Get Ready for the New Year With These iPhone Maintenance Tips
December is coming to an end and 2023 will be upon us in a few weeks. With holidays and vacations coming up, the end of the month is a good time to sit down and do a little iPhone maintenance to get ready for the new year.
If you are like many of us here at MacRumorsyou’ve got a lot of clutter in the form of photos to clean up, old apps to delete, contacts to delete, and more, so we thought we’d share some helpful suggestions on iPhone organization and optimization that can save space and make your device feel less cluttered.
Delete old photos
I bought a house this year, and I have about a thousand photos of paint peeling on the ceiling, marks on the floor, downed trees, bleeding in the crawl space, overflowing rain gutters, and dozens of other small home issues that make a take one down. If you’re in the same situation, now is a good time to organize those pictures into albums, pull them off the iPhone to a dedicated album on your Mac or other device, or delete them.
On iPhone, just open the Photos app, select anything unnecessary, and add it to an album with the Share sheet or delete it. You can also move it to something like the Files app to keep a copy that doesn’t clutter up your Photos app, which is what I’m going to do.
iOS 16 added a handy feature to merge contacts if you have duplicates. Just open the Contacts app and it will let you know right at the top if there are duplicates, which can be merged with a tap.
If you have old contacts you no longer speak to, this is also a good time to go through and delete anything irrelevant to clean up your contacts list.
Delete unused applications
Apple gives you a bunch of ways to get rid of apps you no longer use, but perhaps the most efficient way is to simply open the Settings app, go to General, and select iPhone Storage. From there, you can see what’s taking up a lot of space and you can get rid of what you no longer use to save both Home screen space on your iPhone and storage space.
Delete old messages
Old iMessages, especially those with lots of images, can take up a surprising amount of space. While you’re deleting apps, check Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Messages to see what’s taking up the most space in the app. From there, tap on a category like photos or videos to delete old content.
Note that it may take some time to load your photos and videos.
Clear old memories and notes
While you’re going through photos, messages, and unused apps, it’s probably a good idea to delete old Notes and Reminders, respectively, from those apps as well.
I’m not particularly good at keeping up with Notes, and it can get cluttered with content I no longer need. It’s not a big deal, but it feels refreshing to empty it every now and then. Deleting notes is as simple as opening the Notes app and swiping left, and the same goes for Reminders.
Check your notification settings
Over the course of the year, it’s easy to download apps, forget about them, and brush off the redundant notifications you start getting that you don’t really need. Deleting apps solves the problem, but you may have apps you want to keep that you don’t need notifications from.
In Settings > Notifications, you can manage all your apps and decide which ones can send notifications and which ones can’t. Clearing notifications can lead to fewer distractions, and it’s also helpful to add apps to App Summary so you only hear about them once a day.
Check battery usage
It’s a good idea to look at your battery usage every now and then so you can see which apps are eating up battery life and where you’re spending your time to see if there are areas where changes can be made.
Under Settings > Battery, you can see the last 24 hours and the last 10 days of app usage, detailing which apps used the most battery life. It lets you know if the battery is drained by active use or background activity, which can be useful if you want to maximize battery life.
If you have apps like Photos or Weather that update in the background when you don’t really need them, you can turn off background updates. Go to General > Background App Refresh to turn on background refresh on a per-app basis.
There are many more management categories you can delve into, with some suggestions for organization and updating below.
- Go through your files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Box or any other cloud service you use.
- Clean your email inbox, delete old emails to save space and get to inbox zero.
- Check 1Password or your password management app to update any old passwords, close old accounts, or get rid of data you no longer need.
- Rearrange apps into folders for a more organized Home Screen.
- Go through your Home Screen and Lock Screen widgets to make sure everything is still relevant and nothing is unused.
- Update locations in the Weather app to delete old vacation spots or other weather information you don’t need.
- Update your favorites in Maps.
- Update your Apple Music playlists.
- Update all your apps and make sure software updates are installed on all devices.
- Install HomeKit firmware updates on any devices that need to be updated.
Do you have a suggestion?
What’s on your list for year-end iPhone maintenance and updating? Let us know in the comments below.