How to Spring Clean and Organize Your Devices
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How to Spring Clean and Organize Your Devices

Free up unnecessary screen time by making your family’s devices work more efficiently.

Free up unnecessary screen time by making your family’s devices work more efficiently.

Searching through a sea of apps or files to find what you need or waiting for a site to load when your memory is maxed is time better spent with family or doing the things you love. The answer to wasted screen time? A little digital spring cleaning to avoid lags and make your devices work better for you. Here are six ways to lighten your load and declutter your mobile devices.

Tidy up photos and videos.

Take a look at the date on the first photo on your phone. Yup, it’s probably time to tend to old photos, videos, memes, gifs, and files and free up some memory on your device. Edit out ones that don’t bring you joy and transfer your favorites to another storage space, like a portable hard drive or a cloud-based app. Here’s a fun idea: get creative with kids and make a photo book of your favorite memories, old-school print style. You won’t have to worry about losing them if your phone or computer suddenly crashes or gets hit with a virus. For this reason, you want to back up your data regularly too.

Clear your app clutter.

Take an inventory of the apps on your phone. How many do you actually use? Delete any that don’t serve you often to save on battery life. You can even automatically delete apps (on the iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Offload Unused Apps). Apps like maps, ride-sharing services, and any others that track your location can also drain your phone’s battery. Deny permission to track where you are with location services when possible. While you’re at it, close apps daily when not in use.

Toss old contacts.

Our contact lists can get out of hand after a while and some may not even be familiar or in use anymore. Sort through your contact list and delete anyone you no longer need or know to free up data space.

Clear your cache data.

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox save information from the websites you visit in their cache and cookies. The cache remembers parts of a page such as an image to help it load faster next time you visit while cookies are files that sites you visit create to save your browsing data. While they can make your experience smoother by remembering your browsing history, it’s a good idea to clear them on occasion to address problems like loading or formatting issues.

Filter content.

Parental controls like Circle can filter or block inappropriate content to help kids focus on quality content while freeing up memory. With Circle, you can customize your settings to filter content for each family member and apply to social media, videos, and games for both apps and websites. You can also use Time Limits, Focus Time, and Bedtime to snooze devices at certain times of the day, giving them a fresh start for when you’re ready to get back online.

Clean your device.

Now is a great time to actually clean your device. Health experts suggest sanitizing your phone at least once a day. To do this safely, you want to unplug the device, dampen a lint-free cloth with soap and water and wipe clean. Obviously, avoid submerging your phone in a liquid but also avoid aerosol sprays and cleaning solutions that contain bleach or abrasives. Disinfecting wipes are fine for most parts of your devices but may over time wear down the screen coating on your phone that prevent fingerprints. The CDC offers additional advice for disinfecting your devices during the COVID-19.

Learn more about Circle’s screen cleaning features to free up data.

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