Android 101: how to free up space on your phone

It can occur all too simply, particularly if you happen to’ve bought an Android phone with lower than 128GB of storage: sooner or later, you attempt to set up a cool new recreation or an intriguing new app, and you may’t. You’ve run out of space. 

Don’t panic. If you’re not prepared to purchase a brand new phone, and your phone doesn’t have a useful microSD slot for some further storage, you possibly can most likely nonetheless decide up a good quantity of free space with some easy home cleansing. Here are strategies on how to get again a few of that storage.

Note: These have been examined utilizing a Pixel 6 phone and a Samsung Galaxy S23, each working Android 14. Depending on your phone’s make and working system, your instructions might differ barely.

Free up space with a cleansing software

Both Pixels and Galaxy telephones have built-in instruments to enable you to improve the quantity of useable storage on your phone.

With a Pixel

  • Go to the Files app and faucet the three parallel traces within the higher left nook. Select Clean.
  • You’ll see data on how a lot space is in use and how a lot is in your Trash. After that, there’s a listing of the way you possibly can clear out your reminiscence, resembling delete duplicates, delete previous screenshots (I have a tendency to have a number of them), delete unused apps, or delete massive recordsdata.
  • In every case, faucet the related button to see what apps or recordsdata will be eliminated.

The Files app gives quite a lot of methods you possibly can clear up your drive.

Tap on one of many selections to, say, take away duplicate recordsdata.

With a Galaxy

  • Using the Samsung My Files app, swipe down to Manage storage. You’ll see how a lot is in your inside storage and what kind of recordsdata they’re.
  • Below that, there can be a collection of strategies on how it can save you space. Swipe left to see every; if you’d like to attempt one, choose Review previous recordsdata, View all, or no matter it says that isn’t the Not now button.
  • Below that, you’ll see buttons that allow you to know what’s within the Trash, your unused apps, duplicate recordsdata, and huge recordsdata.

Samsung My Files additionally supplies a number of methods you possibly can take away undesirable recordsdata.

Samsung additionally gives a method to eliminate duplicate recordsdata.

How a lot space are your apps taking?

There are useful instruments in your phone’s settings as nicely. For instance, you’ll find out how a lot space every of your apps takes up.

With a Pixel

  • Go to Settings > Storage > Apps. You’ll get an inventory of all your apps, together with how a lot space every is taking.
  • Tap on the app title. You can now see the app dimension, how a lot of the accessible storage is being utilized by person information, and how a lot space is being utilized by the cache. Two buttons allow you to both Clear storage or Clear cache

In Storage > Apps, you possibly can see how a lot space apps take up.

It’s a good suggestion to clear your cache to save space.

(Note for newbies: it’s normally protected to clear the cache. However, earlier than you hit Clear storage, test to see what your person information is. You don’t need to unintentionally delete any essential media or paperwork.)

With a Galaxy

  • Go to Settings > Apps. You’ll get an inventory of all your apps, together with how a lot space every is taking.
  • Tap on the app title, scroll down to Storage, and faucet on that. You can now see the app dimension, how a lot of the accessible storage is being utilized by person information, and how a lot space is being utilized by the cache. Two buttons on the backside allow you to both Clear storage or Clear cache

Smart storage

If you’re utilizing Google Photos in any kind of Android phone, there’s a hidden toggle for a function known as Smart Storage, which provides your phone permission to routinely take away backed-up photographs after 60 days. It will even routinely take away backed-up photographs and movies if the storage on your gadget has lower than 25 p.c space left. You can flip it on (or off) by way of Google’s Files app.

  • Open the Files app and faucet the three parallel traces within the higher left nook.
  • Select Settings.
  • Look for the Smart Storage setting and toggle it on.

Smart Storage is discovered within the Settings part of the Files app.

Smart Storage will completely delete all media on your phone that’s been backed up.

Check your apps

A great way to save space is to be sure you’re not clogging up the works with apps that you just haven’t utilized in months. It’s all too simple to obtain an app, attempt it out, after which let it sit when you go on to different issues.

If you’re interested by how lengthy it’s been because you’ve used sure apps, right here’s how to discover out. This works on a Pixel or a Galaxy phone.

  • Tap on your Play Store app.
  • Tap on your private icon within the higher proper nook and choose Manage apps & gadget.
  • Select the Manage tab. On the road under that, the highlighted button ought to learn This gadget or Installed; if it doesn’t, faucet on it and spotlight one of many two.
  • To the appropriate of the Apps heading, you’ll see the sorting icon. Tap on that and choose Least used.
  • Now you possibly can see the apps that you just’ve solely used sometimes (if in any respect) on prime of the listing. You received’t essentially need to eliminate them — generally an app is okay to have round simply in case — however you may catch some that you just actually don’t want anymore.

The Play Store enables you to see all of the apps you’ve bought on your gadget.

Sort the listing by “Least used” to discover which apps you possibly can eliminate.

Store your photographs on-line

Photos and movies will be a number of the most space-hogging objects on your phone. Luckily, if you happen to’ve bought an Android phone, you possibly can add your photographs to Google Photos — and may due to this fact take them off your phone.

First, test to be sure you are backing up your photographs to your Google account.

  • Open Google’s Photos app.
  • Tap on your private icon within the higher proper nook. If you’re backing up your photographs, it is best to see a Backup full entry within the drop-down menu.
  • If you’re not backing up your photographs, then choose Photos settings > Backup.
  • Make certain that the Backup toggle on prime of the web page is ready to On. You also needs to test which account is listed underneath Account & storage. If you might have a couple of account, you possibly can change to whichever you need to use.

There are different choices as nicely. For instance, you possibly can select the standard of the photographs you need to add and whether or not you need the phone to add photographs if you’re utilizing mobile information.

Now that you just’re certain your photographs are being backed up, you possibly can delete them from your phone. It’s very seemingly that there’s already a discover on prime of the Photo app’s entrance web page providing to free up reminiscence from your gadget; if not, it’s simple to do.

  • Back on the principal web page within the Photos app, faucet on your private icon and choose Free up space.
  • You’ll get a window saying how a lot reminiscence can be saved. Select the Free up XX GB on the backside of the web page.

You’ll be informed how a lot space you’ll free up.

Keeping your photographs within the cloud will save space on your phone.

Incidentally, when you’ve got a Galaxy phone and use Samsung’s Gallery app, you might have one other selection.

  • In the app, faucet on the three traces within the decrease proper nook after which Settings.
  • On the highest, you might have the choice to sync your photographs with Microsoft’s OneDrive. Tap on Sync with OneDrive. If you might have an account, you possibly can check in with your password or with Google, or you possibly can create an account then and there.

Still working out of space? Then, sadly — or fortunately, if you happen to’re searching for a great excuse — it could be time to begin enthusiastic about a brand new phone, one with extra storage space.

Update February twenty eighth, 2024, 8:28AM ET: This article was initially revealed on August ninth, 2019, and has been up to date to account for adjustments in Android and to add directions for Galaxy telephones.

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