Start 2022 strong by giving your same-old iPhone a tune-up in time for the new year.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
It's the end of the calendar year, which means it's time to get your life together. And by "life," we mean, at least in part, your phone. That's right, your iPhone could use a fresh start in 2022 as well. Maybe it's slowed down lately, maybe it's bloated with extra apps or maybe it needs a new aesthetic. Whatever the case may be, with a little bit of time and a few tweaks, your older iPhone or iPad will feel brand new again.
I'm not talking about cleaning the outside of your device. I'm talking about giving the software a bit of a tune-up to ensure that you have storage and that your device is running as smoothly as possible. Subtle tweaks like moving app icons and changing your wallpaper can make an impact on the feel of your phone or tablet.
Reset your home screen's app layout for a fresh start
Personally, I know I grow bored of my home screen layout and constantly find myself moving an app, folder or widget around just to change things up a little bit. But there are times when I want to start all over, so I reset my home screen layout completely.
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You can find this setting by going to Settings > General > Transfer orReset iPhone > Reset > Reset Home Screen Layout. Once you use this option, the built-in apps will go back to their default position and you'll have the chance to rearrange or organize your phone.
I've found that doing this often reminds me about old apps I never use anymore, which I can then delete instead of leaving them on my home screen hidden in some folder I created a while back to, well, hide apps I no longer use. This brings me to my next tip: Delete unused apps.
Get rid of those single-use apps
Not only do old apps take up precious storage space on our devices, but they clutter up your home screen and, depending on your privacy selections when you first installed the app, can potentially check your location or monitor your contacts or calendars. Instead of letting an app you no longer use take up space or have access to your data, take a few minutes to delete any and all apps you no longer use.
With the release of iOS 14 last year, Apple changed how you delete apps on the iPhone. But instead of the default method, I'm going to show you another way. Open the Settings app, then go to General> iPhone/iPad Storage and wait for the list to load.
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Scroll through the list of apps installed on your phone or tablet. When you find one you want to get rid of, tap it, then select Delete App.
When I'm removing a lot of apps, I prefer to use this method because it's easy to see everything installed in a list instead of having to go folder to folder.
Get a new wallpaper every day
After your Home Screen is free of unnecessary apps and reorganized, here's another easy way to keep it looking fresh every day. Apple's Shortcut app is a powerful tool for all sorts of uses, but one thing I use it for daily is to set a random image from Unsplash as my iPhone and iPad's wallpaper.
Open this link on your phone or tablet, then add the Shortcut. Once it's added, you'll need to create a personal automation in the Shortcuts app via the automation tab at the bottom. Pick a day and time you want it to run, then select Run Shortcut and pick the Unsplash Wallpaper shortcut.
Now the shortcut will run at your set time (I have mine run every morning at 6 a.m.) and your wallpaper will be new and fresh every day.
More and more apps are moving to the subscription model and it's easy to forget what you've signed up for. Take a quick glance at your App Store subscriptions by opening the Settings app. Tap on your iCloud name at the top of the screen, followed by Subscriptions.
A list of everything your Apple ID is signed up for, complete with cost and renewal date, will show up after a few seconds. Tap on anything you want to cancel, which should still allow you to use the app or service until your renewal date.
Resetting your device settings will give you a clean slate without deleting any apps or accounts stored on your phone or tablet. This is an extreme option and one that requires extra thought. But it's all too easy to enable or disable a setting and forget you did that, then grow annoyed with how your device works. Resetting all of your device's settings gives you a fresh start.
Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset All Settings. You'll need to enter your passcode and confirm your decision.
Warning! Be sure to tap Reset All Settings and not Erase All Content and Settings. That option will factory-reset your iPhone or iPad, removing all apps, documents and accounts on your device, and you'll truly have to start all over.