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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How To Extend the Life of Your Smartphone

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

Things don't last as they used to and that is true in a sense. In our digital world, most computers, smartphones, and tablets usually don't last longer than a couple of years. When you have problems that occur with your smartphone, you're probably tempted to purchase a new one than to get it repaired. Times are changing and more and more people stopping the trend of getting new smartphones every two years and holding on to their devices for three years or longer. This is understandable with the average price of an Apple or Android smartphone starting at $1,000. If you take the right steps, you can make your smartphone last a long time. If you want to save some money on smartphone purchases and extend the life of your device, check out the following tips.

1. Reset your Smartphone Back to Factory Defaults. If you start to experience problems with your Apple and Android smartphones, reset it. Doing this will remove any virus, glitches, and other odd things that could be occurring with your devices and make it work as if you just took your phone out of the box.

For iPhones: Find the reset option under Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

For Androids: Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options> Erase all data (factory reset)

Keep in mind resetting your device will erase all of your information such as pictures, videos, documents and passwords so make sure you back up all of your information to Google Drive, Google Photos, or iCloud.

2. Get a protective case for your phone. A broken screen or case can lead to an expensive smartphone repair bill. Your best bet is to get a protective case and screen for your phone. You will drop it at some point and it's better to shell out $40-$50 dollars for a case rather than a $250 or more bill to repair your smartphone.

3. You know you can replace the battery. Batteries are normally the first thing to fail on an aging smartphone. Batteries that are in smartphones only have a short lifespan, usually only lasting two years or a little longer. Some models of smartphones allow users to easily change out batteries, but many newer models will require you to have a professional do it for you. When getting a replacement battery, make sure you get manufacture approved battery or else you will experience problems down the road.

4. Your smartphone can be fixed. A bad battery, cracked screen, phones dropped in toilets, they can all be fixed. Most repair shops can take care of all of your issues easily, but keep in mind the repair might not be cheap ... but cheaper than the price of a new phone ... even if you're still under contract. Your jaw may drop if you experience a $250 - $300 repair bill on a smartphone, but remember you'll still owe for that phone even if you broke it.

5. Don't load up your phone with too many files and apps. When your smartphone starts to slow down, it could be a sign you have too much stuff on running on your phone. Pictures and videos usually take up the most room, so it's a good idea you save your information with iCloud or Google Photo. Check to see if your phone storage is a capacity. If it is, remove items to clear up some room and restart.

Check storage settings on iPhone: Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. You'll see a list of apps sorted by the amount of storage space used. When you select an app, you'll have the option of deleting it. You can also automatically offload any apps you haven't used in a while. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores and toggle on Offload Unused App. This will remove the app but leave the data behind, in case you want to reload the app at a future date.

Check Storage settings on Android: Go to Settings > Storage > Free up space. To delete an app, tap the empty box to the right to select and then tap Free up.

If you have an Android phone, you have the option of adding a microSD card to your phone to give you additional storage.

6. Clean the charging port. If your smartphone isn't charging, the charging port is probably dirty. With your phone being stored in your pocket or purse, it's easy to get dirt and lint which will block your phone's ability to charge. A wooden or plastic toothpick is the easiest way to clean up your smartphone's charging port.

Android and Apple normally support their phones for about 4 years so keep this in mind when owning your smartphone. Eventually newer software upgrades will force you to get a new phone, but you might as well use the above habits to experience a long life with your smartphone.

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