Back to Top


Freeing space on your Android smart phone

Did you know that Android, the most popular mobile operating system, is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel? And it's not all about smart phones! Android is also being used for smart TVs, car operating systems, smart watches, game consoles, and more.

This article will focus on methods that allow you to clean up your smart phone, though. We will determine what are the apps that utilize a lot of space, and then we will either get rid of them, or learn to minimize their footprint.

The first step is to access your phone's settings. Then, scroll down to the "Storage" section and tap it. Give your phone some time to populate the app list in its entirety; this could take a minute or two, depending on the number of installed applications. Then, sort the apps according to their size; the biggest ones will be highlighted at the top.

Examine the apps, one at a time, and then ask yourself these questions:

- When was the last time I used this application?

- Do I really need it?

- Do I really need all its features?

- Is there another app which does the same thing, but utilizes less storage space?

Once that you have gotten the answers, it is quite easy to take the proper decision. If you aren't sure, simply uninstall the apps that need a lot of space, and then see if you need them that badly during the next week or so. Cause if you need them, you can always reinstall them, right? It helps to have a full system/app backup in place, in case that one of the apps is withdrawn from Google's Play Store in the future. It doesn't happen too often, but it's best to be on the safe side.

Repeat the process for your images, videos and audio files. For images, it helps to have a duplicate finder app, which can help you regain a lot of storage space without losing any of your precious memories.

It's best to open your videos individually. Examine them carefully, and the delete what you don't need, because videos use a hefty amount of space. Repeat the process for your audio files.

If you discover that you simply can't delete too much stuff, you can move your precious files to a cloud storage service. There are plenty of services that will give you at least a few gigabytes of storage space for free. Still, you should be aware that cloud services can be hacked as well. Don't upload stuff you wouldn't want other people to see.

Let's get back to our phone's storage, though. Even small apps can use a lot of space, because they may store a lot of additional data in their cache. Often times, apps such as Google Play Music will also include gigabytes of cached music data. And don't get me started on WhatsApp, which will store the texts, images, videos and other types of files for each and every one of your contacts, unless you delete them on a regular basis.

While you can clear the cache for each app individually, my suggestion is to install a cache cleaner application, which will help you save a lot of time. Here's one of the apps that I recommend. Try the free version, and then, if you like it, go for the paid one; that's what I use.

Often times, we download lots of files, but then, after we've opened them, we forget to delete them. So, to do a thorough phone clean up, be sure to delete the downloaded files that aren't needed anymore.

In the end, if you aren't able to save a lot of space, it may be wise to move some of the apps and their associated data to an SD card. It's a quick, inexpensive way of fixing the data storage issues, and it is also one of the main reasons why I don't have an iPhone. Android allows its users to move apps to the card with a single tap. Simply highlight the desired app in the "Software manager" section of your phone's settings, and then move its data to the SD card. It is true that not all the apps can be moved this way, though, but things will hopefully get fixed in a future Android OS update.

I hope that you like these tips. My recommendation is to purchase a large SD card, which has the potential to fix all the storage space problems once and for all.