You’ve taken thousands of photos, loaded hundreds of songs, and installed dozens of apps on your phone. You’re getting everything you’d hoped for from your smartphone and then one day you’re suddenly greeted with a message telling you there’s “not enough free space.” Don’t panic and start randomly deleting files; rather, take a few moments to manage your phone’s storage.
First, you need to review your phone’s total storage and determine how much is still available. You can do this by going to Settings > Storage which will display the Internal Storage (usually reserved for apps) and Phone Storage (where your media files, downloads and docs are stored). If your specific phone has an SD Card, you will see this storage capacity also.
Under Internal Storage you can tap “Apps” to see the storage requirements for each of the apps on your phone. There are also a host of third-party apps like “Disk Usage” which show a graphical view of how your storage space is being used.
Once you know what is taking up space on your phone, you can take a few simple steps to free-up storage:
Automatically save photos to online storage
Photos, videos and docs on the phone take up a lot of storage space. To reduce the impact on your storage space, you can set your phone to automatically upload photos to an online service (rather than store them on your phone). Launch your Camera app then go to settings and then tap “Auto upload.” Choose which service (Facebook or Flickr) and then set the upload schedule and privacy level.
If you prefer to use Dropbox or Google+, you can choose to have files instantly uploaded as well. In addition to photos, Dropbox integration in the HTC One phones allows you to save documents (including email attachments) directly to your Dropbox account.
Move photos and videos to online albums
Simply open Gallery from your apps, select which album you want to view, tap “Share”, and then choose which service you’d like to use for your photos or videos (Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, and more). Select the files you want to upload, click “Next,” then select the destination folder for the files you are sharing. Once the upload is complete, you can delete the copy on your phone.
If your phone doesn’t have Dropbox preloaded, you can download it from Google Play and enjoy the same Dropbox integration with your phone’s apps.
Remove unused apps and files
Do you have outdated navigation maps or games you no longer play? For general cleanup purposes, go to Settings > Storage, and then tap “Make more space.” Your phone will guide you through the process to clear the app cache. After this is cleared you will have an option to select any apps you want to uninstall. (Pre-loaded apps cannot be uninstalled, but can be disabled in Settings > Apps > All). If you ever need those apps again, check Google Play for a history of apps you’ve previously downloaded and quickly reinstall them.
You can also delete other content types, such as browser files, maps, or music, by selecting “Make more space” under the Phone Storage heading. This will show how much space is taken by temporary files and applications saved to your internal storage. Here you also have the ability to quickly select multiple files for removal to free up more space.
Export files and data to a computer
If you have work-related documents or other confidential files on your phone, you can easily move them to your computer. Using your USB cable, plug your phone into your computer, and then select “Disk drive” on the connection type choice screen. Now your phone will be recognized as a removable drive, allowing you to access the file storage – which could either be the built-in memory or a storage card (if supported).
From your computer, look through your phone’s storage content and manually cut-and-paste the files you want to move. If you’re looking for specific files you’ve downloaded from your Mail or Internet browser apps, check the “Download” folder. And don’t worry about deleting any pre-loaded apps or personal data; those aren’t accessible from this view.You can also export data directly from some apps to make it easier to access it from file storage and move it to your computer. For instance, if you want to save your text messages for future reference, just go to Messages > Menu, and then tap “Back up SMS.” Once backed up, this file can be restored to the Messages app if needed.