How to Free Up Storage on a Full Android Device

If you own an Android device, chances are that it’s not just a phone to you. It’s become your camera, your navigation system, and even your music and movie library. With all these features on one device, the storage can fill up quickly. It can be pretty frustrating when you’ve got some pending items you want to save and you have to consider deleting other items to free up space.

How to Free Up Storage on a Full Android Device

In this guide, we’ll walk you through several tips that can help you free up space on your device and extend its useful life.

My Android Phone Storage Is Full: How to Free Up Storage

Our phones have become our lifelines to the outside world. We take them with us everywhere and use them for everything – from ordering food and keeping up on social media, to taking pictures and videos of memorable moments. The problem is that each of these services takes up valuable storage space on your phone.

As storage starts to fill up, your phone may become slower at executing tasks. For example, you may notice an increase in the time needed to boot up, or software may take longer to start, making it difficult to switch from one app to another. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re used to fast and efficient service. Although these problems are more prevalent in older generation Android devices, new generation models eventually get affected as well.

However, thorough cleaning of unneeded data and programs can help to restore your phone’s efficiency. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

Method 1: Clear the Cache

Before trying anything complex, you might want to clear your phone’s cache.

Cache is a technical term for data stored in your device’s memory to provide quick access to recent information. Files in your phone’s cache are gradually discarded as new stuff comes along. But it could still contain old files downloaded from the internet, temporary data files from apps, and even image blueprints from games you’ve previously downloaded and played on your device.

Clearing your Android phone’s cache is a general fix for dealing with the most common problems that arise over time. For starters, it helps your device reduce clutter and allocate the available space more efficiently. The positive effects of this can range from increased processing speed to improved battery life. It also means less data usage when trying to update apps. Most importantly, clearing cached data frees up storage space on your phone.

Here’s how to clear cached data on your device:

  1. Visit the settings section on your device.
  2. Tap on “Storage.”
  3. Tap on “Cached data.”
  4. Select “Clear.”

You can also clear cached data for individual apps, especially the ones you use frequently. To do so,

  1. Visit the “Settings” section on your device.
  2. Tap on “Apps.”
  3. Navigate to the app you’d like to clean and give it a tap.
  4. Tap on “Clear Cache.”

Method 2: Uninstall Apps You No Longer Need

The more apps you have installed, the more operating system space they take up. Uninstalling unused apps frees up that space for other things like pictures, music, or even newer, more efficient apps. Most apps operate in the background even when you’re not using them. For this reason, uninstalling apps you no longer need on your phone can free up storage and reduce unnecessary data transfer.

Here’s how to uninstall unwanted apps on your Android:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on “Apps.”
  3. Scroll through the list to find apps you rarely use. While at it, watch out for built-in apps that are a mainstay in your phone’s operating system. Such apps should never be uninstalled.
  4. Once you’ve found an app you no longer need, tap on it and then select “Uninstall.”4

Method 3: Empty the Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder on your smartphone is automatically used to store all downloads, including PDF documents, bookmarks, videos, and music files. These files can take up a lot of space on your phone. If you don’t delete the files you no longer need, they may interfere with other operations on your device. A cluttered downloads folder also means spending more time to find the files you need.

Here’s how to empty your downloads folder:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on “Apps.”
  3. Look for an app called “My Files,” or simply “Files.” If you don’t locate it immediately, it may be hidden within “Tools.”
  4. Once you’ve found the folder, you’ll find all your downloads organized into folders, such as music, images, and videos.
  5. To delete specific files,
    • Open a folder.
    • Tap and hold on the file.
    • Select “Delete.”

Method 4: Use a Dedicated Memory Clearing Tool

Although you can find and delete most unwanted data on your device using the built-in tools, the modern Android OS is a labyrinth of information with numerous folders and subfolders where some files can hide. As such, you may need a dedicated memory-cleaning app built to do all the housecleaning in a thorough, intelligent way.

