4 steps to clean up your apps and accounts

1 year ago 221

A large year-end task: Take clip to reappraisal each of your apps and accounts connected your devices for simplicity and security.

 Review apps, Review browsers, Check subscriptions, Peruse passwords

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

If you usage a phone, tablet oregon machine you apt person apps connected those devices that you nary longer need. Maybe there's a bookmarked tract you signed into but don't use. That app you downloaded to get a discount. A niche merchandise that solved a peculiar occupation you had once. Or, if you're similar galore radical successful the tech sector, a slew of apps you tested but that failed to go tools you oregon your squad trust.

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As the extremity of the calendar twelvemonth approaches, I urge you reappraisal each of your apps and accounts connected each of your devices. Don't request an app? Uninstall it. Has your usage changed? Adjust your subscription. No longer request an account? Cancel oregon delete it. These actions tin trim app clutter and costs. Fewer apps and accounts besides means less places for imaginable information concerns.

This process tin instrumentality awhile, particularly if you're fortunate capable to person aggregate devices. Start with the instrumentality you usage astir often. For astir people, I suggest the pursuing reappraisal sequence: smartphone, tablet, laptop and past desktop. When you person a spot of time, prime your instrumentality and usage the prompts beneath for your review.

1. Review apps connected each device 

Consider your apps successful sequence, from those astir to slightest prominently displayed. While the series varies by system, the question you see remains the same: Is this an app I inactive want, usage oregon need? Leave it, uninstall it oregon instrumentality steps to delete your account, arsenic you choose. (Remember, uninstalling oregon deleting an app doesn't needfully besides delete your account. The relationship deletion process often requires you to motion successful and spell done the vendor's specified process to adjacent retired an account.)

On smartphones and tablets, cheque each app connected each location screen. If you usage folders, marque definite to cheque each app successful each folder. Tap and clasp connected an app for options either to region it (on iOS) oregon to entree app info and past uninstall (on Android).

SEE: Windows 11: Tips connected installation, information and much (free PDF) (TechRepublic)    

On a Windows system, property Windows cardinal + I past take Apps (and, if needed, prime Apps & Features from the near menu). Select an installed app connected the list, past take Uninstall to region it, arsenic shown successful Figure A. In immoderate cases, the uninstall process whitethorn urge oregon necessitate a reboot.

On a macOS system, prime Apple Menu | About this Mac | Storage | Manage … past prime Applications from the near menu. This displays your apps, sorted by retention utilized from largest to smallest. To region an app, click connected it successful the database to prime it, past take the Delete … button.

On a ChromeOS system, prime the Launcher (circle, typically successful the little near corner) past the ^ icon to show apps. Make definite to scroll down done each disposable screens arsenic you reappraisal your apps. Hold the alt cardinal down arsenic you click connected an app to show a menu, past take the Uninstall option.

Figure A

Screenshot of Windows Apps & features list, with Microsoft Solitaire Collection selected and Uninstall fastener  displayed.

First, reappraisal each installed apps connected each of your devices (Windows strategy shown). Remove apps you nary longer request oregon want.

2. Review bookmarks and extensions

For each browser installed connected your strategy (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, etc.), reappraisal some your bookmarked sites (e.g., connected Chrome, participate chrome://bookmarks successful the omnibox) and installed extensions (e.g., connected Chrome, participate chrome://extensions, arsenic shown successful Figure B). Since immoderate extensions whitethorn person entree to each web leafage you visit, region extensions you nary longer request oregon trust.

Each bookmark typically represents a tract (and often, an account) you wanted to prevention to marque it elemental to sojourn again. If you person placed bookmarks into folders, marque definite to reappraisal each bookmark successful each folder. Remove bookmarks and see closing accounts arsenic appropriate.

Figure B

 Calculator, Chromebook Recovery Utility, and Docs.

Next, cheque bookmarks and extensions (Chrome extensions shown) successful each browser you use. Remove bookmarks and corresponding accounts, arsenic appropriate, and uninstall extensions you nary longer request oregon trust.

3. Check subscriptions

I urge you cheque for subscriptions:

  • On Android devices, pat Play Store | your relationship icon (in the precocious right) | Payments & Subscriptions | Subscriptions. 
  • On iOS and iPadOS devices, pat App Store | your relationship icon (in the precocious right) | Subscriptions, arsenic shown successful Figure C.
  • On macOS, prime the Apple Menu | System Preferences | Apple ID | Media & Purchases (left menu) | Manage … to entree your subscriptions.

In immoderate case, this displays a database of subscriptions on with renewal oregon expiration dates. Tap connected an app to negociate your subscription.

You besides mightiness reappraisal your recognition paper and different outgo systems (e.g., PayPal) for recurring charges. Small monthly payments tin full important amounts implicit time.

Figure C

Shows 6 apps, with 1 of those acceptable   to expire (Dec 3, 2021), and the others, each   with a Next billing day  successful  the aboriginal   (dates vary).

Manage app subscriptions (Apple subscriptions shown connected an iPad) to guarantee that subscriptions you request renew and that those you don't usage are acceptable to expire.

4. Peruse saved passwords

If you prevention passwords—either successful your browser oregon with a password manager—check each of your saved relationship sign-ins. This tin assistance you place accounts you created astatine 1 clip but whitethorn person forgotten about. 

Browser password entree varies:

  • In Chrome connected desktop and mobile devices, spell to passwords.google.com. 
  • In Microsoft Edge, spell to edge://settings/passwords. 
  • On macOS, prime Apple Menu | System Preferences … | Passwords (as shown successful Figure D).
  • On iOS and iPadOS, pat Settings | Passwords. 

Figure D

Screenshot of macOS System Preferences | Passwords, with 9 accounts displayed, and the author's aadl.org relationship  sanction  (awolber) and obscured password dots displayed, with past  modified day  of 2/1/18.

Check the database of saved passwords to place accounts you whitethorn privation to adjacent (macOS Passwords database displayed).

What's your experience?

In precocious November 2021, I went done the supra process and deleted astatine slightest 20 apps connected antithetic devices and closed astir 15 antithetic accounts. Some of the apps and accounts were casual to region (e.g., a elemental uninstall oregon prime of a Delete relationship button). Other systems required maine either to person a unrecorded chat with a lawsuit work typical oregon an email exchange.

How often bash you reappraisal your apps and accounts? If you enactment successful IT, bash you promote radical successful your enactment to spell done this benignant of process? How bash you systematically guarantee that you lone support apps and accounts you request progressive connected your systems? Let maine cognize however you reappraisal your apps and accounts, either with a remark beneath oregon connected Twitter (@awolber).

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