How To: Clean-up disk space in Android

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Internal storage in some Android devices can get particularly tricky. You buy a brand new Android tablet with 12GB internal storage which should be perfectly enough for your games and apps, music and videos. You haven’t quite enjoyed the taste of it when you get a ‘not enough space’ notification about a month or so after the purchase. This surely is not normal, so you start a check of your installed apps, images, videos and music just to find out they only occupy 5GB of space. What could possibly be consuming the rest of the space? Most importantly, how do you regain it?

android-phone-storage1

Unfortunately, many Android devices have an issue with internal storage getting low automatically with no factual reason for it to do so. To get the most of your internal storage, you can try out the following methods:

#1 LOST.dir

Locate the LOST.dir folder in your internal SD storage. If you transfer files to and from your PC, laptop and tablet, there are hundreds of huge recovered corrupted files in this folder. Sometimes, they amount to gigabytes of space! They are perfectly safe to delete since only corrupted files end up there. Every time you will be transferring files to and from your Android device, the LOST.dir folder reappears again. However, you can prevent it from accumulating tons of junk if you safely eject your device from your laptop or PC. Try to avoid disconnecting your Android device in the middle of the file transfer, too.

LOST dir

#2 DCIM folder

Go to DCIM folder in your internal storage and look for large thumbnails. It is a very common problem with Android devices when DCIM folder increases its size without any images or videos being taken by the user. If you use a gallery widget on your home screen, the DCIM folder creates thumbnails that sometimes occupy a lot of space. Besides, thumbnail sizes may exceed the size of the actual image it is taken from. That is an Android bug; there is no other name for it. You can make a temporary fix by going to:

mnt/SDcard/DCIM/.thumbnails

and delete all the thumbnails there. One more piece of advice is not to accumulate a lot of images on your device if you do not intend to get an external SD card for it.

Another option is to use an app other than Android’s native Gallery. Quickpic, for example, is lightweight, fast and smooth, well, it certainly is better than Gallery.

QuickPic-Albums

#3 Clean Junk Files Regularly

There are many apps on Google Play offering that functionality. Try Cleanmaster to clean your system cache, tons of leftover junk files from apps you have uninstalled, search history, call logs and the like. Note: take care not to delete the cache you might need. If you use an RSS reader, uncheck that cache from the cleaning procedure so that you can read the news without connection. It is recommended you clean your system at least once a week to avoid piles of unnecessary system cache.

clean-master-main

#4 Root and Move

If you have rooted your Android device, you can use Link2SD app to force move your apps stored in your internal storage to an external SD card. This way, you can even move system app and make them user apps located in your external SD card. Speaking of which, we would recommend high speed SD cards of type 6 to 12 for better performance and higher response speed.

move to SD card

It is better to partition your external SD card before you start moving apps to it with Link2SD. To partition your SD card, follow these steps:

– Install a Clockworkmod recovery utility, if your rooted device still does not have one.
– Restart your Android device into Recovery mode.
– Select Advanced-> Partition SD Card.
– Select how much space you would like to allocate for this partition.

Alternative way is to install a partition tool on your PC or laptop and do it from there. Now, there are plenty of programs that do a good job here, so let us take a sample utility called MiniTool Partition Wizard. From its interface, you can:

– Select your SD card, format it and partition into primary and extra partitions via ‘create’ button.
– Select Fat32 for your SD card’s file system.
– Allocate desired space for primary and extra partitions.

Minitoolpartitionwizard_Step2createFAT

Now, when you use Link2SD from your Android device you can choose your new partitions as primary storage for installed apps. You will need to go to the internal storage and select the apps you want to move to your external storage. From there, click on the ‘action’ and ‘create link.’ You will need to check all three boxes and click ok. There, you have freed some essential internal storage space for productivity and speed.

If you would like to make your external SD card as a default location for all apps you subsequently install, go to:

Settings-> Auto Link -> check all boxes there and click ok.

With the help of these tips, you will be able to free some internal space on your Android device. While the first three options are good for all Android devices, the last option will only work for rooted devices and will require a little patience from the technically novice users. However, it is all manageable and possible.

If you have more solutions to the problem, feel free to share them with us so we can add them to our list.