4 Easy Ways to Free Up Space on Your Phone

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on September 9, 2015, How To Guides

Running into storage issues with your mobile? Just like your home computer, your mobile phone has a finite amount of storage built into it. Once that space starts to fill up, then you’re going to begin having problems. Unlike that cloak cupboard in your hallway, you can’t just keep cramming stuff into your phone, you’re going to need to free up some of that space. So what can you do? We’re taking a look at how you can easily and quickly free up space on your mobile…

Why Is This a Problem Anyway?

You might not actually think that this is a problem. On your MP3 player, for example, you can use up all the available space, and as long as you don’t want to add any new songs in, everything is fine. But mobile phones are different, and filling up internal storage will create issues.

As space begins to fill up the first thing that you’ll notice is that your phone gets slower and less responsive. As you get closer and closer to that limit, you’ll see that mobile performance gets drastically worse. Not only that though, but some things that you rely on are going to stop working properly. Your email, for example, will stop updating with new messages once your phone’s storage is full.

In order to get peak performance, and to stop the horror of non updating emails, you’re going to need to keep an eye on what’s taking up space on your phone…

What’s the Space Hog?

Both Android and iOS come with handy screens that will let you check what’s taking up space. Your first stop should be taking a look at what exactly is filling up your phone, since this will give you a better idea of what the space hogs are and what your priorities should be.

If you’re on Android, then skip over to your settings menu, and then hit storage (you might need to expand the systems option to see storage). Once there, you’ll see a break down of how space is being used, and you can hit any of those choices to break the data down even further, finding out, for example, which app is using the most space.

On iOS it’s simple too, just go into your settings menu, hit general, and then hit usage, and again you’ll get a break down of what’s taking up space.

All this is great if there’s one particular thing that’s using up room (if you’ve got too many pictures, for example, you’ve got a pretty clear idea of what to do). But what about more general rules?

Have a Clear Out

Step one is to have a little clear out of your phone. Head into your list of apps and delete all those that you don’t use (and we all have them…). Go into your camera app and delete all the photos that aren’t good or that you don’t want. Same goes for your downloaded files (for iOS you’ll find those in whichever app you used to download or use the file, for Android you can just go to the apps menu, then hit “my files”). Got rid of all the rubbish? Then you’re ready to move on…

Clear Your Cache

Your phone reserves a certain amount of memory for cache files. This is just information that your phone thinks you might want to access again quickly, so it keeps it handy. Your phone’s cache fills up surprisingly quickly, and emptying it can be a fast way to get more space. Be aware that some app settings will be stored in your cache file as well, though the worst we’ve ever experienced was having Candy Crush play music when we had previously switched that option off…

On Android, clearing your cache is simple. Go to settings then storage, then hit the bar that says cache and you’ll be given the option to delete cache. Select yes and you’re good to go. On an iPhone this is a bit more difficult, and you need to clear the cache of each individual app. You can certainly take the time to do this, but the chances are that the main offender here is going to be Safari. So go to settings, then Safari, then tap the option that says “clear history and website data.”

Go Off Device

For most of us, the easiest way to keep a smooth running phone is not to store what we don’t immediately need at all. Fortunately, cloud computing makes this simple. By uploading all your photos to DropBox or Google Pics you don’t need to keep any photos on your phone at all (and most phones will automatically upload pics, just go into the settings of your camera app, or the settings of DropBox or Google Pics or whichever other programme you want to use and look for something like “automatic synch”).

Music can be another problem, but with services like Apple Music and Google Play Music you can store all your albums on the cloud and then just access them from the appropriate app when you want them. Watch out though, since streaming music back to your phone from these apps will eat up your data plan!

Get an SD Card!

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a phone with an SD card slot, then a simple option to have your cake and eat it too is to shell out for one of those little storage cards. You’ll then be able to transfer data to the card, keeping your phone memory free but giving you instant access to your data without needing an internet connection. Again, in some cases you’ll be able to automatically send data to your SD card, especially pictures, meaning that they’ll be stored directly there rather than you needing to move files manually.

Running out of storage on your phone can be a hassle, especially if all you want to do is take a picture right now and your phone says no… As mobile memory becomes cheaper and as more and more people turn towards cloud storage this should become less of a problem. In the mean time though, follow our simple advice and you should be fine!H