How do I fee up space on my Android phone

This is the most heating question asked by many Android users, “How do I free up space on my Android phone?” The reason that you are also reading this blog is maybe you have also the same question burning in you, don’t worry, by the end of this article, you will know how to deal with this problem from different angles.

Let’s go through some best ways to solve this. This error usually seen during your downloads or when you are hovering over your screen as in the images below ;

There is insufficient space on the deviceThere is insufficient space on the device

So how to tackle this problem? Let’s discuss that below.

What’s occupying your storage?

This is the first question that must come into your mind before you think of how to solve “Insufficient memory error”. How am I using my phone’s storage and what’s eating up the greater portion of my storage. Once you have equipped yourself with that knowledge, then, you are off in the right direction to correct that error.

To see how your storage space is being shared between your Applications, photos, videos and other data on your Android phone;

  • Go to your settings
  • Head to General settings
  • Tap on storage.

From this point you will know how much space do you have on your device and how is it being used between which Apps and data. So this is the most important step because it helps to see which data is important to keep and which one to get rid off.

Factory Reset

This is a much drastic approach to recover your storage and be warned, this action wipes out all your data, settings and Applications on your Android phone leaving it to the original state.

It is also called “Formatting/hard reset.” Only take on this approach as your last resort, when you have exhausted all other means.

You can also perform a factory reset when your smartphone is freezing and when restarting is not solving the issue.

How do you perform a Factory reset

  • On your screen option, go to settings
  • Click on backup and reset.
  • Tap factory reset
  • The formatting will begin.

Factory resetFactory reset

It is, however, of paramount importance to backup all your data, including photos, videos, your contacts etc to restore them when you need to. I encourage you to read, how to backup my Android phone to Google drive in simple steps. When factory resetting, you must also not forget to remove the SIM card and the memory card, for if you leave them inserted in your device, everything on them will be erased.

Clear Cache

One may in the first place be interested to know what the heck is cached data in mobile devices, its a good question and pretty simple to answer as well.

Cached data works in the same way your mind does. When you visit a certain place for the first time, your mind will keep a map of that place so that the next time you come to that place it will be quicker to recap how its laid out.

The same concept applies to cached data, the first time you visit a certain website or when you first use an App, your mobile device stores certain data from that website or Application, in the form of data caches. This data helps the devices to load the website fast next time you visit it because it already knows the website or the App.

Though the cached data is useful for convenient’s sack, some cached data is never used because you visit certain Apps and websites once, yet cached data related to them will eat a greater portion of your storage space. So when considering freeing up some space, it is wise to get rid of cached data.

cached data

To clear cached data;

  • Go to your phone’s settings
  • Scroll down to storage
  • Cached data
  • Tap on cached data to clear all Apps data cache


To clear individual data caches,

  • open your mobile device settings
  • Click on Applications
  • Tap Application manager
  • Find the Application you want to clear data cache
  • Click on clear cache

clear App cache

Uninstall Unused Apps

There are times when we are carried away by that habit of just downloading different Applications. Some of these Apps will at the end just stay idle on your mobile device, unfortunately, they will continue occupying a great deal of your storage, despite the fact that you have long forgotten about them.

Take a bold decision and delete all your unused Apps on your Android device, this will save you a lot of storage space. What’s the reason for keeping Apps you no longer use? You can still, at any time download and install them on Google Play store.

>>To uninstall Applications from your Android phone

  • Go to your settings
  • Application Manager
  • Select the Application you want to uninstall and click on it
  • Tap on uninstall

Unistall Apps

Delete WhatsApp Media

If you are using WhatsApp as a messaging App, you are very aware that you are receiving media like photos, videos, and documents which you will never use at any time. This situation gets worse when you are part of many WhatsApp groups. The more the groups you join, the more the media files you will receive.

The Best solution to this situation is to prevent the automatic download of files like videos, images, and documents. With this option you will have to manually download every image or video you are interested to watch. This will reduce the number of media files on your device thereby saving storage space.

whatsapp media

To switch off automatic downloading on your WhatsApp;

  • Open WhatsApp on your mobile device
  • Click on the 3 dotted lines menu at the top right corner
  • Tap on settings
  • Data and storage usage
  • Under Media Auto download, manage how you want your downloads to be managed.

