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Tech tips

If you’ve had your phone longer than 3 months, it needs this deep clean

One of the best parts of getting a new phone is how fresh, shiny and new it is — inside and out. The screen is scratch-free, your storage is blissfully empty and it runs like a dream.

But before long, it loses its luster. Even if your phone is relatively new, it probably still needs a good cleaning. In fact, tap or click here to learn the 5 things you must do when you buy a new smartphone.

But think about all the germs it’s covered with from taking it with you to the bathroom and setting it down on dirty services in public. Yuck! And the outside is only the beginning. The inside needs to be cleaned regularly, too.

Over just a short period of time, things like cookies, location services and ad networks could start causing problems behind the scenes. They could even pose privacy and security risks.

The slowing down process of your phone has already begun. That’s why you need to deep clean your phone. We’ll help you start with the outside.

The basics

Keeping the outside of your phone clean isn’t a grueling process. You just need the right supplies and a little bit of elbow grease. Follow these simple steps to keep your phone as pristine as the day you unboxed it.

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Cleaning the screen

All DIY jobs are easier when you have the right tools. Cleaning your device is no different. Before you get started, remove your phone’s case and accessories so you can reach all the nooks and crannies.

Begin with screen cleaning wipes that are designed for smartphones. This 250-pack of screen cleaning wipes from XHL-Oumin can be used on smartphones, tablets, monitors, TVs and remote controls.

These wipes are safe and effective, allowing you to easily wipe away dust, fingerprints, makeup and oil. They’re also scratch-free, made with anti-static micro-fine tissue that’s perfect for cleaning lenses without leaving behind streaks.

Don’t forget the ports

You don’t just want to clean surface areas. You’ll also want to get inside those ports to remove any dust or grime that has built up.

This Skylety 17 piece phone cleaning kit can help. Use it to clean out those USB charging ports and headphone jacks — if your phone still has one, of course.

The cleaning supplies have an anti-static design and, unlike cotton swabs, they won’t leave fuzz behind that can attract lint. The kit includes anti-static brushes, nylon brushes, cleaning cloths and de-dusting film.

Tech to the rescue

Looking for an even easier way to sanitize your phone? Check out the PhoneSoap 3 UV smartphone sanitizer and universal charger.

It uses two germicidal UV-C bulbs that sanitize your entire phone, killing 99.9% of bacteria and germs. The unit also comes with a USB port and a USB-C port for charging, and works with both Apple and Android devices.

Now that you’ve taken care of the outside of your device, let’s look at a few simple but effective ways to clean up the inside.

Tips to get the best performance

The moment you unbox your smartphone, it’s super fast and perfect — but it doesn’t take long for it to start slowing down. That doesn’t mean the phone was designed poorly or has already gone bad. In most cases, there are small things happening behind the scenes and they can be remedied with a few taps.

Cookies from websites you’ve visited, location services and ad networks could be the culprits. The good news is you can clean all of these things up and make sure you’re getting the best possible performance in just a few minutes.

Related: Stop your phone from being tracked with these settings

Get rid of those unused apps

Getting a new phone is exciting and it’s easy to go a little overboard by filling it up with apps. You just want to download all the trendy apps so you don’t miss out on what everyone else is talking about, but the reality is you’re probably only using a handful of them on a regular basis.

Did you know apps can drain resources, even if you don’t really use them? This is why it’s a good idea to decide what you really need and ditch the rest. Here’s how:

iPhone

On your iPhone, launch the Settings app, tap General, then Storage. Scroll and select the apps you want to delete. Tap Delete App and Delete again to confirm you want to delete it.

Android

On Android gadgets, go to Settings, scroll down then tap Apps. A list of the apps on your phone will appear. Select the app you want to delete and tap Uninstall. Make sure to go back to your display window to remove the widget. If all else fails, Settings is the place to start when looking to delete apps.

Note: Steps in this article are for Samsung phones. Your exact steps may be different depending on the device’s manufacturer.

You might also like: 7 best phones under $400.

Clear that cache

Storage real estate is valuable. When you’re running low on storage, your phone can slow down significantly. One way to free up some much-needed space is to clear your phone’s cache. Here’s how:

iPhone

There are a couple of places on your device where you’ll want to clear the cache: apps and your browser.

To delete the cache from your Safari browser, open Settings, scroll down and select Safari. Under the Privacy & Security section, tap Clear History and Data. This process will remove browsing history, cookies and other browsing data.

To clear the cache from other apps, tap Settings, then General and iPhone storage, then scroll through your apps. Apps are listed in order by the amount of space they take from most to least.

If an app is using a ton of space, let’s say more than 500MB, it’s a good idea to uninstall it and reinstall it later. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any personal information.

Note: To see how much space an app is taking up, select the app and look for the number next to Documents & Data.

The Facebook app is notorious for hogging space. If it’s using several gigabytes, uninstalling it will clear the cache. Just reinstall it, sign back into Facebook and all of your posts and friends will still be there. This can free up lots of space and help your phone run smoother.

Android

Delete files by tapping on Settings, Storage, then Free up space. Pick a file to delete and check the empty box on the right. Then tap Free Up at the bottom of the screen.

How to get better battery life

Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi can have a big impact on battery life because your phone is constantly searching for a signal. It’s a good idea to turn them off when you’re not using them. This is especially true if you’re in an area with a spotty connection.

Here’s how to change these settings to save your battery:

iPhone

To turn off the GPS on your iPhone, tap SettingsPrivacy, then Location Services. Slide the toggle to off. To turn off Bluetooth, open the Settings app, scroll down and tap Bluetooth, then slide the toggle to off. For turning off Wi-Fi, launch Settings, tap Wi-Fi and slide the toggle to off.

You can also switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in your phone’s handy Control Center. How you access the Control Center depends on which iPhone model you have, but it’s equally simple. For iPhone 8 and older, just swipe up from the Home screen. For iPhone X or newer, swipe down from the top right side of the Home screen and voilà, there it is.

If the icon of the feature you want to turn off is blue, it means it’s on. Just tap the icon and it will turn white, which means the feature is off.

Komando.com

Related: iPhone battery life much shorter than expected

Android

On your Android, to turn off Wi-Fi, go to Settings, tap Connection, then find Wi-Fi and slide the toggle to off. On the same page, you can also turn off your Bluetooth and GPS.

If your Android supports this function, go to your home screen and swipe down to see the Status Bar. From there you can turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS simply by tapping the appropriate icons.

Related: How to save battery power on your Android phone

Now that you know how to keep your current phone clean and functioning properly, there is no need to run out to buy a new one any time soon. With newer models running well over a grand these days, that’s a good thing.

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