Smartphones can be quickly overloaded by unnecessary apps that not only take up storage space but can also affect your mobile’s performance and battery life. Well, enough is enough — it’s time to clean up your smartphone. Here are the the five types of apps you should delete or disable immediately from your phone.
- RAM-booster apps
- Storage cleaning apps
- Social media applications
- Preinstalled bloatware
- Third-party battery savers
1. Apps that claim to save RAM
Apps running in the background eat up your RAM and use battery life, even if they’re on standby. The idea behind apps that claim to boost your memory is to close these background apps systematically. Unfortunately, most of these do-good apps usually exacerbate the very problem they’re trying to solve.
Apps running in the background have to restart after you close them. Memory and battery life are used to restart the apps, and this constant closing and restarting of apps can make your phone not only slower but also consume more battery. So, these memory-saving apps don’t make much sense. Furthermore, Android manages RAM usage automatically and knows when to run an app or not, so third-party apps aren’t necessary.
2. Clean Master (or any cleaning app)
Cleaning apps promise to clean up your phone to boost performance. While it’s true that deleted applications sometimes leave behind some cached data, it’s not necessary to download a dedicated cleaner. If you notice an app is misbehaving, you can clear its cache using these steps:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Apps & notifications (or simply App, depending on the system).
- Tap the See all apps option.
- Selected the app on the list.
- Tap on Storage & cache.
- Choose the Clear cache option.
If you want to know more about the difference between cleaning an apps’ cache or data, we have a dedicated article just for this topic.
Clean Master and similar apps often require a lot of battery power, and their in-app advertising has the potential to take a chunk out of your monthly data allowance. Remove such apps as soon as possible.
Tip: On older Android versions it is possible to clear all cached data with just one command: Just go to Settings > Storage > and tap Cached data. At the Clear cached data prompt, hit OK.
3. Social media apps
Social media apps take up a lot of screen time on our smartphones. The more time you spend on them, the greater the effect it has on your battery life. Social media apps are also notorious for high battery consumption even when they are not being used. A solution to this problem could be to use the browser versions of these apps. Many of these apps also come with a ‘Lite’ version of their app that isn’t resource-hungry. A good example of this is Facebook which offers its very capable Facebook Lite app.
Uninstalling the resource-hungry Facebook app will speed up your smartphone and improve your device’s performance. since the app is has been blamed for literally everything under the sun ranging from high memory consumption, staying active in the background, and demanding permissions to high consumption of mobile data.
If you want to continue using Facebook but do not wish to install any app, you can use the mobile site and add a shortcut on the home screen. Thus, when you close the web tab of Facebook, the site will no longer use the resources of your phone (battery, data plan, etc.)
In case you did not know, there is also a lightweight version of Instagram — called Instagram Lite — as well as a Messenger Lite app for instant messaging. The availability of these apps, however, depends on the country you live, though.
4. Difficult to delete manufacturer bloatware
While this problem isn’t as bad as it once used to be, smartphone brands continue to sell their phones with lots of unnecessary bloatware. These could range from apps for hotel booking, games, or questionable office apps taking up lots of storage space. In some cases, these apps can also affect battery life. On older Android versions, many of these apps did not even give you an option to uninstall them.
However, thanks to continuous (negative) user feedback, most manufacturers have heard your pleas and now allow you to uninstall these apps. Even if you do not see an option to uninstall, you can still disable these apps or force stop them.
The easiest way to do this is by grabbing the respective app in the app drawer and then pulling it onto the app info icon. Then you will see if the app is uninstallable or can only be deactivated. Below, we show you how to disable or force stop an app on an Android device.
Some vendors won’t let you uninstall Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks on your smartphone. This is annoying for users who don’t care about social media or those who don’t need the app taking up space on their devices. After all, in many cases, the mobile site is sufficient enough.
One remedy is to buy smartphones from manufacturers which allow the uninstallation of bloatware. Or buy smartphones that only come with a few third-party apps, like Google or Motorola, or Nokia.
If you are indeed stuck with a phone with a lot of useless applications and games, learn how to uninstall bloatware and delete preinstalled apps on Android.
5. Battery savers
Similar to RAM boosters, battery-saving apps are often a load of rubbish. These apps offer a solution to one of the most-loathed smartphone problems in the world and promise miracles. There are only a few exceptions to the truth that battery-saving apps are merely billboards disguised as useful apps.
To increase battery life, you have to reduce energy demand from the operating system and all running services and apps. So to be effective, energy-saving apps would need to take control of running Android. But since Android can’t be controlled without root privileges, apps available in the Play Store can’t simply step in and take control.
At best, apps can advise or warn you when other applications or games are consuming too much battery, but that’s about it. If it closes power-hungry apps, those apps will likely automatically reopen anyway. Thus, the effect is reversed, and energy consumption could increase.
The alternative? Open your Battery settings and check what is going on. Google is getting much better at managing this for you. Turning on Adaptive Battery will also help a huge deal as it will limit battery for apps that you rarely use.
What other Android apps should I uninstall?
Consider removing any app you don’t use or any that seem to cause a particularly big battery drain or consume excessive data. You can check which apps have the largest impact on the last two things by going to your battery settings page or data usage page in your Settings menu. There are often alternatives to power-hungry apps that you regularly use, so give one of those a try, and you might grow to love it as much as the original.
Which Android apps do you think should be uninstalled? Which ones are you having trouble removing? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was last updated in December 2021. Older comments have been retained.