Free up space on your phone

Running out of storage space on your phone always happens at the most inconvenient moments. So, maybe you’ll miss some epic photo, but did you know it can also severely hamper your phone’s day-to-day performance?

The easy fix is to add a big microSD memory card, but that’s a few hundred rand and it doesn’t help you right now. Here are five ways to clear up storage space on your phone.

1. Toss out unused apps

Loads of research data suggests that many downloaded apps are run only once, and some not at all. If you don’t use it, lose it. Be ruthless, especially with games. If you haven’t used it in the past two weeks, it’s probably not that important to your lifestyle. Remember, tools such as Outlook and Facebook can also be used in your web browser. No need for the app. Remember, you can easily reinstall apps if you need them again.

2. Clear your app caches

Some apps don’t take up that much space, but the problem is all the pictures and material they download when you use them. If you are a serious social-media user, this could have a very big impact on your phone’s storage.

An app such as Instagram is only 77 MB in size, but its data cache can quickly balloon to more than 200 MB. Other apps guilty of gobbling up storage with cached data are: Music-streaming apps such as Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music Google Maps and navigation apps Web browsers such as Chrome, Opera and Safari

To clear these caches, go to your phone’s settings, open Apps, tap an app such as Facebook, and then choose Storage. It’ll show how much storage is being used and you can tap to clear the cache.

How to check your storage on Android

Android has a built-in tool that lets you check your phone’s storage. Depending on your Android version and your phone brand, the tool may appear slightly differently, but it’s always found in Settings under Storage.

Here you will find an overview of your total storage, how much is in use and a breakdown of the types of files stored. Android also has its own cleaning tool. Simply select it in your storage settings and confirm what you want removed.

3. Change your camera settings

Unless you’re planning large printouts, you can usually change your camera’s settings to save space on your phone. This is especially true for phones that can use the RAW format that creates massive files. In practice, any size bigger than 3 000 pixels wide, or files around 3 MB in size, will be fine for sharing online, or for postcardsized prints.

This applies to your video settings too. We do recommend you shoot in high definition, but reduce the frame rate from 60 frames per second to around 30. Your video will still appear smooth, but files will be much smaller.

4. Save photos to the cloud

Photos and video add up over time and rob your phone of space. Luckily, you can store these files in an internet-based cloud and remove them from your phone. On Android phones, Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive can be easily set to automatically back up your photos and video when you’re on WiFi.

5. Use lite apps

Some of the most popular apps in the world have begun offering ‘lite’ versions, which are smaller to download and also use up less mobile data. Some are just as good as the original app.

A few of the most successful apps are:

  • Facebook Lite
  • Facebook Messenger Lite
  • Skype Lite
  • Opera Mini
  • Twitter Lite
  • LinkedIn Lite



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