You pull out your phone to take a photo and get an error message because you have no space for the image. Running out of mobile storage —with no memory left for photos or videos, new apps, or data for your existing apps—can be frustrating.
A disaster to say the least. With smartphone software taking up a large junk of your mobile storage you need to find other ways to free up some of that much needed space. Thousands of photos, video downloads or data hungry apps? Not to worry, we have you covered. Read our tips and tricks that will help improve your mobile storage problems.
Keep it in the Cloud
We are all guilty of it. Someone asks you to take a family photo and of course you take 5 shots of the same thing. It’s pretty much standard practise when it comes to taking photos of strangers. Like a good wardrobe clear out, go through your photos and purge the duplicates. You will be surprised at how many unnecessary images you find! If this doesn’t work there is always a cloud storage option so don’t panic.
One of the best options for storing images and videos online is Google Photos. Not only does it work across Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and the web, it also lets you store an unlimited number of photos and videos for free—as long as you don’t mind your images being resized down to a maximum of 16 megapixels and your movies being resized down to 1080p full HD (so no 4K). If you do want to store your files in full resolution, you’ll have to pay for the service.
Other paid options include Apple’s iCloud (which will not work on an Android phone), Microsoft’s OneDrive, Amazon Photos, and Dropbox.
Whichever option you select, your app of choice will automatically take care of uploading your photos and videos. You can then delete the local copies—some apps, like Google Photos and iCloud, will even take care of this for you—which will open up extra storage room on your phone.
Business mobiles can sometimes contain a lot of documents and information that is shared amongst other members of the company. This data can take up huge amounts of your mobile storage. In this case this information can all be kept in a cloud based system like the O2 BOX.
Be App Smart
Another space hogger will most likely be your apps and games. These downloads can take up a large amount of your storage.
To avoid completely running out of room, regularly remove apps you’re not using. Remember, you can always re-install them later without paying a second time—Apple or Google will keep track of what you’ve already paid for.
On top of the room that apps themselves take up, many of them also store data, primarily music, podcasts, movies, and TV shows that you might have saved locally for offline use. Other apps such as WhatApp and Facebook will store all conversations, videos, photos and documents that are shared in conversations that you might not even realise. Delete as much of this as you can and it should free up a good bit of data on your device.
Whatever apps you use, they should include options for clearing out locally stored files so you can free up some space, though the process will vary from app to app.
Of course, when it comes to space, not all apps are equally greedy. To see which ones are taking up the most room, iOS users can go to Settings, then General, then Storage & iCloud Usage and tap Manage Storage. On Android, open Settings, then Storage, then tap Apps. Then delete the worst offenders: On iOS, tap and hold on an app icon until it starts to shake, then tap the small x icon; on Android, tap and hold on an icon in the app drawer, then drag it up to the Uninstall link at the top.
Get a Little Extra
The previous tips will help you clear out files on your phone. But what if you want to keep those files for easy offline access? In that case, you’re going to need more mobile storage capacity. Sure, we could tell you to buy a phone that has more than enough storage on board—the iPhone goes up to a whopping 256GB these days—but not everyone has that kind of money. Besides, if you’ve already bought the phone you plan to use for the next few years, you’re not going to run out now and buy a more capacious one.
For Android users, there’s another option. Many Android phones come with a microSD card slot, which is a quick and easy way of getting more elbow room for your files and apps.
How your Android phone “sees” the card will vary depending on which manufacturer made your phone and which version of Android you’re running. Some phones let you run apps on the card, while others limit you to keeping your photos and videos on the extra storage. Even if it’s the latter, moving those files will free up room in your phone’s internal memory.
iPhones don’t feature expandable internal memory, but you can buy extra peripherals, like the SanDisk iXpand, to boost the available storage. These dongles are effectively automatic backup solutions that pull photos and videos off your device so you can delete the originals: They can be useful, but you’re not actually expanding the available space on your phone like you are with an Android’s extra memory card.
Back it up & Reset
No space-saving trick works better on your smartphone than running it through a factory reset every now and again. This effectively returns your handset to the state it was in when you first bought it—which means absolutely nothing will remain on there beyond what the manufacturer and Apple or Google have preinstalled.
What puts most people off running through this process is that it wipes your photos, videos, messages, apps, and everything else off your phone—so you’ll need to start from scratch all over again. Which means that, before you get started, you need to be absolutely sure that everything important is safely stored somewhere else.
That said, with today’s cloud-first apps and services, resetting a phone isn’t quite the scorched-earth approach it used to be. If all your emails are in Office 365, all your songs are in Spotify, all your pictures are in Google Photos, and you’ve backed up and downloaded all your messages, the process can be relatively painless—which is another reason to switch to these cloud-based services for the future.
Need help with your business device storage? Contact our team to find out the options available.
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