Here are settings and features every Smartphone user should have “on”.

Who doesn’t use a smartphone? Well, not me. We all got one of those fancy gadgets and every now and then, we realise our phones are giving us one problem or the other.

However that may seem, it’s also very possible to use your smartphone over a long period of time without having much of a problem.

Well, there are some things that are likely to happen once you own a smartphone. This includes theft, hardware damage, wear and tear, etc. No matter how careful you are, you can’t prevent some of these things from happening.

Sad, yet true.

So what if you are struck by any of the above-mentioned issues? What are you going to do? What if you lose your phone at a party or you have a software issue and you need to reset your phone? Would you lose everything?

Well, over the years, I’ve lost and switched phones, but I have never lost any of my data – contacts, photos, even text messages. This has been largely due to some settings and feature I always keep active on my devices.


GPS Location

Although some articles advise you to keep your location disabled to extend battery life, it’s not always in your best interest to do this. No matter how careful you are, losing a smartphone is easier than you assume.

Keeping your GPS location disabled eliminates whatever chance you have of recovering your phone. Whether you have an iOS device that uses iCloud’s Find My iPhone or you own an Android device that relies on Google’s Find My Device, you need to keep location enabled on your device at all times.

If you’re worried about applications always tracking your location, you can selectively adjust app permissions to control location access.

Contacts Sync

It’s sad when you see people complaining that they have lost “all their contacts”. To me, that sounds like they’re saying they’ve lost access to their email or unless they lost their contacts using a feature that could not sync contacts.

If you are on the Internet, you probably have a Google Account. On Android and iOS, Google lets you add your account to your phone and you can sync all your contacts under settings.

Even if you lose your phone or it gets stolen, you only need to enter this same Google account and password on your new phone and your old contacts automatically appear.

For iPhone users, there is also the additional option to sync your contacts to your iCloud account.

You need to ensure contacts synchronization is enabled. Do not disable it for whatever reason. For a comprehensive guide on this, read this previous article.

Google Photos

Unlike the other two features earlier mentioned, this is actually an app.

Google Photos is so great and I enjoy using it daily. It takes your entire photo library — every photo you’ve ever taken on your phone, as well as screenshots and photos taken within Instagram and whatever else — and uploads it to the internet.

The photos remain private, hidden behind your Google account information, but now you can access them anywhere. On your laptop? Yep. On a new phone? Yep. On your tablet? Yep, there too.

I really cannot think of a reason why anyone would not use Google Photos. It offers free unlimited storage for your photos. Yes, unlimited. And yes, free.

And when you lose your phone, you can always get all of your photos back.

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