How to Free Up Memory Space on Your Android Phone

Your phone’s internal memory and RAM on an Android smartphone are never enough. You can free up memory space on your Android phone space by following some of the tips we offer in this article.

Almost all top smartphones with Google’s Android operating system have 16 GB of internal memory and 2 GB of RAM, which is enough to use more apps.

Unfortunately, today’s low-entry smartphones, as well as phones that were launched a year or two ago in the top range, usually have 4 GB of internal memory and 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM. That amount will prove insufficient for intensive use. Don’t be fooled by the existence of a microSD card slot. Many apps can’t be moved to the card.

This is also common because the Android operating system often takes up more than half of the smartphone’s internal memory. In addition, with some small exceptions, manufacturers install many proprietary applications on the device which take up space. In some cases consume a good part of the RAM too.

That’s why it’s quite possible to find yourself running out of space on your phone/device if you have an Android smartphone with limited internal memory. In such a situation you need to resort to a few tricks to free up space. We explain exactly what steps you need to take. Also, these tips are useful even if you have more than 16 GB of internal memory, as free space never proves too big.

Uninstall apps you don’t use to free up memory space on your Android phone

We agree, this advice isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s one of the first things you should do.

Check the list of apps you’ve installed over time. It’s usually in the Settings – Applications – Manage Applications menu. We guarantee you’ll find at least 5 apps you haven’t used in a very long time. The solution is simple. It’s time to uninstall them.

This way you get rid of several tens or hundreds of MB of useless memory (maybe even a few GB in the case of more complex games). You also free up RAM if the application in question had the bad habit of running in the background.

One other way/tool is to use cloud space and keep your unused but important file in the cloud. The downside is you need to spend some extra money. The upside is that you can also use your cloud for your TV, Tablets, or any other Google service you might have. There’s no file limit imposed for using cloud storage space.

how to free up memory space on your android phone
how to free up memory space on your android phone

Move apps to your microSD card. Or don’t…

In theory, the microSD card is used to store photos, videos, or documents. The reason is that, usually, a photo is a lot bigger than one app. However, limited internal memory has led to the possibility of moving some applications from internal memory to the microSD card. To do this you can manually transfer them one by one from the Settings – Applications – Manage Applications – Application name – Move to SD card menu.

However, please note that many applications cannot be moved to the microSD card. This category includes applications that use, among other things, notifications, widgets, certain services, wallpapers, alarms, Email, or data synchronization services.

Moving an app to the microSD card frees up a few tens of MB of internal memory. The downside is that the app will run slower, as the speed of the SD card is slower than the speed of the internal memory. We, therefore, recommend that you don’t move frequently used applications to the card, especially if they only take up a few MB of internal memory space.

Clear application cache

Apps that connect to the internet store a lot of unnecessary data in their cache, which can grow to several hundred MB over a few days of heavy use.

Probably the best example of this is the Chrome browser, which accumulates around 100 MB every few days, depending on how intensively you watch it. Other apps are no exception either, a good example being the UEFA sports app, which adds a few MB even with infrequent use.

The solution is simple: use an app like App Cache Cleaner, which includes an automation feature that empties your cache at certain intervals without your intervention. Alternatively, you can manually go into each app’s menu (Settings – Applications – Manage Applications – App name) and tap Clear cache.

On the plus side, clearing the cache has no effect on the apps’ settings, not even the log data, or downloaded files unless you also select the Clear data function. Applications normally don’t rely on cache data. This is one of the fastest ways to free up memory space on your Android phone.

Don’t use too many widgets or dynamic wallpapers

We know it’s useful to have a widget for your favorite app or wallpaper to impress your friends with on the patio. Keep in mind that such “gimmicks” consume a good deal of RAM. It’s because each widget/wallpaper uses a service of several tens or hundreds of MB each.

In other words, the fewer widgets and dynamic wallpapers you have, the more RAM you have and the faster your apps will run.

Turn off services you don’t need

Most apps run certain services in the background that consume dozens of MB of RAM. Some of them are essential for the smooth running of the operating system. Others are necessary for applications. Some of them run for nothing.

An example is the Facebook app, which runs a service of about 50 MB in the background. If you don’t have an account on this social network or don’t access Facebook from your mobile, you can easily turn off this service. Go to Settings – Applications – Manage Applications – Running, select the Facebook service and choose the Stop option to stop it.

Previously, special apps that automatically and quickly shut down unnecessary services were all the rage. Their popularity has declined a lot recently. One reason is their low efficiency, one problem being that many apps automatically restart after a short period of inactivity.

Turning off servics you don’t need can also help with prolonging battery life for your device.

The extreme solution: Root your phone

Rooting gives you more control over the apps and services on your smartphone and access to your system files. We recommend that you only do this after you’ve done a lot of research beforehand. If the root operation does not go well you risk being left with a non-functional phone. Be careful, as rooting your Android might void the warranty.

After your phone is rooted, you can use apps to block certain apps from starting on their own or to better manage memory. You can also install a so-called “custom ROM”. It’s modified version of the Android operating system that usually comes without the dozens of more or less useful apps pre-installed by the phone manufacturer. This way you’ll get rid of a lot of apps you couldn’t uninstall from the OS your phone came with.

Conclusions on How to Free Up Memory Space on Your Android Phone

Even if you’re using an Android smartphone with a small amount of internal memory and RAM, there are various solutions to keep the space as free as possible. You can opt for the simple solutions, which will take more time to implement. Or you can root your phone. This brings a number of other benefits, especially if you install a custom ROM.

Whichever method you prefer, it’s advisable to keep your phone as clean as possible at all times. Avoid overcrowding your internal memory and RAM with apps and services you hardly ever use.

Alex is what you would call a Senior writer at TechHangouts.com As modern technologies advance all the time, he tries to keep up by documenting a small part of it. His experience as a professional Python developer made him perfect to write about anything related to tech.

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