No matter whichyou use — , , , or others – it came out of the factory with predetermined parameters that control its operation. While many of these default settings may work for some users, changing some of them can quickly optimize your Android phone.
However, you should know where these settings are and what they can do for you before you start configuring them. We will review the settings that can help youclean up your home screen, and get better performance from your Android smartphone.
To note: Not all Android devices are the same and phone manufacturers often put their own software on Android, so just be aware that some settings may be missing or in a different place depending on the version of Android you are using and your manufacturer phone.
Settings to improve battery life
Living with a phone with poor battery life can be infuriating, but there are steps you can take to maximize every charge from the start:
1. Disable automatic screen brightness or adaptive brightness and set the brightness level slider to less than 50%.
The brighter your screen, the more battery it consumes.
To access the setting, pull down the context menu at the top of the screen and adjust the slider, if it’s there. Some phones may have a toggle for auto-brightness in the shortcuts panel; if not, you need to open the settings app and search for “brightness” to find the setting and turn it off.
2. Use Adaptive Battery and Battery Optimization.
These features focus on learning how you use your phone, including what apps you use and when, and then optimizing apps and how much battery they use.
Some Android phones will have a dedicated Battery section in the Settings app, while other phones (looking at you, Samsung) bury those settings. It’s a little different for each phone. I recommend opening your settings and searching for “battery” to find the correct screen. Your phone may also have an adaptive charging setting that can monitor how fast your phone’s battery charges overnight to help keep it healthy.
Dark mode is your friend
Another way to improve battery life while saving your eyes is to use Android’s dedicated dark mode. Any Android phone running Android 10 or newer will have a dedicated dark mode option.
According tonot only but also improves battery life as it takes less power to display dark backgrounds on OLED screens (used in most ) than a white background.
Depending on your phone’s version of Android and the company that made your phone, you might need to dig into the settings app to find a dark mode. If your phone is running Android 10 or later, you’ll be able to enable system-wide dark mode. If it’s running Android 9, don’t despair. Lots of appswhich you can use whether or not you have Android 10.
To activate it in dark mode, open the Settings application and search dark mode, Dark theme or even night mode (as Samsung likes to call it). I suggest using dark mode all the time, but if you’re not sure, you can always set dark mode to turn on automatically based on a schedule, for example 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. h every day, or allow it to automatically switch based on your location at sunset and sunrise.
Keep your home screen clutter-free
Plan to head over to the Google Play Store for a? Prepare for a lot of icon clutter on your home screen, where shortcuts land every time you install something.
If you don’t want this, there’s a simple fix: long-press an empty area on your home screen and tap Settings. Find the option labeled something along the lines of Add an icon to the home screen or Add new apps to the home screen and turn it off.
Presto! More icons on the home screen when you install new apps. You can still add shortcuts by dragging an app icon out of the app drawer, but they won’t appear on your home screen unless you want them to.
Configure Do Not Disturb
If your phone regularly spends the night on your bedside table, you probably don’t want it beeping or ringing every time there’s a call, message, or Facebook alert, especially when you try to sleep. Android offers a Do Not Disturb mode that will keep the phone more or less quiet during designated times. On some phones this is called the downtime setting or even silent time.
Head toward Settings > Sounds (or Notice), then find Do not disturb or a similar name. If you can’t find it, search for it using the built-in search function in your settings.
Using the feature, you can set a range of times you want digital noise turned off. But don’t worry, any notifications you receive when Do Not Disturb is on will still be waiting for you when you wake up. Also, you can usually make an exception that allows repeat callers and calls from favorite contacts to go through. Turn that on. If someone calls you in an emergency, chances are they’ll keep trying.
Be prepared if you lose your phone
Is there anything worse than a lost or stolen phone? Only the knowledge that you could have found it if you had enabled Google’s Find My Device feature.
To prepare for a successful recovery, here’s what you need to do: Open the Settings app, then search Find my device. It is usually in the Security part of the Settings application.
Or if you have a Samsung device, you can use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service available in Settings > Biometrics and security > find my mobile.
Once enabled, you can go to android.com/find from any PC or mobile device and sign in to your account. Samsung users can visit findmymobile.samsung.com to find a lost phone.
If you’re having trouble setting up any of these, be sure to read our.
Assuming your phone is on and online, you should be able to see its location on a map. From there, you can ring it, lock it, set a lock screen note to tell whoever has it how to return it to you, or in the worst-case scenario, erase the whole thing remotely.
There’s a lot more to learn about a new phone, of course. If you have a phone withwhich was released last fall, here’s what you need to know about . And if you are already on Android 12, here is .