Spring is sneaking up around the corner and that can only mean one thing — spring cleaning. Android devices are sophisticated enough that regular maintenance isn’t necessary, but it’s still a good idea to clean out the system every once in a while. Don’t underestimate the impact of staying digitally organized.
The trick is finding cleaner apps that actually live up to their promises. At best, a bad cleaner app clogs up disk space; at worst, it could infect you with malware and viruses. Not all cleaner apps are useless, however, so we’re going to help you find the ones worth using.
Clean Master (Free)
The 19 million votes giving this app a fantastic 4.5-star rating should speak enough about Clean Master. This powerhouse app is an all-in-one package that cleans out your Android device. It removes junk, it improves performance, and it keeps your data safe from harm.
Does your device overheat? Use the Device Cooler that kills apps that are using too much CPU and draining your battery. Need more storage space? The Junk File Cleaner will eradicate your cache and wipe away files that aren’t being used anymore. There’s also an App Manager that can help you detect and uninstall unnecessary bloatware.
The CPU Boost and Memory Boost features are more situational, but if they end up being useful for you, great. Lastly, Clean Master’s Antivirus scans your system on demand for malware-infected files and vulnerabilities. All in all, a must-have app for everyone. No root necessary.
Yes, it’s the same CCleaner that’s used to reclaim desktop disk space. Like Clean Master, CCleaner is a multifunctional app that does its best to analyze and clean up stray files that no longer have any business taking up your precious space. To that end, it’s pretty good.
The main function is the Cleaner feature that can wipe cache data from apps, purge empty folders, and delete browser and phone histories. The App Manager is a simple interface for picking multiple apps for uninstallation. Lastly, the System Info page monitors your phone’s resources (CPU, RAM, device details) so you can see what’s going on at a quick glance.
No root is necessary and it’s completely free. It may be a bit light on the features, thus being overshadowed by Clean Master, but it’s a good alternative if all you need is a quick way to reclaim your phone’s storage space.
Startup Manager (Free) [No Longer Available]
If you reboot your phone often, you may have wondered why the booting process takes so long — especially if you have one of the latest models with a lot of hardware power. Like all operating systems, Android can be configured to start certain apps during boot and loading takes time.
The problem is that many apps add themselves to the “startup list” without you even realizing it. You can speed up your phone’s boot time if you remove the unnecessary apps from that list using Startup Manager.
It’s pretty simple, too. Startup Manager detects all of the apps that run at startup, including both system apps and user-installed apps. Removing an app is a one-tap procedure. And if you’re worried about needing a rooted device, rest assured: Startup Manager works on non-rooted devices just fine.
History Eraser (Free / $1.99)
Are you worried about people potentially snooping through your phone and peeking at something they shouldn’t? Mobile apps tend to log a lot of details — not necessarily for malicious reasons — and it can be a pain to scour through files by hand, deleting saved histories one by one.
History Eraser automates all of that for your convenience. With a single tap, you can clear any of the following: browser history, call logs, text messages, search history, download history, app cache files, clipboard data, and more. All of this works perfectly well on non-rooted devices.
The free version of History Eraser is supported by ads, but you can remove them by upgrading to the paid version.
Duplicate Contacts & Utilities (Free / $1.99)
If you struggle with hundreds — even thousands — of people in your contacts list, then you should waste no time checking out Duplicate Contacts & Utilities. As the name implies, it can wipe out duplicates with a single tap, but it also comes with a handful of other useful utilities for managing your contacts.
The Exact Duplicate Removal and Merge Duplicate Contacts features are only available in the paid version. The rest of the features are completely free: Duplicate Number Removal, Duplicate Name Removal, Duplicate Email Removal, Wipe Empty Contacts, Import/Export Contacts as PDF or XLS, among a handful of others.
It’s easy, fast, convenient, and does not require your device to be rooted. Supplement with one of these Android contacts & dialer apps that make it easy to organize and manage your contacts list.
What About Task Killers?
You may have noticed that none of these apps fall under the category of RAM Boosters and Task Killers. That was a deliberate decision. As it turns out, those kinds of apps are counterproductive and can actually harm your device performance.
On Android, full RAM usage is not a bad thing. In fact, Android purposely keeps its RAM as full as possible. As RAM fills up, Android is smart enough to know how to juggle its open apps for optimal performance. Interfering with that process can cause Android to work harder than it needs to, which ultimately slows down your device.
Long story short: don’t use RAM boosters or automatic task killers. For a deeper explanation, check out our exploration of why task killers are bad.
Again, none of this is strictly necessary. Your device will keep running even if you don’t spend some time clearing out the junk. And if you upgrade your phone frequently — say, once or twice a year — then you probably don’t need to worry about it at all.
Don’t forget that the Google app can perform lots of functions, letting you save space by uninstalling other apps.
But for the rest of us, this kind of cleaning can reclaim a lot of space and help boost performance, especially on older devices. What are your favorite cleaner apps for Android? Share them with us in the comments below!