How to Free Storage Space on Android Phone

Although phones are coming with more and more internal storage these days, running out of it remains a common problem as media files and apps get bigger in size, and thanks to the thousands of pictures we take, not to mention offline music storage. If you’ve ever tried to update your existing apps and ran into an “Insufficient storage available” error, we know how frustrating how that can feel.

The lack of storage space can pretty much bring your phone to a halt. If you try to use the camera, you might see something like “Hey, there is really no room.” It can even prevent you from opening apps (“Internal storage is running out, the application has been stopped.”) or downloading email attachments (“Not enough storage space to sync”).

If you’re looking for some ways to make some room on your Android device, we’ve got some useful tips to help you.

1) Clear cache + data

The easiest and quickest way to gain some free space is to clear the cache and user data associated with apps. You can do this manually for individual apps by going to Settings > Storage > Apps. The exact menu layout might differ depending on your phone manufacturer, but it’ll be fairly similar.

The total size of each app is made up of the core app itself, the user data (logins, files, and settings), and cache (temporary data that helps the app work faster).

For example, an app such as Play Music caches the music you listen to, so it can start playing the tracks quicker next time, and save on data costs. If you clear the app’s cache and data, it will be forced to re-stream the songs next time. Remember that while clearing the cache doesn’t affect the way your app works, clearing user data will reset all settings to default, and possibly even log you out.

Clearing the cache and data is also a temporary fix, as it will build over time again. Some apps offer the option to set cache size, so that they take up less space. On the other hand, you can also clear the cache for all apps at once, if you like. You can find the option in most Android devices under Settings > Storage > Cached data.

2) Clear old downloads

Android has a central Downloads folder where it stores all the files and documents you’ve accumulated from your time on the Internet. This could be images from the Web, zip files from email, or even a video that didn’t support streaming. Over time, these can collect and take up quite a bit of space on your phone.

To look through the downloads gathering dust, find and open the Downloads app. You should be able to sort by size, and figure out the largest nuisances. Hold on any file to select it, and then add to your selection, before hitting the delete icon.

3) Move apps to microSD card

While some manufacturers have phased out microSD card slots for reasons related to design, or to entice you into buying a more expensive variant, if you’re lucky to have the option, you should make full use of it. There are two ways to use microSD cards to move apps. The first is to go into the Apps section in the device settings, and choose the app you’d like to move.

If you’ve got a microSD card installed, and the app can be moved, you should see a Move to SD card option. Note that only part of the app will be moved to external storage, with the decision entirely up to the developers. Sadly, most large games tend to keep most of their data on internal storage for better performance.

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