What The Tech: Cleanup App to Help You Save Phone Storage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — I’ll say this about using a smartphone as a camera: it’s too easy to take too many. How many times does someone take a group photo who says “I’ll take a couple just to be safe”? What happens is you wind up with multiple shots of the same shot. Over time duplicate or similar photos can take up a lot of space on your phone and the iCloud. You can spend a few hours going through them yourself to find the best one to save and delete the rest one at a time Seriously, who has time for that?

“Cleanup: Clean Storage” is an iPhone/iPad-only app that uses artificial intelligence to find similar and duplicate photos so you can save only the best ones. Currently the #3 most downloaded utility app in Apple’s App Store, Cleanup lets you go all Marie Kondo on your camera roll with a few taps on the screen.

First, Cleanup searches your camera roll and iCloud to group similar photos together. It will group those photos together and selects the best of the bunch. Cleanup marks the others for deletion and with one tap on the screen, those extras are deleted. You can check them out yourself and swipe left to save or swipe right on the screen to delete the individual photo. Videos take up a lot of storage and while Cleanup doesn’t find similar or duplicates (because each video is different), it does allow you to view and swipe to get rid of the largest video files.

After a few minutes of using Cleanup, I deleted over 46GB of videos I don’t need. It’s good too to find and delete those accidental screenshots you might have on your phone.
The photos and videos you delete go into the “Recently Deleted” folder so you can review them there before they get deleted forever. The Pro version also cleans up your contacts by merging phone numbers and names and will scrub your email inboxes clean by allowing you to select all of the Updates and Promotion emails you don’t need.

The Pro version is pricey at $4.99 a week but there’s also a lifetime subscription for $39.99. Cleanup Pro offers a 3-day trial. If you want to use the app without paying for it make sure you unsubscribe at least 24 hours before the 3-day trial ends. Otherwise, you’ll automatically be charged $4.99/week until you cancel.