The good news is that you won’t have to go sleuthing on your own. The latest Android phones have a built-in tool that’ll quickly show you where all your storage is going, plus with the ability to reclaim needlessly cluttered storage space in just a few taps.
Let’s get started…
- Go to your Android phone’s home screen, then tap Settings, Storage.
- On the following screen, you’ll see a readout of how much storage space is left on your phone, along with a categorized breakdown of what’s hogging all your storage—from pictures and videos to apps and music.
- Tap Apps to see which of your apps is using the most data. Most apps are probably using a reasonable amount of storage—well under 100MB. See any apps that are using more? Tap the app’s name for more options, such as “Clear cache” (to delete any temporary data the app is using), “Clear data” (to clear all an app’s data, including its settings and login details—meaning you may need to sign in again to use the app), and Uninstall (if the app is using more storage than it’s worth).
- You can browse and manage your snapshots, mobile videos, podcasts, and music downloads by tapping “Pictures, videos” and “Audio.”
- An easy way to reclaim a big chunk of cluttered storage space is by clearing all the temporary “cached” data used by your apps in one fell swoop. Just tap “Cached data,” then tap the “OK” button. (In my case, I cleared more than 600 MB of storage.)
- Tap Downloads to view any PDFs or other random files you may have downloaded to your phone. See any files you don’t need anymore? Check the appropriate boxes, then tap the Trash button in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Finally, there’s a catch-all “Misc files” category for various data files sitting on your phone. You’ll get a listing of (usually arcane) file names, details on how much storage each file is using…and not much else, so careful before tapping the Trash button.
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