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Kim's column

5 apps you should delete right now

You probably have more than enough space on your phone to hold whatever you want. The bad news: Your phone is probably full of junk you never think to remove.

Take your photo gallery. How many duplicates, screenshots and memes are clogging things up? Cleaning it up isn’t so bad if you have the right tools. Tap or click here for my top picks to easily organize your photos.

Then it’s time to tackle your apps. Don’t make the mistake of uninstalling apps without first deleting the associated account. Tap or click for easy steps on identifying apps you no longer use and removing them.

When you’re ready to start deleting, tackle these apps first. 

1. QR code scanners

If you never heard of these codes before the pandemic, you probably recognize them now. Many restaurants ditched traditional menus in favor of QR, or Quick Response, codes to limit unnecessary touching. They’re small squares with black squiggles that wind around in a vague maze shape.

Instead of typing a URL, you can snap a photo of a QR code and your phone takes you to the site.

If you have an iPhone running iOS 11 or newer, your phone has this feature built-in. There’s no need for a separate app. The same goes for an Android running Android 8 or later. 

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2. Scanner apps

When you need to scan a document, there’s no need to download a special app for that purpose.

On an iPhone:

  • Open the Notes app. Create a new note by clicking the icon that looks like a square with a pen located at the screen’s bottom right.
  • Tap the camera icon at the bottom of your new note and select Scan Documents.
  • Hold your phone over the document you want to scan. Tap the photo shutter button at the bottom of the screen.
  • You can edit the image by dragging around the page corners.
  • When finished, tap Save on the bottom right of your screen. Your file will save as a PDF.

You can get the job done using your camera or the Google Drive app on an Android phone. To do this using Google Drive:

  • Open the Google Drive app. Tap Add in the bottom right corner.
  • Tap Scan, and take a photo of the document you’d like to scan. Hit Done.

3. Facebook

How long have you had Facebook installed? If it’s been a few years, this app could be eating up a huge chunk of space on your phone. Even browsing the timeline adds temporary and cached files to your device, which consumes valuable space.

There’s an easy fix: Delete Facebook from your phone and then download it again from the App Store or Google Play Store. Ultimately, though, this is a temporary solution. The only way to stop this app from taking up space long term is to delete it permanently. 

Fed up with Facebook? Tap or click here to save your Facebook photos and videos off the site.

4. Flashlight apps

These apps were super popular when smartphones first came out. Nowadays, this function is built right in.

You can still find a ton of them available for download on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, though. I’ll let you in on a secret: They want your data.

Many of these apps request permission to track your location, and they could even be hiding malware. Tap or click here to see what these creepy programs are capable of.

Cut off your flashlight app and trust in your phone’s natural abilities. 

5. Pop the bloatware bubble

Our phones are preloaded with apps we never use. This “bloatware” eats up your space and the device manufacturer locks some to make sure you can’t uninstall them.

Most, though, you can get removed. Stop swiping past the compass app or a music player you’ll never use and uninstall it. See the full list of preinstalled apps you can delete from your iPhone here.

If you’ve got an Android, you’ve got more options for cutting the fat. There are even apps that can help you out. (You should delete those when you’re done, too.) Tap or click to clean up your Android phone.

Need any tech help fixing a printer, slow PC or audio issues? Post your tech questions to get fast, concrete answers from me and other tech pros. Visit my Q&A Forum and get tech help now.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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