You always judge your decision-making ability when you press the install button on your “new” favorite mobile application on Google Play Store and find out your smartphone has got zero space left.
Perhaps, you didn’t have enough room in your Android smartphone to begin with. Or, maybe your smartphone brand doesn’t allow an additional expansion slot which means that you’re stuck with the same amount of storage capacity for the rest of eternity assuming you never buy a new smartphone again.
There is a saying that you can never be too rich, too lean or have too much space on your smartphone.
Of course, you can always be a bit too rich for your own good e.g Donald Trump. And being thin isn’t really an achievement since there are tons of other factors at play in that situation such as your genetics and affordability.
But as far as storage space is concerned, everyone has gone through those moments where they find themselves desperately searching for more room in their smartphones to install that one last “absolutely necessary” app.
You might also need to take more pictures or download documents (let’s not forget video and audio files) from the internet on your smartphone so you can have access to them on the go.
Of course, there are always those Android smartphones (and tablets if that’s your thing) available in the market that come equipped with an easy solution: the microSD card slot.
Sadly, there are also some smartphone brands that have excluded this vital feature from their latest flagship smartphone lineup.
If you have one of those “fixed” storage capacity smartphones then people might tell you to get a new smartphone device to rid yourself of the curse that is a fixed-storage Android smartphone.
And perhaps you might want to buy a new smartphone someday. But is it really necessary to make “that” day into today?
No matter the case, here are some clever little tricks and strategies that you can use right now in order to reclaim some of that premium Android smartphone storage.
There is a good chance that you might have never thought of these neat tips and tricks to free up more space on your smartphone device so before you start to delete memorable family pictures and videos, try out each and every one of these tactics.
Go Through All Of Your Apps
Do we really need to mention here that most, if not all, Apps are cheap and abundant? You can literally install 90 percent of your much-needed apps for free. For others, you might have to pay a small sum of money.
And yet, the majority of smartphone users have this inclination to stock up on apps that they seldom use.
You need to stop for a moment and really think hard about which apps you really need in order to carry out your daily tasks and responsibilities.
Once you do that, you’ll gain much insight into which apps you can do without. Don’t forget that if you delete an app, it doesn’t automatically mean that the app is gone forever.
When you uninstall an app, it’s only gone for the moment. If it’s an app you installed from Google Play Store then all your data is probably stored safely in the cloud now.
And because your data is always safe and secured on Google servers, you can always reinstall an app later when you might have a need for it.
Needless to say, Android games are the biggest culprits when it comes to lack of storage on your smartphone or tablet.
So, if you have finished playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the umpteenth time then maybe you should uninstall the app and recover some much-needed space.
You might not know this but clearing out heavy apps like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas can grant you up to 2.4 GB of space.
If you don’t know how much space each of your apps is taking then fear not as your trusty Android operating system has got you covered.
It will take some mental strength and a little drilling to actually get there but we’re confident you’ll be able to manage. So let’s get to it.
First, go to your Settings menu and then look for an option labeled Storage. Some devices list the Storage option as Storage and USB so watch out for that.
After that, tap on Apps and wait for your Android smartphone to calculate how much storage capacity each app has consumed.
After your smartphone has shown you the list, you can take your time to decide which apps should get eliminated.
Take Away Some Photos and Videos
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the more photos and movies you capture with your smartphone’s camera, the more storage capacity it will eat up. As a result, you’ll have considerably less available storage.
And before you know it (like after taking random photos, event pictures, countless selfies, other life’s important moments for two straight years) all of your smartphone’ storage capacity has been used up.
That is, coincidentally, also the point at which to start to face a serious life crisis but we won’t be touching that area is this guide.
The solution to most of your storage woes is this: offload all your old photos and random stuff into another storage location.
The most sensible choice of “other storage location” would be your PC’s hard drive. Through the magic of drag-and-drop feature you can easily free up tons of space on your mobile smartphone.
You can also use cloud services like Dropbox and Flickr since both of these are fairly reliable but most people prefer Flickr because it offers a gigantic 1 terabyte of free storage space for your photos.
