Android 101: How to free up space on your phone

It can happen all too easily, especially if you have an Android phone with less than 128 GB of storage space: one day you try to install a cool new game or an intriguing new app, but you can’t. You have no more room.

Do not panic. If you’re not ready to buy a new phone yet and your phone doesn’t have a handy microSD slot for some extra storage, you can probably still free up a decent amount of free space with a simple cleaning. Here are some suggestions to get some of that storage space back.

Note: These were tested with a Pixel 6 phone and a Samsung Galaxy S23, both running Android 14. Depending on the brand and operating system of your phone, your directions may vary slightly.

Both Pixels and Galaxy phones have built-in tools that allow you to increase the amount of usable storage on your phone.

  • Go to the Files app and tap the three parallel lines in the top left corner. Select Beautiful.
  • You will see information about how much space is in use and how much is in your device Waste. Then there’s a list of ways you can clean up your memory, such as removing duplicates, deleting old screenshots (I usually have a lot of them), deleting unused apps, or deleting large files.
  • In any case, tap the corresponding button to see which apps or files can be deleted.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>With a Milky Way

  • The habits Samsung My Files app, swipe down to Storage management. You will see how much is in your internal storage and what type of files they are.
  • Below you will find a series of suggestions on how to save space. Swipe left to see them all; To try one, select View old files, View allor whatever it says, that’s not it Not now knob.
  • Below that you’ll see buttons that let you see what’s in the trash, your unused apps, duplicate files, and large files.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>How much space do your apps take up?

There are also useful tools in the settings of your phone. For example, you can find out how much space each of your apps takes up.

  • Go to Settings > Storage > Apps. You’ll get a list of all your apps, along with how much space they take up.
  • Tap the app name. You can now see the app size, how much of the available storage space is used by user data, and how much space is used by the cache. With two buttons you can do both Empty storage space or Clear cache.

(Note to newbies: It’s usually safe to clear the cache. But before you strike Empty storage space, check what your user details are. You don’t want to accidentally delete important media or documents.)

  • Go to Settings > Apps. You’ll get a list of all your apps, along with how much space they take up.
  • Tap the name of the app, scroll down Storageand tap that. You can now see the app size, how much of the available storage space is used by user data, and how much space is used by the cache. With two buttons on the bottom you can do both Empty storage space or Clear cache.

If you use Google Photos on any type of Android phone, there is a hidden switch for a feature called Smart storage, which gives your phone permission to automatically delete backed up photos after 60 days. It also automatically deletes backed up photos and videos if the storage space on your device has less than 25 percent space left. You can enable (or disable) it via Google’s Files app.

  • Open the Files app and tap the three parallel lines in the top left corner.
  • Select Institutions.
  • Search for the Smart storage set and enable.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Check your apps

A good way to save space is to make sure your work isn’t cluttered with apps you haven’t used in months. It’s all too easy to download an app, try it out, and then leave it alone while you do other things.

If you’re curious about how long it’s been since you used certain apps, here’s how to find out. This works on a Pixel or a Galaxy phone.

  • Tap your Play Shop app.
  • Tap your personal icon in the top right corner and select Manage apps and device.
  • Select the To manage tab. The line below should have the highlighted button This device or Installed; If not, tap it and highlight one of the two.
  • To the right of the Apps heading you will see the sort icon. Tap that and select Least used.
  • Now you can see at the top of the list the apps that you have only used occasionally (or not at all). You won’t necessarily want to get rid of them (sometimes an app is great to have on hand just in case), but you may come across a few that you really don’t need anymore.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Save your photos online

Photos and videos can be some of the most space-consuming items on your phone. Luckily, if you have an Android phone, you can upload your photos to Google Photos and get them off your phone.

First check if you are Are backup your photos to your Google account.

  • Open Google’s photos app.
  • Tap your personal icon in the top right corner. When you back up your photos, you will see a Backup completed input in the drop-down menu.
  • If you’re not backing up your photos, select Photo settings > Backup.
  • Make sure the Backup switch at the top of the page is set to On. Also check which account is listed below Account and storage. If you have more than one account, you can switch to the account you want to use.

There are also other options. For example, you can choose the quality of the photos you want to upload and whether you want the phone to upload photos when you use mobile data.

Now that you’re sure your photos are being backed up, you can delete them from your phone. It’s very likely that there’s already a notice at the top of the front page of the Photos app offering to free up memory on your device; if not, it’s easy to do.

  • Back on the main page in the Photos app, tap your personal icon and select Free up space.
  • You will get a window showing how much memory is being saved. Select the Free up XX GB at the bottom of the page.

By the way, if you have and use a Galaxy phone Samsung’s Gallery appyou have another choice.

  • In the app, tap the three lines at the bottom right and then Institutions.
  • At the top you have the option to sync your images with Microsoft’s OneDrive. Tap on Sync with OneDrive. If you have an account, you can log in with your password or Google, or you can create an account on the spot.

Still running out of space? Then unfortunately – or fortunately, if you’re looking for a good excuse – it might be time to think about a new phone, one with more storage space.

Update February 28, 2024, 8:28 AM ET: This article was originally published on August 9, 2019 and has been updated to reflect changes in Android and to add instructions for Galaxy phones.

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