In our increasingly fast-paced life we seem to rely on our phones more and more - we certainly do here at Snakehive. 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.
However, all is not lost when your phone starts slowing down, and it’s definitely not always the case that this means you need to upgrade to a newer phone model – take a read of our recent article about slowing down on an upgrade.
It’s likely that your phone probably just needs a bit of a detox and clean up – just follow a few of our tips in this article and we’ll help you get it back on track and hopefully back to its usual speed again!
Before you start to make any changes to your phone we would definitely recommend backing up all your data on your phone. The only thing more excruciating than a slow phone would be to lose all your data and any important photos – especially if you’ve been following some of our tips on how to get great photography for your phone and have got some precious photos that you wouldn’t want to lose.
Step 1. Back up data
We’re not going to go into detail about the best way to back up your data as there are plenty of different ways to do it and the process will be slightly different for each phone model – but we do recommend having a read of this article on how you might want to back up your data for an Android phone and this article on the Apple website for Apple devices.
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 for 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 we’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.
We went round the office here at Snakehive to find out what the main culprit of storage space was and came back with the following results:
Photos and Videos: ~ 80% of our storage
A few of us with iPhones found that 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 t a year works out at £30.
With photos and videos that came back as the main culprit for memory usage it seemed logical to start here to free up some space.
Step 3 – Removing videos and images
With our phones being 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 subconsciously 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 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. Remember to delete the app once you’ve finished cleaning your photo space as you won’t be using frequently, which leads as nicely to the next step.
Step 4 – Remove unnecessary apps
If you like keeping 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 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 sanity 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 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-downloaded; 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.
Other reasons why your phone might slow down over time
- Your phone’s software may not be up-to-date; software updates are often needed to fix and remove bugs – we’d always advise keeping your phone running on the latest software update.
- Lots of tabs and apps open at the same time. Sometimes it may just be a case that you have lots of tabs or apps open and simply closing some of these may speed things up.
- A simple restart of your phone is necessary. Just like you may restart your computer at work if it starts slowing down... the same logic applies.
- The phone cache and history may need to be cleared.
With such fast-paced lives – and from our own experiences at Snakehive - we can certainly understand that getting round to having a good spring clean of your phone may be at the bottom of your to-do list. However, we feel a lot better now that we’ve cleared up some space and did notice improvements in our phone’s performance afterwards.
Once you’ve got your phone back on track it may just be the time to treat it to an awesome new Snakehive case for a great new look and feel on the outside as well!
Next week we’re comparing DIY apps to help and inspire any of us with home decorating and improvement projects on the horizon.