More and more smartphones are moving away from removable storage. Which simply means that you are probably stuck with whatever memory the device has. The problem with this is that the modern devices like your Android smartphone can fill up the available space within a few days. This is especially true when you consider how much it can do, like HD recording, high-quality photos, a wide variety of apps, etc.
Moreover, many low to mid-range devices only have the internal storage space between 4GB to 16GB. As you can tell, it is not that hard to fill up this space with just a few apps, photos, videos, and other media. For instance, my low-end test mobile only has 8GB of Internal Storage.
When you are running low on your device, you will receive a simple warning message letting you know the same. But it doesn’t help you get your precious storage back. So, if you ever want to, here are some tips to free up space on your Android device.
1. Cleared Cached Data
Although, this won’t magically free up half of your device’s storage, but if you are in a hurry and just want to install just one app; try this first. You can free up anywhere from 50 to 500 MB.
In case you don’t know, almost all the apps on your device including the OS; cache some sort of data like the webpages or images that you open frequently. Usually, this is reduces, the time taken to open the webpage or app. But what if you are no longer visting, that page? Even though Android clears this data as needed, you can manually clear this cached data without damaging any of your app data to free up some space.
Thankfully, it is very easy to clear cached data in Android. To start off, open the “Settings” app and navigate to the “Storage and USB > Internal Storage” section.
This panel will show how your Internal Storage is being used by the device. Here, scroll down and tap on the “Cached data” option. As soon as you tap on the option, you will see a confirmation window. Simply tap on the button “Ok” to clear the cached data.
2. Clear Individual App Cache Data
Besides from the regular data, every app also stores some amount of cached data in its own folders. For instance, if you are streaming videos through your browser then that data is stored in the app folder. More often than not, browsers store a lot of cached data and hog all the storage space, especially the Chrome browser. So, if you are using an application extensively then it is a good idea to clear the cache of that app from time to time.
Another big culprit here is the Podcast app which automatically downloads all your subscription and overtime this can hog up 100s of MB on your storage. So, if you have Podcase app install, make sure to clear its app data frequently.
To clear the individual app cache data, open the Settings app and then select the option “Apps.”
Now, tap on the app you want to clear the cache and then select the option “Storage.” Here, tap on the button “Clear Cache” and you are good to go.
3. Make Good Use of Google Photos
If you are using a smartphone then you are most probably using it to take awesome photos and videos. Depending on your smartphone camera quality, it is very easy to fill all the storage with your photos and videos. So, rather than filling up your local storage space, you can use the Google Photos app. This app will automatically upload all your photos and videos to your Google Drive account. If you let Google manage the photo quality then it provides you with unlimited storage.
When you are done uploading, you can use the Google Photos app to clear the space on your device. To do that, open the “Photos” app, slide the “Menu” from the left side and select the option “Free up space.” You will receive a confirmation window. Simply tap on the button “Remove” to remove the photos and videos on your local device.
Note: The app will only delete photos on your local device. You can access your photos anytime you want by going to photos.google.com and sign in with the same google account that you are using on your Android.
Not only Google Photos but other cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive offer a similar feature to offload your photos and videos. So, make good use of these services and get back your precious storage.
4. Remove Unnecessary Apps
There are plenty of apps for Android and installing them is pretty easy. All you have to do is click on a single button and everything will be done for you. The problem is before you realize it, your device will be packed full with apps that you don’t even use. This is just a wasted space. So, if you don’t use an app then it is better to uninstall it and gain back space.
To uninstall an app, open the “Settings” app and then navigate to “Apps.”
Here, select on the app you want to uninstall and then tap on the button “Uninstall.”
Alternatively, if you have too many apps to uninstall, you can use Easy Uninstaller to batch uninstall all your apps but even with this, you’ll have to tap OK to confirm uninstalling each app. So, if you want to completely automate this uninstallation process, then use Titanium backup with ROOT access.
Here is how to batch uninstall with titanium backup. Install the app and open it. Next, grant it ROOT access tap on the Batch icon in the top-right corner. Scroll down to the Un-install section where you’ll find the option to batch uninstall user apps. Sort the list by app size and tap on tick sign on the top right.
5. Move Apps to the SD Card
If you have installed plenty of apps and you don’t want to uninstall them in any case then the other option is to move them to your SD card. However, this completely depends on what Android version you are using. For instance, if you are using Android Marshmellow or above, you can easily reformat your SD card as the internal storage (Just insert the blank memory card and Android will prompt you with appropriate options). Once you’ve done that, Android will automatically manage which apps to move.
However, the downside of this approach is that you can no longer differentiate between the internal storage and the SD card. Also, you cannot use your memory card between devices unless you format it. So, think twice before making the move.
If you are running Lolipop or below then you can use apps like link2SD to move apps to the SD card. Do mind that sometimes you may have to partition your SD card or root your device to properly move the apps.
6. Check Your Downloads Folder
Unless an app is using its own folder, the documents, media or anything else you download will be stored in the “Download” folder. As you can guess, the default “Download” folder is located in the Internal Storage. As good as it is, we mostly forget the files we download. Over time, this folder will consume a lot of space depending on how much you download. So, it is better to manually audit and remove any files in the Download folder.
In case you are wondering, you can see the Download folder in the root directory of your Internal Storage. You can use your favorite file manager to access it.
Alternatively, you can download Storage Analyzer & Disk Usage and open it. Swipe right to bring up the menu and then select Top 10 > tap on i icon with the circle to bring up the more info and then tap on 3 vertical dots and select Delete option.
Hope that helps and if you think I missed any of your favorite tips to free up storage in Android then do comment below to share with me.