Make your Android phone feel like new again with these quick tricks

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Taking a few minutes to tweak your Android settings can pay off big.

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Temperatures are rising and flowers are blooming – spring has finally arrived. In this time of growth, rebirth and spring cleaning, consider your android phone. Whether or not Android 12 has arrived on your phone yet, there are tons of ways to refresh and tweak your phone to make it feel like new again.

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First, detoxify the outside of your phone, as you probably place it near your face every day. To learn clean the outside of your phone the right way without destroying the screen.

Next, dive into your phone’s software. An investment of just a few minutes can transform your android phone into something that looks and feels new – at least until you’re able to upgrade. Read on to find five simple tips for decluttering, rearranging, and personalizing your Android phone.

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You can also uninstall apps using the Play Store.

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Delete all your forgotten apps

Take a few minutes to go through your home screen or app drawer and delete any apps you no longer use. Not only do these apps take up valuable storage space, but they potentially have access to personal information or permissions that you approved when you first launched the app.

How you remove an app may vary depending on your device manufacturer, but I covered all the bases in this post. Read it if you don’t see an uninstall option after long-pressing the app icon.

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Left: Files app on a Pixel 3. To the right: My files on a Galaxy S10 Plus.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Eliminate old files to free up storage space

After deleting all old apps, free up more storage space by browsing saved files on your Android phone. It’s far too easy to forget all the files you’ve randomly downloaded, like the take-out menu from the new place down the road or a GIF sent by a friend. And those files add up. The fastest and easiest way to manage your phone’s storage is to use the pre-installed Files app.

In fact, some phones use a variation of this same application. On Samsung, for example, it’s called My Files. On the Pixel ($445 on Amazon) lineup is just Files. On the OnePlus 9it’s the file manager – you get the idea.

I recommend you open the app drawer on your phone and go to “files”. Chances are this will reveal whatever your phone manufacturer calls the app.

Start by checking the Downloads folder, where you can either delete the files you no longer want or move them somewhere like Google Drive.

Most file apps will also reveal any large files saved on your device. For example, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s File Manager app has a dedicated section within the app for files that take up a lot of space.

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Your options for designing your home screen are endless.

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Adjust home screen settings for a new look

One of the best parts of Android is how much you can customize the look of your phone. From installing app icon packs to completely replacing the launcher your phone uses, there are plenty of options for customizing your phone.

While you can certainly get into changing launchers and installing app icons, start by digging into the home screen settings your phone already provides. I do this from time to time and it’s surprising how subtle tweaks to things like the app layout can make a brand new phone feel.

Long-press an empty area on your home screen, then select Home Settings (or some variation of that). This will open your home screen options, where you can customize various settings.

Read more: These are The best features of Android 12 and some hidden functions we have found

Settings like app grid size. Going from a 4×5 to 5×5 grid of apps might seem like a small change, but that extra column can make a big difference (the same can be said about shrinking the grid).

This is also where you’ll find settings for things like swiping down on the home screen to show notifications instead of having to swipe down from the top of the screen.

Go through your phone’s respective settings and test your home screen setup.

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Device settings are easily overlooked, but they are important for your device to look perfect.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Optimize your device settings

Speaking of settings, now is a good time to review and change any settings that have been bugging you. I have one Parameter overview you’ll want to change and customize on any Android phone to get the most out of it.

For example, enabling dark mode not only improves the look of the app, but also saves battery life. And yes, I even show you how to prevent app icons from automatically appearing on your home screen.

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Use the Permissions Manager to control which apps have access to your data.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Customize your privacy options

Before you take a break, do yourself and your Android phone one last favor: check your privacy settings.

Open the Settings app then press Privacy > Authorization Manager. Browse each category to see which apps currently have access to which treasure of your personal data. Found an app you don’t want to allow access to your location? Turn it off. The same goes for Contacts, Calendar or Camera.

It doesn’t take long to walk through each section, and even if it did, it was well worth it.

Once you are done with tuning your Android phone, check out these hidden features you will love. There is also a document scanner that facilitates the creation of digital copies of documents. And take a look at all the reasons to consider buying a Pixel phone.

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