Tablet and eReader Maintenance Tips

January 20, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

Do you have a tablet or eReader? Or, like a growing number of tech-heads, do you have a conveniently portable tablet eReader hybrid like Samsung’s take on the NOOK? Just because these devices are easy to use doesn’t mean they don’t need maintenance just like a PC or laptop. Find out how to keep your tablet running like new for longer with these key maintenance tips.

Maintaining the Memory

If you take a lot of photos, listen to a lot of music or download a lot of graphic-heavy apps, it’s easy to fill up your internal memory quickly, and according to CNET this can cause problems even on a brand new device. Whether it’s a NOOK Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch, the larger 10 inch, or another type of device entirely, filling up the hard drive will have the same effect as it does on a desktop computer: a dramatic drop in processing speed. Installing a micro SD card with more memory is a good stopgap measure, at least as long as you make sure everything saves onto external storage, but the best way to keep this from happening is to have your photos and other files offload automatically to a cloud storage app such as DropBox. Once the files are duplicated onto the cloud, you can deleted the local copies entirely and help keep your device up to speed.

You should also go through your photos on a regular basis and delete those duplicate shots where you just couldn’t get the camera to focus, all those old pictures of your ex, and pictures that you took specifically to show something to someone—anything that you don’t need and won’t have a reason to look at later, delete or relocate to somewhere off your tablet.

Boosting the Battery

According to Make Use Of, there are some great battery-saving apps out there to help you along, but they only work if you’re willing to do your part. These apps can help shut down background processes when your battery drops below a certain level, drop your screen brightness and make the phone sleep faster and more frequently, but this won’t make up for responsible use and charging.

One of the greatest myths of the technological age is that your battery needs to die periodically in order to remain “healthy;” while this was somewhat true for old rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, it’s not the case for the lithium-ion power blocks in use today. Lithium-ion batteries are more particular with regard to being charged than discharging, which is where many users get confused. If you want the battery in your eReader or tablet to hold a good long charge for a good long time, the best practice is to not charge it every night. Charging your tablet when it reaches about 30 percent is fine, but above that range can damage the batter. While it would be nice to have your battery at 100 percent at all times, maintaining a charge between 50 and 80 percent is preferred in order to maintain battery life.

Constantly Cleaning

Creating Wow recommends to get rid of “clutter apps” on a regular basis. If you install an app and never use it, all it’s doing is taking up space on your eReader! Every other month or so, sit down and go through your tablet’s apps from start to finish, removing anything you never used, don’t use anymore, or for which you found a better alternative. Remember that games generally take up the most space, so if you got sick of Angry Birds three months ago, but keep thinking maybe you’ll try again someday…stop it. Uninstall it, clear your cache and bask in the increase in processing speed.

Speaking of clearing the cache, if your tablet or eReader allows for it, this is something else that should be done every month or two. Specifically, you’ll want to clear the cache for your preferred web browser, your largest apps (you can usually sort them by file size in the app settings screen), and the system as a whole. This assures that your device is never hindered by old files clinging on from websites you haven’t visited in over a year.

Something else you can do is to make sure your operating system stays up to date. Run firmware updates soon after they’re available, as they generally include updates to processing functions, battery consumption and even security. This will help keep your tablet running smoothly regardless of how often you use it in a given week.

Be Smart

The best way to maintain your tablet or eReader only requires being smart. Don’t expose it to too much heat or cold, don’t toss it around and don’t download a billion apps you’ll never use. If you take care of your tablet, it will take care of you right back—for years to come.