idea to thoroughly clean your screen (and your hands) before using it again.
How to deep clean your phone screen
- Take off your phone case, and turn off your phone.
- Use a microfiber cloth with a mild cleaning solution, like a 50-50 mixture of water and alcohol.
- Spray the cloth—never your tech—and wipe down both sides of your phone, taking special care while cleaning the screen.
- While your phone air dries, clean the case inside and out: Use soap and water, disinfectant spray or wipes, or glass cleaner for plastic cases, and try soap and water or leather cleaner for leather cases. Be sure to let the case dry before putting it back on your phone.
If you're looking for more ways to optimize your phone usage this year, check out our guides on how to speed up your slow phone and how to organize photos on your phone.
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