How to Free up Storage Space on Android

Free Up Storage Space Android Featured Image

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.

Why Is My Android Storage So Full?

Insufficient storage is one of the most common issues that Android users face, and there are several reasons for this:

  • Huge operating system
  • Text threads with photos and videos
  • Apps that contain massive media files such as games, audio or video-editing apps, files downloaded for offline consumption
  • Resource-heavy media files
  • Rarely or never-used apps
  • Major app updates

Tips for Clearing 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

Android has a built-in “free up space” tool you can use to increase your usable storage on your device. In this guide a Samsung S8+ Android Pie smartphone is used. The steps may not be exactly the same on your device but should follow a similar process.

1. Open Settings on your phone and tap “Device Care.”

Free Up Storage Space Android Settings Device Care

2. Next, tap Storage. You’ll see information on the available space, used space and different user data categories on your device.

Free Up Storage Space Android Device Care Storage

3. Tap the three vertical dots at the top on this screen and view Storage analysis and Storage Settings. In Storage Analysis, the breakdown of the Internal Storage usage, duplicate files, large files and unused files can be seen.

Free Up Storage Space Android Storage Analysis

4. Tap any category to select the items you want to delete from each category. In this example and video was selected and deleted by tapping the delete icon (the trash bin) at the bottom of the screen.  Other Android devices and versions have the “Free Up space” option and options like Remove Items, which lets you clean out your media files after backing them up, unused apps and downloaded files. Or use Google Files if installed.

Free Up Storage Space Android Video Select Delete

5. If you want to find out more about a particular app, go to “Settings -> Apps” and tap the app’s name to find out the size, storage used by user data, and the space consumed by the cache.

Free Up Storage Space Android Settings Apps

6. Tap Storage.

Free Up Storage Space Android App Storage

7. The next screen shows the “Clear Storage” and “Clear Cache” options for the particular app.

Free Up Storage Space Android App Clear Storage Clear Cache

Note: you’re better off clearing the cache than clearing storage because the latter may accidentally remove your important files or data altogether.

Check the 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 not uninstall it if not used at that point, with the thinking that we may have use for it later on.

You can save on 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. Tap Play Store and then the menu (three horizontal lines) at the top-left of the screen.

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore Menu

2. Tap “My apps & games.”

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore Apps Games

3. Next, tap Installed.

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore Apps Games Installed

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

Free Up Storage Space Android Playstore On This Device

5. 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.

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 your important stuff isn’t deleted altogether.

Upload Media Files to the Cloud

Free Up Storage Space Android Move Cloud

Photos and videos are one of the main culprits when it comes to storage-hogging files. They take up so much space that it is better to offload them to cloud storage services than to keep them on your phone.

For Android users, 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 Google Play Music instead of storing them on your phone and stream on your phone or tablet via an Internet connection.

Offload Your Data to a MicroSD Card

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

Free Up Storage Space Android Microsd

If yours has one, buy a microSD card, place it into the device and have extra storage space to hold media files and apps. Remember to format the SD card as internal or portable storage and connect your Android phone or tablet to your computer to move the files to the 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.


Elsie Biage Elsie Biage

My passion has always been to share every bit of useful information I find on tech, with the ultimate goal of helping people solve a problem.

One comment

  1. Useful article in that it led me to check storage on my Pixel 3A Android version 10. It would be helpful if the particular Android version images shown were referenced at the beginning of the article, including whether they’re from Samsung, LG, Google, etc.
    Thanks for getting me to check my storage.

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