Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage

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Most Android smartphones running ICS 4.0 and higher operating systems have had the "Install to SD card" option disabled by Google. You can no longer install apps and game data to your external memory card. Here are some ways to free up your phone's internal storage, as well as tips on moving your media files to external memory storage.

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Check Your Devices Storage First

Since your Android device should have a built-in storage tool, it is highly recommended you check that out first to see exactly what is taking up the most space on your device's internal storage. To check this out follow these steps:

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  1. 1
    Go to your device's home screen (by either repeatedly tapping/pressing the back arrow (might be a physical icon or icon on your device's screen) or pressing the home button.
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  2. 2
    Tap on the "Apps" button (which could look like a square with several dots in it or a grouping of multiple lines).
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  3. 3
    Tap on "Storage" or "Storage and USB".
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  4. 4
    Your screen should look similar to the one in the screenshot below, which will allow you to see exactly what is taking up the most storage space on your device.
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  5. 5
    You can clear the "Cached Data" from here, which will free up a bit of space.
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  6. 6
    Scroll down (if needed) until you see "Cached Data" and tap on it.
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  7. 7
    Tap on "OK"
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Uninstall Unused Applications

Chances are, you have an application or two in your application drawer that has not been used for the last three months. Either you forgot to delete it, or you thought that maybe you could use it in the future. Consider deleting or uninstalling it. If in the future you need it, you can download it again. To uninstall applications, follow the method described below (Samsung devices owners skip down to the steps for Samsung devices):

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Uninstalling Applications on Most Android Devices

  1. 1
    Go to your device's home screen by either repeatedly tapping the back arrow or button or the home button once (if applicable on your device)
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 24315.jpg
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  2. 2
    Tap on the "Apps" button (the apps button looks like a square or circle with several dots on it
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 59652.jpg
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  3. 3
    Locate the "Settings" app and tap it
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 70576.jpg
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  4. 4
    From the "Settings", scroll down and tap on "Applications" or "Apps", depending on your Android device
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 34737.jpg
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  5. 5
    Once in the Applications menu, tap on the application that you want to uninstall
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 44666.jpg
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  6. 6
    You should see the application details and an "Uninstall" button on the upper right or upper left side depending on your Android device
    .
    Please note that only apps that can be uninstalled with have that button available to tap. Systems apps and others that can't be uninstalled with show a "Disable" button,
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  7. 7
    Tap on the "Uninstall" button
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 75352.jpg
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  8. 8
    Simply tap on "OK" in the confirmation pop up that appears
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 96718.jpg
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  9. 9
    Wait for your device to complete the process and you have now successfully deleted that application
    .
    Repeat the steps with other applications you wish to delete.
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Uninstalling Application on Android Devices (Samsung)

  1. 1
    Go to your device's home screen
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 41261.jpg
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  2. 2
    Tap on the "Apps" button
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 21901.jpg
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  3. 3
    Locate and tap on the "Settings" app
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 35424.jpg
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  4. 4
    From the "Settings" app, tap on the "More" tab near the top
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 67998.jpg
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  5. 5
    Tap on "Application Manager"
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 10240.jpg
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  6. 6
    Locate the app you wish to uninstall and tap on it
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 16634.jpg
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  7. 7
    Tap on the "Uninstall" button
    .
    Please note that only apps that can be uninstalled with have that button available to tap. Systems apps and others that can't be uninstalled with show a "Disable" button,
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 82195.jpg
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  8. 8
    Tap "OK" on the uninstall confirmation pop up.
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  9. 9
    Wait for your device to finish uninstalling the app and you have now successfully deleted that application
    .
    Repeat the process with other applications you wish to delete.
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Clean Up an Application's Cache

The longer you use your phone, the bigger cache it will have. Cache can be important, as it speeds up data retrieval. However, these are stored in your phone's internal memory, and most of them are not frequently used. Clearing the cache is a good way to get more internal space. Follow these steps to do this:

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  1. 1
    Go to your devices home screen
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 47283.jpg
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  2. 2
    Tap on the "Apps" icon
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 50010.jpg
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  3. 3
    Then tap on "Settings"
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 72427.jpg
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  4. 4
    From Settings, tap on "Applications" or "Apps" (If you have a Samsung Device, check in the prior Samsung part of this how to guide to get to your devices "Application Manager"
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 71726.jpg
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  5. 5
    Tap on the application to see its details
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 67945.jpg
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  6. 6
    You should see the "Clear cache" button (on certain Android 7.0 and higher devices you might need to tap "Storage" first)
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 74983.jpg
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  7. 7
    Tap on the "Clear cache" button to clear the application cache of that particular application
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 96312.jpg
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  8. 8
    Repeat the steps above with other applications as needed.
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Clear data from an application to free up storage space

