Ready to Retire Your Old Smartphone? Think Again.

Do you find your iPhone or Android has become sluggish or downright slow? Before your resign it to the scrap heap (or a reseller for less than the sum of its parts), consider trying these top 3 tricks to give it more pep.

  • Update your operating system regularly. Why is this important? Besides ensuring you’re getting the latest capabilities, keeping your software up to date will ensure you have the necessary security patches and bug fixes. Depending on your settings, you may or may not receive a notification alerting you that an update is available. So it’s worth checking to see if one is waiting to be installed. Below is the process for the iPhone. Start with Settings . Tap “General”, then “Software Update” and you’ll be able to see 1) whether you’ve got automatic updates on or off (image below, far right) and 2) if there’s one ready to be installed. At the bottom of the screen you can choose to install immediately. You may have to have the phone plugged in to do so.

  • Delete large, unused apps that are taking up a lot of space. It’s easy to download apps to check them out then forget about them to gather virtual dust. That’s fine if your phone has lots of storage. But if you’ve got 32GB or less, you may be brushing against your limit, when important system functions might not work as smoothly as they should.
    • Steps to do this on an iPhone again start with Settings>General (see above, far left). Then tap “iPhone Storage” (below, left). Here you can see at the top how much storage you have available and in total 61.9GB available out of 64GB total). In the example below, right, you can see the phone is almost full. The color coding shows which categories are taking up the most space. Clearly in this case, there an opportunity to clean up the apps, and scrolling down you will see in descending order which are taking up the most space. Well someone likes her podcasts!

  • Delete large files, videos, photos, podcast episodes. Above right you can see there is an opportunity to free up 4GB of space just by deleting videos saved onto the phone. When I tapped that section, I discovered I’d saved movies off of Disney+ and Netflix onto my phone. Some of them I’d done in error and some I’d already watched by casting onto the tv screen but forgotten to delete. There was an easy 4GB freed up. In the image above right you can also see Overcast is taking up over 17GB of space. This is mostly due to the individual podcast episodes rather than the app itself. Many of these have been listened to and could benefit from a clear out.

There are several more fast and easy tricks to speed up your old smartphone, which we’ll cover in the very next post. If you’d like to automatically receive new posts into your inbox, simply subscribe below for free. We will never sell your data.


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