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How to find those critical bytes of storage in your Android phone

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-05-2017 Abhijit Ahaskar

The amount of storage available in a budget smartphone has improved a lot in the last few years. Smartphones offering 16GB or 32GB of internal storage is a common sight in the sub-Rs15,000 segment these days. While this is good enough for basic users, for someone who likes to click a lot of photos using the smartphone’s camera, save music for offline access from Apple Music and download videos from Netflix, 16GB of storage is likely to get used up in no time. Here are some tricks to ensure you have enough internal storage on your smartphone all the time.

Convert microSD card into internal storage

Most budget smartphones have microSD card slots. Users can save images, offline music and videos straight on microSD cards. However, when it comes to apps, you move very limited files to them. Smartphones running Marshmallow or higher versions allow the cards to be formatted and treated as internal storage. This allows the entire capacity of the card to be treated as internal storage. To enable this feature, go to Settings->Storage-> microSD card->Format as Internal.

Clear cache memory

All apps create and save a set of temporary files also known as cache data on the smartphone. This allows the app to load certain elements of an app faster. So when you open Instagram, the images in the homepage are saved in the cache, and even when you open the app on slower networks the images will load faster. In smartphones running Android Marshmallow or higher versions, users can free up cache files directly in the Settings-> Storage->Cached data. In smartphones running Android Lollipop or older OS, one can use third-party apps such as CCleaner

Backup data on cloud storage

Another way of freeing up your smartphone’s internal storage is to take back up of your photos, music and videos on cloud storage and then get rid of the duplicate on the smartphone. Most Android smartphones offer at least 15GB of free cloud storage through Google Drive. A few phonemakers such as Asus and Xiaomi provide free access to their cloud storage service with their select smartphones. One can also subscribe for third-party cloud services such as Dropbox that offer both free and paid storage options.

Identify and remove unwanted apps

The simplest way to free up storage is to identify apps and games which are rarely used. The new layout of the My apps & games section in Google Play Store can come in handy here. In the Installed apps page, you can now arrange apps in the order of most used to least used. This can help users identify useless apps occupying space on the smartphone.

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