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5 apps you should delete off your smartphone right now

Too many apps on your phone can clog up space. Some of the apps taking up your memory may be redundant. Others may be violating your privacy.

Take this Android app, for instance, with more than 500,000 downloads hiding money-stealing malware. It’s not just dangerous apps you need to be aware of. Your phone may be loaded with unnecessary apps that offer features your phone already provides.

But, of course, they won’t tell you that. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to sell your data for a quick buck. That’s why we put together a list of five redundant apps you should delete now.

1. QR code scanners

If you had never heard of these before the pandemic, you probably recognize them now. Many restaurants forego traditional menus in favor of QR codes to limit unnecessary touching. You’ve probably seen them: They’re tiny squares with black squiggles that wind around in a vague maze shape.

QR codes allow you to visit a website’s URL conveniently without remembering the full web address. For example, you can snap a photo of a QR code at a restaurant, and your phone immediately directs you to an online menu.

Do you have an iPhone with iOS 11 or a more recent version? If so, your smartphone has this native capability. There’s no need for a QR code scanning app.

Do you have Android 8, 9, 10 or Oreo? Good news: Your phone has this built-in feature. That means you don’t need to download a specific app to scan QR codes, so save some space on your phone and delete any code scanners you might have downloaded.

2. Scanner apps

Speaking of scanning, do you have a PDF you want to take a photo of? You may be using a particular app for that. They may seem appealing: they let you adjust the lighting in one app.

But you can save time and money by using your camera. Fiddle with your smartphone’s image editing features, and you’ll be able to eliminate shadows, brush away smudges and get your documents picture-perfect in no time. If you’re new to photo editing, tap or click here to see how to enhance your favorite pictures.

By getting rid of scanning apps, you’ll be saving space in your phone and stopping a third party from potentially collecting your data.

3. Facebook

How long have you had your Facebook app? If it’s been a few years, this app could consume considerable space on your phone. That’s because, over time, this app will connect with other programs in a complex web of data.

While that can make life convenient in the short term, it can lead to a slower phone and less space for new stuff in the long run. That’s why we recommend deleting Facebook and re-downloading it. This is a great way to clear a ton of space.

Do remember, though, that this is a temporary solution. The only way to stop this app from taking up so much space is to delete it permanently.

4. Flashlight apps

These apps were super popular when smartphones first came out. Nowadays, though, software updates and newer phone models come with a built-in flashbulb. They’re handy when you’re walking around in the dark and can save you a few bucks since you don’t have to buy a physical flashlight.

Thanks to these updates, flashlight apps have largely fallen out of style. Surprisingly, you can still find many of them available for download on the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. You may wonder why they’re available if they have nothing new to offer.

That’s because they want your data. Many apps will request permission to track your location; others can work as a Trojan horse for malware. Tap or click here to see what these creepy programs are capable of.

So cut off your flashlight app and trust your phone’s natural abilities. It’s not a bright idea to keep these apps on your phone.

5. Pop the bloatware bubble

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an iPhone or Android: Your phone comes pre-loaded with apps you’ll never use. These apps are called “bloatware” since they gobble up your phone’s space without serving you in any way, shape or form. Even worse, some of them are locked by the device manufacturer to ensure you can’t uninstall them.

For example, if you have an iPhone, you’ll automatically have YouTube. Buy an Android, and you’ll see PowerPoint, Play Music and Word automatically uploaded.

You can delete some pre-installed apps on an iPhone, like FaceTime, Weather, Podcasts, and the iTunes Store. Here are all the apps you can get rid of if you choose to.

If you’ve got an Android, you’ve got more options for cutting clutter. You can delete, disable and uninstall unwanted apps from your Android device. Tap or click to clean up your Android phone.

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