There are numerous memory-cleaning apps on the market, but not all of them are safe and effective. Some of the most trusted options include SD Maid, Norton Clean, CCleaner, and Droid Optimizer – all available in the Google Play store. Once downloaded, all you have to do is run the app and follow the on-screen instructions to initiate operations. These usually run in the background but effectively eliminate junk files on your device to boost the available storage.

Method 5: Move Some Files to the Cloud

Some Android users prefer keeping most of their files in their local storage for security purposes, and that’s just fine. However, this can quickly eat up the available space and slow down your phone. Luckily, you can move most of your files to the cloud without having to worry about the safety and security of your data. Some of the safest cloud services include Google Photos and Google Drive.

Google Photos is not only free and unlimited at the basic level, but it also has an incredible backup system that ensures your photos are always safe. It can automatically scan your phone’s storage for new photos and upload them to your account, so they will be readily accessible anytime you want. It also features quick sharing abilities, so you can easily send someone an album to download or share with their own family or friends. Best of all? The service never limits how many photos and videos you store.

Google Drive is excellent for string PDFs, videos, and images that you don’t need to access too frequently.

Method 6: Add an SD Card to Your Device

If you have a lot of data on your device and don’t want it to take up all the space, an SD card can be used as an extra storage unit. A high-capacity SD card will allow you to store hundreds or thousands of songs, photos, videos, and other files on your phone without having to worry about running out of local storage space. What’s more, SD cards are good alternatives if you want additional protection from personal privacy or security concerns that might arise from storing information in the cloud.

SD cards typically don’t cost much and can be bought in a variety of sizes.

Method 7: Move Some Apps to an SD Card

Some of the latest versions of the Android OS allow you to transfer some apps over to your SD card. Although SD cards are primarily external storage units, they can be formatted to serve as an extension of your phone’s internal storage. By moving some apps to your SD card, you’re able to free up space in your local storage and rediscover the high-level efficiency associated with optimal Android devices.

To find out if you can move apps to your SD card on your device without affecting performance, you should consult the manufacturer or the local Android technician.

Free Up Space and Lock in Better Performance

There are plenty of good reasons to free up space on an Android phone, and many of them boil down to optimizing your performance. But the bottom line is that the more room you have on your device for apps, photos, music, and other types of data, the better experience you’re going to have. You’re able to install more apps with less hassle, which is not only important when the app has a vital purpose, but it will also significantly reduce load times in games.

Have you tried to free up space on your Android phone using any of the methods or tools discussed in this guide? How did it go?

Let us know in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “How to Free Up Storage on a Full Android Device”

Deeane McNeal says:
I have tried and done all of your suggestions. All of them. There is absolutely no files on my phone. None. And my SD card only has what apps I was able to download. No photos, movies, games, PDFs, screenshots, downloads, no voice clips, no facebook, no google, no chrome, no maps, no APKs, everything I was able to disable I have. In my files app, it shows zero for everything in storage. Except for a folder called “other”!!! I cant figure out what that is or what it contains. I cant get into it to delete anything or even stop or delete. It is now taking up 98% of my storage. My email app no longer works. And voicemail doesnt notify I have a voicemail. My text messages dont come half the time. I e cleared my call logs, all text and picture messages. I’ve cleared cookies and history in browser. I have no ringtones. I really mean there is nothing on my phone except for this other. I go thru all system apps and ones on SD card individually at least twice a day clearing the cache. Nothing works. What is other? I’ve done extensive research on this and I’m coming up with nothing. Nobody knows. Do you have any idea? My carrier is Metro PCS. My phone is not even a year old. It’s a Samsung Galaxy A20 with 32 internal storage and a 64 external SD card. I cant even remove something due to low storage. And cannot download any apps either. not enough storage. Help!
Steve Larner says:
Yup, not sure what “Other” is. However, Android tends to hold on to deleted or uninstalled data for a while, then it gradually clears it out. You may just need to wait a day and see what happens. Other than that, you will most likely need to factory reset the phone to its original state.

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