Deleting data in Android applications gives you more space in your internal memory storage. This can give you a chance to download more applications when you have enough space in your internal memory. Here is the following procedure how you can delete data spaces in Android devices:

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  1. 1
    Got to your device's home screen using the home button or back arrow (pressing it numerous times if required)
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 86821.jpg
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  2. 2
    Tap on your "Apps" icon
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 55293.jpg
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  3. 3
    Then locate and tap on the "Settings" app
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 98040.jpg
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  4. 4
    From the "Settings" app, tap on "Apps" or Applications" (review the Samsung steps above if you have a Samsung device)
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 31217.jpg
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  5. 5
    Next, tap on the application that you want to clear up its data
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 84090.jpg
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  6. 6
    Tap on the Clear Data button
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 58644.jpg
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  7. 7
    A "Delete app data?" pop up will appear, read it and then tap on the OK" button to proceed in deletion of that app's data
    .
    Free Up Android Phone's Internal Storage 12481.jpg
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  8. 8
    Now the data of that application has been cleared and deleted.
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  9. 9
    You can repeat the steps for the other applications that you may want to delete data.
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Move Applications to SD card

Using your phone's native app to SD function, you can move an application from your phone's internal memory to your SD card. However, not all applications are movable. By default, Android locks system related applications from being moved to the SD card. This is for the purpose of not messing up with your phone.

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  1. 1
    Go to our how to move applications to an SD card guide HERE.
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Backup and Upload Your Photos

Your photos are taking a large chunk of your phone's memory. And the reality is, you will not view most of them anytime soon. If you do not want to delete your photos, you can make a backup on your PC to free more internal phone memory, or you can also use a cloud backup service to host your uploaded photos like Google Photos.

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  1. 1
    To backup your existing photos using Google Photos, follow or how to guide found HERE.
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  2. 2
    For newer Samsung Galaxy Devices like the Galaxy S5, follow or how to guide found HERE.
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What takes up internal memory on Android

The internal memory, as opposed to the internal storage, is the short term memory that is used by your Android device. It is more commonly known as the RAM or Random Access Memory. This is the temporary memory used when you open applications on your device. These make use of your internal memory:

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  1. 1
    Applications
    .
    These applications should be closed when not in use.
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  2. 2
    Widgets
    .
    The widgets update almost all the time, like Weather widgets or Clock Widgets. You can deactivate these or delete them when not in use.
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  3. 3
    Games
    .
    There are games that consume much internal memory, and when the device cannot handle it, it may slow down or worse, it may shut down. Exit from the game after playing.
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  4. 4
    Browser
    .
    Pages that you browse consume temporary memory. Clearing the cache once in a while helps to lessen the internal memory usage.
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  5. 5
    Operating System
    .
    Your Operating System makes use of internal memory to make your device perform at its best.
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  6. 6
    Themes
    .
    There are themes that use a large portion of your RAM. Try other themes to see if they use less internal memory.
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  7. 7
    Almost everything that runs in the background also takes up internal memory.
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What files are considered safe to delete when phone storage is full

Imagine you are taking in photos or videos for a special event and then suddenly your phone flashes a notification that your phone storage is full, and you cannot take more photos or record more videos. Now you are in a hurry and want to delete some files but not sure what are the files you can delete.

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Here are the files you can consider deleting:

  1. 1
    Pictures that are already uploaded to your Dropbox or social networking sites.
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  2. 2
    Files that you downloaded and used before.
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  3. 3
    Applications you installed and are not being used anymore.
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  4. 4
    Videos or movies that you copied from your computer.
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  5. 5
    Music that you transferred from your computer to your phone and still have on the computer.
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Questions and Answers

Is there any system files in internal storage?

is there any system files in internal storage? There is a folder in internal storage named as "Android". is not it a system folder?

Yes, in the internal memory of the device there are stored files in the memory. This happens because the device at times does not come with SD cards for extra space, so all of the system files are located in your internal memory.

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The system files will most likely be in the root directory of the internal storage. The Android folder you're seeing is on the internal storage /sdcard/Android and holds game data. The system files will be visible for you, but without root access to your phone, you will not be able to delete or modify them.

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How can I free up internal storage on my phone without having to root it?

