There's nothing more frustrating than getting that "phone storage full" notification when you're certain you've removed just about everything you can without totally wiping your device. Sometimes it can seem like your phone is always on the verge of reaching its storage capacity, preventing you from taking photos, videos, and installing apps.
If that sounds like you, here are some things to consider if you're looking to free up some phone storage.
1. Old or Unwanted Songs, Podcasts, and Videos
If you use Spotify, YouTube Premium, or any other kind of media app that lets you download songs, podcasts, or videos, then you might have old files that you no longer use but are taking up storage. Some podcasts and videos are hours long, and it's easy to forget just how much storage it takes to keep them on your phone.
It's important to check your downloads frequently to make sure you're not holding onto large files. So, when you get that dreaded full storage notification, take this step first instead of deleting files you might want at some point.
2. Old or Unwanted Emails and Drafts
It's easy to build up unwanted emails, be it spam, junk, or drafts. On top of this, there's probably a lot of emails in your regular inbox that you no longer want or need, which could do with deleting. Cleaning your emails out regularly can free up more space than you'd think.
What's more, when we buy things online or download apps, we often provide our email addresses for account sign-up. But when we do this, it's likely that the company you've given your address to will send you a lot of emails about new features, app updates, recommended products, and more. This is not only a little irritating but also takes up space on your phone.
So, consider unsubscribing from the email lists of companies or apps you don't want notifications or news from. This can be done by scrolling to the bottom of the email and clicking the little "Unsubscribe" link. Alternatively, some apps, such as Gmail, have their own unsubscribing option, which you can access by clicking those three little dots at the top right of any email. But keep in mind this won't be available for all addresses.
If you're hesitant about deleting emails from your inbox, take a look at your drafts. This folder will often contain half-written emails that you no longer need or emails consisting of a couple of words that you discarded on a whim. Regardless of the content, it takes up storage. Additionally, you can check through your spam, junk, or even your sent emails to get rid of what you don't want and free up some extra space.
3. Automatically Downloaded Content
You may not know this, but some social media apps will automatically download any media that a person sends you onto your phone's internal storage. For example, if someone sent you a video on WhatsApp, your phone will automatically download it to your gallery if your settings allow it. To avoid this, turn off the "Media Visibility" setting.
This setting may look different in other apps. For example, you'll need to turn off the "Save on capture" setting in Facebook Messenger to avoid automatically saving any photos you take using the app. On Snapchat, you'll need to go into your settings and select the "Save Button" category to alter your automatic saving settings. You can then choose whether to save your photos to just your Snapchat Memories, or to your phone's internal storage, too. Again, you'll find the process similar for other social media apps.
However, keep in mind that not all apps will do this, but most popular ones do. Altering these settings could save you a lot of storage space!
4. Apps That Can't be Deleted, But Aren't Needed
Ever looked at some of the apps that were pre-installed on your smartphone and think, "I'm never going to use this, so why can't I delete it?" It's certainly a little frustrating that certain smartphone apps can't be deleted in their entirety, as they're just sitting there taking up storage space. However, there is a way you can minimize how much space these apps take up.
Most of the apps on your phone that can't be outright uninstalled can be disabled. Disabling an app stops it from running in the background and restricts the amount of storage it can take up. Such apps also will no longer receive updates, which is another great way to save on storage. You can disable an app simply by holding your finger on it, as you would when uninstalling and clicking the "Disable" option.
5. An Uncleared Cache
You've probably gotten the response "Have you cleared your cache?" when looking for solutions to storage issues on your phone or computer. But what does this actually mean? What is a cache?
A cache can come in the form of hardware or software, and its function is to store data so that future requests for that data can be processed and provided in less time. But a cache can also harbor data that you no longer need, and therefore takes up storage space without you even realizing it.
You can clear your cache on your phone via whatever browser you use, be it Google, Firefox, Safari, or otherwise. Simply go into settings and click on the "Clear history" or "Clear browsing data" option. Here, you can select the cache and clear it to free up space.
6. Miscellaneous Files
Miscellaneous files can come in all forms on your phone's internal storage. Such files could relate to a number of aspects of your phone, including apps or your system. Because of this, you shouldn't just clear all your miscellaneous files, as tempting as that may be if they're taking up a lot of space.
Firstly, go to your phone's internal storage via Settings, click on the storage option, and there you should see your miscellaneous files. Some of these files will be very obviously not needed, say if they're from an app you no longer have installed or screenshots that you took months ago. What's important to remember is you don't have to clear all your files. Instead, you can select which ones you don't want and delete them individually.
Going years without clearing your miscellaneous files can cause a lot of data to build up, so deleting the files you don't need can help in freeing up more storage space than you'd think.
There Are Ways to Free Up a Lot of Phone Storage, Even If It Takes A Minute!
If you find yourself constantly frustrated at your phone's full storage, it's important to take the time to follow the steps above and check any and all areas of your phone that might be harboring old or unwanted data. You never know; you could end up clearing gigabytes of unnecessary junk! Isn't that every phone owner's dream?