And no solution to offloading your photos and short videos on the cloud would be complete without mentioning Google Photos.
Google Photos gives users unlimited storage space for both their photos and videos. The only real limit is that your photos must be smaller than 16 megapixels. For videos, you must not have them at more than 1080p resolution.
Additionally, Google Photos can also automatically delete items that you have already backed up on the cloud from your smartphone device.
It could, in theory at least, free up gigabytes of space on your smartphone.
If you want to access that feature then just open up your Google Photos app and tap Menu. Then go to Settings and after that hit Free up device storage.
Give A Legitimate Shot To Streaming
As you might have guessed by now, media content takes up a grossly disproportionate amount of space on your smartphone or tablet.
You might have a lot of audio files on your phone along with podcasts, downloaded videos and of course your own created content.
All of that is fine but if you’re running out of space fast and don’t have a specific reason to keep an offline library of all that stuff on your smartphone device then remove them from your device and stream directly from the internet.
Of course, you might be preparing for a long trip or just don’t have access to a reliable Wifi service but apart from these reasons, stream your content online rather than save it on your Android smartphone.
You can always upload your favorite audio files like lectures from favorite professors or podcasts on streaming sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion. You can even upload your entire library to some online streaming services.
Of course, you might have to pay for these services but at least you’ll have some much-needed space on your Android smartphone.
If you don’t want to pay up then there is always the option of transferring your media files on your PC and turn it into a streaming service.
You can use a media server software like Plex to sync all your videos, audio and photos between your computer and mobile device/devices.
This can prove to be really useful because it means that you have access to your gigantic desktop computer hard drive and hence won’t feel the need to store unwanted stuff on your limited smartphone storage device.
Always opt for stream instead of store.
Try Out Other External Storage Methods
Doesn’t it just feel wrong that even though all Android operating systems support memory expansion card but not all smartphones (or tablets) support expansion slot?
Just because of some greedy executive decisions, smartphone users are forced to offload their photos, videos, movies and audio files to other storage locations. Not cool right?
Wrong. Because now technology has advanced enough that you can add extra storage to your Android smartphone or tablet with the help of external storage devices.
Usually, these storage devices take the form of a plug-in drive or a media hub that is wirelessly accessed.
Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages.
One of such external storage device is SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 which sports a Micro-USB connector at one end and a standard USB connector at the other.
The Micro-USB connector end can plug into your Android phone or tablet and can grant your anywhere from 16-128GB of external storage.
The only requirement is that your smartphone device or tablet must support OTG (On The Go). But don’t worry about that since all modern smartphones have OTG (On The Go) support nowadays.
Call it whatever you want but the external storage through Micro-USB connector is a great solution. Let’s not forget that it is also the most cost effective solution.
Most of all, the plug-and-play works like a charm most of the time, is simple and doesn’t need to be charged.
Of course, external drives like SanDisk Ultra Dual USB stick out of the bottom or side of your smartphone or tablet. That can make your mobile device difficult to handle. Your smartphone also takes a huge aesthetics hit when connected with Sandisk external storage device.
So if you don’t want to add an external storage device, that sticks out, to your smartphone or tablet then you can always go for a wireless media hub.
The concept is the same as before. The only difference here is that you’ll access the memory card storage with a Wi-Fi connection rather than a Lightning connection.
The Western Digital MyPassport Wireless come in 1TB or 2TB versions. The wireless storage device lets you backup your photos, videos and audio files along with other media content.
You can buy one for around $150 which might be too much for a wireless external device. The Western Digital My Passport Wireless is also a bulky looking device that is difficult to carry in a pocket.
But, you can always go for something like Ravpower Filehub which is a mobile-friendly solution that costs around $30 to $40. It is basically a wireless SD card and a USB-drive reader.
Additionally, it can also operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot and a mobile charger.
Perhaps the most important limitation to all these methods is that you cannot play DRM-protected content such as audio and video files.
Your purchases on Google Play Store or Spotify are also off the limits.
In short, external storage devices only work when you play your own media.