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How to get your Android phone back in shape

Chris Nerney | Aug. 22, 2014
Your Android phone is a lot like your body. Just as your body can become bloated, sluggish and out of shape over time, your smartphone can gradually accumulate apps, data, and other excess baggage through bad habits and indulgences gone unchecked.

Once you install and open Power Tune-Up, you'll see four icons for managing different aspects of your phone. One of those addresses your phone's rate of battery consumption, an important element in overall performance. Whether you use Power Tune-Up or another battery-saving app (here are two others I wrote about recently), having a tool to manage your phone's battery life is essential, especially if you spend a lot of time out and about, and especially if you rely heavily on GPS, which is a battery hog.

Power Tune-Up offers low-battery notifications, a night-time battery saver (I have one too; it's called turning off my phone), and a battery saver mode when the charge level falls below 30%.

The app's Clean-up mode will analyze your phone and determine how much data is residing in the various caches on your device. You can dump all of that cached data by pressing "Clean all." There's also a cache cleaner schedule you can activate.

Clean-up mode also allows you to check data in gallery thumbnails, empty directories, log files and duplicate files. All can be eliminated with the press of a button.

Move apps and media to your phone's SD card

If your Android phone has an SD card, you're probably not using it enough for storage. But many of the apps now clogging your device's storage could be moved to your SD card. There are numerous apps that will do this for you.

You also can move multimedia files to an SD card, if you have one. If not, you can move these files to whatever cloud service you use. They're still accessible, but not clogging your phone's storage.

Back to the factory (reset)

If you're really looking to make your Android phone run just like new, you can do what's called a "hard reset." It's not as extreme as rooting a phone, but a factory reset will basically return your phone to its original condition.

In other words, anything you've added to it — downloaded apps, system settings, your Google account, personal data (including passwords), and music, photos and video. Your phone should have a back-up option that will store apps data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings to Google services.

My HTC One has the "Backup & reset" option in Settings, but not all Android devices are the same. I'd recommend Googling "factory reset" for your device, if you're willing to start fresh.


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