If you find that your phone hardly ever has space for new pictures and videos, join the club! The good thing is that it’s really easy to free up storage space on your Android phone.
Since late 2016, Android users have been able to automate the storage-saving process by using the Smart Storage feature. But even if your phone is older and you don’t have that tool, the following steps can save you some space on most Android phones.
First step: find out what’s taking up all your phone’s storage space.
How to Find Out What’s Using Up Space on Your Android Phone
You may be wondering why your Android phone keeps running out of space in the first place. The short answer may be that you have too many apps installed.
To see which apps are taking up space, go to Settings > Apps (To access Settings, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner) and you’ll want to sort by size. Here’s what that should look like:
How to Free Up Storage Space on Your Android Phone
From the screenshot above, you can see how much space each app is taking up. So now let’s start freeing up some of that storage space:
1. Uninstall Unused Apps
On the Apps screen, just click on an app that you no longer want and uninstall it.
Once you delete apps you’re no longer using, you may see a marked difference in the available space on your device immediately, but there’s more.
2. Set Your Old Messages to Auto-Delete
A great way to save space is to enable auto-delete for your old text messages. That way, when you exceed a threshold of 200 text messages, your phone will automatically get rid of them starting with the oldest.
Go to Messages > Settings > More Settings > Delete Old Messages. Here’s what that should look like:
3. Back Up Your Files in the Cloud
Using a cloud service to store your files can be a big space saver. Once you’ve backed up your files to the cloud, you can delete them from your device.
The obvious choice here for an Android user is Google Drive, which comes with 15GB of free space (including your other Google accounts). Aside from Google, here are some of the most popular cloud storage services:
- Dropbox: Free account comes with 2GB of free space
- iCloud: Free account comes with 5GB of free space
- OneDrive: First tier with 5GB of free storage
4. Back Up Files to Your Computer
Using a USB cord, you can connect your Android phone to your computer and back up files there as well.
5. Press the ‘Free Up Space’ Button to Begin the Process
Go to: Settings > Device Maintenance > Storage
Please note: On some Android phones, instead of “Device Maintenance” it may say “Device Care.”
You should see a button that says “Free up space” or “Free up storage space.” Once you tap it, your phone will begin the process of creating more storage.
The way it does this is by deleting files that you have already backed up. Here’s how that screen looks:
If your phone doesn’t have a screen that says “Free up space,” it will say “Clean now.” To get there, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Storage.
On the Storage page, you’ll see how many GBs you could free up based on how many files you have backed up on your phone.
When you press “Clean now,” look for the checkmark in a blue circle (see image below).
Once your phone is cleaned, the device will show you just how much space you freed up and how much you have left. Among the other metrics you’ll see are:
- System/user data
- Unnecessary data
- Available space
Your screen will look similar to this:
After this process, your device will likely perform better. You should also have more room to take new videos and photos.
If you want to buy your way to more storage, you can do that through a cloud service. Some Androids also let you add an SD card.