6 Ways to Clean Up Apps, Data, and Files on Your Android Smartphone

Over time many Android smartphones start to feel sluggish, especially after loads of installed apps or a build-up of photo, video, and other files. Deleting lesser-used downloads, removing cached data and moving multimedia into the cloud are just a few of the tricks that can help restore your Android phone to its former glory. 

Want step-by-step instructions to improve your device? Keep reading for 6 Ways to Clean Up Apps, Data, and Files on Your Android Smartphone, the first installment of our six-part Android Phone Makeover series.

1. Delete apps you don’t use or need
We’ve all got ‘em—apps we can’t remember downloading. Toss ‘em.

  • Open the Settings app on your phone.
  • Go to Applications > Manage Applications.
  • Scroll through your apps to find ones you don’t use or want. Press and hold on that app.
  • Select Uninstall.

2. Store apps to your SD card instead of internal storage
Since the days of Android Froyo, most apps can be moved to the SD card. Moving apps frees up space on your phone’s internal storage, giving the device less data to recall. Not all apps can be moved to the card, and apps with widgets shouldn’t be moved because their performance will be negatively affected.

  • Open the Settings app on your phone.
  • Go to Applications > Manage Applications.
  • Select an app you want to move, then press and hold.
  • Select Move To SD Card.

3. Move your pictures and videos to the cloud

All those files stored on your phone can drag down its performance, but you can move them to the cloud with the Google+ app.

  • Install and launch the app.
  • Tap the Menu Button.
  • Under Photo Settings, place a checkmark in “Turn on instant upload.”
  • Delete the original files once everything is uploaded.

4. Batch-delete any kind of file with ESFile Explorer

You can multiselect photos and video for deletion in Android’s Gallery app, but when you need to dig into the phone’s storage and its network of subfolders, ESFile Explorer (Free) does the trick. The app lets you search for files, can display thumbnails of your images and video to make identifying them easier and reads every file type, so you can get rid of old documents and presentations or even HTML, PDF or ZIP files in a hurry.  Check out ESFile Explorer in the Android Market.

5. Use App Cache Cleaner

Some apps keep a record of data to help with load times, but if you don’t use the app often, those records can eventually gum the works. 

You can clear the cache for apps manually (see below), but Android buries the Clear Cache button in Settings. Try installing App Cache Cleaner (free). It will remove useless data from every app on your device at the touch of a button, or it can clean apps individually via a handy search bar. Check out App Cache Cleaner in the Android Market.

6. Delete cached data manually 

If you prefer cleaning out cache app by app, here’s how to get it done.

  • Open the Settings app on your phone.
  • Select an app you want to move, then press and hold.
  • Go to Applications > Manage Applications.
  • Select Clear Cache.

More Android Phone Makeover tips!

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