6 Useful Tips to Free Up Space on Your Android Device.
More and more smartphones are moving away from removable media. It just means that you are probably stuck with whatever memory is on the device. The problem is that modern devices like your Android smartphone can fill the available space in a matter of days. This is especially true when you consider what it is capable of such as HD recording, high quality photos, a wide range of applications, and more.
What’s more, many low-to-mid-range devices only have 4GB to 16GB internal storage. As you can imagine, it is not too difficult to fill this space with just a few applications, photos, videos and other media. For example, my test budget mobile phone only has 8GB of internal storage.
When your device runs out of power, you will receive a simple warning message informing you of the same. But that won’t help you get your precious storage back. So, if you ever want to, here are some tips on how to free up space on your Android device.
1. Clear the cached data
While this won’t magically free up half of your device’s memory, if you’re in a hurry and just want to install only one app; try this first. You can free 50 to 500 MB.
If you don’t know, almost all applications on your device, including the OS; cache some data, such as frequently accessed web pages or images. This usually reduces the time it takes to open a web page or application. But what if you no longer visit this page? Although Android clears this data as needed, you can manually clear this cached data without damaging your app data to free up space.
Fortunately, clearing cached data in Android is easy. To get started, open the Settings app and go to Storage & USB Internal Storage.
This panel will show you how your internal storage is being used by the device. Here, scroll down and tap the “Cached Data” option. Once you click on the option, you will see a confirmation window. Just click the OK button to clear the cached data.
2. Clear the single app’s cache data
Besides regular data, each application also stores some amount of cached data in its own folders. For example, if you are streaming video through a browser, this data is stored in the application folder. More often than not, browsers store a lot of cached data and take up all of the storage space, especially the Chrome browser. So, if you are actively using an application, it is advised to clear the cache of that application from time to time.
Another big culprit here is the Podcast app, which automatically downloads your entire subscription, and in overtime this can take up 100MB of your storage. So, if you have the Podcase app installed, remember to clear its data frequently.
To clear cache data for individual apps, open the Settings app and select Apps.
Now click on the application you want to clear the cache in and select the “Storage” option. Here click on the “Clear cache” button and you’re done.
3. Make good use of Google Photos
If you are using a smartphone, then most likely you are using it for taking great photos and videos. Depending on the quality of your smartphone’s camera, it is very easy to fill your entire storage with photos and videos. So, instead of filling up local storage, 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 control the quality of your photos, it gives you unlimited storage.
When you’re done downloading, you can use the Google Photos app to free up space on your device. To do this, open the “Photos” application, slide the “Menu” on the left side and select the “Free up space” option. You will receive a confirmation window. Just click the “Delete” button to delete photos and videos from your local device.
Note. The app will only delete photos on your local device. You can access your photos anytime by going to photos.google.com and logging into the same Google account that you use on your Android device.
Not only Google Photos, but other cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive offer a similar feature for offloading your photos and videos. So, take advantage of these services and get your precious storage back.
4. Remove unnecessary applications
There are many apps for Android and it’s pretty easy to install them. All you have to do is press one button and everything will be done for you. The problem is, before you figure it out, your device will be clogged with apps you don’t even use. It’s just wasted space. So, if you’re not using an app, it’s best to uninstall it and free up space.
To uninstall an app, open the Settings app and go to Apps.
Here, select the app you want to uninstall and then click the Uninstall button.
Alternatively, if you have too many applications to uninstall, you can use Easy Uninstaller to batch uninstall all of your applications, but even so, you will need to click OK to confirm the removal of each application. So, if you want to completely automate this removal process, use a Titanium backup with ROOT access.
Here’s how to perform batch uninstall with Titanium Backup. Install the app and open it. Then give it ROOT access, tap the Batch icon in the upper right corner. Scroll down to the Uninstall section where you will find the option to batch uninstall custom applications. Sort the list by app size and click on the checkmark icon in the upper right corner.
Related: How To Quickly Uninstall Android Apps
5. Move applications to the SD card
If you’ve installed a lot of apps and don’t want to uninstall them in any way, another option is to move them to your SD card. However, this totally depends on which version of Android you are using. For example, if you are using Android Marshmellow or higher, you can easily reformat the SD card as internal storage (just insert an empty memory card and Android will prompt you for the appropriate options). Once you do that, Android will automatically select which apps to move.
However, the downside to this approach is that you can no longer differentiate between internal storage and SD card. Also, you cannot use the memory card between devices until you format it. So, think twice before moving.
Related: How to Use Link2SD to Expand Android Internal Storage
If you are using Lolipop or earlier, you can use apps like link2SD to move apps to the SD card. Keep in mind that sometimes you may need to partition your SD card or root your device to properly move apps.
6. Check the Downloads folder
If the application does not use its own folder, the documents, media, and other content you download will be stored in the Download folder. As you might guess, the “Download” folder is located in the internal storage by default. As good as that is, we mostly forget about the downloads. Over time, this folder will take up a lot of space depending on how much you downloaded. Therefore, it is best to audit manually and delete all files in the Download folder.
If you’re curious, 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 open the menu, then select Top 10 tap the i with a circle to display more information, then tap the 3 vertical dots and select the Delete option.
Hope this helps, and if you think I’ve missed any of your favorite tips for freeing up memory in Android, leave a comment below to share with me.