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Setting up Android phone: 5 easy steps that are worth your time


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

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

In a matter of minutes, you can make your phone feel like new again, or at least fool yourself into thinking it is while keeping up with an upgrade. Below I show you five ways to give your Android phone a tuneup.


You can also uninstall from Play Store.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Delete these one-time apps

Spend a few minutes going 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 still have access to some of the personal information you approved when the app was first launched.

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


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

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Free up even more device storage

After removing old apps, 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 randomly downloaded – like the menu for picking up the new place down the road or a GIF sent to you by a friend. And these files are added. 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 variant of the same app. On Samsung, for example, it is called My Files. On Pixel ($ 88 at Amazon) lineup, it’s just files. On it OnePlus 9, it’s File Manager – you get the point.

I recommend opening the app drawer on your phone and accessing “files”. Odds are that 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 somewhere like Google Drive or another cloud storage provider.

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

S21 Ultra vs.  note 20 Ultra

Make your 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 entire look of the phone. From installing app icon packages to completely replacing the launcher your phone uses, there are plenty of options for personalizing your phone.

While you can definitely jump into customizing launchers and installing app icons, start by digging into the settings on the home screen that your phone already provides. I do this once in a while and it’s surprising how subtle tweaks to aspects like applayout can make it feel like a brand new phone.

Long press on a blank area of ​​your home screen, then select Home settings (or some variation of it). It opens up the options for your home screen where you can customize various 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 options for things like swiping down the home screen to see notifications instead of having to swipe from the top of the screen.

Go through the respective settings that your phone has and experiment with your home screen setup.


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

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Drag your device settings

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

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

android-10 privacy permissions

Check which apps have access to which permissions.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Go through your privacy settings

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

open Settings app, then press Privacy > Permission Administrator. Go through each category to see which apps currently have access to which tax of your personal data. Find an app that 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 review each section, and even if it did, it is worth doing.

Once you have finished giving your Android phone a tuneup, check these out hidden features you will definitely love. there is also one new document scanner it makes it easy to make digital copies of paperwork. And finally look at the features of Android 12 that we are most looking forward to.

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