How to Make My Android Phone as Minimalist as Possible?

Let’s face it, uour phones can quickly become cluttered with unused apps, notifications, and disorganization.

Practicing minimalism with your Android device helps simplify your digital life. A minimalist phone has only the essential apps and features you actually use daily.

It declutters your home screen, reduces distractions, and helps you focus on what’s important.

Reduce the Number of Home Screens

The first step in minimalizing your Android phone is to reduce the number of home screens. Android allows you to have multiple panels on your home screen for widgets and apps.

Take some time to evaluate if you really need more than one. Consolidate your most used apps and widgets onto a single home screen.

This simplifies your phone’s interface and reduces extra swiping between screens.

Delete Unused Apps

Carefully review all your installed apps and remove any you no longer use.

Open the Google Play Store app and touch the hamburger menu icon ≡. Select “My Apps & Games” to see everything installed on your device. Honestly assess when you last used each app.

If it’s been over a month, strongly consider uninstalling. Android also provides an “Unused apps” section that can help identify your least used stuff.

You can uninstall apps by long pressing their icon and dragging it to the top “Uninstall” bar. Or tap into each app’s Play Store page and select “Uninstall.” Closing out unused apps declutters your app drawer and home screen.

Organize Remaining Apps

For the apps you keep, take time to logically organize them into folders on your home screen. Group together apps with similar functions like social media, entertainment, or work productivity.

This makes your remaining apps easier to find quickly in categorized folders.

Color coordinate your app folders for even faster visual organization. For example, orange for social media, blue for productivity, and green for entertainment. Use whatever color associations make sense to you.

Reduce Home Screen Widgets

Widgets can quickly clutter up your minimalist home screen.

Carefully evaluate which ones bring the most daily value. Remove any extraneous widgets that sit unused on your home screen canvass.

For example, you may not need widgets for individual contacts if you rarely call them.

Pare down to your absolute essential widgets like clock, calendar, music controls, and device performance monitors.

Use a Minimalist Wallpaper

An overly complex wallpaper behind your apps and widgets adds visual clutter. Choose a simple, minimalist background image for your home screen instead.

Solid colors, geometric patterns, landscapes and nature images tend to work best. Make sure your wallpaper’s colors complement your app folder colors for a cohesive look.

Android supports live wallpapers with animated elements.

But these tend to conflict with minimalism’s principles of simplicity. Stick to a static wallpaper image for a decluttered look.

Use Minimal Live Wallpapers

For a more dynamic home screen backdrop, some minimalist-style live wallpapers can work.

Stick to abstract, non-distracting animations like particles or gentle shapes.

Popular minimal options include Minima Live Wallpaper and Tiny White Icon Pack.

Avoid photo slideshows or overly busy animations. Turn off any sound effects on the live wallpaper for a simpler experience.

Let the animation run in the background without drawing too much attention from your apps.

Simplify Your Notification Bar

Excess or disorganized notifications create visual clutter at the top of your screen. Long press on each notification icon to see which app it belongs to.

Then turn off non-essential notifications within that app’s settings. For example, you likely don’t need individual notifications for every Facebook or Instagram like. Pare notifications down to only absolutely essential apps.

Also tidy up your Quick Settings panel that drops down from the notification bar.

Edit which settings icons appear for your most used functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Airplane mode. Remove any extras you don’t need quick access to.

Use a Minimalist Launcher

Switching to a minimalist Android launcher further streamlines your phone’s user interface.

Popular options like Niagara Launcher, Hyperion Launcher and Lawnchair provide a pared down experience.

They remove the app drawer button for a more seamless home screen. Many also support hiding icons and using gestures or swipes to open apps.

Give a few free launchers a try to see if you prefer their minimalist approach over the stock launcher.

Delete Email Accounts

Just like with apps, review if you really need every email account synced to your device.

Consider removing any older accounts you no longer use or monitor. For active accounts like Gmail, purge out your inbox by unsubscribing from non-essential emails.

Set up an Inbox Zero approach where you process all emails quickly without letting them pile up.

