When it comes to stacking up data – be it videos, images, and whatever digital content possible – there is no limit to what we can store on the phones. Be it a general consumer who downloads tons of videos, or a pro who keeps organizing files, at the end of the day, we all fall short of storage space.
In this post, we are talking about Android phones, and have taken a different approach because the experience can be improved right from day one, and not only when you have “a few MB” of storage left on your phone.
Basics & First Step
When you are starting with a new phone, it is always a good idea to prepare for storage, even if you’ve bought a phone with say 128GB of storage. That much of space is meant to run out rather soon.
Most of the Android phones come preloaded with third party software which takes up at least 15 to 25% of storage space. Most of the consumers don’t bother about it initially, and they can even end up consuming the precious bandwidth by running in the background.
- Find Apps which you don’t intend to use.
- Long press on the app, and look for Uninstall option on top. If this doesn’t show up, go to the app drawer, and then try it.
Missing an option to Uninstall? Some of the OEMs tend to integrate apps at the OS level. While re-claiming space from these are difficult, you can always disable them. Here is how:
- Settings > Storage > Apps
- Find the app which you want to disable, and look for the same option.
- This will remove the app from your app drawer. It should also have another option which says “Uninstall Updates” which can recover some of the storage space for you.
Grab a Class 10 (or above) microSD Card
Most of the Android phones come with around 16 GB of storage space. Since internal storage space rather run out quickly, it is always a good idea to add an SD card (assuming there is an option to add one). Now since you are looking for the same performance as your internal storage, pickup a class 10 microSD card at the minimum. Technically speaking they have a great read and write data speed which helps.
Move Apps, Games to SD Card (Data & Main Files)
Once you have a microSD card in place, you can move most of the apps, if not all, to it. This is applicable to both games and apps in general.
- Settings > Storage > Apps
- Find the app or which you want to disable, and look for the option which says “Move to external storage”.
- Tap on it, and it should soon move to it. Once done the option changes to “Move to Phone storage”, handy if you ever change your mind.
For Shutterbugs :
Camera is one of the integral parts of every phone. We love to click, and we would love to save the images forever. This also means, if you take a lot of shots, your storage space soon starts disappearing. While one of the options is to shoot pictures in lower resolution, we won’t recommend them as it does lower the quality of the shots. So here is what we recommend.
Delete What You don’t Need:
Not all pictures come out great, and some are usually clicked just for fun. You may not want to keep them forever. If that’s how you feel, best is to keep deleting them from time to time. The best way to do it is from your phone as it is convenient.
External Storage :
- Set the default location of the captured photo to external storage i.e. microSD card. The option is mostly available with Camera App Settings.
- Connect to your PC from time to time to copy them to a relliable external storage you have.
Backup to the cloud
Apps like Google Photos, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox offer Auto-Upload feature which takes all your pictures to the cloud, and you can free up space on your phone and external storage as well. However they are limited in their offering so choose wisely what you want to upload. If you choose Google Photos which virtually offers unlimited backup, do make sure to read our ultimate guide.
This is the stage where most of us end up. Mostly because we don’t realize, and only care when the phone starts sending warnings.
Uninstall apps that you don’t use :
One of the statistical data confirms that most of the time people end up using a max of 6 apps, of which only 2 are the most used. Say for example if you are into lot of chatting, you will end up using apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Hike, and others. So when you run out of space, start uninstalling apps which you hardly ever use. The steps have been explained earlier in this post.
Manage your downloads, cache and big files:
Right from music files to videos to documents. We download something almost every day. Android offers a centralised location for this and canoe be accessed via File Manager > Phone Storage > Downloads. The same folder is available in external storage as well if you have configured it.
While the in-built file manager is more than enough to figure them out, but if you can also try apps like ES File Explorer which comes with an in-built analyzer, it looks for Large files, redundant files, recently created files, app associated data, duplicate files, and so on. The final result includes categorized details for Pictures, Audio, Video, Documents, Apps and others.
And last, but not the least. If you are someone who uses WhatsApp a lot, then check out this tool which can help up delete unwanted stuff and free up some space.