How to Free Up Storage Space on Android

When you're choosing a new Android device, one of the key factors that influence your decision is the amount of internal storage space. Some of it is already used up by the operating system and bloatware or pre-installed apps, which means you may not even be enjoying the exact amount of the promised storage available. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to free up storage space on Android.

Also read: 5 Top Apps to Benchmark Your Mobile Phone

Why Is My Android Storage So Full?

There are many reasons why you are not having enough storage space:

  • The phone comes with a huge operating system which takes up the bulk of the storage space. This is especially true for phone manufacturers that add a lot of customization to the Android OS.
  • Plenty of bloatware. Most Android phones come with bloatware, but for some especially cheap phones, the amount of bloatware on it is ridiculously huge.
  • Plenty of text threads with photos and videos. Media files, especially videos,. take up a lot of storage space.
  • Apps that contain massive media files such as games, audio or video-editing apps, files downloaded for offline consumption.
  • Resource-heavy media files.

Tips for Freeing Up Storage Space on Android

If you regularly run out of space and constantly need to manage it, here are some things you can do to free up storage space on Android.

Android's Native Storage Manager

Newer Android phones come with a "Storage" option in the Settings menu that allows you to view what is taking up the storage space in your phone and a button to free up storage space.

1. Open Settings on your phone and search for "Storage."

2. You'll see information on the available space and an analysis of the used space.

Android Native Storage Manager

3. From here, you can navigate to each app folder to see which files are taking up your storage space. You can then decide if you want to uninstall the app or just remove some of its files.

Uninstall Apps on Your Android Device

Apps often consume the most storage space on your device. Often when an app is downloaded, there's a tendency to keep it even though it is not being used, with the thinking that we may have use for it later on.

You can free up storage space by removing apps you never use, hardly use, or haven't used in months. It's easy to find how long you've gone without using an app you installed using these steps:

1. Open Play Store and go to "My apps & Game."

2. Next, tap Installed.

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore Apps Games Installed

3. Go to “On this device” and tap the icon on its right side to sort your app list.

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore On This Device

4. Select "Last Used." Here you'll see the apps you've used recently, but you can still find apps you have not used for some time.

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore Last Used

Use a File Manager

Your Android device may have unwanted, duplicate or outdated files that are hogging space, especially if you've used your device for a long time.

Most Android phones comes with a File Manager app that allows you to view and manage your files. If it doesn't come with one, or you are not happy with your current one, you can check out some of the best file manager apps for Android here.

Free Up Storage Space Android File Manager

A file manager can help you see the file folders that are taking up space on your device and what they contain. Plus, some file managers can help you find and delete files that waste your storage, like extremely large files and duplicate and junk files, without you doing it manually.

Ideally, you should have the opportunity to look through the files that the File Manager intends to remove just so that your important stuff isn't deleted altogether.

Use SD Maid to Free Up Storage Space

Even if you use your file manager to erase all potential storage consuming files and applications, it can still leave traces on both the external SD card and internal storage.

This functionality is where the SD Maid app comes in. It is carefully designed to get rid of the junk to maximize the device's storage space.

1. Download SD Maid from the Play Store.

Free Up Storage Space Android Sdmaid

2. Open the app. You will see various options such as CorpseFinder, SystemCleaner, and AppCleaner among others.

Free Up Storage Space Android Sdmaid 1

3. Select the CorpseFinder. It will start to search and erase any left behind by a previously uninstalled app.

4. If you select the AppCleaner, it will clear all your apps' cache. The Databases option will optimize all the apps' databases.

5. Finally, the SystemCleaner will look for standard folders and files that are not in use and delete them safely.

Upload Media Files to the Cloud

If you have plenty of photos and videos that you are not willing to delete, one way to free up their space is to upload them to the cloud. There are plenty of cloud storage services around, so getting this done is an easy task.

Free Up Storage Space Android Move Cloud

To get started, your photos are probably already uploaded to Google Photos. If not, start backing up your photos to Google Photos and let it free up space on your phone.

For music files, upload your collection to YouTube Music instead of storing them on your phone and stream on your phone or tablet via an Internet connection.

Offload Your Data to a Micro SD Card

Still running out of space? You can offload your files and data to a micro SD card. Many Android devices have slots for micro SD cards, though this is becoming less common in high-end phones.

Free Up Storage Space Android Microsd

If yours has one, buy a micro SD card, place it into the device and have extra storage space to hold media files and apps. Remember to format the SD card and mount it as internal storage, then you can start to move the apps to free space on the card.

With the storage space freed up, you can now get your phone to run faster, multitask properly, or even install Fortnite on your Android phone.

Rahul Nambiampurath

Rahul Nambiampurath started his career as an accountant but has now transitioned into working full-time in the tech space. He is an ardent fan of decentralized and open source technologies. When he's not writing, he's usually busy making wine, tinkering with his android device, or hiking some mountains.

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