Just like there are hoarders in homes, you have smartphone data hoarders. I know I’m guilty of e-hoarding when it comes to my emails, so I am fessing up…“My name is Karen, and I am a smartphone data hoarder!” I have over 11,000 undeleted emails, and texts that are more than a year old just taking up space. Pure insanity! Yes, I know, I should probably rush out and enroll in a 12-step program.

Well, there are a few things we e-hoarders can do to delete the electronic info in our smartphones that are no longer valuable.  Spring cleaning our phones increases battery life so charges aren’t lost quickly, apps will run faster, and memory space is regained.

So what are we waiting for?

And as an afterthought, for those 50-plussers who are not tech savvy, and can’t figure out how to perform any of the following suggestions, you can always turn to YouTube, Google, your kids, or grands for help.

Happy smartphone spring cleaning!

Back it up

If you keep running out of storage on your phone, it’s time to give a few photos, videos, and music the old heave-ho! Transfer them to a cloud storage service like Google photos or Amazon photos (fees may apply) that help save memory on the phone, plus you can access it on several devices.

When I first got my phone the cloud service was free, now, I have to fork over an extra $5.00 a month. As much as I hate paying any additional monies to my money grubbing cellphone carrier at least I know that if I lose my phone or it malfunctions, I will still have my photos, contacts, and music. If you aren’t green when it comes to technology, you can also backup these items on your laptop every so often and then delete them from your phone.

A word of caution, perform the backup before you do anything else so that you won’t accidentally lose your cellphone treasures.

Delete apps you aren’t using

If you’re not using an app, just delete it. You can always reinstall it later if need be. The apps you use most often should be on your main screen. Discarding apps opens up a ton of space and keeps the battery from draining so quickly. Reduce visual overload by keeping your screen clutter-free.

Turn off location services and app updates

Disable both automatic location services and app update functions in settings. Only update apps when you choose and enable location when an app such as navigation requires it.

Kill old texts

Texts suck up precious storage space. Auto delete any text messages that are older than a year. Go to the settings area of your phone and tap messages, then scroll through your history and decide which ones should be kept.

Make history, history

In your web browser settings clear your history and web cookies.

Clean up contacts

Scroll through an alphabetical letter a day and eliminate anyone you don’t remember, has passed away, or whom you have not spoken to since the year of the flood!

Declutter your inbox

Unsubscribe to promotional emails and newsletters that you receive and don’t need. Create digital folders by subject and move the relevant emails into them. Delete emails older than a month.

Mute your notifications

Review notifications app by app as this will cut down on banners and sound alerts to minimize distraction. And here’s an ultimate power tip for those who are not severely addicted to their phones: Turn off notifications on all apps and only look at the phone when you want to do so.

Try turning it off and on again

Since we use our phones for nearly everything, they’re rarely switched off. However, just like a computer, phones need a hardware refresh and some downtime. Turn off your phone at least once a week. The device will love you for it and perform better.

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