Using A Limited Internal Storage Device
In the Generations article, I wrote how an older device can still be relevant today although there are some compromises such as the operating system and how aging hardware is simply less capable. I touch upon how older devices may have less internal storage, which can restrict on the number of applications that can be installed. As applications get larger and more sophisticated, if you have a device with limited internal storage, you can very quickly start to run out of space. Applications, emails, text messages, games, pictures and movies all demand space on your device. Let’s take a look at six strategies to use to help alleviate the problem of low storage space.
Check what’s using space
Drop into device Settings, then look for Storage and check out what’s using the most space. You can check what individual applications are using from Settings, Apps. You can safely delete the cache of any application or service as this is old data that the operating system is keeping around in case it’s needed. Theoretically, apps will self-manage this space but sometimes a helping hand is useful.
Store media on a memory card
If your smartphone has a microSD card slot, install a memory card and use this to hold media. You can tell your camera, music and video applications to install content on the microSD card. You can also download a file manager from the Google Play Store in order to manually transfer content from internal storage to your memory card.
Enable “Adopted Storage” for your memory card
Google introduced a new feature with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, “Adopted storage.” This means that the operating system takes over, or adopts, an expansion memory card and considers it internal memory. This means with a large microSD card, you can give your device a massive storage boost with plenty of space for games, apps, data and media.
The disadvantages of this are that the memory card is no longer removable. The card is encrypted and will only work with this device, and even then until it is factory reset. If you remove it you will cause all sorts of errors on the device and it will not work properly. MicroSD cards are also slower than internal storage, so the device might not run as smoothly as before.
Uninstall applications and use the Chrome browser
A big part of Android’s appeal is that there are over a million third party applications available via the Google Play Store, but each downloaded app takes up space on your device. If you are running low on storage and either have no memory card slot, or have used up all of this space too, you can consider uninstalling apps and using the Chrome browser instead. Not all apps and services work well from the browser so a little bit of experimentation can go a long way.
Use online cloud storage where you can
This is not a perfect solution as it can be quite demanding of your Internet connection and battery, and this can be expensive depending on your carrier. But accessing photographs, music and videos via a cloud service saves having to keep the data on your device. This works best if you have ready access to a high speed Wi-Fi network!
Check Google Photos’ “Free up space” option
If you use Google Photos, did you know that there’s the ability to have the application delete local copies of pictures and videos that have already been uploaded? You’ll find it in the main menu or in Settings under “Free up device storage.” If you take lots of photos or videos this can save you plenty of space.