Sunday, October 2

How to free up storage space on your phone: 7 easy tips

Nowadays, are you even a smartphone user if you have never run out of storage space? There’s probably nothing more frustrating than trying to take another photo of your pet when the dreaded “not enough storage space” window pops up and ruins your shot.

At that point, you’ll probably consider whether it’s worth going for a more expensive configuration with more memory, or whether you could consider paying to buy more cloud storage.

And while both are solid options, you should probably try to free up your phone’s storage space before making any impulse purchases.

Deleting just a few photos and videos from your gallery may seem like a quick fix, but it won’t help you in the long run. Therefore, we have prepared five tips on how to free up your phone’s storage space, which will not only make the process easier and faster, but also help you understand how to prevent it from filling up in the first place. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an iOS or Android user: the steps below work on any operating system.

Identify what takes up the most storage

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To begin with, you need to find out what is causing the mess. Both Android and iOS users can check what takes up most of their phone storage. If you are an iPhone user, launch the ‘Settings’ app > tap ‘General’ > select ‘iPhone Storage’, and you’ll be able to see the available space and a full breakdown of which files are the heaviest in memory. And if you are an Android owner, launch the ‘Files’ app > tap the three dots > Sort by > and select ‘Largest First’. You can delete apps directly in the settings of iOS and Android smartphones. Once you can see what’s taking up most of your phone’s storage, it’s time to tackle the culprit and start a deletion spree.

Find out which apps you’re using the least

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Another easy way to save a few extra megabytes is to remove apps you use the least or none at all. To do that, you need to identify those apps first, and luckily you don’t need to rely on your own memory to try to remember the last time you launched a certain app.

If you are an iPhone user, you can take advantage of two methods. The first involves an automatic process of removing unused apps. you can do it for launching the ‘Settings’ app > tap ‘General’ > select ‘iPhone Storage’ > and enabling the option to ‘Download unused apps’. Once done, your phone should automatically delete unused apps when you are running low on storage space. It is worth noting that it will not delete any cache or data of the apps in question. You can also opt for the manual process. For that, go to ‘Settings’ > tap on ‘General’ > select ‘iPhone Storage’ > tap on each app one by one and tap on ‘Delete App’.

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Android users do not have the option to set an automatic process for this. Instead, you should open ‘Play Store’ > tap the menu icon > select ‘My apps & games’ > ‘Installed’ > tap the icon with three lines > select ‘Last used’ instead of ‘Alphabetical. This should sort the apps and show you the ones you haven’t opened/used in a while. To remove an app, just touch it and select ‘Uninstall’.

Free up your WhatsApp storage

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WhatsApp is one of the most used messengers, but what some users don’t know is that it can also clutter your phone faster than you think. In fact, when I tried to figure out what was taking up most of my storage space, WhatsApp turned out to be the biggest culprit (responsible for 20GB total, ouch!).

If you are an active WhatsApp user yourself, you may find the following tips helpful. WhatsApp may even be behind hundreds of unwanted photos and videos in your gallery that your friends and family may have spammed you with. So the first thing you should do in iPhone is go to ‘Settings’ tab > select ‘Chats’ > Uncheck ‘Save to camera roll’. if you are a Android Username, tap the three points at the top right, tap Settings,’ then ‘talks,’ then tap the lever for ‘media visibility‘ to disable the option.

Second, you need to find out which files are filling up your storage space. For that, in iPhoneWhatsApp has a handy ‘Storage and data’ section in the ‘Settings’ tab. You can see the full breakdown of the different media and chats using storage by tapping on ‘Manage storage’. The app also shows you files larger than 5 MB and allows you to select and delete multiple items at once.

Delete downloaded movies, podcasts and TV shows

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When cleaning your phone, you should definitely consider deleting large files such as downloaded movies, podcasts, and TV shows. If you’re short on storage space, you should ideally get rid of all of them. But if you’re reluctant to do so, you should at least delete the ones you’ve already seen or heard about.

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Let’s start with podcasts. On Android, you should be able to open ‘Podcasts’ > tap ‘Activity’ > select ‘Downloads’. Once you choose an episode you’d like to delete, go ahead and tap ‘Delete download’. If you are an iPhone user, simply launch the ‘Podcasts’ app > select ‘Library’ > tap ‘Downloaded Episodes’. You should be able to swipe left on the episode of your choice to delete it.

Downloaded TV shows, movies and/or e-TV shows usually take up more space, starting at 3-5 GB. Here’s how to remove them with an Android device: open ‘Google Play Movies & TV’ > tap the three lines icon > go to ‘Settings’ > select ‘Manage Downloads’ > choose a movie or TV show episode > tap ‘Delete. A similar process is available for iOS users: go to ‘Settings’ > tap ‘General’ > select ‘iPhone Storage’ > ‘TV’ > tap ‘Review Apple TV Downloads’ > select a movie or TV show episode > select ‘Delete’.

Check your old messages

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Even if you’re not actively using your phone’s default messaging app, it’s worth giving it a thorough clean every now and then. You may find that you have a lot of spam or promotional texts and a bunch of 2-Step Verification codes stored in your inbox. Obviously that will need a sort, stat.

You should also keep an eye out for any messages with attachments, because even if you didn’t save them, they’re still taking up that space, and every little bit helps.

iPhone users will be pleased to discover that there is a setting that automatically deletes old conversations. All you need to do is go to ‘Settings’ > tap ‘General’ > Select ‘iPhone Storage’ > and enable ‘Automatically delete old conversations’.

Android users won’t have that option, though there is a workaround that involves clearing the app’s cache. The steps will follow in the next tip.

Don’t forget to clear your app caches

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Clearing your app caches is another easy way to free up storage space. Every time you use an application, your mobile phone stores some files to speed up future tasks. While this doesn’t tend to take up a lot of space, it can easily add up over time, causing some apps to take up more than 100 MB of storage.

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Android users can do this relatively easily by opening ‘Settings, then browsing a ‘Apps & notifications’, tapping ‘See all apps’ and choose any app you want. From there, you can tap ‘Storage and cache’, before finally selecting ‘Clear cache’ to release any storage used by the cached data.

Unfortunately, Apple users will not be able to clear caches for specific apps. iPhone users running iOS 11 and above can also take advantage of the handy ‘Download Unused Apps’ feature.

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This good method is the one that most of us already know, and although it takes the most time, it is still very effective. We don’t need to tell you how to select or delete photos or videos on your phone, but we can give you some tips to make it a little easier.

Most people tend to start by deleting unnecessary screenshots first, and the best way to delete them is to simply do it through a separate album. Some smartphones automatically classify your images and put the screenshots in a separate album. So instead of going through your entire camera roll and searching for those dreaded screenshots, just open the album, select all the files, and delete them.

Be sure to set aside a good chunk of your time, as going through your library can take a while. You should also double check the ‘Trash’ or ‘Recently Deleted’ section and empty it once you’re done. It is a good practice to do it from time to time.

All ready? Congratulations on cleaning your phone and we hope you haven’t aged too much in the process. To avoid such long steps next time, be sure to apply the above steps to your monthly routine (or more often if needed). But if after following all the tips you still don’t have storage space on your phone, you should probably consider getting additional space in the cloud or having it on your account if you decide to buy a new model.

Now you know how to free up storage space on your phone, check out how to stand out and look your best on video calls or how to transfer your WhatsApp data from iPhone to Android. And if you are a frequent user of Facebook, check out how to download videos from Facebook.

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