How to free up storage on a full Android device

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Matthew M. White
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If you own an Android device, chances are this isn't just a phone for you. It has become your camera, your navigation system and even your music and video library. With all of these features on one device, storage can fill up fast. It can be quite frustrating when you have items pending that you want to save and you need to consider deleting other items to free up space.

In this guide, we'll walk you through several tricks that can help you free up space on your device and extend its life.

My Android phone's storage space is full: how to free up storage space

Our phones have become our lifelines to the outside world. We take them everywhere with us and use them for everything from ordering food to following social media to taking photos and videos of memorable moments. The problem is that each of these services takes up valuable storage space on your phone.

As storage space begins to fill up, your phone may become slower in performing tasks. For example, you may notice an increase in the time it takes to start up, or it may take longer for the software to start up, making it difficult to switch from one application to another. It can be frustrating, especially when you're used to fast, efficient service. While these issues are more common on older generation Android devices, newer generation models end up being affected as well.

However, a thorough cleaning of unnecessary data and programs can help restore your phone's efficiency. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

Method 1: Clear Cache

Before you try anything complex, you might want to clear your phone's cache.

Cache is a technical term for data stored in your device's memory to provide quick access to recent information. Files in your phone's cache are gradually deleted as new items arrive. But it may still contain old files downloaded from the Internet, temporary data files from applications, and even image planes from games you have previously downloaded and played on your device.

Clearing your Android phone's cache is a general solution to fix the most common issues that occur over time. For starters, it helps your device reduce clutter and allocate available space more efficiently. The positive effects of this can range from increased processing speed to improved battery life. It also means less data usage when trying to update apps. More importantly, deleting cached data frees up storage space on your phone.

Here's how to clear cached data on your device:

  1. Visit the settings section on your device.
  2. Tap "Storage".
  3. Tap "Cached Data".
  4. Select "Delete".

You can also clear cached data for individual apps, especially ones you use frequently. Do this,

  1. Visit the "Settings" section on your device.
  2. Tap "Apps".
  3. Navigate to the app you want to clean and tap on it.
  4. Tap "Clear cache".

Method 2: Uninstall Apps You No Longer Need

The more applications you have installed, the more space they take up on the operating system. Uninstalling unused apps frees up that space for other things like pictures, music, or even newer, more efficient apps. Most apps run in the background even when you're not using them. For this reason, uninstalling apps you no longer need on your phone can free up storage space and reduce unnecessary data transfers.

Here is how to uninstall unwanted apps on your Android:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap "Apps".
  3. Scroll through the list to find apps you rarely use. While you're at it, pay attention to the built-in apps that are a mainstay of your phone's operating system. Such apps should never be uninstalled.
  4. Once you find an app you no longer need, tap it, then select “Uninstall”.4

Method 3: Empty Downloads Folder

Your smartphone's Downloads folder is automatically used to store all downloads, including PDF documents, bookmarks, videos, and music files. These files can take up a lot of space on your phone. If you don't delete files that you no longer need, they may interfere with other operations on your device. A cluttered downloads folder also means spending more time finding the files you need.

Here's how to empty your download folder:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap "Apps".
  3. Look for an app called "My Files" or just "Files." If you don't locate it immediately, it may be hidden in "Tools".
  4. Once you find the folder, you'll find all your downloads organized into folders, such as music, pictures, and videos.
  5. To delete specific files,
    • Open a folder.
    • Tap and hold on the file.
    • Select “Remove”.

Method 4: Use a Dedicated Memory Wipe Tool

Although you can find and delete most unwanted data on your device using the built-in tools, the modern Android operating system is a maze of information with many folders and subfolders where certain files can hide. . As such, you may need a dedicated memory cleaner app designed to do all the cleaning thoroughly and smartly.

There are many memory cleaner apps in the market, but not all of them are safe and effective. Some of the more reliable options include SD Cleaner, Norton Clean, CCleaner, and Droid Optimizer – all available in the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, all you have to do is run the app and follow the on-screen instructions to start operations. These usually run in the background, but effectively clear junk files on your device to increase available storage.

Method 5: Move some files to cloud

Some Android users prefer to keep most of their files in their local storage for security purposes, and that's fine. However, this can quickly eat up available space and slow down your phone. Fortunately, you can move most of your files to the cloud without having to worry about the safety and security of your data. Some of the safest cloud services include Google Photos and Google Drive.

Google Photos is not only free and unlimited at the basic level, but it also has an amazing backup system that ensures your photos are always safe. It can automatically search your phone's memory for new photos and upload them to your account, so they're easily accessible anytime. It also comes with quick sharing capabilities, so you can easily send someone an album to download or share with their own family or friends. The best of all? The service never limits the number of photos and videos you store.

Google Drive is excellent for PDF channels, videos, and images that you don't need to access too frequently.

Method 6: Add an SD card to your device

If you have a lot of data on your device and you don't want it to take up all the space, an SD card can be used as an additional storage unit. A high capacity SD card will allow you to store hundreds or thousands of songs, photos, videos and other files on your phone without having to worry about running out of local storage space. Additionally, SD cards are good alternatives if you want additional protection against privacy or security issues that may arise from storing information in the cloud.

SD cards are generally inexpensive and can be purchased in a variety of sizes.

Method 7: Move some apps to SD card

Some of the latest versions of the Android operating system allow you to transfer certain apps to your SD card. Although SD cards are primarily external storage devices, they can be formatted to serve as an extension of your phone's internal storage. By moving certain apps to your SD card, you can free up space in your local storage and rediscover the high-level efficiency associated with optimal Android devices.

To find out if you can move apps to your SD card on your device without affecting performance, you should consult the local Android manufacturer or technician.

Free up space and get better performance

There are many good reasons to free up space on an Android phone, and many of them boil down to optimizing your performance. But the bottom line is that the more room you have on your device for apps, photos, music, and other types of data, the better your experience will be. You can install more apps with less hassle, which is not only important when the app serves a vital purpose, but it will also dramatically reduce load times in games.

Have you tried freeing up space on your Android phone using any of the methods or tools described in this guide? How was it?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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