Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Smartphone

Smartphones and tablets perform a lot better when they’re not encumbered by a bunch of stored files. Chances are, that content is clutter you don’t want anymore — but if you do, it’s easy to upload it to a PC or to the cloud. Keeping your mobile device in pristine condition means you’ll have more available memory for all the features and functions you want to take advantage of every day.

If your device is having difficulty completing tasks like file downloading, it’s a dead giveaway that it needs some maintenance.

We’re used to the idea of spending a bit of time running hard disk defragmentation, spyware scans and other tools on our PCs, but we may not be so au fait with what’s needed on the limited-memory phones and PC-substituting tablets we’re using daily.

Clean Out Downloaded Files

Every time you click on a Web browser download link and view a PDF or other downloadable file — like a podcast, email attachment image, or offline map — on your device, that content is being stored and is using up the limited space available.

Non-volatile flash computer memory used in devices is more expensive than the hard drive type of memory used in PCs. There are also weight, power and space constraints in mobile devices that we don’t see in a PC. Consequently, memory capacity is limited in a smartphone or tablet.

Open the Apps drawer area of your device and look for a provided file manager. This will be labeled “Files” or “File Manager” or similar.

Open the app, and browse for folders called “Downloads” in “Internal Phone Storage” and “SD Card.” Delete files you find there that you don’t want.

Look for a file folder called “DCIM” which holds camera images. Delete the ones you don’t want. Upload to your PC or to the cloud.

Folders called “Podcasts” and “Movies” may hold large, redundant media files that you can get rid of if you want.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Smartphone

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