Wednesday, 9 September 2015

How To Free Up Phone Memory On Your Android Phone (Beginner's Guide)

If you are an entry level or mid-range Android phone user, running out of phone memory is a major problem you encounter every day. I'm an Android user and I have a Moto E (1st Generation) phone. It gives only around 2 GB of internal memory for your use. That is a huge limitation when it comes to installing apps, because if I download and install a lot of applications, I will run out of memory very soon. And I'd say the best solution is to get another phone. But then you wouldn't be here, right?

This guide is meant to help people who have very limited technical knowledge.

Before you get started, make use of the option on your phone to move media to SD Card. You can find it here Settings >> Storage >> Move Media. This way, your photos and videos saved in phone memory will be moved to corresponding SD Card folder.This applies only to the media in standard folders like DCIM, Videos, Photos, Pictures.. You have to move everything else manually. So, let's get started.

First, some facts!
Your phone's internal memory has two parts:
1. Application storage
2. Internal storage (aka sdcard0)
Unlike internal memory, external sdcard is mostly a unified memory (sdcard1)
Most low end and mid-range phones have application storage of a few hundred MB to 1-3GB
So, it doesn't matter if you have internal storage of 190MB because it could be in your internal sdcard partition rather than in your app storage partition. Here is how you can tackle this issue:

Download ES File Explorer from Google PlayStore

1. Move apps to SD card


Most of the apps that you install from PlayStore gets installed on your phone memory. You can move most of them to SD card memory and clear up some space. But some apps like WhatsApp do not allow it. Go to Settings >> Apps and click the ON SD CARD tab. Here you can see apps that are installed on the SD CARD. There will be a tick next to it. If any app is not ticked, it is installed in Phone Memory. Just click on it and you will see an option to "Move to SD Card."
This way you will free up phone memory used for the app data. 

2. Clear Cache

Now, there are some apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. that you cannot move to SD Card. These apps will have a lot of cache files that eat up memory. These are mostly the facebook pages, photos, Instagram photos you have browsed/liked. These are temporarily stored by the apps, so that it doesn't have to download them again when you decide to scroll down the timeline again. But do you really scroll down again and again? NO. You can delete them without losing any data. So, again go to Settings >> Apps and click on Facebook, Instagram etc and click "
Clear Cache"
In this pic you can see that Instagram app has around 45 MB of cache which can be cleared.

3. WhatsApp Media and Databases


WhatsApp is installed on Phone Memory by default and it saves all the media you send and receive on Phone Memory.This eats up a lot of space, if you get a lot of images and videos daily. So, go to WhatsApp folder and Phone Memory and you will find the Media and Databases folders. Open the Media folder. Here you will see a folder named "WhatsApp Images" move the images in that folder to another location in SD Card. Also, take the "WhatsApp Video" folder and move the videos in to SD Card. Now you have saved a lot of space!

But that is not it. Now open the folder called "Databases". It contains all the chat backups. But you only need the last one named "msgstore.db.crypt" because it contains all the chats upto the last backup. So keep that file only and delete everything else.

Additional steps:

If you still want more space freed on  your phone, try these too.

Clean up thumbnail cache (Hidden folder .thumbails) - you can clean up thumbnail cache created by your gallery app. It is usually found in the DCIM folder. It is a hidden folder on most phones. But if you have ES file explorer, you can see it. Depending on the number of photos you have on your phone, it can be large or small. If you clear it, you won't lose any photos, but the moment you open gallery, it will start creating the thumbnail cache folder again. So it is only a temporary relief. 

Clear data of default apps you don't use - For example, if you don't use the Google Play Movies, News Stand, Hangouts or Gmail app, clear its data along with cache. You can save a lot of space. But, remember, once you clear data, you will have to login again unlike clearing cache. So there is some sort of data loss.

Clean up downloads folder - If you download anything using the browser, it gets downloaded to Downloads folder on your phone memory. So move stuff from that folder.

Backup and uninstall apps you don't use - So you have downloaded some apps from playstore, but you don't use it a lot. You keep it because you don't want to downloaded it again in case you need it. There is an option to backup and uninstall apps on ES file explorer. Use it to backup your apps to SD card and uninstall. This way also you can free up memory.

If you complete these steps, you will have freed up a lot of phone memory. Repeat these steps once a week to keep your phone memory in check.

Got any questions? Comment below :) 


  1. I am using micromax canvas juice 2 and my phone does not show move to sd card option for the apps i have installed. N bcoz of this my phone memory is completly full. Is there any other way to move the apps to sd card ??

  2. I am using micromax canvas juice 2 and my phone does not show move to sd card option for the apps i have installed. N bcoz of this my phone memory is completly full. Is there any other way to move the apps to sd card ??

    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply. I no longer maintain this blog. Well, I think the apps you are trying to move to SD card cannot be moved without rooting. Use SD Maid App to clean up residual data on phone memory.


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