5 Ways to Gain Space on Your Android Device

Clear the clutter for Android OS updates, new apps, and more

Mobile phone and cloud storage

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Running out of space on your Android smartphone is frustrating, especially if you want to update your OS. Fortunately, there are many ways to make more storage on your Android smartphone or tablet.

The directions below apply to all Android smartphones and tablets running Android 7 (Nougat) and later no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

How to View Your Available Storage

To find out how much storage you have available, open your device's Settings and tap Storage & USB (in previous versions of Android, tap Storage).

Storage & USB icon in Android Settings app

Here you can see the available storage on your device as well as which types of data are taking up the most space (applications, pictures and videos, music and audio, files, and games). Knowing this information helps direct your efforts to eliminate old, unused apps and files.

Storage usage info in Android settings

Delete Unused Apps and Old Downloads

Take inventory of your app drawer, and you may find apps you used once and then forgot they existed. To uninstall an app, hold your finger on the app icon, drag it to the trashcan that appears near the top of the screen, then tap OK to confirm.

Uninstall option in Android

If you delete an app that you purchased from Google Play, you can download it using the same Google account without having to pay.

Clear the Cache

Your device may store temporary files in the cache that you don't need. Go to Settings > Storage & USB (or Storage in older versions of Android) and tap Cached data, then tap OK to delete these files.

OK button to Clear cached data on Android

For a more thorough scrub, download a cleaning app for Android to purge the cache and other temporary files automatically on a regular basis.

Back Up and Move Photos and Videos to the Cloud

Take advantage of Google Photos to back up your pictures and videos to the cloud so that you can delete them from your device. It's also a good idea to save your favorites to your computer, a microSD card, or a hard drive for safekeeping.

Banish Bloatware

Bloatware is one of the most frustrating aspects of owning an Android device. These pesky pre-installed apps aren't removable unless your device is rooted. However, you can roll back the app to its original version, which strips away any updates you downloaded and saves a small amount of storage.

Disable automatic updates for individual apps as well so that you don't end up with even more bloatware.

Root Your Phone

Finally, consider rooting your smartphone. In this case, rooting comes with two immediate benefits: it kills bloatware and gets instant access to new Android OS updates. On the downside, it voids your device's warranty. Rooting is no small task though and comes with its pros and cons.