How to create space on Android phone. We explain how to deal with the Android ‘insufficient storage available’ message without having to root your smartphone. How to clear space on your Android phone, even when you know you have free space.
Few things in life are inevitable: death, taxes, running out of storage on your smartphone. And Android has an annoying habit of telling you that you are out of space even when you know there is room to burn.
It may be that you have space on an SD card, but for some reason Android feels you are out of storage. Or it may simply be that you tried to download or update something, and received Android’s notorious ‘insufficient storage available’ error message.
Fear not. Even if your smartphone is rammed with apps, music and photos, there are plenty of things you can do to free up space. And none of them is drastic. Here’s how to fix Android’s ‘insufficient storage available’ error message.
How to fix Android insufficient storage available: clear cache/remove app data
The ‘insufficient storage available’ error can be seen after you have moved large amounts of media from your Android phone’s onboard storage to a microSD card. Put simply, it’s caused by cached data not being properly erased.
There are a couple of ways of fixing this issue. The easiest is to install a cache cleaner app. There are a few of these we like, but App Cache Cleaner – 1Tap Clean is our favourite.
Apps such as this one are super easy to use. Once installed you simply open the app and let it scan your phone. You can then either clear each individual cache by clicking on the rubbish bin icon next to each app, or delete all the app caches by selecting the Clear icon at the bottom of the screen. Simple.
This is a good process to go through whenever you are a little tight for space. And it is free. So why wouldn’t you install App Cache Cleaner – 1Tap Clean? Put simply: you may not have enough space. To create that space, you have to delete the cache from individual apps.
Some Android phones will allow you to clear cached data via Settings. On my Galaxy S7 Edge I just go to Settings, Storage, click the onboard storage, and tap Cached data. This immediately gives me the option of deleting all the cached data.
Alternatively, on all Android phones you can delete cached data on an app-by-app basis.
Go to Settings, choose Apps or Applications.
Now you will either see a list of all apps running and installed on the phone, or have the option of clicking Application Manager to see this list. Simply tap any app in this list, then choose Clear Cache.
Through clearing the app cache on your phone, you should be able to fix that pesky Android insufficient storage issue. But if that doesn’t work, we are going to have to get more creative. And each of the following options will hurt at least a little.
How to fix Android insufficient storage available: remove apps you don’t use
Okay, this is not ideal. But if you go to that list of apps as outlined in the point above, you may find that there are several you don’t need or use. And you’ll be able to see the storage each app takes up.
To delete, just select the app you no longer need by tapping it. You will be given the option to uninstall or stop. Simply click uninstall and that app, plus all its cached data, will be removed.
How to fix Android insufficient storage available: add an SD card (and move across media)
The only cost here is, well, cost. Adding an SD card is available only to those Android phones that have an SD card slot. And it isn’t quite the panacea that phone reviewers will have you believe. For one thing few phones will let you host apps on the external storage. And for another, they can affect performance.
But a sizeable SD card will add loads of storage to your phone, taking all the media files off your overworked built-in storage. It’s a no brainer if you are storage-starved.
How to fix Android insufficient storage available: remove media files (back up to Google Drive)
Again, one to file under ‘obvious, and mildly painful’. But if you are anything like me your Android phone will be chock full of podcasts to which you will never listen, and photos that someone else shoved your way via WhatsApp.
Make sure your photos back up to Google Drive, and your music is stored in Google Music (both are free). Set your podcast settings to delete once listened to, or after a period of a month. And regularly click through your photos and delete those you don’t want to keep. It’ll be good for the soul, as well as your phone.
Do let us know in the comments below if you have any other Android space-saving tips.
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