No matter which phone I use, I always seem to be running out of storage. Updates from the Play Store, offline map data, big games, photos, music – you name it, it’s on my phone and it’s taking up space. I know I’m not alone, so I thought I’d make this guide on how to end storage problems once and for all.
Apart from making your phone slower, having your storage full to the brim can also prevent your phone from updating apps and taking new photos, among other things. Follow these steps
- Application data
- Cache data (system cache, app cache)
- User data (music, photos, videos, etc.)
Fortunately, we can control these three things. Take a little time to work your way through unused apps, bloated cache and unnecessary files, and delete what you don’t need. Or use the app to do the hard work for you.
SD Maid automates many processes and ES File Explorer plagiarizes your Android’s file system and will prompt you to delete the remaining files from the apps you uninstalled.
You don’t want to just delete your user data, but you can move it to another device to free up some storage space. For example, the DCIM, Music, and Videos folders can be saved to your computer for storage. To do this, connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable and unlock your phone.
Move folders or files you don’t need on your phone to your computer. Don’t forget to check all folders – even your WhatsApp folder can be full of forgotten images. Some Android customizations, such as Huawei’s EMUI have a built-in storage cleaning system, making the task quick and easy.
Rediscover the microSD card
Using a microSD card for additional storage space is not seamless, but it will help save space in your phone’s limited internal storage. If your phone has a slot for a microSD card, you can store photos or music into it, leaving the internal storage for important apps or files.
If your phone doesn’t have a slot for a microSD card, you can use it via USB OTG or with a microSD card adapter. You can then attach the adapter to your key to take it with you.
You can put some apps onto external storage, but these are either popular or overlooked (after all, how will your Android sync apps stored on the adapter in your pocket?). Storing music, videos, photos, and documents on a microSD card makes a lot of sense.
Try Backup in cloud
If photos and music are the biggest memory hogs, just kick them to the cloud. The Google Photos app offers free unlimited storage for your photos for life, as long as they are 16 MP or lower. Photos will also let you save unlimited videos of 1080p for free. There are many other cloud backup options, Google Photos is just one.
Google Play Music also lets you store your collections online, although it’s not easy to upload music that you get outside of Google services. You can stream music via Spotify, SoundCloud or iHeartRadio as well, but playing back your songs through these apps will consume a lot of data.
If you want to upload your music collection to Google Play Music to free up space on your phone, you’ll need a companion app or a Chrome extension for your PC. You can get instructions for uploading your library to Play music in the app itself by going to Music > Add Music. You can then upload up to 50,000 songs from your MP3 collection to retrieve via the Android app. You can make selected albums playable offline by ‘pinning’ them.
With some careful cloud-related decisions, off-device storage options and general spring cleaning, you can ensure that you never run out of storage space again. If cloud storage isn’t for you, then consider deleting some apps, moving your photos and other files to your PC, or investing in a microSD adapter.
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