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5 steps to tune up your Android phone



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Take the time to tweak and tweak settings to get the most from your phone.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Every spring when the weather gets warmer, flowers start to bloom and bees start buzzing, it reminds me it’s time for spring cleaning. And of course, we have plenty of spring cleaning tips to help you speed up the tedious chores, but what about your gadgets? They also need attention. Start on clean the outside of your phone without destroying the screen. Then you can delve into the software aspect of your phone.

We just discussed how Decrypt and refresh the iPhone, and now it is time to take a look at Android phones.

In just a few minutes, you can make your phone feel like new again, or at least make yourself think it’s while you’re waiting for an upgrade. Below I’ll show you five ways to tune up your Android phone.

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You can also uninstall from the Play Store.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Remove those one-time use apps

Take a few minutes to go through your home screen or app drawer and delete any apps you no longer use. Not only do these apps take up precious storage space, but they may still be able to access all the personal information you approved when the app was first launched.

How you delete an app can vary depending on who makes your device, but I’ve covered all the bases in this postRead it if you don’t see an uninstall option after long pressing the app’s icon.

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Left: Files app on a Pixel 3. Turn right: My files on a Galaxy S10 Plus.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Free up even more device storage

After deleting old apps, free up more storage space by viewing the files stored on your Android phone. It’s far too easy to forget all the files you randomly downloaded, like the takeaway from the new place down the road or a GIF a friend sent you. And those files are correct. The fastest and easiest way to manage your phone’s storage is to use the Files app that comes preinstalled.

Some phones actually use some variation of the same app. For example, on Samsung it is called My files. On the Pixel ($ 88 at Amazon) line up, it’s just Files. On the OnePlus 9, it’s File Manager – you get the idea.

I recommend opening the app drawer on your phone and grabbing “files”. Chances are, it will reveal whatever your phone maker calls the app.

Start by checking it Downloads folder, where you can delete the files you no longer need, or move them somewhere, such as Google Drive or another cloud storage provider.

Most file apps will also reveal large files stored on your device. For example, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s File Manager app has a special section in the app for files that take up a lot of space.

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Make your home screen look and work the way you want.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

Dive into the home screen settings

One of the best parts about Android is how much you can customize the entire look of your phone. From installing app icon packs to completely replacing the launcher your phone uses, there are plenty of options for personalizing your phone.

While you can certainly start customizing launchers and installing app icons, start digging into the home screen settings your phone already offers. I do this occasionally and it’s surprising how subtle tweaks to aspects like app layout can make it feel like a brand new phone.

Long press on an empty area of ​​your home screen and select Home settings (or a variation thereof). That will open the options for your home screen, where you can adjust various settings.

Settings such as the size of the app grid. It may seem like a small change to go from a grid of 4×5 apps to 5×5, but that extra column can make a big difference (the same can be said about shrinking the grid).

This is also where you’ll find settings for things like swiping down on the home screen to view notifications instead of having to swipe from the top of the screen.

Go through your phone’s respective settings and experiment with your home screen settings.

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Device settings are often ignored, but they are so important to getting your device just right.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Triage your device settings

On the subject of settings, now is a great time to go ahead and change any settings that are bugging you. I have a collection of settings you want to change and tweak on any Android phone to get the most out of it.

For example, enabling dark mode will not only make the app look better, it will also save battery life. And yes, I’ll even show you how to stop app icons from automatically appearing on your home screen.

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Check which apps have access to which permissions.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Review your privacy options

Before taking a break, do yourself and your Android phone one last favor: double check your privacy settings.

Open the Settings app, then tap Privacy Permission managementGo through each category to see which apps are currently accessing which treasure of your personal information. Are you looking for an app that you don’t want to have access to your location for? Shut it down. The same goes for contacts, calendar or camera.

It doesn’t take long to go through each section, and even if it does, it’s well worth the effort.

Check these out after you are done pairing your Android phone hidden features that you will surely loveThere is also one new document scanner that makes it easy to make digital copies of paperwork. And, finally, take a look at the features in Android 12 that we are most looking forward to


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