Have you ever received an error stating that “you are running low on storage space” or something to that effect on you Android phone? Then when you check you see that you have what looks like loads of free space on you internal SD card AND your external one too! And then you can’t figure out what is causing that error notification and you are not sure what you are to do?
Like most people, you probably do some research on the net. And in most of the first responses/search results you see people start telling you that you need to either uninstall and remove applications or even ‘move’ some application to the external SD card? Well DONT DO THAT YET! As with most stuff on the internet not all that makes it to the top of the search results is good advice or even close to correct!
But fret not. There is a solution you can use FIRST that is much simpler and probably the RIGHT one. [Don’t get me wrong, you may actually have way too many applications and if your device is rooted (and if it’s not why not?) you can actually move most of your downloaded applications to an external SD card. But that is for another post]
I’m going to add a few ‘pre’ steps here.
1st do a full Titanium Pro backup. [Read through my previous posts about this application.] In case you clear the cache and settings of an application that absolutely needed you can restore the data via Titanium! Saved me having to re-enter all my book marks and settings in my browsers (Dolphin HD and Firefox)! Simply opened Titanium and chose Backup/Restore, found the application in question and restored data. BAM done.
2nd I’d do a full CWM backup. I’m a believer in images. [all you have to do is read through my blog to figure that out.] If you don’t have a custom CWM based recovery don’t worry. Titanium should be all you need.
OK, So let’s free up loads of space by clearing application caches and data stores.
By clearing the cache that some applications use, you can reclaim quite a lot of storage space!
Go to Settings >
- Applications >
- Manage applications
- on your Android. Press the Menu button and select the Sort by size option. If you’re on Android 2.2 or above, select the All tab first.
- Select/Click on a chosen application and from the Application info screen.
- To check if an application has a cache, select it in the list and it will be stated on the resulting screen. To clear a cache, simply press the Clear cache button. You may also clear an app’s ‘data’. This will not only clear the cache, but also all the data the app has generated. Basically, when you select Clear data you’re “hard resetting” the app. You will be warned that settings and ‘databases’ will be deleted and you will possibly be required to ‘re-enter’ in information – that is OK. It is what you want.
- A couple of apps that may have a cache (and data) of several MB or more are Facebook, Maps, Market, Internet, Media and Gallery.
- For example, I reclaimed 1.2GB!! by erasing the data for Media Storage. It forced my some of my media apps to rescan and locate all my stuff again, but the associated data for Media Storage was still much smaller in size than before I cleared it.
- I also did this for my Facebook application and cleared 20MB of data. I did have to re-enter my credentials and settings (contacts sync yes or no etc..) when I first launched the application again but WOW, it is much faster now!.
There are some ‘Cache Cleaner’ applications available in the market. You can search and check them out. But why waste time – and more storage for that matter. When you can do it easily as above every few months or so to keep things snappy. Plus I have found most ‘helper/optimizer application whether for PCs, Mac, iPhones or Android are usually a complete waste. There are a few worthwhile applications and utilities – I do use some, but they are ones usually reserved for true developers and or uber geeks like me. And when I find those I will usually post about them.
I hope this helps some. I know I get asked about it often.
Peace out and be productive and have fun!