I have access to a computer, but time is an issue.

You will not need your computer to free up storage on your device in terms of internal storage:

1. Visit settings 2. Go to applications 3. Go to Internal Memory 4. From here you will be able to delete certain things from your device.

One way you can free up internal storage is by using the following steps:

1. Go to settings

2. Go to Application manager

3. In here swipe the tabs to be taken to the device memory and not SD card memory

4. From here simply tap on certain applications to remove them from the device to free up space on your internal memory or device memory.

See more questions like this: I go to take a picture and my phone is saying not enough space on SD card. To free up space delete unused files

See more questions like this: Having memory issues. can't install new app or updates. Any suggestion

How do I Move files from internal memory to SD card on my LG Mach?

I am trying to move files from my internal memory to my SD card.

You can easily do this by installing a file manager app from the Play Store. Something like ES File Explorer should work. You can find the app in the play store here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.estrongs.android.pop&hl=en

After installation, open the app and long press on a file to choose copy or cut. Next, navigate to the external SD by tapping on the Up Level tab, seen here:

Screenshot

Select the external SD card storage/folder and then paste the file.

See more questions like this: I want to move some items from the system memory to internal.how can I do that

Hi my name is Yohannes, and my question is about free internal memory?

How can I make internal memory clean after installed applications are deleted or uninstalled the left or remained in the memory many thanks for your support

I can help you free up some of your internal space by deleting unwanted applications from your device in order to help you to be able to have more space to store information on your current device. I will below give you the steps to remove a downloaded application from your device:

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-Go to settings

-Go to application manager

-Go to the tab "downloaded"

-Tap on the application you wish to remove then select the option uninstall

This will help to remove applications from your device in order to free up space so that you can download other applications to your device.

How to delete inbuilt application?

How to delete inbuilt application

The in built applications have been recommended not to be deleted because the apps work with the system itself to keep your device up and running smoothly with no errors. I know that at times the apps will take up too much space, and you want to delete them but deleting the apps will cause your device to crash thus causing you to:

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-Lose functions of your device

-Cause your device not to work properly

-Cause you to need to perform a Hard Reset

-May harm your device to the point where you cannot perform a Hard Reset to restore your device

Also here is a link that you can use for you to be able to view information on how these apps are not able to be deleted:

http://thetechhacker.com/2013/04/20/how-to-remove-unwanted-built-in-apps-from-android-device/

My internal memory is full, but it does not allow the excess data to the SD?

Android will only put certain files like photos, movies, and music on the external SD card. Apps cannot be installed to or run from the external SD card.

See more questions like this: How to get back my data, transferred by "Migrate Data" function?

My cellphone says when I try to download an app. No space?

How do I free it up? My SD card slot is broken

  1. 1
    Follow the "Uninstall unused applications" section in this tutorial
    .
    This is your first step to find some space to install the program in step 2.
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  2. 2
    If you do not have a file manager, install X-plore File Manager.
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  3. 3
    Launch it and navigate to the internal memory
    .
    Find a folder like DCIM or Android* and delete all ".thumbnail" folders and files.
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  4. 4
    Create a file named .nomedia in DCIM and Android* folders to prevent Gallery from creating thumbnails.
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  5. 5
    You can delete X-plore File Manager now.
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  6. 6
    Follow the "Clean Your Cache" section in this tutorial.
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  7. 7
    Delete or move to your PC some of the pictures, music, and videos
    .
    You can move the files by either using a special program (like Kies for Samsung phones) or by just connecting your phone to your computer and moving files off the device.
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My Google Play Services doesn't update other apps like YouTube or Gmail, what should I do?

I'm having problems with internal storage that it won't allow Google Play Services to update

-You need to visit the Google Play Store. -Touch the menu button (3 bars stacked on top of each other). -Touch My apps & games. -Make sure you are on the "Installed" tab. -Locate the app you want to update (ex: YouTube) and touch it. -Locate the menu for that app, generally in the upper-right corner and touch that. -Ensure there is a check in the box next to "auto-update". -Close the menu and choose "Update" under the picture of the app and manually update the app. -Since it is now set to "Auto-Update" each time there is a new version, your phone should automatically update.

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Do keep in mind that some phones will not start the app update process unless there is a certain minimum battery level or unless the phone is connected to a WiFi network. Note: even without WiFi you can manually update any app or apps from the Installed tab of "My apps & games".

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : General Android Mobiles & Tablets

Recent edits by: Chris Stipe, Stacey Fonteh, Kasey Clark

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