Just as you’d service your car to keep it running smoothly, an annual review of your iPhone can prevent a lot of issues in the long run. Phones accumulate a ton of digital cruft, and since a more organized device works better for longer, take the start of a new year as your opportunity to clear it all out. Your iPhone may feel brand new again by the time you’re done.
Delete the apps you don’t use anymore
We all download a host of apps that are almost never used. If you have a bunch, consider uninstalling them to save space and bandwidth. Unused apps can make your phone slow sometimes, and they keep downloading updates automatically, which can eat into your internet plan’s limited bandwidth.
You can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and select Enable next to Offload Unused Apps. This will free up a lot of space. Next, you can scroll down on the storage settings page, swipe towards the left on apps that you don’t use, and select Delete to remove them.
Alternatively, you can go to your iPhone’s home screen, then tap and hold an empty part of the screen until the icons start jiggling. Swipe left until you’re at the App Library. You can now tap “X” next to apps you don’t use to delete them quickly.
Change your wallpaper
When was the last time you changed your iPhone’s wallpaper? Go to Settings > Wallpaper to get started—and if that’s not enough, try downloading an app like Dynamic Notch, which allows you to create stylized designs around your iPhone’s notch. While you’re at it, get yourself a customized lock screen too.
Delete old, unwanted photos and screenshots
Most people don’t bother to delete photos from their iPhone, but you probably don’t need to keep thousands of screenshots, memes, and other random photos. Go through your photo library and delete your unwanted photos and videos.
Clear shared calendars, reminders, and notes
You might have created shared notes or added people to calendar entries and reminders. After a point, you should remove them from unused shared data to protect your privacy. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check > Manage Sharing & Access. Follow the on-screen steps and you’re done.
Adjust your screen time
If you want to doom scroll less, go to Settings > Screen Time on your iPhone. Tap See All Activity to check which apps you’ve been using the most. Then you can tap each of these and set a daily usage limit. You can also select the Downtime option to remind yourself to put the phone away after a certain time.
Free up your iMessage space
iCloud is amazing if you want to back up your phone, but backing up your messages is a double-edged sword: It backs up all kinds of spam texts and media files that you’ll probably never need. We’ve got a full guide on how to remove the iMessage clutter from iCloud, which will help you free up space quickly. This will also make sure that when you move to a new iPhone, your iCloud restore won’t carry years of junk to your new device.
Delete your unused subscriptions
We’re all guilty of starting subscriptions that we don’t use, and you might save a lot of money by reversing that habit. Go to Settings > [YOUR NAME] > Subscriptions and get rid of the ones you don’t need.
Take a look at your phone’s battery
Before you think of replacing your iPhone’s battery or buying a new iPhone, go to Settings > Battery to see which apps are draining your battery. Maybe that page will help inspire a New Year resolutions like using Instagram less. You could also delete some of your most addicting apps and switch to mobile websites instead. Instagram is a lot less addictive on Safari.
Clear your app permissions
It’s never a bad time to review how much of your data apps are using. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security on your iPhone and check each option to see which apps are using various sensors on your device. Google Maps probably won’t work very well without location access, but TikTok probably doesn’t need location access at all.