Here’s how to free storage on your phone without downloading shadowy ‘cleaner’ apps

Google Play Store does its part in keeping sketchy apps off the platform. But no system is completely full proof. And when it falters, it’s possible that a third-party apps might be using your phone for nefarious ends — like Speed Booster, Clean Droid or Antivirus Cleaner.

Though Google removed over 700,000 malware-ridden apps from its platform, new apps crop up to take their place.

So, here are some ways you can free up storage on your phone without relying on shadowy third-party apps:

1. Clear your cache
Most apps on Android use cached data to make user experience more seamless. Cached data, while saving time and data also takes up space — especially if it hasn’t been cleared for a while.

Cached data isn’t necessary for the proper functioning of the app, it’s only there for convenience.

It’s also the first place you should go if you’re looking to clear up space on your phone — and quickly. You can either do that app-by-app or clear the cache for all apps simultaneously.

In order to clear the cache of a single app, go to your phone’s settings. Find the application manager and select the app you wish to modify. Within the app’s menu, select ‘Storage’, where you will find the option that says ‘Clear Cache’.

To clear the cache in bulk, your phone’s settings menu will have a tab that that leads directly to ‘Storage’ where it lists out how much memory is being occupied by cached data. If you select ‘Cached Data’ the phone will ask you if you wish to clear the cache of all the apps on your phone.

2. Delete your downloads

Your phone’s default organisation system will have will have a ‘Downloads’ folder. It can normally be found within ‘My Files’.

Anything you download while browsing the net, from documents to videos, is stored in that folder. Most items you only need once before you can delete them — so, delete them.

3. Delete apps you haven’t used in a while
This may seem obvious but most users have over 100 apps on their phones, on an average. Most apps haven’t been used since they were first downloaded. If there is any app that you haven’t used in weeks or months, maybe it’s time to take it off your phone.

4. Delete backed up photos on Google Photos

Google Photos automatically backs up every single photo or video that you’ve ever taken using your phone. While it’s a wonderful way to make sure that you never lose any memories again, you don’t really need to keep all the photos and videos on your phone once they’ve already been backed up.

If you don’t need quick access to any of the content, you can go into Google Photos, open the menu and select ‘Free up space’, which will delete the items from your phone while making sure they survive on the cloud — so you can always download them again.

5. Get rid of junk files
If you’re still running short on space and looking to clear up your phone’s memory, you can download Files by Google to clean up junk files. These are files that don’t show up in the cache or in your downloads, but are still taking up space on your phone without serving any particular purpose.

Files by Google can detect duplicate files, highlight which apps are taking up the most amount of space, and suggest what can be removed from your phone without compromising on any of its operations.

6. If you can’t delete anything, add an SD card

If you still need more memory after emptying storage on your phone, you can always just pop in an SD card. Most Android phones have a microSD card slot. The newer versions of Android take the SD card’s memory and automatically allocate space using a feature called ‘Adoptable Storage’.

This means that you won’t have to manually move the data — Google will do it for you.
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