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How To Free Up Storage On Your Phone

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Nothing is more frustrating than trying to take a photo of your kids , only to have the not enough storage” window pop up and ruin your shot.  And you probably wonder whether it’s worth paying extra for a memory configuration with more storage, or you could just pay a little extra to buy more cloud storage.

While both choices may be good, freeing up your phone’s storage space will likely solve problems faster than buying  new purchases.

While deleting just a few images and videos may seem like a quick fix, it won’t help you in the long term.

So, i’ve prepared some tips on how to free up your phone’s storage space and  make sure that you never have to delete your photos and video ever again.

Don’t worry if you own an Apple or Android device these steps work for both operating systems.

1. Identify what takes up most storage 

Credit : Apple

Before you can clean up, you need to figure out what’s causing the mess.

For both Android and iPhone users, you can check how much storage you have left.


On an iPhone, launch the Settings app > tap General > iPhone Storage and you’ll see how much space is left on your phone and a detailed list of what’s taking up the most room. iPhone Storage will appear on the home screen.Tap it to bring up a colourful bar chart showing how much storage you’re using and what’s using up the most space on your phone.

Below the chart, you’ll find suggestions for freeing up space by deleting old iMessages with large attachments, or by removing rarely used apps.Below that is a more detailed list of all your apps and data, including how much space they use and instructions on how to delete them if necessary.

Photos and videos are common culprits when it comes to storage management, but you may be surprised at how many gigabytes are being consumed by rarely used apps.

You can delete any unwanted app it to free up space currently being used by the app but keep the user data and settings on your phone in case you want to re-download it at a later date.


On an Android phone, go to Settings > Storage. There, you’ll see exactly how much space you’re using and how much is being devoted to categories such as apps, images, and videos.

Tapping on one of those categories provides more detail, such as which apps are using the most space. If you drill down into the category, you can delete individual files or data. For example, under “Audio” long-press on one or more files and tap Delete. Or under “Apps” tap the app’s name and then Uninstall to remove it from your phone.

If you want to keep the app but reset it to a brand-new state, you can tap Storage > Clear data.

On Some Android phones have a free space clearing button at the top of the main storage screen. Click on it to see a list of files, including older ones that you might be able to do without.

2.Find out which apps you’re using the least 

Delete those unused apps that did not make the cut when you checked your phone storage. These apps could be taking up space in your phone, which you can use to install a needed app or game if necessary.


On iPhone, you can use two methods.

The first one involves an automatic process of deleting unused apps directly from the phone’s Settings app. To enable it, I go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > select ‘iPhone Storage’ and tap on the toggle to enable Offload Unused Apps.
Once that’s done, the phone should automatically delete unused applications when I’m running out of storage space. It’s worth noting that it won’t delete any cache and data from the apps in question.

The other method is the the manual process. For that, go to Settings > tap on General > select iPhone Storage > swipe left on each app and select Delete App.


For Android users, there isn’t a built-in way to set up an automatic process for this. Instead, you’d have to go to the Google Play Store > tap on the menu icon > select ‘My apps & games’ > ‘Installed’ > tap on the icon with three lines > select ‘Last used’ instead of ‘Alphabetical.’ This should sort your apps and show you the ones that you haven’t opened/used in a while. To delete an app, simply tap on it and select ‘Uninstall.’

3. Clean up your WhatsApp storage

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps, but what some users don’t realize is it can consume large amounts of storage space on your phone. In fact, when I tried to find out what was taking up the most space on my device, WhatsApp consumed 10GB all by itself — just imagine that!

If you use WhatsApp, you might find the following tips useful. WhatsApp can even be behind hundreds of unwanted photos and videos in your gallery that your friends and family may have spammed you with.

So if you have an Iphone you want to head over to the ‘Settings’ tab and select the ‘Chats’ option. Then, disable the ‘Save to Camera Roll’ setting.


4. Delete movies, podcasts and TV shows you've downloaded.

When clearing up your phone, you should definitely consider deleting large files, such as downloaded movies, podcasts and TV shows. If you’re tight on storage space, you should ideally get rid of all of them. But if you’re reluctant to do so, then you should at least delete those that you have already watched or listened to. 


To delete podcast episodes on Android, go to “Podcasts” > tap on “Activity” > select “Downloads.” Once you choose an episode you’d like to delete, tap on “Remove download.”

You can delete downloaded TV shows, movies and e-TV shows from your Android device. Here’s how: Launch ‘Google Play Movies & TV’ > tap on the three-line icon > go to ‘Settings’ > select ‘Manage downloads’ > choose a movie or a TV show episode > tap on ‘Remove.’


You can do the same for an iPhone: Go to ‘Settings’ > tap on ‘General’ > select ‘iPhone Storage’ > ‘TV’ > tap on ‘Review Apple TV Downloads’ > select a movie or a TV show episode > select ‘Delete.’

If you’re an iPhone user to delete podcast episodes , go to “Podcasts” > select “Library” > tap on “Downloaded Episodes.” You should be able to swipe left on the episode of your choosing in order to delete it.

5. Have a look at your old messages

Even if you haven’t used your phone’s default messaging app in a while, it’s worth giving it a spring cleaning every once in a while. You may discover that you have a lot of spam and promotional texts stored in your inbox and that you have quite a few two-step verification codes saved there too. Obviously, those will need cleaning up as soon as possible. You should also be on the lookout for any messages with attachments since even if you didn’t save them, they’re still taking up space on your phone, which is valuable.