Add labels like “action needed” so you can file emails away but still track ones you need to follow up on.

Remove Unused Phone Contacts

Pare down your contacts list by removing people you no longer talk to regularly.

Open your Android’s Contacts app and methodically go through each. Tap More > Delete to remove any contacts that no longer need to be stored.

While organizing your contacts, take time to remove any unnecessary contact details.

For example, delete home addresses you no longer need or random email accounts that contacts no longer use. A minimal contacts list reduces scrolling time.

Declutter Your Camera Roll

Over years of smartphone use, it’s easy for your camera roll to accumulate thousands of random, blurry or duplicate photos.

Schedule time each month to declutter your camera roll for simplified photo access. Open the Gallery app and look for:

  • Blurry photos you’ll never use
  • Screenshots no longer needed
  • Duplicate similar selfies and group photos
  • Random memes and images saved from apps
  • Old photos you simply no longer like

Tap and hold to select each decluttering candidate, then tap the trash icon to delete. For batch deleting similar images, use the “Select similar” option.

Remove Unused Phone Screens

Android allows adding extra screens to the left or right of your home screen for additional organization.

If you’ve created such screens but no longer use them, now’s the time to remove them.

Pinch out on your home screen to enter screen edit mode.

You’ll see screen previews slide up from the bottom.

Tap and drag any unused screens down to the Remove bar at the bottom. The screen will disappear when you drop it into the trash bar.

Minimize Physical Phone Case

Embrace minimalism in your Android phone’s physical appearance, as well.

Opt for a slim, low profile phone case rather than a bulky rugged one. Thin cases reduce your device’s overall footprint and weight for a simpler feel in your hand or pocket.

Avoid case designs with bright colors or elaborate patterns. Opt instead for plain black, white or transparent cases.

Make sure the case material aligns with minimalist principles like silicone, plastic or thin wood rather than leather.

Declutter Files and Downloads

Files and downloads on your Android can quickly pile up from apps, websites and file transfers. Open the My Files app and browse to Downloads or any other cluttered folders. Select and delete:

  • Installation files for apps you’ve already installed
  • Outdated PDF reports and other documents
  • Random image and audio files
  • Old APK installer files

You can also select multiple files and tap the trash icon to mass delete. Keeping your device storage tidy enhances minimalism.

Remove Unused Widgets and Screens

Android allows adding extra widget screens in addition to regular app screens.

If you’ve created multiple widget screens but no longer require that many, it’s time to remove some.

Pinch out on your home screen and you’ll see widget screen previews. Drag any excessive screens down to the Remove bar at the bottom.

Individual widgets can clutter up your screen canvas, too.

Review all your active home screen widgets and remove any you haven’t used for awhile. This leaves breathing room to better showcase your core, essential widgets.

Customize Your Navigation Bar

The navigation bar at the bottom of your Android screen lets you quickly move between apps and screens. You can minimize its footprint by selecting which system icons appear there. Open Settings and go to System > Gestures > System navigation.

Tap “Buttons only” then toggle off any navigation buttons you don’t need. For example, removing the “Back” button simplifies your navigation if you can just swipe screens instead. Disabling “Home” removes its icon if you only use gestures to go home.

If your phone supports “Gesture navigation”, try enabling it for minimalist swiping instead of a 3-button nav bar. This hides the bar entirely for a clean look.

Minimize Which Google Apps Appear

Many Google apps come pre-installed on Android devices, which can lead to feature bloat. Open Settings then go to Apps & Notifications > See all ### apps. Look for any Google services you don’t use like Duo, News, or Play Movies & TV.

Tap each unwanted app and select Disable. This prevents the app icons from populating your app drawer or home screen. But it keeps the apps installed in case you want to re-enable them later.

Customize Your Home Screen Search Bar

Having Google’s search bar enabled on your home screen allows quick access to search. But it may clash visually with your minimalist background. Open your Android launcher’s settings to customize your search bar options.

Try making your search bar translucent for a more seamless look. Or fully disable the search bar and rely solely on the Google icon in your app drawer when needed. This frees up home screen space.

