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Android Phone Adjustment: 5 Easy Steps That Are Worth Your Time



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Take the time to adjust and adjust the settings to get the most out of your phone.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

Every spring when the weather starts to warm up, flowers start to bloom and bees start to buzz, it reminds me that it’s time for spring cleaning. And sure, we have many tips on spring cleaning to help you increase tedious chores, but what about your gadgets? They also need attention. Start with cleaning the outside of the phone without damaging the screen. Then you can dive into the software aspect of your phone.

We just covered how declutter and refurbish iPhone, and now it’s time to take a look at Android phones.

In just a few minutes, you can make your phone feel like new again, or at least trick yourself into thinking it’s while you’re up for an upgrade. Below I show you five ways to tweak your Android phone.

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You can also uninstall from the Play Store.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Delete these one-time apps

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

How you go about deleting an app may vary depending on who is creating your device, however I covered all the bases in this post. Read it if you do not see an uninstall option after long pressing the app icon.

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Left: The Files app on a Pixel 3. Right: My files on a Galaxy S10 Plus.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Free up even more storage space on your device

After removing old apps, you free up more storage space by going through the files stored on your Android phone. It’s all too easy to forget all the files you’ve accidentally downloaded – like the take menu of the new place down the road, or a GIF a friend sent you. And these files upload. The fastest and easiest way to manage your phone’s storage is to use the pre-installed Files app.

Actually, some phones use a variant of the same app. On Samsung, for example, it is called My Files. On Pixel ($ 88 at Amazon) lineup, there are only files. On OnePlus 9, it’s File Manager – you get the point.

I recommend opening the app drawer on your phone and reaching for “files”. The odds are that will reveal what your phone manufacturer calls the app.

Start by checking Downloads folder, where you can either delete the files you no longer want, or move them to a location like Google Drive or another cloud storage provider.

Most file apps also reveal large files stored on your device. For example, the OnePlus 9 Pro File Manager app has a dedicated section in the app that takes up a lot of space.

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Make the home screen look and work the way you want.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

Dig into the home screen settings

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

While you can definitely jump into the fine tuning of launchers and install app icons, start digging into the home screen settings your phone already provides. I do this once in a while, and it’s surprising how subtle adaptations to aspects like app setup can make it feel like a brand new phone.

Long press on an empty area on the Home screen, then select Home settings (or some variant of it). It opens the options for the home screen, where you can customize different settings.

Settings such as the size of the app grid. It may seem like a small change to go from a grid with 4×5 apps to 5×5, but the extra column can make a big difference (the same can be said about shrinking the grid).

This is also where you will find settings for things like swiping down the home screen to see alerts instead of having to swipe from the top of the screen.

Review the respective settings of your phone and experiment with the home screen layout.

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Device settings are often ignored, but they are so important to get the device right.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Use the device settings

Talking about settings now is a good time to go through and change settings that have annoyed you. I have one summary of settings you want to change and customize on any Android phone to get the most out of it.

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

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Check which apps have access to which permissions.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Review your privacy options

Before you take a break, do yourself and your Android phone one last service – double check your privacy settings.

To open Settings app, then press Privacy > Permit manager. Go through each category to see which apps currently have access to which treasure chest of your personal data. Find an app you do not want access to your location? Turn it off. The same goes for contacts, calendar or camera.

It does not take long to go through each section, and even if it did, it is well worth the effort.

When you have finished setting up your Android phone, check these out hidden features you will surely love. There is also one new document scanner it makes it easy to make digital copies of the papers. And finally, take a look the features of Android 12 that we are most looking forward to.


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