Get the most out of your Android phone by changing these settings

Check Out These Five Android Settings You Can Play With For Better Phone Performance

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

It doesn’t matter which Android phone you have – for example, the Samsung galaxy s21 Where Google pixel 6 – your device comes with a set of predetermined parameters. These settings include brightness, organization, and light mode, but just because they’re default doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them.

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However, you should know where these settings are and what they can do for you before you start to configure them. We will go through the settings that can help you improve your battery life, clean up the clutter on your home screen, find a stolen or lost device and get better performance from your Android smartphone.

To note: Not all Android devices are created equal, and some settings may be missing or in a different place depending on the version of Android you are using and the manufacturer of your phone, so be aware of this when adjusting these settings.

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A screen that’s too bright will drain your battery incredibly quickly.

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Settings to improve battery life

Living with a phone with a low battery life can be maddening, but there are steps you can take to maximize every charge from the start:

1. Turn off automatic screen brightness / adaptive brightness and set the brightness level slider to less than 50%..
The brighter your screen, the more battery it consumes.

To access the parameter, pull down the context menu at the top of the screen and adjust the slider, if it is there. Some phones may have a toggle for automatic 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.
They focus on learning how you use your phone, what apps you use and when, and then optimizing which 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 these settings. It’s a little different for each phone. I recommend that you open your settings and search for Battery. The results should take you to the correct screen. Your phone may also have an adaptive charging setting which can monitor the rate at which your phone’s battery is charging overnight to maintain its health.

Dark mode is your friend

Another way to improve battery life while helping save 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 to Google, dark mode not only reduces the strain that smartphone screens cause to our eyes but also improves battery life as it takes less power to display dark backgrounds on OLED screens (used in most flagship phones) than a white background.

Depending on the version of Android your phone uses and the company that made your phone, you may need to dig into the settings app to find a dark mode. If your phone is running Android 10 or later, you will be able to enable dark mode system-wide. If it runs Android 9, don’t despair. Lots of applications have their own dark mode option in settings which you can use whether or not you have Android 10.

To turn it on, 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 automatically turn on based on a schedule, like 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 am daily, or allow it to switch automatically using your location at sunset / sunrise.

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Using dark mode on any phone is an easy and beautiful way to save battery power.

CNET

Keep your home screen clutter-free

You plan to access the Google Play Store for a bunch of new android apps? Be prepared for a lot of icon clutter on your home screen, this is where shortcuts land whenever you install something.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution: 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 Where Add new apps to the Home screen and turn it off.

Presto! No more icons on the home screen when you install new apps. You can always add shortcuts by dragging an app’s icon out of the app drawer, but they won’t clutter your home screen unless you want to.

Read more: Best Android phones you can buy in 2021

Configure Do not disturb

If your phone regularly spends the night on your bedside table, you probably don’t want it to beep or ring every time there’s a call, message, or Facebook alert, especially when you’re trying to sleep. Fortunately, Android offers a do not disturb mode which will keep the phone more or less silent during the designated hours. On some phones this is called the downtime setting or even the silent time.

Bottom line: head to Settings > Sounds (Where Notifications), then search Do not disturb or a similar name. If you can’t find it, search for it using the search feature built into your settings.

Using this feature, you can set a range of times (usually at night) during which you want to turn off digital noise. But don’t worry, any notifications you get 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 your favorite contacts to go through. Turn that on. If someone calls you in an emergency, chances are they will keep trying.

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What someone who finds a lost or stolen Android phone will see after using Find My Device to lock it.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

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 application, 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 cell phone.

Once activated, 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 their lost phone.

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Losing a phone is never a fun experience.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you’re having trouble setting all of this up, be sure to read our Complete guide to find lost Android phone.

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 get it back to you, or in the worst-case scenario, erase it all remotely.

There is a lot more to learn on a new phone, of course. If you have a phone with Android 12, which was released recently, here’s what you need to know about download, compatibility, new features and more. And if you are already on Android 12, here is several hidden features you should know about.


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