Get Ready for the New Year With These iPhone Maintenance Tips

December will be over and 2023 will be in a few weeks. With the holiday break and holidays coming up, the end of the month is a great time to sit down and do a little iPhone maintenance in preparation for the new year.

New Year iPhone Maintenance Features
If you are like many of us here MacRumorsyou have a lot of cruft in the form of photos to clean, old apps to delete, contacts to delete, and more, so we thought we’d share some useful suggestions for iPhone organization and optimization. can save space and make your device less cluttered.

Delete Old Photos

I bought a house this year, and I have about a thousand photos of peeling paint on the ceiling, marks on the floor, downed trees, efflorescence in the crawl space, overflowing rain gutters, and dozens of other small house issues that are one photo. If you are in the same situation, now is a good time to organize those pictures into albums, remove them from ‌iPhone‌ to a special album on your Mac or other device, or delete them.

delete manage photos ios
On ‌iPhone‌, open the Photos app, select everything you don’t need, then add it to an album using the Share Sheet or delete it. You can also move it to an app like Files to keep a copy that doesn’t clutter up your ‌Photos‌ app, which is what I’m going to do.

iOS 16 adds a handy feature to merge contacts if you have duplicates. Just open the Contacts app and it will let you know at the top if there are duplicates, which can be merged with a tap.

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iOS 16 combines duplicate contacts
If you have old contacts that you don’t talk to anymore, this is also a good time to go through and delete anything that isn’t relevant to clean up your Contacts list.

Delete Unused Apps

Apple gives you many ways to get rid of apps you no longer use, but perhaps the most efficient way is to simply open the Settings app, go to General, and select iPhone Storage. From there, you can see what’s taking up a lot of space and you can get rid of what you don’t use to save Home Screen space on your ‌iPhone‌ and storage space.

iOS deletes unused apps

Delete Old Messages

Old iMessages, especially those with a lot of pictures, can take up a surprising amount of space. When you uninstall an app, check Settings > General > ‌iPhone‌ Storage > Messages to see what’s eating up the most space in the app. From there, tap on categories like photos or videos to delete old content.

manage application storage messages
Note that it may take some time to load your photos and videos.

Clearing Old Reminders and Notes

When going through unused photos, messages, and apps, it might be a good idea to delete old Notes and Reminders from those apps, respectively.

manage iOS reminders
I’m not good at keeping Notes especially, and it can get cluttered with content I no longer need. It’s not a big deal, but it feels refreshing to empty it every now and then. Deleting a note is as easy as opening the Notes app and swiping to the left, and the same goes for Reminders.

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Check Your Notification Settings

Over the years, it’s easy to download an app, forget about it, and delete the excess notifications you start getting that you don’t need. Deleting apps solves the problem, but you may have apps you want to keep that you don’t need notifications for.

iOS manages notifications
In Settings > Notifications, you can manage all your apps, deciding which ones can send notifications and which ones can’t. Clearing notifications can cause less distraction, and it’s also useful to add apps to the App Summary so you only hear from them once a day.

Check Battery Usage

It is a good idea to look at your battery usage every now and then so you can see what applications are consuming battery life and where you spend your time to see if there are areas where changes can be made.

iOS battery usage information
In Settings > Battery you can see the last 24 hours and 10 days of app usage, with a breakdown of which apps are using the most battery life. It lets you know if the battery is being drained by active use or background activity, which can be helpful if you’re looking to maximize battery life.

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If you have apps like ‌Photos‌ or Weather that update in the background when you don’t really need them, you can turn off background updates. Go to General > Background App Refresh to toggle background refresh on each app.

More Tips

There are many more management categories that you can explore, and some suggestions for organization and updating are below.

  • Put your files in iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Box, or any other cloud service you use.
  • Clean your email inbox, delete old emails to save space and to get zero inbox.
  • Run a check in 1Password or your password management app to update old passwords, close old accounts, or remove data you no longer need.
  • Reorganize apps into folders for a more organized Home Screen.
  • Include your Home Screen and Lock Screen widgets to make sure everything is still relevant and nothing is unused.
  • Update the location in the Weather application to delete old vacation spots or other weather information that is not needed.
  • Update your Favorites on Maps.
  • Update your Apple Music playlist.
  • Update all your apps and make sure software updates are installed on all devices.
  • Install HomeKit firmware updates on any devices that need to be updated.

Have a suggestion?

What’s on your list for year-end iPhone maintenance and updates? Let us know in the comments below.


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