5 simple ways to free up space on your smartphone

11 Apr 2016

The internet has opened us up to unlimited information. The devices we use to trawl it, though, set some pretty strict parameters.

Computers are cumbersome and static, laptops lack truly excellent battery power, tablets have bridged this gap but power is not their strong point and smartphones, although proving incredible success stories, lack space.

So, what to do? Well, we can’t help with the first three problems, but we’ll give the fourth a go. Read on to find out how to free up space on your smartphone.

1. Check out the inbuilt storage tool

First up, check out where the damage is being done. The quickest way to find out what’s taking up the most space is by going into your smartphone’s inbuilt storage panel.

For both Android and iOS this is accessed quite simply, by heading to Settings, and then Storage.

There you’ll see a scrolling list of all your apps, detailing which are in use, and which are taking up most space. Find the apps you don’t use (hopefully they also take up significant space) and, by deleting them, you should free up some room.


2. Clean up your apps

There are apps that you feel you must hang on to, but they could be real drains – on both storage space and battery use. This is a bit more time consuming but you can manually go into each app – go to Settings, Apps – and clear the cached files.

Sometimes this will be largely insignificant, other times it could reveal several Mbs worth of space. The more apps you use, the more likely it that a few of them or storage hogs.

3. Trick your iPhone

What if you don’t want to get rid of any apps? If you own an iPhone then a nifty little trick was recently posted online by Redditor eavesdroppingyou .

If you feel a little squeezed for space, pop into iTunes and try to ‘rent’ a movie file that’s bigger than the space you have remaining. When you click ‘rent’ you will be told there is no room. When the notification appears, go to Settings and you will see space magically appear.

Users think that Apple’s software force-deletes some useless data and cookies to make space. Either way, freedom!

4. Use SD cards

SD cards are a very cheap, very easy way to increase your storage capacity. Certain newer, premium models of phones don’t have microSD slots, but the vast majority of phones do. For around €10 you should be able to bump up your storage capacity.

When you get an 8Gb phone, around 5Gb is often taken up by the phone’s in-built OS. When you buy an 8Gb microSD card, you get 8Gb. Some things can’t be stored on the card, like apps for example, but images and videos can.

Smartphone storage

5. Back up media

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of cloud storage. But there’s no doubt that it’s an effective way to gain more storage space. Photos, music and video are always the prime candidates for deletion from your device when you’re having a clean up.

If you have your device hooked up to a cloud facility – most smartphones now come with an iCloud or Google storage service – then just rifle your stuff there and delete them from your phone. As with anything, there are security concerns to this.

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Main image of number five and cloud image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic