Compare and Recycle

How to Free Up Storage on Your iPhone or Android

Storage almost full notification on iphone

It's happened to all of us. You buy a new phone with what you think will be enough storage space, but then one day you get the warning that you don't have room for any more photos or apps. It can be heartbreaking when this warning pops up and you realise that your phone has reached its storage limit.

While phones have memory restrictions, there are some nifty tricks that you can use to get around the issue without having to give up your favourite apps or pictures.

In this article:

What is Causing the "Phone Storage Full" Notification?

Whether your phone runs Android OS or iOS, the "Phone Storage Full" notification is common for many smartphone users and can be a frustrating issue. It's a sign that your phone ran out of free space to store new files and apps or better yet, just an irritating reminder that you should have probably purchased the device with a higher internal storage capacity... The files that take up too much space are usually videos and pictures or apps and music. But when we exist within a society that literally relies on social communication and sharing, is it really that easy to just put our digital memory documentation on halt?

Relevant reading:

6 Tips To Free Up Space on Your Phone

Choosing what to delete is always a challenge as everything stored on your phone is important to you. But there's a solution and here's what you can do:

1. Take a Peek At What You're Storing!

The first and most important step to freeing up storage space on your phone is figuring out what is taking up the most storage. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by checking your Android or iPhone's settings. This will show you a small colour-coded bar chart of how much storage space you have, and what’s using up that space.

2. Erase The Largest Files and Those You No Longer Need

It's likely that your camera roll, with 10,000+ photos and videos, is what's eating up space on your phone. Our advice would be that freeing up some of that storage should be your main priority. If you're a photo hoarder, then this will be a tricky task, especially if you choose to sift through your gallery manually. If you really do not have the willpower to go through them all, then a good alternative would be to store them on an external hard drive. If you're one of the fortunate smartphone users with expandable storage, then you're good to go, but for iPhone users you may need to transfer them onto a different device, in iCloud or even a software like DropBox. Keep in mind that videos that are recorded in 4K will take up a lot of storage space, therefore they could be a good place to start in your mass deletion process. You can also filter them by size to get rid of the largest files.

3. Offload The Apps You Don’t Use

As you can imagine, apps and games can be huge users of your phone memory, so deleting or offloading those apps that you no longer use will help you to free up space you desperately need. When offloading an app, it won't be available anymore but it'll still have all the documents and data related to it in a separate space. This often frees up more than half of the storage that was previously taken up by the app. If you decide later that you want to keep using the app, you will be able to just reinstall the same app again and continue where you left off. However, you should be aware that it may not show up on the Google Play Store or the App Store once you delete it.

Alternatively, on Android phones, you'll usually have the option to clear either the cache or delete all your data. Clearing the cache will delete temporary files like your search history. Deleting the data will both clear out the cache and any other settings.

4. Back Up Those Photos and Videos You Want To Keep

As we already mentioned above, storing photos and videos online can free up a lot of space and it also means that you're able to access them on your phone. Of course, there are different options for Android and iPhone users when it comes to this kind of service.

Google Photos is likely the most recognisable one, giving you 15GB of free storage. There are plenty of space-saving settings in the app to fit more photos on your phone without sacrificing quality. If you are an Apple user, iOS devices come with 5GB of iCloud storage that you can use to save high-quality copies of your images and videos. Depending on how much content you store or save, the space may quickly run out. However, you can always upgrade your storage space options for a really small price. Alternatively, there are other cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive, and Box. These services offer storage space that is accessible from the internet and can also be shared with other people in a few easy steps.

On the other hand, if you would rather not pay for extra storage on your phone or tablet, another alternative is to back up your data on a laptop or external storage device. This will keep all of your data safe and accessible.

Relevant reading:

5. Get Rid Of Messages and Attachments

Messages and the attachments that come with them, can quickly use up your storage space. So it's important to go through your text messages, as well as instant messaging apps like WhatsApp.

You can edit the settings of your phone to automatically delete old text messages and attachments from your Messages app. In terms of WhatsApp, you can review and delete the files individually by looking at the categories they fall into: 'Forwarded many times' and 'Larger than 5 MB.' This way you can make sure to delete the attachments that take up the most space. You can also organise your chats by size, making it easy to trim down or erase them.

6. Manage Your eBooks, Music, Podcasts, Maps and Films

Nowadays, there are a lot of great alternatives to downloading music on your phone, like using a streaming service. But if you want to keep your own music collection online then Google Play Music is a perfect option for both Android and iOS users who can upload up to 50,000 songs free without using your phone’s internal storage.

If you've downloaded e-books to your phone that you have read, delete them. You can download them again if and when you want to read them again, or you could just read them on the Internet. This also applies to films or TV programs you have already downloaded and watched. It will help you to save storage space on very large files.

In terms of storing maps, the Google Maps feature is able to download areas for offline access. It’s not just cool, but also useful because it lets you navigate without the internet connection. At the same time though, your phone storage can fill up quickly with all those downloaded maps so clearing them out might help save some space too.

Be aware of what deleting files from your phone might mean. If you delete content, it will be removed permanently - meaning you can never have access to it again. To avoid this, make sure you either back it up to the cloud or an external hard drive.

What To Do If My Phone Storage Is Full After Deleting Everything?

We all know about the constant struggle to store everything and the fear that comes with deleting anything. But the reality is that there's always a way to make more room on your phone. However, if you followed our tips to free up storage on your phone, and it is still full, perhaps it's time for an upgrade. Sell your phone through Compare and Recycle and compare prices from more than 25 different recycler to get the best price possible.


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