Running out of memory on your iPhone or Android?
Eventually most of us encounter this dilemma after we’ve purchased or upgraded to the device that had so much memory we never thought we could use all the space. Now you have to choose what to delete so that the phone will return to normal operation.
Most frequently people are downloading new apps they hear about and eventually face the error message that there’s no more room. Others have a more severe issue where the phone begins to slow down, they don’t receive messages, phone calls and can’t access the information stored in their device.
Remove Old and Unused Apps
First we recommend removing unused or old apps. Think about what you actually need and use. Typically games take up the most space because they contain the most sound and graphics. When deleting you’ll likely be prompted to keep the data or delete it, and keeping the data means that if you reinstall the app at a later time it will remember your preferences or where you had left off in the game. Deleting this data will completely wipe your history with this app from the device so be careful if you are deleting an app with information you may need later.
If you’re an Android user you may have the option to install apps on an SD card which helps because you can upgrade the cards easily, however there are some security downsides to having your data on removable storage because it may not be encrypted like on the iPhone, and could be potentially stolen by someone who has borrowed your device. However upgrading the SD card will immediately give you the memory that you need, and transferring your old data can be done with a PC using an SD card reader.
iPhone users, though more secure, have the dilemma of deciding between buying a new phone with larger memory or deleting what they have to make room.
Clear Your History and Cache
Second, we suggest you clear the history and cache on your device. This can vary based on the device and your internet habits, but usually all the media files from websites you’ve visited get stored on the device for quick access and load times, but these sites don’t remove the data after you’ve left the site. As mobile display technology has advanced dramatically over the years, graphic and video files have been taking up increasingly larger amounts of memory and the storage used can sneak up on you easily.
It’s a good idea to clear your history cache regularly for security purposes as well, since website could be storing confidential and sensitive data about your or your browsing habits that malware could exploit if you device is every infected or compromised.
Review and Delete Text Messages
Third, we recommend looking for videos and text messages containing video and audio that can be deleted. Moving these to the cloud first is a common practice for anything you want saved, or plugging in your device to your PC or Mac to download the content first. Always backup any important photos or videos to your computer. Once backed up, you can usually free a large amount of space by erasing this content.
Text messages are often an area people don’t think takes up a lot of space, but the shared photos and bitmoji’s add up eventually. Even if you don’t have a lot of apps, if you have the basic model of your phone, usually they only have 8 or 16GB of storage space, which can easily be filled up by text messages over the course of a year or two. This is an often overlooked area that surprises everyone. Be careful deleted messages if you haven’t downloaded important photos or messages that were shared, the photos in your text messages do not normally get added to your photo gallery, so backing up your photo gallery doesn’t actually save these photos. You may need to find a tool that downloads the messages or drag and drop every photo you want to save manually.
Apple and Google both offer Cloud-based solutions for storing your data, photos and messages in the cloud, often for just $1-$2 per month. This can be a great solution for backing up all of your content before freeing space on your device. Also opting to have photos stored in the cloud will keep them from occupying valuable space on the device. This is a great option for security and backup purposes, protecting you in case you lose your device or if it’s stolen as well.
Running out of space on your device is a real hassle now that everyone stores their entire digital life on their phone. These tips should get you back up and running in relatively no time, and try to make a regular habit of backing up and clearing the old unused information. From a security perspective, the less history stored on the phone, the less information can be stolen in case it gets lost.