If you have an iPhone, you’ll be happy to know there’s a setting that automatically deletes old messages. All you need to do is go to Settings > tap on General > select iPhone Storage > and enable Auto Delete Old Conversations.


Android users, on the other hand, won’t have that option.

6. Clear your caches.

To free up some storage, make sure you clean out your phone’s cached app files. Whenever you use an app, the phone stores some files to speed up future tasks. Although this doesn’t tend to take up much space, your phone can easily build up over time, causing some apps to take up more than 100MB in storage. 


Android users can do this relatively easily by opening ‘Settings, then navigating to ‘Apps & notifications’, tapping ‘See all apps’ and choosing whatever app you desire. From there, you can tap on ‘Storage & cache’, before finally selecting ‘Clear cache’ to free up any storage used up by cached data.


Open the Settings app and navigate to General > iPhone Storage. There, you’ll see your apps listed in order of size. You can click on an individual app to see if there are options available to clear cache data. If there is no cache clearing option available, try uninstalling the app and reinstalling it.

7. Back Up Your Data to the Cloud

To free up storage space on your phone, consider uploading files, photos to a cloud backup service. But don’t just do it because it frees up storage space; you should also do it to protect your files. While mobile ransomware attacks are rare, they do occur, and anybody can misplace or break a phone. In a case like that, you’ll be happy to have your photos stored in the cloud too.

You can back up your files safely on Google Drive, iCloud, Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox, and Box , but you may need more room. If so, you can back up your phone using a PC, Mac, or external drive. If that drive gets destroyed or locked up by ransomware, though, you could lose everything.

If free storage is not enough, you can choose one of the following website for more storage.


pCloud Premium


8. Move Your Files to an SD Card

If you have an iPhone or certain Android phones, you can’t do this. But if you use Samsung Galaxy’s My Files app or Files by Google on an Android device, you can.

It’s important to remember to set your phone to store photos, music, and videos on the card, otherwise they’ll eat into the phone’s internal memory.

Apps can be moved to SD cards, too, but you might not like the results. The developers don’t make it easy to do, and some apps that are moved will disappear from your home screen but still appear in your app drawer. And many app widgets won’t work if you move the app to an SD card.

9. Optimize Your Photos

Smartphone photo optimization lets you store full-resolution images on the cloud while also keeping smaller versions on your phone.The result is crisp and clear photos, even when they’re zoomed in.

To free up space on your iPhone or Android phone, go to the Settings menu.

The Google Photos app has an option to back up your photos to your Google account.

On the iPhone, under Settings > Photos, you can enable the “Optimize iPhone storage” option.

To save space on your phone, be choosy about the photos you keep. Delete out-of-focus or low-quality photos as soon as you can instead of saving them all and having to sort through them later.

10.Last but not least, clean up your photo gallery.

This good old method is the one that most of us are already familiar, and even though it takes the longest amount of time, it still proves to be very effective.
It’s easy to delete photos or videos from your phone, but there are a couple tricks you may not know.

If you have a lot of screenshots saved on your phone, the easiest way to clean them up is to create a separate album and move them all into it. If your smartphone automatically categorizes screenshots in that same manner, you won’t have to go through your entire camera roll to find and delete them. Just open the album and click on Select All, and then delete the files you don’t need.

You will probably want to spend some time browsing your library; therefore, you should plan some time for this activity. You may also want to check the “Bin” or the “Recently Deleted” section to delete any unwanted files.


Here are file manager apps for iPhone and Android

Files by Google
Files by Google  is a free space-saving app that helps you declutter your Android device with just a few taps. The app also has functionality that helps keep your device clutter-free by sending regular reminders to remove junk or temporary files from your storage. (Available for Android devices)

Smart Cleaner
Smart Cleaner scans your device’s storage and helps you quickly remove duplicate contacts, screenshots, and similar photos from your gallery. Its Smart Cleaning function ensures that freeing up space is easy—as simple as a single tap of a button. (Available for iOS devices)

With KeepClean for Android, you can clean your phone storage and protect your data by clearing junk files, useless application caches, virus threats, and other trash that accumulates over time. KeepClean also optimizes your battery life with a quick charging feature and helps boost your phone’s performance with a built-in battery saver.

All done?

Congrats on clearing up your phone, and we hope that you didn’t age too much in the process.

To avoid such lengthy steps next time, make sure to apply the above steps in your monthly routine (or more often if needed).

But if after following all of the tips you’re still finding yourself out of phone storage, you should probably consider getting additional Cloud space or take that in the account should you decide to purchase a new model. 

Share with me if you have other tips.

See you for the next buzz


DISCLOSURE: Restless Bee is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.



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Patricia Chamberlain

This is really helpful! Thank you!


I am pretty good about not storing podcasts or movies on my phone, but I am the worst photo hoarder you’ve ever seen! I am always saving funny or inspirational memes from FB or IG and I have hundreds of them that I’m very attached to. Plus I take a million photos on vacations. I usually save them off to Dropbox because I find Google’s Cloud way too creepy and snoopy. But these are helpful tips.


This was really useful! Thanks


This is perfect! I’ve been having storage issues and didn’t know where to start. Thanks for splitting the tips between Apple and Android.

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