Wire Service
3 minute read
29 Apr 2021
4:18 pm

Tips to breathe new life into your old phone


The best way to look after your battery is to keep power usage to a minimum to ensure that you do not need to replace your phone.

Tips to update your old phone. Photo: iStock

Stuck at home during the lockdown, you cannot help noticing how slow your phone has become and with the economy and Covid, no one has that type of cash laying around for a new phone.

Don’t despair, you probably don’t need to buy a new phone just yet. Here are five tips to breathe new life into an ailing device that is not as nimble as it used to be.

1. Adapt your settings

If your phone is old to the point where it can no longer be updated to the latest version of iOS or Android, you might want to consider getting rid of visual effects and other options of limited usefulness that take up processing capacity. One easy way to do this is to turn on the phone’s energy saving mode, which will allow you to restrict or even block the activity of background applications and to do away with superfluous visual effects.

2. Delete RAM and power guzzlers

Certain applications, which take up more live memory (RAM) than they should, can have a negative impact on your phone’s performance. These can be easily identified in the phone’s battery settings, because they are also the apps that use the most power. If you find that there are games or apps you don’t use, which hog to much RAM or power, just take the plunge and delete them.

3. Replace applications with “lite” or web alternatives

In a lot of cases, large apps can be replaced with “lite” versions that require less space and power. This is notably the case with Facebook and Messenger, to name but two. At the same time, many applications are available in web versions that can be accessed via a browser. A simple shortcut to the relevant website on your your phone’s home screen may be all you need to continue using these apps, which you can then quite happily de-install.

4. Free up storage space

Bear in mind that saturated storage space can have a major impact on a phone’s performance. To ensure that you have adequate room, you should plan on deleting multimedia documents (photos, videos and audio files), which you ought to regularly back up to a computer or to the cloud. Let’s not forget that the developers of your phone’s operating system, notably Google (with Drive and Photos) and Apple (with iCloud), have provided services to allow you to keep your media files online.

5. Be kind to your battery

The best way to look after your battery is to keep power usage to a minimum. To this end, you should consider reducing the brightness of your screen or opting for dark mode (for the operating system and applications that allow it). Even more importantly, you should turn off WiFi and Bluetooth if and when they are not needed, and ensure that GPS and location services are only available to applications that you use for navigation. Follow this advice and your phone will not only be easier on the eye, it will also last much longer on a single charge.