Don’t want to drop $1K on a new phone? Do this instead

Nov 19, 2023, 5:45 AM

bunch of random phones scattered on the table. iPhone, Pixels, Android...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

It was a little anticlimactic when I went from the iPhone 14 Pro Max to the 15 Pro Max. Side-by-side, they look an awful lot like the same phone. The one thing that stood out was how shiny and clean the 15 looked.

You don’t have to shell out a lot of money — jump into the settings and use a little elbow to make your current phone sparkle.

I write about the latest tech gear, security alerts and digital life hacks in my daily emails. Join 600K+ who get the Current each day. It’s free!

Wipe it out

No kidding, one IT genius at Komando HQ wipes his phone once a year. Seems like a pain (and it is, a bit), but it can keep yours running fast and smooth. Think about it — there’s so much less junk piled up if you clear it all out regularly.

Be sure to back your phone up first, then a factory reset makes it easy to on-board all your important info.

On iPhone:

  • Open Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset.
  • Select Erase All Content and Settings.

On Samsung

  • Open Settings > General management.
  • Swipe to and tap Reset, then Factory data reset > Reset.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to confirm, then tap Delete all.

On Google Pixel

  • Open Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset).
  • To erase all data from your phone’s internal storage, tap Erase all data.

Your texts are an inbox, too

I bet you make time to sort your email inbox when things get out of control. Do you ever do the same for your text messages? Over time, old conversations, marketing texts, spam and other junk piles up. It’s easy to clear.

Just swipe on a chat to bring up the option to delete. You can also hold down on the chat to bring up options. On iPhone, tap More > trash can > Delete Message. On Android, hold down on a thread then hit the trash can icon.

Update your OS

Never-updaters are the folks who say “No thanks” to any system upgrade. Reasons vary, but at the end of the day it’s a bad idea. Even if you don’t want the new features, updates patch security issues and keep you safe.

Go into your Settings, then look for system updates. While you’re there, you might want to set up your phone to auto update.

Get into the nooks and crannies

First, remove your phone’s case and accessories. They trap so much dirt and muck.

A microfiber cloth works for wiping away smudges and grease, but I prefer screen cleaning wipes designed for smartphones. They’re scratch-free and made with anti-static tissue that cleans without leaving behind streaks or lint.

Speaking of, skip paper towels. They’re too rough for delicate jobs like this.

Your phone’s ports collect dust, grime, and dirt. Cotton swabs leave behind fuzz and could leave you worse off than when you started. Toothpicks are OK if you are very gentle, but breaking off the sharp end inside a port is easy. Cheap tools made for the job work better.

Then give that case a thorough cleaning. For plastic, rubber, and silicone cases, grab an old toothbrush and a bit of warm, soapy water. Very lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with water and mild soap for leather cases. Lightly rub the case in circular motions.

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: FB Marketplace best sellers, $661K bank scam & malware targets kids

Plus, I’m talking to Professor Scott Galloway about his views that Gen Z should be educated on mating dynamics — especially with sexbots on the rise. I’ll also show you how to spot phony retail sites, introduce a woman who turns her dating app matches into music, and tell you all about ChatGPT Plus’s new file analysis tool.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on AppleGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

Kim Komando

video camera positioned to record...

Kim Komando

3 ways to preserve your family memories this holiday season

In this week's article, we'll discuss best practices to getting those precious memories out so that everyone can enjoy them.

12 hours ago

woman looks at phone as if she's going to hang up...

Kim Komando

Security warning: Scammers are calling you with holiday tactics

Cybercriminals make a killing over the holiday season — just think about how often we pull out our credit cards.

1 day ago

iPhone and Androids have useful tricks...

Kim Komando

Smartphone tricks every iPhone and Android user should know

This week's tech tips will walk you through some of the best hidden features you’ll wish you knew about sooner.

7 days ago

man sitting on computer looking frustrated...

Kim Komando

Here are 5 dumb security tech mistakes that you have been making

As tech security ranks high on the list of smart things to do, let this be your reminder to make a few quick changes to protect yourself.

8 days ago

family photo being taken at holiday event...

Kim Komando

Clever tech hacks for less stress this holiday, from Amazon spoilers to family pics

Before you dive headfirst into the festive frenzy, I've got tech tips that'll sprinkle a little magic on your celebrations.

11 days ago

iphone and iphone box...

Kim Komando

Unlock your iPhone’s full potential: 12 must-know tips & win an iPhone 15

I’m still discovering new things on my iPhone. No matter your model, I bet there are hidden features you’ll be happy to know.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Don’t want to drop $1K on a new phone? Do this instead