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With these simple tips you can keep your phone going longer

With these simple tips you can keep your phone going longer
With these simple tips you can keep your phone going longer

The best phones you can buy in 2024, like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, cost a lot of money, so the best way to get the most value out of your purchase is to simply use the device for as long as possible. Not only is that better for your wallet, but it’s also better for the environment. When your tech works for longer, fewer phones need to be shipped out and fewer old phones end up in landfill. The good news is that companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, and others are supporting their phones for longer, meaning the software will be safe to use for years to come.

The rest is then up to you. Keeping your phone in good working order throughout the seven or eight years of software support requires some effort, a lot of care and a few key strategies.

Here are the most important things you can do to make your phone last as long as possible.

Install all available updates

Using a phone that no longer receives security updates is simply not safe and should be avoided. It used to be common practice for many Android manufacturers to only support new phones for two to three years, but now you can find phones like the Google Pixel 8 series with seven years of software support. Unfortunately, some cheaper phones like the new OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite still only get updates for a couple of years – if you’re buying a new phone, be sure to check how long it’s supported for, as this will give you more bang for your buck over the life of the phone.

secure android phone 6 secure android phone 6

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Updating your phone to the latest security update will help keep hackers away and your phone free of malware that could sneak in and slow down your phone. Most phones will automatically prompt you to install the latest updates (and you should), but if you have an older phone, go into your settings menu and scroll down to Software update and click to see if an update is available.

The same goes for your apps, which also need to be updated to remain compatible with the version of iOS or Android you are using. It is a good idea to allow apps to update automatically in the background, but if this is not the case, you should go to your app store of choice and check if you are using the latest version.

A stack of iPhone 12 cases in different styles rests on a wooden surface. A stack of iPhone 12 cases in different styles rests on a wooden surface.

David Carnoy/CNET

Use a case

If you’ve just bought a brand new iPhone, the best way to physically protect it is to put it in a case right away. Not only will this protect it if you accidentally drop it, but it will also protect it from micro-scratches from keys or coins in your pocket.

A screen protector is also a good idea because once your phone’s screen is damaged, there’s not much you can do about it. However, if you get an ugly scratch on a screen protector, you can simply replace it and the phone underneath will look like new for years to come.

Replace a dead battery, not the phone

Your phone’s battery gradually wears down over time, offering less battery life per charge than when it was new. This is true for all phones. Some older phones may have batteries that only offer 50 percent of their original power. And you may even get warnings from your phone that your battery can’t deliver the power it needs, and so your processor may throttle down to compensate.

But don’t worry, for most phones it’s pretty easy to replace the battery yourself and breathe new life into it. iFixit sells various kits and third-party battery replacements for a wide range of phones, so if your battery is about to die, you might want to check to see if you can replace it yourself.

Replacing iPhone battery-3 Replacing iPhone battery-3

The iPhone 6, old battery removed and all adhesive residue removed.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There are, of course, a variety of places you can take your phone to (not all of them are particularly reputable) to get the battery replaced, or even other components like a broken screen. This could be a good option if you’re not particularly confident with a screwdriver.

Download old apps and photos you don’t need

If you’ve had your phone for years, it’s probably pretty cluttered with thousands of photos of your friends, your pets, or the food you’ve eaten over time. You also probably have a host of old apps and games that you downloaded on a whim, played for a few bus rides, and then moved on to the next mobile gaming sensation.

A lack of storage can have a detrimental effect on your phone’s overall performance and can also mean that there isn’t enough room to install important software updates. It’s worth going through your archives, backing up the photos and videos you want to save to the cloud, and deleting anything on your phone that’s taking up unnecessary space.

If you’ve had your phone for a long time and it’s running really slow, it might even be worth backing up all your important data and doing a full factory reset to start fresh and install only the absolutely necessary features.

Phone not charging-4 Phone not charging-4

The satisfactory removal of dirt from your phone’s charging port.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Clean your connections

Finally, give your phone a good clean as this can be surprisingly helpful. Pocket junk can be a real problem for your phone, especially the charging port often gets clogged with junk. The result is that when you plug it in, your charger can’t connect and therefore your phone won’t charge.

It’s easy to think that something is actually broken – the charging port itself or the cable – but in reality, it could just be that the port is simply stuffed with lint. Periodically stick a wooden toothpick in there and try to remove any dirt and debris so that your charger fits in without having to do any violent wiggling.

It’s also a good idea to use an old toothbrush (clean and dry) to gently brush away any dirt around the speakers and microphones to ensure you can hear – and be heard – clearly during phone calls.

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