Recycle My Phone: Give New Life to an Old Phone

A pile of old phones

There's no law that says you absolutely, positively, have to get an upgrade cellphone when you renew your mobile contract. Why not save money by sprucing up your old phone instead?


Renewing your cellphone contract? Before you opt-in for the shiny (and expensive!) new upgrade cellphone, consider saving some money on your monthly fees by rejuvenating your old phone.


Don't know how? Here are some pointers on how to make any mobile phone feel brand new...


Update the Software on Your Old Phone


The only constant when it comes to tech is change. When a new operating system (OS) is released, mobile apps need to be upgraded to meet the new technical standards. That's why you need to ensure that your device is up to speed with the latest updates, otherwise you'll get left behind with a phone that lags.


Staying in the dark ages by using last year's version of an app also makes you more vulnerable to hackers, not only putting your data at risk, but also shortening the life of your phone.


You're generally prompted to make software updates, but to be proactive, connect to Wi-Fi, open Settings, and in the case of an Android (like popular Samsung phones), select About Phone and tap Check for Updates. If one's available, it will appear and that's your cue to install it.


For an iPhone, go to Settings > General, then tap Software Update and if two are available tap the one you wish to install.


Lose the Unnecessary Apps


Downloading too many apps will fill up your device's internal memory, resulting in a sluggish (and not-so-smart) cellphone. Let's not kid, you definitely have more than one app that serves the sole purpose of sitting on your home screen, untouched.


Show no mercy! Find the icon for the app you're ditching, and tap and hold it until you're prompted to either delete, remove or uninstall it.


Then tackle the sneaky apps that constantly run in the background, slowing down your phone's processing speed. On an Android, visit the Applications Manager, select Enabled in the All Apps menu to view all the programmes that are currently running on your phone, and press Force Stop to shut that phone drain down. On an iPhone, you can see which apps are running by going to the App Switcher.


Backup and Delete


Get those photos and videos organised instead of letting them chew away at your storage space and mess with your phone's functionality. Back up photos you want to keep to the cloud or store them on your computer or a memory card.


Delete unwanted pics, especially live photos, which take up acres of space, accidental screengrabs and those five-minute videos you've accidentally made of the inside of your pocket.


This will give your old phone the life you never thought it could have.


Do Some WhatsApp Weeding


Sure, it may have been your first WhatsApp exchange with your significant other, but you don't need to clog up your phone by keeping years of messages on hand. Archiving your WhatsApp messages and deleting all those 10-minute conspiracy theory videos your weird uncle sent you are non-negotiables.


Delete the chats or masses of media files you don't need, and archive or export old exchanges to make WhatsApp easier to navigate.


Simply tap on More Options in the Chats tab in WhatsApp, go to Settings and select Chats > Chats History > Archive All Chats, or simply select the specific chat you wish to archive.


By following these steps, and selecting Export Chat instead of Archive All Chats, you can also export a copy of your chat history with a particular individual or group via email and delete the original copy, freeing up space.


Dust Off the Charging Port


Gently clean out your charging port, which by now likely contains more lint than a grizzly bear's belly, especially if you're still using a classic early-00s Nokia. Aside from being highly unpleasant, if left there, that gunk will either present a charging challenge or potentially creep into your phone's hardware.


Make sure the phone is unplugged and then use either a toothpick to (very!) gently scrape the inside of the port, blow the dust out with an air syringe or use some cotton wool and alcohol to clear out the gunk.


Avoid using ethyl alcohol, which could damage your phone's hardware. Better yet, take it to a professional to limit the chances of accidental damage!


Once you've done all that, compare cellphone insurance quotes using our tool to make sure you're still getting the right cover for your good-as-new smartphone.


Then, if you're looking for an affordable cellphone contract (with or without a new device), compare cellphone deals using our new tool!


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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