Like computer systems, your smartphone can get slowed down with layers of software program, apps, recordsdata and processes after you have been utilizing it for some time, rendering it slower and extra irritating to make use of – or, even worse, fully unusable. 

Offered the issue isn’t right down to dodgy or breaking , these efficiency points can normally be remedied by updating and/or stripping again parts of your smartphone’s software program. 

So, whether or not you’re trying to repurpose your outdated cellphone for a pal or relative to make use of, flip it right into a dependable backup handset or breathe new life into it so it is much less irritating to make use of, we have got seven ideas that will help you get it operating like new once more.

1. Replace your system software program

Updating to the newest model of Android or iOS can provide your smartphone its greatest likelihood of dwelling out the remainder of its days optimized for the latest apps, video games and companies out there.


When a cellphone launches, it ships with a particular model of the working system – Android 9 Pie or iOS 12 for example. Yearly, a significant new model of the OS is introduced which shall be made out there to older gadgets. 

As well as, safety updates are launched each month or so, and customers unearth bugs, that are additionally addressed in updates.

All the pieces comes collectively within the type of roughly month-to-month updates that maintain telephones operating easily and securely for months or years after they’re launched. So whether or not it’s a significant new software program launch or a patch-up job, likelihood is it’s properly value putting in. 

How one can replace system software program

Whether or not you’re utilizing an iPhone or an Android smartphone, to test to see if it’s updated leap into the settings, kind ‘replace’ within the search bar, and comply with the on-screen directions. 

Android and iOS gadgets will help you manually test for updates, which we’d suggest doing when you haven’t had an replace for some time.

As a rule of thumb, most Android telephones get one main software program replace of their lifetime, plus lot of smaller ones. In the meantime, iPhones can get as many as 4 main updates, which is one motive why iPhones usually have comparatively greater resale values than their Android counterparts.

2. Replace your apps

Preserving their apps updated permits app builders to fine-tune the efficiency of their software program for various smartphones.


Updates are continuously pushed out to repair bugs and add new options, holding them optimized for all of the gadgets they run on – or not less than that’s the idea.

That is particularly necessary for customers of Android telephones, as Android apps need to work with handsets from many various producers, and with completely different display sizes and resolutions, that means there’s doubtlessly better scope for incompatibility.

How one can replace apps

For those who’re an Android consumer, simply open up the Google Play Retailer, faucet the three horizontal traces on the top-left of the display and choose ‘My apps & video games’. 

Right here, you’ll discover a large inexperienced button labelled ‘Replace all’ – faucet it and also you’re in your technique to the freshest variations of your apps which might be out there.

As for iPhones, open the App Retailer, click on the tab labelled Updates and hit the ‘Replace all’ button. 

three. Flip off auto-update when attainable

This most likely sounds counterintuitive after we spent the final two ideas harping on about updates being so necessary – but when your cellphone isn’t packing storage or energy to spare, then updating apps and software program is one thing you’ll doubtless wish to handle your self.


The act of updating an utility requires a good bit of processing energy. Your cellphone has to obtain and unpack a bit of software program, confirm every part to verify it checks out, set up it and create a shortcut. 

Some app updates are additionally considerably greater than the app they’re updating, and with updates starting from a couple of megabytes to over a gigabyte.

As for working system updates, these are even greater, and require your cellphone to be reset in an effort to fully set up. For those who’re utilizing an older handset that is already gradual, an OS replace might put your cellphone on pause till it will get the job carried out.

How one can flip off auto-update:

In case you have an Android cellphone, leap into the Google Play Retailer, open up the settings, then choose ‘Auto-update apps’ and select ‘Don’t auto-update apps’. 

Whereas inventory Android doesn’t offer you an answer to show off computerized replace downloads, some customized OS overlays, like EMUI from Huawei, do. 

To seek out out what your cellphone OS permits, leap into the settings and search ‘Replace’ within the search bar. 

In case you have an iPhone, open up the system settings, choose ‘iTunes & App Retailer’ and ensure the toggle subsequent to ‘Updates’ is ready to off. 

Whereas we’re right here, the iPhone settings can also be the place you’ll wish to flip OS updates off. Scroll to the ‘Normal’ sub-menu within the system settings, and select ‘Software program Replace’. Right here you possibly can toggle computerized downloads on or off.   

four. Clear your browser cache

After a 12 months or two with a cellphone, you’ll be amazed at how a lot house outdated paperwork, cached photos and unused apps can take up, and this may end up in something from impaired efficiency to low-storage alerts.


Enjoyable truth: if you browse the net, your cellphone can save variations of each image it shows with out you even figuring out about it, to not point out all of your shopping information. 

This would possibly sound scary, however it’s in your profit – not having to re-download content material saves you each time and cellular information if you revisit a web site.

Helpfully, each Google and Apple present onboard instruments to assist maintain you spring-clean your smartphone browser with the press of a button.

How one can the clear browser cache on Android and iOS

For those who use Chrome on iOS or Android, open it up and go into the app settings. Scroll down and faucet ‘Privateness’. Subsequent faucet ‘Clear Shopping Knowledge’. Right here, you possibly can select which sorts of shopping information you wish to clear. 

The highest two bins will erase your shopping historical past and saved passwords – you most likely don’t wish to choose these. As an alternative, ensure ‘Cached photographs and recordsdata’ is chosen, as within the picture above – that is the storage hungry-component of any internet browser. Lastly, press the ‘Clear Knowledge’ possibility.

