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Declutter your mobile devices for the New Year

January 3, 2019

It’s the New Year – a time of resolutions, when many people tend to clean up, declutter and organize their lives. In addition to resolving to clean up our homes, our electronic devices could use that same attention as well. Device performance can be optimized by removing unused apps, stored data and photos from the past year’s adventures. Decluttering mobile devices is a smart and easy way to get organized and prepared for the year ahead, and U.S. Cellular offers tips on how to accomplish this.

“The New Year is the perfect time to refresh and revitalize, so why not start with something you always have with you? Your mobile device,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in East Tennessee. “Smartphones such as the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S9 can do so much to enhance our lives, so we recommend keeping devices clean and orderly to get the most out of them. De-cluttering devices makes them work more efficiently, so it’s a good idea to delete seldom-used apps, games, photos and other information to free up space.”

For devices that may look more like junk drawers, U.S. Cellular offers the following tips:

  • Clear out clutter. Unused data takes up valuable space and battery life, so it’s wise to delete rarely-used apps, outdated contacts, old texts and voicemails, as well as unused music, games, photos and videos. Emails and their attachments can also take up a lot of space on devices. Use me, a free service that provides an instant list of all of the subscription emails coming to a device. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails and use the “Rollup” feature to combine all remaining emails into one daily summary.
  • Determine what’s important. Many of us have several apps on our devices that are only used once or twice – if at all. Figure out what apps are most useful and delete the rest by tapping and holding an unwanted app, then hitting the “x” for an iOS device or choosing the remove option on Android devices. All purchased apps are linked to the device through an Apple ID, Gmail, Windows or similar account, so you can always reinstall an app later if you’ve deleted it.
  • Group into categories. It can be helpful to group apps into categories, such as shopping, cooking, news, social media, games and fitness. You can also consider organizing apps and folders by usage, storing frequently used apps on the home screen and rarely used apps on another screen. This can make it easier and faster to find what you need, when you need it, eliminating the hassle of scrolling through tons of apps.
  • Hide apps that are used infrequently. Declutter your home screen by temporarily hiding infrequently used apps on your device. Install Apex Launcher, which stores apps in “drawers,” or create your own app folders and move infrequently-used items off of the main screen.
  • Get a photo storing app. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 82 percent of smartphone owners use their phone as their primary camera1. Since photos eat up storage, consider an app such as Google Photos that stores and organizes photos in the cloud. Photos are instantly accessible and can be organized by categories, such as person, place or date while freeing up valuable phone space.
  • Leverage the cloud. Consolidate files with free services such as Dropbox or Google Drive, which store documents, photos and videos in one centralized location. Read, share, save and edit documents, photos and even emails with these cloud-based systems. Once important information is safely and securely placed on the cloud, it can be deleted from the device to make more room available.

1Between Nov. 8-17, 2017, a total of 706 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don’t and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. For the fifth time in a row, U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance, according to J.D. Power’s twice-annual U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and