December is coming to an end and 2023 is just around the corner in just a few weeks. With the holidays and vacations approaching, the end of the month is a great time to sit down and do a little iPhone maintenance in preparation for the new year.
If you are here like many of us MacRumorsYou have a lot of crap in the form of photos that need cleaning, old apps that need deleting, contacts that need deleting and more, so we thought we’d give some useful suggestions on how to organize and optimize iPhone. Summarizing 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 peeling paint on the ceiling, stains on the floor, fallen trees, efflorescence in the crawl space, overflowing gutters and dozens of other small household problems to photograph. If you are in the same situation, now is a good time to organize those pictures into albums, drag them from “iPhone” to a special album on your Mac or other device, or delete them.
On the “iPhone”, just open the Photos app, select everything you don’t need and add or delete it to an album using the share sheet. You can also move it to something like the Files app to keep a copy that won’t clutter up your Photos app, which I’ll do.
iOS 16 added a handy feature to merge contacts if you have duplicates. Just open the Contacts app and you’ll be told at the top if there are any duplicates that can be merged with a tap.
If you have old contacts that you no longer speak to, this is also a good time to delete anything irrelevant to clean up your contact list.
Delete unused apps
Apple gives you a number of ways to remove apps you no longer use. However, the most efficient way is to just 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. When deleting apps, look at 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 loading your photos and videos may take some time.
Clean up old memories and notes
When browsing through photos, messages, and unused apps, it’s probably also a good idea to delete old notes or reminders from those apps.
I’m not good at keeping track of notes and it can be 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 easy as opening the Notes app and swiping left, and the same goes for Reminders.
Check your notification settings
Throughout the year, it’s easy to download apps, forget about them, and delete the excessive notifications you get 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 are allowed to send notifications and which ones aren’t. Clearing notifications can result in fewer distractions, and it’s also useful to add apps to the app summary so you only hear from them once a day.
Check the battery consumption
It’s a good idea to check in on your battery usage every now and then so you can see which apps are using up battery life and where you’re spending your time, to see if there are any areas to make changes.
Under Settings > Battery you can see the last 24 hours and the last 10 days of app usage, with a breakdown of which apps were using the most battery life. It lets you know if the battery has been drained from active use or background activity, which can be helpful 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 disable background updates. Go to General > App background refresh to toggle background refresh per app.
There are many more management categories to delve into, with some suggestions for organizing and updating below.
- Browse your files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Box or any other cloud service you use.
- Clean up your email inbox, delete old emails to save space and reach inbox zero.
- Check 1Password or your password management app to update old passwords, close old accounts, or delete data you no longer need.
- Reorganize apps into folders for a cleaner “Home screen”.
- Look at your “home screen” and lock screen widgets to make sure everything is still relevant and there is nothing that isn’t being used.
- 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 all devices have software updates installed.
- Install HomeKit firmware updates on any devices that need updating.
Do you have a suggestion?
What’s on your year-end iPhone maintenance and update list? Let us know in the comments below.