A bonus tip for Android customers – you might also wish to clear unused recordsdata in your downloads folder, which you are able to do utilizing a file explorer, like Google’s Files. Navigate to the Downloads folder, and right here you possibly can manually clear all of the muddle that’s collected over your cellphone’s lifetime.

Use Safari in your iPhone? Open the cellphone settings, discover ‘Safari’ and select ‘Clear Historical past and Web site Knowledge’ to clear your cache and lighten the load your browser locations in your outdated cellphone.

5. Uninstall apps

Apps that haven’t been used for a couple of weeks ought to be uninstalled when you’re utilizing outdated . 


Not solely do they take up house and end in low storage, which may gradual your cellphone down, however they will additionally generate background processes – and when layered on high of each other, these processes put an enormous quantity of pressure in your cellphone’s last-gen processing energy, and could possibly be on the coronary heart of any stutters you expertise.

Apps additionally continue to grow the extra you utilize them. All these gifs, photos and video clips you share and obtain in WhatsApp, for instance, are saved in your cellphone’s finite storage till the app is uninstalled and its information cleared.

How one can uninstall storage-hungry apps

iOS and Android each have storage menus within the settings. These show details about how your storage is faring, and what kind of content material is filling it up. 

This ought to be step one earlier than uninstalling something, because it’s the place you possibly can see how large apps are and what’s taking over essentially the most house.

In case you have an Android One cellphone just like the Moto One or Nokia 7.1, or a handset that runs inventory Android, just like the Google Pixel 3, every part you want is nested neatly within the storage menu. 

Google helpfully illustrates how a lot house is taken by ‘Video games’, ‘Film and TV apps’ and ‘Different apps’.

Every of those might be tapped for a full breakdown, the place you may also see precisely how a lot house every app is utilizing.

Samsung telephones, like the superb Galaxy Note 9 or Galaxy S9, characteristic a ‘Gadget Upkeep’ part throughout the settings that does the same job, whereas Huawei telephones just like the Mate 20 Pro have a ‘Cleanup’ instrument throughout the storage web page.

For iPhones, inside iOS, Apple has a sensible means of eliminating unused apps to maintain issues operating easily. It ‘Offloads them’, uninstalling them whereas holding your information secure, and mechanically doing so if you haven’t used an app for a very long time.

This may be accessed within the settings, beneath ‘Normal’, within the sub-menu titled ‘iPhone Storage’, or if it isn’t a advice heading to ‘iTunes and App Retailer’ within the settings menu will give the choice to show this characteristic on and off.

6. Set up mild variations of your favourite apps (Android) or use internet apps

Software program suppliers equivalent to Fb, Line and Microsoft create streamlined variations of continuously put in apps in order that customers who’ve older or lower-capacity gadgets can nonetheless take pleasure in their software program – what many individuals don’t know is that many of those are merely repackaged variations of their mobile-optimized web sites.


Apps are like ever-inflating balloons, so whereas they might solely take up a couple of MB once they’re first put in, the extra you utilize them the larger they get.

Not solely are mild – or ‘lite’ – variations of those apps smaller, in addition they maintain onto much less high-capacity content material, ‘inflating’ extra slowly than their full-fat alternate options.

How one can set up mild apps

In case you have a suitable Android cellphone this one’s a bit of cake – simply open up the Google Play Retailer, search for one of many following purposes, then hit the set up button: 

Facebook Lite

Facebook Messenger Lite

Google Maps Go

Gmail Go

Line Lite

Skype Lite (Constructed for India)

YouTube Go

For those who discover a mild model of any app that you just wish to set up, make sure you uninstall or disable its full-fat various.

In case you have an Android cellphone or iPhone that doesn’t help mild variations of fashionable apps, worry not – merely use the web-based model of fashionable websites and companies to save lots of an enormous quantity of storage.

These might be saved as favorites for simple entry – and so they’re now really known as ‘internet apps’, as they ship such expertise.

7. Manufacturing facility reset

If all else fails and your cellphone continues to be crawling alongside at a snail’s tempo, a manufacturing facility reset will certainly pace issues up.


No matter your cellphone mannequin or make, a 12 months or two of use will overwhelm any system with hidden recordsdata, app information and utilization quirks. A reset wipes every part clear. 

Be warned although: factory-resetting your cellphone will erase all of your apps, images and information. The one recordsdata that shall be secure are these saved within the cloud or on a reminiscence card – and a few resets even wipe reminiscence playing cards when you test the best – or incorrect – field.

For that motive, we might recommend eradicating any storage playing cards when you’re utilizing an Android cellphone, and totally backing up something you wish to maintain earlier than going forward with this course of.

How one can wipe your Android or iOS cellphone

Resetting your cellphone has by no means been so easy. Whether or not you could have an iPhone or an Android cellphone, kind the phrase ‘Reset’ into the search bar throughout the settings.

Relying in your cellphone producer, Android telephones will current you with one in every of numerous choices that imply the identical factor – sometimes ‘Reset cellphone’, ‘Erase all information (manufacturing facility reset)’, as within the picture above, or ‘Manufacturing facility information reset’. Faucet on something that appears like this, and your cellphone will information you thru the reset course of.

On an iPhone, scroll right down to ‘Reset, Normal’, as illustrated within the image above, to revive your iPhone to its factory-fresh state.  You will must know your Apple ID password to attain this.

  • Delivered to you in affiliation with Nokia and Android One, serving to you to make extra of your smartphone. You may study extra in regards to the new Nokia 7.1 here, and you will find extra nice recommendation on getting essentially the most out of your cellphone here. 

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