How Do I Free Up Space on My Phone?

Find out what's taking up space on your Android phone

What to Know

  • Free up space by tapping Settings > Storage > Manage Storage.
  • Delete unwanted apps, photos, and videos to create more space.
  • Add a microSD card to expand your storage needs.

This article teaches you how to find what's taking up space on your Android phone and how to remove it, thereby freeing up space.

What Is Taking Up Space on My Phone?

If it feels like your phone is constantly running out of storage space, it's important to know what files are taking up so much space. Here's where to look to find out just how much storage space you have and what type of files are using it up. 

Android's Storage Manager can be slightly different depending on the Android phone, but the basic principle remains the same.

  1. Tap Settings

  2. Tap Storage.

  3. Tap Manage Storage to view what files are stored on your phone, delete files, move them to other forms of storage and so forth.

    Steps required to find Manage Storage on Android phone

How Do I Free Up Storage Space on My Phone?

There are a lot of different ways in which you can free up storage space on your phone. Here's a look at some of the best ways to do so.

  • Delete apps on your phone. If you've installed many apps on your phone but never deleted any of them, you can soon run out of storage space. Delete the ones you never use. It's always possible to reinstall them via the Google Play Store at a later date if you decide you need them again.
  • Clear the Cache Data. If you have an older Android phone, cache data can accumulate fast. This data is dealt with differently via Manage Storage with newer Android phones but if you have an older device, try clearing the cache to free up more space.
  • Move files to an SD card. It's possible to add a microSD card in most Android phones to expand your storage needs beyond what internal storage offers. Once you've done so, move files and pictures to the SD card to free up storage space.

How Do I Free Up Space on My Phone Without Deleting Everything?

One key reason why many users run out of storage space on their phones is that they take many photos and videos. Understandably, you don't want to delete these precious memories, but there is another way. Here's how to back up your photos with Google Photos. 

  1. Tap Photos.

  2. Tap your Google Profile picture.

    Steps required to find Google profile on Google Photos on Android
  3. Tap Turn on Backup.

  4. Choose what quality you want the photos saved at then tap Confirm.

    Steps required to backup photos to Google Photos on Android

How to Use Storage Manager to Automatically Manage Your Phone

If you'd prefer to leave your phone to manage its files by itself, it's possible to use tools such as Storage Manager to keep your phone working well. By doing so, your photos and videos will be removed after a set length of time, so make sure to back up your photos and videos via Google Photos. Here's where to find it.

Storage Manager may be called something slightly different depending on the Android phone you use, but the principle remains the same.

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Storage.

  3. Toggle Storage Manager on.

    Steps required to toggle Storage Manager on Android

    Storage Manager is a replacement of Smart Storage from earlier Android versions.

  4. Tap Storage Manager.

  5. Tap Remove Photos & Videos to toggle the length that photos are stored for. 

    Steps required to adjust settings for Storage Manager on Android

Why Is My Internal Storage Always Full on Android?

If your Android phone seems to always run out of space, there are many reasons why. Here's a look at some of the key reasons behind it.

  • You have limited storage space. If your Android phone has a small amount of internal storage space, it can be a battle to have enough free space to install system updates. That's where having external storage via a microSD card can help a lot.
  • You have a lot of apps installed. If you have many apps installed, you can run out of storage space fast. It's a particular problem if you have many high-end games installed too.
  • You take a lot of videos. Many Android phones can take 4K videos now, which soon adds up fast. Consider lowering the resolution of the photos and videos you take to free up more room. 
FAQ
  • How much phone storage do I need?

    It entirely depends on your needs. If you don't use many apps and don't take many photos or videos, you might get away with having just 64GB. But if you take lots of videos, download a lot of music, and play many video games, you want at least 128GB. Heavy phone users may want to look at 256GB and even 512GB storage options. Keep in mind that a phone's operating system uses up a lot of space, so you're getting less than the storage advertised when you buy a new device.

  • How do you free up storage space on an iPhone?

    Unlike Android phones, iPhones don't come with an expandable SD card slot. If you want to create more space, you need to get rid of files you no longer need. Go to Settings > General > [Device] Storage, and you can get recommendations for freeing up space, along with a list of apps and how much storage they're using. Offload or delete apps you don't use anymore, backup your videos and photos to iCloud, or perhaps delete those old books you're not reading to free up some space.

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