How many times have you used your smartphone today? Twenty times? Maybe fifty? More, still? According to the Pew Internet Project’s mobile technology research, as of January 2014, 90% of American adults have a cell phone, with 67% of phone owners constantly checking their phones for messages, calls, or alerts even when they don’t hear any ringing or didn’t notice their phones vibrating. In this day and age, we’ve grown accustomed with this pressing need to have our phones by our sides at all times, so as not to miss any calls, texts, emails, or updates – even during the night.

Which is why as much as we do a thorough sweep of our houses and offices for unattended stuff and need-to-trash files, clothes, and unfixable appliances, our smartphones should also be subjected to the same kind of scrubbing and sweeping (figuratively, of course). Whether you’re an iOS loyalist, an Android user, or a Windows fan, we’ve got 5 rocking tips to help keep your device in tiptop shape. Back up, speed up, and spring clean the hell out of your handy dandy device:

Delete and transfer old texts or emails and photos or videos –

Clear up extra space in your phone by removing unimportant texts and emails. Another simple way to free up memory is to transfer old photos and videos to your computer. Because chances are, your phone is filled with pictures of random every day things that you’ve either already posted on Facebook or shared on Instagram. And if you’re using an iPhone, you can see that your photos app contains a separate album called My Photo Stream and another album for your Instagram posts, meaning when you take a photo and share it on IG, you have two photos saved on your Camera Roll album and on your My Photo Stream album, plus the on the IG album. Imagine using up 3 times the space needed for the exact same photo!

Remove those unwanted applications –

Remember those games you purchased because a friend of a friend told them they were good so told you to download it and asked you to try it but when you did, you got bored by the minute? Or how about those photo and video apps you downloaded because their previews were so enticing that the photos looked like they totally got fixed and the apps were FREE, but then you find out the in-app purchases like the brushes and other effects and you decide it’s not worth the money? It’s time to uninstall these apps to give space to other applications you’ll use more. Besides, if you’re using your own Apple or Android ID and change your mind about the app you’ve just deleted, you can always search through your previously purchased apps and just download it again.

Update your phone’s OS –

While most operating systems alert you for any update, regularly check for other app updated as well. By making sure your software is updated, you enjoy increased productivity and an optimized smartphone performance. Updated versions of your phone’s OS mostly provide bug fixes but some updates also come with useful features and battery enhancing capabilities.

Review and houseclean your icons –

If your home screen looks like it’s been through two tornadoes, a thunderstorm, and run over twice by both a racecar and a dump truck, then it’s time to re-assess and clean up. Re-arrange your icons per usage or per app. Keep your photo and video apps such as VSCO, PicLab, Flipagram, and Instasize in one folder. Place all your shopping apps like Amazon, Slice, Groupon, and Yelp in one folder. Place all your games in another (well technically some people actually do need more than a couple folders for their gaming apps). No matter how many apps you have, it’s best to keep your home screen looking tidy, neat, and organized as this also helps you to navigate more quickly.

Clear cache –

Much like your PC or laptop, the cache stored in your Web browser helps speed things up because it loads what you want faster the next time since it remembers what you searched before – like keywords or images. However, this also puts a strain on your phone’s memory. Clear cache regularly to help your phone save disk space and eventually perform better.


Post contributed by: Lisa Campbell, a writer for Become, Inc—a product price comparison site for online shoppers. She’s an ecommerce enthusiast and also loves to write about social media, shopping tips and marketing-related topics.