Count yourself lucky if you have a phone with 128Gb or more of storage space because some people struggle with 16 or 32GB. However, here are 5 ways to cope with limited phone storage.
1 Store music online
There is no reason to store music on your phone and it is simply a waste of space. It can use many gigabytes of storage and is a huge space hog. Get rid of it.
One way to space storage space is to sign up to a music streaming service. For example, there is Google Play Music, Deezer and Spotify. Free accounts are available from Spotify.
Google Play Music lets you upload tens of thousands of tracks and store them online for free. You can then stream them for free using the Play Music app.
To upload your music, go to play.google.com in a browser on your computer and select Music on the left. Select My Music then Music Library. Open the menu in the sidebar and click Upload Music.
An alternative is Microsoft Groove. This free app streams music you store in OneDrive's Music folder. Upload MP3s or other common audio file formats to OneDrive and then stream them over the internet to your phone.
2 Store photos online
Photographs taken with your phone use a megabyte or two each, which is nothing at first, but eventually photos will fill the phone's storage. Get them off the phone!
Install Google Photos if you have not already done so. Let the app store all your photographs online – it is free and unlimited for images up to 16 megapixels.
Then open the menu in Google Photos and go to Settings. Press Free up device storage. Photos that have been backed up online are deleted off the phone and it frees up a huge amount of storage space.
OneDrive and Dropbox can also store your photos online and then they can be deleted off the phone to save space.
3 Store videos and movies online
Videos shot on your phone should also be uploaded to online storage. If this is not set to take place automatically, use Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox or a similar app to upload them. Delete them off the phone afterwards to recover the space.
Movies should be streamed and not stored on the phone. For example, Netflix, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube and similar apps can stream movies and TV shows, and so they save a lot of space.
4 Use lightweight apps
Some apps have grown a lot over the years and now they have become many times the size they once were. Big apps use valuable storage space that you can't afford, so replace them with lighter and smaller versions.
For example, Messenger Lite is a more compact version of Facebook Messenger. Google has a series of 'Go' apps that are simpler and lighter versions of apps. They are not available in all parts of the world, so check in the Play Store for them. Examples include Google Maps Go, Google Go and YouTube Go.
Some websites work almost as well as apps, so instead of installing the Facebook, Twitter or Outlook apps, just go to the website in Chrome browser. Save shortcuts to the desktop to create an icon that opens sites with a single tap.
5 Use a cleanup tool
There are many utilities that will clean up junk and temporary files on Android phones and Google has its own called Files Go. It cleans the phone's storage and recovers lost space.
Others include Ccleaner, Clean Master, and Norton Clean Junk Remover. There is even a 'Lite' cleanup tool called Clean Master Lite.
These apps clear caches, so space is not permanently recovered because caches fill up again. However, they provide temporary extra storage that can get you out of a 'storage full' problem.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 11 February 2018