If there’s one thing that I really hate about getting a new smartphone is the simple fact they all come with so many useless and unwanted apps and games that not only take up screen space, but also memory and undue battery usage. So to help alleviate this problem a little bit and hopefully simplify navigating your phone, I would like to offer a few tips that you can use to get rid of some of the junk that might be on your phone. Useless and Unwanted Apps One of the unfortunate parts of getting a new smartphone is that many come with not only provider installed applications but also some that are part the operating system itself. So whenever I get a new phone, one of the first things I do and often recommend is to disable or uninstall some of these useless apps - many of which run features and services in the background like notifications and updates that can reduce the battery’s charge. As a fix, first look at all the what apps are running by checking the running apps section of your settings. Any apps that you don’t need, disable them if possible and clear the cache which will not delete them but simply remove them from the screen. Getting Rid of Games Whether you’re aware of it or not, one of the ways these smartphone companies make money is to install games - most of which are full of advertisements and designed to get you to buy a game subscription or install apps that could be used to collect your personal information. Fortunately though, most of these games can be uninstalled completely or at least disabled which can free up internal space and help the phone’s performance overall. To remove these memory hungry games, go into your applications settings and not only uninstall the game, but also uncheck any options associated with it such as notifications. Just keep in mind that in the future if for some reason you should have to do a factory reset, everything you just uninstalled will be reinstalled again back the way it was when it was shipped from the factory. Backup and Reset Feature While I can’t speak for iPhones, Android phones have a backup and reset option. As this feature suggests, if selected, all your applications’ data such as passwords and contacts can be automatically backed up to a Google Account prior to reseting your phone. While I’m sure it’s possible to use a different type of account, it might be in your best interest to establish a Google Account even if it’s for just this reason alone. While I could go on about the benefits of having a Google Account such as the ability to sync your contacts and other personal data, let me just say that for me personally, it’s been extremely helpful in the past – especially when I needed to get all my contacts back, would have been devastating if they were lost. Install an SD Card If you’re the kind of person that has a large music collection and a lot of photos, the best advice I can give you is to invest in an SD card if you don’t already have one. Since SD cards are so cheap these days, it only makes sense to buy one with enough capacity and plenty of storage space for any future files you want to save. To find out the largest capacity SD card your phone will support, consult your smartphone’s user’s manual and buy what’s recommended. This way if your phone should fail, you can at least move the SD card to another device instead of running the risk of losing them if stored in the phones storage memory. [IDR’s Tech Columnist, Kenneth Herring, is an Independence native with years of experience in various technologies. He served in the technology industry for more than 27 years, having active experience as an IT instructor and computer systems engineer. Have a question for Ken about your computer? Email him at kenstechtalk@gmail.com.]