How to free up storage space on your Android phone or tablet
Storage space – our smartphones and tablets never seem to have enough of it. Sooner or later, it runs out completely, and a dreadful notification lets us know that it is time to do some mandatory housekeeping. But how should one go about it? Where do they begin? And what options are there? Well, the good news is that freeing up storage space on an Android phone or tablet is a fairly simple task. Just follow the 8 steps below to clean up as much room as possible.
Is there anything we've missed? Do you know any other tricks for clearing up storage space? Let us know down in the comments!
One of the easiest way to free up a few megabytes of space is to remove apps and games that you no longer need. Go to Settings > Apps and uninstall all of the software that you don't use. The space occupied by each app is indicated under its name - that's the space you should be expecting to gain. Note that system and pre-loaded applications cannot be removed, or at least not without any serious hacking.
If you've had your phone for a while, then chances are that you've taken a bunch of pictures with it already. These are probably hogging quite a lot of data space so moving them over to a computer's hard drive would be a good idea. Another option is to back them up to the cloud (using services like Dropbox, Flickr, Picasa, or Google+) so that you can access them at a later time if you ever need them. Alternatively, use an app like AVG Image Shrink to reduce the resolution and size of your images, but don't forget to save a copy of your full-resolution images before that.
The videos that you've taken occupy a lot of space as well so move them over to a computer, to the cloud, or upload them privately to YouTube.
Delete some or all of the MP3s that you've copied onto your device. Instead of storing your files locally, consider use Spotify or another music streaming service.
Take a look at your downloads directory and see if you've downloaded any exceptionally large files. Feel free to delete the ones you don't need anymore.
If you go to Settings > Apps > Misc., you'll be presented with a list of files saved by your apps. Delete the ones you know aren't needed. Or get an app like Disk Usage & Storage Analyzer to see what exactly is your storage space being occupied by. Used storage is visualized in graphs so you can easily spot whatever large files and folders there might be left. Delete ones left over by apps that you know you've uninstalled, but don't touch the ones that you aren't sure what app they belong to.
Your apps save chunks of data for later use - map information, graphics, sounds, temporary downloads, stuff like that. Over time, these temporary files might pile up regardless of whether they'll ever be used or not. Feel free to clear your cache by going to Settings > Apps and tapping on "Cached data".
Bloatware is the collective name for all those useless apps that your phone manufacturer or carrier have preinstalled. Usually, these cannot be removed, but if you are bold enough to root your Android phone, you'll be able to get rid of bloatware once and for all. Take a look at our guides on how to remove Android bloatware.