Guidance

Kit Guide: what to do when you're running out of storage space on your phone

It can be frustrating to run out of space on your phone, so this guide helps you free some up, and gets your phone working properly again.

General storage tips

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Here are some general tips that can use across different phones to help you get more space.

Getting more storage

 
 
 
 
Using an SD card to increase storage

Most Android and Windows phones have MicroSD card slots, which let you increase your storage space. You can get microSD memory cards up to 256GB - which should be plenty for storing everything.

On Android phones, you can save pictures, videos and other media files to your MicroSD card, leaving your phones 'internal' storage for apps. Some newer Android phones can also save apps on the microSD card. It's called 'Adaptable Storage', and you will find it on some new phones from HTC and other Android manufacturers.

Windows phones treat MicroSD cards like an extension of the internal storage, which means you can use them to save anything that's on your phone.

iPhones don't have a slot for MicroSD cards, and instead you can plug in some USB memory sticks into the Lightning port on the bottom of it.

Deleting unused apps

If there's any in your phone that you don't use, then they're taking up valuable space. We recommend having a look through your apps every now and again to see if there are any you don't use that you can get rid of.

Don't worry if you delete an app you've paid for, and then want it back - you can go back to the Store to check your purchases, and download it again.

Back up your camera pictures

If you use your phone to take a lot of pictures, it's a good idea to back them up to your computer every now and again. It'll make sure you don't end up losing any photographs if anything happens to your phone, and also means you can delete them from your phone to free up some space.

Nowadays, most phones will have some kind of cloud service that allows you to back up your photos to online storage. It's fairly easy to transfer them across to your computer – and even if you don't use the service your manufacturer provides, there are lots of third-party options, like Dropbox.

You can also connect your phone up to your computer with a USB cable. Most computers will treat your phone like a camera, and give you the option to sync your pictures.

Delete your old messages

Text messages don't take up loads of space, but together all your conversations from things like texts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other services can add up!

Services like iMessage and WhatsApp let you receive pictures and videos from your contacts - and all of those pictures, GIFs and videos can take up a lot of space. You could end up using gigabytes of data if you share a lot of photos and videos between your friends.

Make sure any pictures you want to keep are saved somewhere, and then you can start deleting old texts and and attachments from them.

iPhone storage tips

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It's easy to check how much storage you're using on your iPhone, just go to Settings>General>Storage and iCloud Usage

This'll show you how much space you've used and how much free space you got left. It'll also give you a breakdown of your storage, so quickyl see what's using the most space.

You can also see the how much space each of your apps is taking up - and uninstalling any apps you don't use is a great way to free up some memory on your iPhone.

iTunes Match

You can have a lot of music on iTunes, but it might not all fit on your iPhone. To be able to use it while you're out and about, without downloading it to your phone, you can use iTunes Match. This lets you put all your music from iTunes into the Cloud and then you can listen to it it anywhere you've got an internet connection.

Android Storage tips

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There are so many different Android phones out there that the storage space will vary quite a lot between phones. A basic Android phone will probably have less space than a top of the range one. On all of them though, you can go to Settings > Storage to see how much is left, and what's using it.

Clearing app data

Some apps, like Facebook, Google Maps, and web browsers can save a lot of 'temporary files', taking up space in the memory. Go to Settings > Apps (or Applications) > Manage applications. There you'll see a list of your apps. Go into each one and choose 'Clear data' or 'Clear cache'. Be careful, because clearing the data on apps will delete everything in them. If you clear data on a messaging app, the messages will be deleted.

Move apps to microSD Card

Some apps can be run directly from the microSD card without having to be installed on your internal memory. This'll only work with some apps, but you can check it by going to Settings>Applications>Manage Applications.

Once you're in there, tap on an app you want to move to see if the option is there. If the 'Move to SD Card' option is greyed out, or replaced with 'Move to Phone', the app is either already on the microSD card, or can't be moved to it.

Windows storage

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Windows phones are usually quite good at managing storage, but it's still a good idea to go in and have a look through your apps, clearing out any that you don't use.

The 'Storage Sense' app will show you how much space you've got left, and what's using it.

Hopefully that's you sorted, but if you need more help, you can get in touch with an expert from Team Knowhow  here.

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04 Sep 2017

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