Smartphones and tablets are excellent multi-purpose tools. However, they aren’t perfect. The two main concerns with mobile devices are battery and storage space. We tried to make your battery drains less painful with simple tips to extend your battery life.
Now it’s time for a guide on how to free up disk storage on your Android. Read it carefully: an overloaded smartphone may affect performance and shorten your battery life. Let’s make it run as smoothly as on the unboxing day.
1. Visualize Disk Usage
First things first: diagnosis. You must know which apps and data are using the most space on your Android device in order to take action. You can analyze your disk usage in two different ways.
First, by using third-party apps like Disk & Storage Analyzer (download – full Review), which provides useful information about disk usage, but also about apps usage (which is paramount to decide which apps to uninstall).
Or… you can use the built-in Android storage feature, which falls short on sorting and filtering. However, it’s still a great tool to visualize your disk storage status and free up space.
Steps: Go to System Settings > Scroll down to Storage > Tap section to see details
From there, you can easily uninstall apps, clear the cache, removes files from the “download” folder, and find out if you need one of the cloud-based storage services we mention below.
Cache and data are tricky. Some would say you must clear them at once, easy as pie. But it’s not that simple.
Some apps download extra data and generate cache as you use them. At first, they may only use a few MB, but as time goes by, they can take up a big amount of space. Unless you don’t care about accidentally getting rid of saved games or downloaded articles, our recommendation is to remove cache and data from apps one-by-one. That way you can make sure you won’t delete data you care about.
But, if you are looking for an app which simplifies this cleaning up process, you should take a look at Clean Master (download – full review), an all-in-one cleaning app.
3. The cloud, your virtual box room
Remember your mother’s obsession to pack everything and put it into the boxroom? That was the way to keep the house tidied up and clean. What works for houses works also for your mobile device.
There are excellent services that offer virtual box rooms in the cloud. There’s no need to keep your photos, videos, and music physically in your Android, using disk space you need for apps to run properly. Back them up in the cloud, and they’ll always be accessible.
Photos, videos and other files
There are several storage services with official apps you can set to automatically backup your files to the cloud.
If the sheer amount of free space is most important, MEGA (download – full review) is probably your best option: get 50GB just for signing up.
Otherwise, if you are a dedicated Googler and you already use Gmail, G+ and Picasa, you should consider Drive (download – full review) as your main cloud storage service, due to its integration with those services.
Dropbox (download – full review) is still the most well-known in the field, and that’s not a coincidence: ease of use, a referral system, and high compatibility with third-party apps account for it.
Of course, you can also backup all the music stored on your Android SDcard to the cloud storage services mentioned above. However, some of them don’t include a built-in music player, since they weren’t developed to play music but to store files.
No sweat, there’s an app for that. Well, multiple apps, actually. One of the best options is Google Play Music (download - full review). You can sync your tracks from desktop or mobile platforms to the cloud an access them from any device. You can either listen to them over WiFi or 3G or make them available offline (but it’ll use disk storage).
Google Play Music is a good choice for those who already have a huge music library they want to keep. If you aren’t into owning music but rather streaming it, Spotify (download – full review) is a top-notch service for sure, and its mobile app has recently gone free.
4. Move apps and media to SDcard automatically
Your device’s performance is mainly affected by low available storage in your internal card. There are some files you cannot backup to the cloud though. For example, apps. After downloading them, apps are automatically installed in your internal storage. However, some of them (the ones that don’t use widgets or other Android built-in features) can be moved to your SDcard.
Clean Master (download - full review) can also help you carry out that task by identifying apps that can be moved to the external SDcard, and it can even move them automatically when any of those apps are installed.
In addition, you can set photos and videos taken from your camera to save to the SDcard automatically. That was a built-in Android feature until Kit Kat. Now, users must download a third-party app to do so – for example, Camera MX (download – full review).
5. Add more external storage
Finally, a hardware solution: upgrade your physical space with an external SDcard. Yes, it’s probably the most expensive solution (although prices are constantly coming down). And yes, some devices don’t have a slot for an external SDcard. However, if you can afford it, and you still don’t have enough with the tips above, you can always take the hardware option!
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any doubt or suggestion? Leave a comment! We’ll help you out.