Your iPhone is a powerful computer, and powerful computers benefit from cleaning and maintenance. Here are some simple, easy–to-follow tips to give your trusted iPhone a new spring in its step.
Reclaim Hard Drive Space
Generally, cleaning up your iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad) is a straightforward process where you check and tinker with your hard drive consumption. We haven't seen a hard statistic for how much space it's good to keep free on your iPhone, but as a general rule, it's handy to leave at least 500MB-1GB of free space when you can. This frees up enough room for apps to store data so you don't have to worry about crashes.
If you're running short on data storage on your iPhone, it's time to clean up and take a look at which apps are taking up the most space and why. On your phone, tap Settings > General > Usage. Here you'll find a list of your apps and how much space they're taking up.
In the screenshot on the right you can see that the Camera+ app is taking up 273 MB of storage. Why? It has its own built-in camera roll. This means the app is storing a second set of photos on top of the default photo app. Tap through each of your apps that are taking up a lot of space and you'll probably find a few more offenders. Twitter, for instance, is a 13.5MB app, but somehow manages to take up 383MB for documents and data.
The solution? For apps like cameras you can go into the app itself and delete all the extra pictures. However, for Twitter your only option is to delete and reinstall the app. Once you do, the usage will drop to around 10MB and start climbing up again over time.
Overhaul The Settings On Your iPhone
If your iPhone is struggling with battery life the easiest fixes are available in your Settings menu. We've gone through the biggest offenders on your iPhone's battery life before and disabling the following settings can increase your battery life significantly:
- Push notifications for email (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars).
- Push notifications for apps (Settings > Notifications).
- Location Services (Settings > Location Services).
- Disable Ping (Settings > General >Restrictions > Ping).
You can enable and disable most of the above settings on a per-app basis; if you like having one or two apps sending you notifications you can keep them, but you don't need notifications for everything.
Overhaul Your Settings in iTunes
It's a good idea to take a look back at your iTunes syncing settings when you're cleaning up your phone. This is especially the case if you've started using alternatives to the default apps. For instance, if you've picked up our favourite podcast manager for iPhone, Downcast, you don't need to continue syncing the podcasts you download in iTunes at the same time.
The same goes for calendars, email, contacts, and the rest of the default apps. Uncheck any boxes that don't apply to you to help speed up the syncing process. For instance, if you don't use the default calendar you have no reason to sync it every time you plug in your phone. The same goes for Safari bookmarks, contacts and mail.
Uninstall Unnecessary Apps
A lot of iPhone users are addicted to apps. We've gone over a few ways to clean up your app usage by creating a most used page and a second holding bin page to test new apps. If you're the type who downloads tons of apps on a daily basis it's necessary to clean up your home screen and take a close look at all the apps you didn't end up liking. Delete them and free up hard drive space and declutter your home screen in one simple step.
Remove and Clean Your Case (If You Use One)
We've shown you how to clean and disinfect your gadgets before and if you're busy optimising the insides of your iPhone, you might as well clean up the outside too. This is especially important if you use a case because over time dust and dirt get trapped in-between the case and iPhone. The dust can end up scratching the back of your iPhone if you're not careful. If you have a rubber case you can clean it with a solution of water and Windex.
In general iPhones don't need a lot of maintenance, but hard drives fill up quickly and that's the biggest cause of problems further down the line. As always, when you're cleaning everything above don't forget that a good old hard reset (hold home button and power button until it restarts) can do wonders for your iPhone's speed. Have any iphone cleaning tips we left out? Share them with us in the comments.