You may also need to consider deleting WhatsApp media already downloaded, to clear for more storage by going to file manager/My files>>All>WhatsApp>>Media>>WhatsApp video/images>>Sent and select media you want to get rid off.

You will find that many of the media files you will see are useless but they are using some of your mobile device storage.

Make use of Google Photos and Google drive.

In my previous post, I explained some best cloud storage Apps in 2018 you can make use of in trying to secure your data and as an alternative to your internal memory or SD card. Google Drive and Google Photos are the other cloud storage Applications discussed. Let’s briefly discuss the two Apps here again.

Google photos

Google photosIf you are using an Android phone, the probability is very high that you have once come across this App because almost all Android phones come pre-installed with this App, though many users don’t use it.

Google photos is used to store Photos online. You can use Google photos to store an unlimited number of your photos online. The best part of using Google photos is you can sync every photo you take with your mobile device and once it’s synced, you can safely delete it from your mobile device to save storage.

To automatically sync every photo you capture with your device’s camera;

  • go to Google photos icon and open it
  • click on the three small menu lines at the top left corner
  • scroll down to settings
  • Tap on back up and sync
  • Toggle on back up and sync

You will always access the synced photos from any device connected to your Google photos account. You can always choose what quality of photos you want to back up. There are two options when comes to the quality of photos you can back up;

  1. High quality
  2. Original size

Backing up your photos as original size will eat up your Google Drive storage, you can always choose high quality for unlimited storage

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is my #1 recommendation cloud storage App. It comes packed with a staggering 15GB of free storage. You can use this free storage to store your photos, videos, music, and documents from your Android phone thereby saving a great deal of storage space on your mobile device.

All of your Google Photos are backed up on Google Drive, so you can access Google photos from Google Drive.

What you need is just to sign up to Google Drive using your Gmail Account or to install the Google Drive App from the PlayStore and sign up.

After you have signed up, you can now back up all photos, videos, documents music etc from your mobile phone to Google Drive. Delete all backed up files from your phone to save space. You can access backed up files from any device just by signing in using your Google Drive account details.

Backing up your data to Google Drive is the smartest decision you will ever make when securing your files because unlike on microSD card or internal memory of your phone, Google Drive does not lose your files due to phone damage or theft

microSD card

Almost all smartphones nowadays come with an SD card slot. Some Android phones, like the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 9, have an expandable memory of more than 500GB. Memory cards can be seen as hard drives of mobile phones, used to store videos, music, documents etc.

When your phone’s internal memory is full, you can choose to move some of your Applications and folders to your SD card to free up some space.

To move Apps from internal phone memory to your Sd card, follow the below procedure;

  • Go to settings
  • Application Manager
  • Click on the Application you want to move
  • Scroll down to “Move to SD card

Moving some Application from internal memory to SD card frees up storage and thereby enhancing good phone performance.

Related; How to recover deleted videos and photos from your Android phone

Mobile phones nowadays are of great importance and are slowly becoming difficult for most people to spend a day without a cell phone. This is because mobile phones have become part and parcel of our lives. We use them for communication, store our best memories with our friends and families, they carry our privacy.

But if your phone doesn’t have storage, then it becomes mere garbage. So, it is very important to save your phone’s storage.

Did this article solve your problem? Please leave a comment on the comment box below would love to hear your views.

He likes to play with the latest phones, gaming consoles, PCs, laptops and when he gets some spare time he likes to do VFX stuff. You can always find him playing with tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc. His current gear is Galaxy Note 9+. He is a well-established website developer and entrepreneur.

4 Replies to “how do i free up space on my android phone”

  1. Hello Ngoni. Thanks for the article. I think space has always been an issue when it comes to android. I for instance don’t even know what is occupying my other 10GB space I think I will have to try to restore factory settings. Thanks a lot very detailed article.

  2. Great informative and easy to understand article for the tech Impaired folks like me. My poor phone does the no space available thing way too often for me. Will bookmark for reference!

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