Reduce Pre-Installed App Bloat

Beyond Google’s apps, Android phones often come with other pre-installed third party apps. Phone makers strike deals to have apps like Facebook, Amazon and Netflix populate a new device.

Disable any unnecessary apps through Settings > Apps & Notifications > See all ### apps. Tap each unwanted app and select Disable to remove it from your app drawer without fully uninstalling. This significantly reduces start-up app bloat.

Minimize Your Default Call Screen

When receiving a phone call, Android displays the incoming number or contact name over a full-screen window. Tailor this to be less intrusive for your minimalist phone.

Open the Phone app’s settings and look for “Incoming call display.” Select “Pop up” to make incoming calls display as small floating notifications instead of filling the screen.

You can also enable “Dark theme” on your call screen under the Phone app’s Display settings. This makes notifications less jarring if you prefer darker backgrounds.

Use Folder Sharing Apps

Be selective about which apps remain on your home screen versus in folders. Group apps into folders by category to keep your home canvas clean. For example, have a single Social folder for all social media apps.

Try using the same organizing categories across multiple devices. Apps like FolderSync and Syncthing can share folder structures between Android devices and other operating systems.

Customize Which Apps Send Notifications

Notifications from non-essential apps can inundate your status bar and distract from minimalism. Open Settings and select Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Review each app and toggle off notifications you don’t need.

Tap an app to go deeper into its notification settings. Disable categories you don’t need alerts from, like promotional emails or indoor weather updates. Receive only essential, high-priority notifications.

Simplify Your Default Keyboard

If your phone’s default keyboard has too many special characters, emojis or other buttons, simplify it for minimalist typing. Go to Settings > System > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Gboard.

Under Preferences, disable options like emoji drawings, sticker suggestions and automatic punctuation. Remove unused secondary languages. Adjust the keyboard theme to a more minimal style.

You can also check out third-party minimalist keyboard apps like Simplic Keyboard and Dextrus Keyboard. Experiment to find one that’s comfortable with the fewest buttons.

Edit Which Quick Settings Appear

Android’s Quick Settings menu drops down from the top to provide convenient access to toggles and controls. But if yours has gotten cluttered, it’s time to edit it down.

Open your notification panel and click the pencil icon to customize Quick Settings. Drag the icons you don’t need off the menu. Then rearrange the remaining icons in order of importance for you.

Try enabling “Quick Settings panel modes” for different minimalist arrangements on the go. For example, have one condensed column of icons on your home screen.

Remove Unnecessary App Permissions

Over time, apps receive access to more of your Android phone’s features and data than strictly required. Revoke unnecessary app permissions to boost your minimalist privacy.

Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > App Permissions. See which apps have access to each feature like Location, Microphone or Contacts.

Tap each app and disable permissions you’re comfortable revoking. For example, most apps don’t need access to your full Contacts list or precise Location in the background.

Hide Visual App Notification Dots

Notification dots on your app icons indicate how many unread alerts are present. Visually these dots can feel cluttered and distracting to a minimalist.

Long press on your home screen, then tap Home Settings. Look for “Notification dots” and select “Do not show notification dots” to globally disable them.

You can also disable dots on a per-app basis from Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications > Advanced > Allow notification dots. Toggle off each app where you’d rather not see dots.

Use Automatic Photo Deleting Apps

Even after decluttering your camera roll, new photos easily pile up again over time. Use automatic deletion apps to maintain your minimalist storage.

For example, PhotoPruner and Deletx can routinely purge blurred shots, screenshots, and duplicates.

You can specify how often to run the cleaning scans like daily or weekly. Configure the deletion criteria so it targets only your least important photos. Automating the cleanup process prevents future camera roll bloat.

Minimize Which Apps Can Run in the Background

Too many apps running in the background drains your battery and CPU performance. Limit background processes to only what you need for minimal efficiency.

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Background restrictions. Review the list and toggle off background access for apps that don’t need to be perpetually running.

Tap “All apps” to make your selection more granular on an app-by-app basis. Disable background usage for games, social media, and other non-essential apps.

Reduce Animations and Transitions

The default Android interface features cute animations when opening apps, swiping screens, and more. But these can slow down your phone and make it feel cluttered.

Open Developer options by tapping Build number 7 times in About phone. Then go to Drawing > Window animation scale and transition scales. Change each option to “.5x” or Off for minimalist smoothness.

Try a Digital Minimalism Reset

If your phone feels too far gone from minimalism, a digital reset could help. Backup your core data like contacts and photos.

Then perform a factory reset on your device to wipe it clean.

Slowly re-install only the apps you determine are absolutely essential. Avoid signing back into time-wasting services like social media right away. Build your digital life back up with mindfulness.

Delete Unused Mobile Carrier Apps

Pre-installed apps from your mobile carrier clutter up space with features you likely don’t need.

Open Settings > Apps & notifications > See all ### apps. Search for your carrier name like “Verizon” or “AT&T”.

Select any pre-loaded apps you don’t use and tap Disable. This removes them from your app drawer and home screen. Contact your carrier if disabling an app causes connectivity problems.

Customize Your App Drawer

Managing how apps are organized inside your app drawer enhances minimalism. Open your Android launcher’s settings to customize the app drawer layout.

Alphabetical app sorting creates visual clutter. Try sorting by most used or last updated instead. Remove the names under app icons for a cleaner look. Adjust icon sizes and spacing for ideal density.

Minimize Pre-Installed Manufacturer Apps

Beyond carrier bloatware, Android device manufacturers pre-install their own apps for services you likely won’t use. Disable unnecessary ones like LG Health, Microsoft Office, or Samsung Daily.

Open Settings > Apps & Notifications > See all ### apps. Search for your device maker’s name and disable apps not vital for functionality. This significantly reduces manufacturer bloat.

Customize Notification Sounds

Frequent dings, chimes and alerts from your Android phone clutter up your physical environment. Open Settings > Sound to customize all your notification sounds for minimal disruption.

Try switching to a silent ringtone and reducing media volumes. Change notification sounds to gentle tones instead of jarring beeps. Disable keypress sounds and screen locking sounds.

Clean Up SIM Card Storage

Old messages, contacts and other data can gradually clutter up your SIM card’s storage over time. Open the Phone app and tap the 3-dot Menu > SIM card > Storage settings.

Review used SIM storage and clean up anything outdated you can delete. Offload contacts to your Google account and conversations to the cloud. A tidy SIM card optimizes performance.

Manage Which Apps Can Create Shortcuts

Home screen shortcuts provide quick access to app features. But unused ones create clutter and diminish minimalism. Long press your home screen and tap Home settings > App shortcuts.

Review the list and turn off shortcut creation abilities for apps you don’t need quick functions for. Disable shortcuts entirely if you don’t use any.

Declutter Your Default Browser

Browsing apps like Chrome easily accumulate cluttered bookmarks, histories, cookies, and cached files over time. Open Chrome’s settings menu > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.

Select the time range to “All time” and check all the box options to clear everything. Then re-enable only essential features like bookmarks and autofill. Keep your browser tidy going forward.

Remove Unnecessary Widgets

Besides home screen widgets, Android includes additional widgets accessed by swiping down from the top. Remove any extras you don’t need for a decluttered utility space.

Swipe down, tap the Edit pencil icon at the bottom and then drag widgets off you don’t need. Rearrange remaining widgets into priority order. Only keep what’s consistently useful.

Minimize Pre-installed Apps on New Devices

When purchasing a new Android phone, opt for models with less pre-installed bloatware where possible.

Pixel devices directly from Google contain fewer unnecessary apps compared to carrier models.

Research what apps come on a phone model beforehand. Consider buying unlocked models that let you customize and install only the essentials for your digital life.

Remove Old Files from Internal Storage

Over time, your Android device’s internal storage collects outdated files that clutter system memory. Use the Device care option in Settings to clean things up.

Go to Battery and device care > Storage > Clean now. Review the suggested files to delete like app cache, media trash and obsolete Android system junk.

Tap “Free up” to mass delete the recommended files. Routinely cleaning internal storage enhances minimalism.

Disable Unnecessary System Apps

Android includes various pre-installed system apps that support device features. But you likely don’t need all of them active and visible.

Open your app drawer and long press the Downloaded icon to show all system apps. Tap each unneeded app like Calculator or Calendar and select Disable. This removes them from the app drawer while keeping them installed.

Reduce Main Menu Options

The main Android Settings menu can grow cluttered over time as you customize your device. Collapse infrequently used sections for simplicity.

Open Settings and tap the 3-dot menu in the top corner. Select “Show/hide options” to toggle off sections like Display, Security or System you rarely adjust.

You can still search to access hidden settings when needed. But collapsing sections streamlines your Settings navigation.

Minimal Light & Dark Themes

Fancy Android themes with bold colors and graphics feel cluttered. Instead apply minimal light and dark themes. Open Settings > Display > Advanced > Device theme.

Try “Basic light” and “Basic dark” themes that simply invert background and text colors cleanly. Or apply plain black and white themes without any distracting accent colors.

Adjust Vibration Intensity

Strong vibration feedback adds cluttered sensory noise to your minimalist phone experience. Open Settings > Sound & vibration > Vibration intensity.

Slide the intensity slider down to medium, low or off completely. Test receiving a call and keyboard typing to adjust the vibes to your comfort.

Set a Schedule for Focus Mode

Android’s Focus Mode blocks distracting apps so you can concentrate on meaningful work. Schedule it during your productive hours for minimal distractions.

Open Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls > Focus Mode. Select “Set schedule” and choose your ideal enabling hours.

Arrange Focus Mode to turn on automatically when you need to eliminate app temptations. Schedule it to match your natural productivity rhythms.

Hide Home Screen Icon Labels

Text labels below your home screen app icons add clutter. Removing them emphasizes a clean minimalist layout instead.

Long press on an empty spot, then tap Home settings. Look for “Hide app labels” and enable it. You’ll maintain your logical app organization without visual labels.

Reduce Accessibility Options

Android’s accessibility settings provide options for those with disabilities. But if you don’t require them, excess features create clutter.

Open Settings > Accessibility and toggle off any unneeded services like magnification, color correction or sound balance. Remove shortcuts from the Volume key and Power button.

Minimize Your Smartwatch or Fitness Band

Wearable devices easily clutter up your digital experience with notifications and data. Stick to simple wristwear like the classic Casio watch or a basic Mi Band.

Avoid advanced smartwatches that replicate your phone’s apps and functions. Mute notifications so your wearable only handles essential alerts. Keep widgets and screens minimal.

Remove Account Passwords from Settings

For extra security, Android reveals account passwords inside the Settings area. Having this sensitive info on display can cause anxiety.

Open each account menu like Google or Samsung and disable the “Show passwords” option. Tap existing visible passwords to wipe them from the screen.

Keep Only One Browser Installed

Multiple browsers installed on your Android device create unnecessary app duplication. Keep just one pared down browser like Google Chrome.

Decide your preferred app and uninstall any others through Settings > Apps & notifications. Remove browser icons from your home screen. Simplify history and bookmarks in your single browser.

Disable Any Unused App Stores

Extra app stores beyond the Google Play Store quickly clutter up your installed app list. Disable stores you don’t regularly use.

Open Settings > Apps & notifications > See all ### apps. Search for app store names and select Disable on any you never open. This also prevents auto-updates from unused stores.

Adjust Date and Time Display

Android’s default always-on clock displays the date, day and seconds too which feels cluttered.

Customize your lock screen and status bar clocks for minimalism.

Open Settings > Display for lock screen options. Or System > Status bar for the top status bar settings. Enable clean formats like 24-hour time without the date or seconds.

Reduce Multitasking App Cards

Android shows your most recently used apps as horizontal cards when you swipe up from Home. Limit how many appear to reduce multitasking clutter.

Open Settings > System > Gestures > Recent apps. Change “Suggestions in recent apps” to “Do not show app suggestions.”

Under “Amount to display in recent apps,” select “Don’t show recent apps.” Or choose a small number like 3 if still useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *