[Not] bad advice. Eighth edition. If you run out of space …

Remember Winnie the Pooh said that honey is a very strange object, if it is, then it is not immediately there? So, this applies to free space on a smartphone to the same extent. Yesterday you thought that 16 GB of memory would be enough for you for centuries, but today they suddenly ran out …



It's no secret that in recent years, a lot of smartphones have appeared without support for microSD cards. Instead, they are sold in several versions at once, mainly with 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes of internal memory. Manufacturers unanimously declare that this is very convenient – from the very beginning you buy yourself a smartphone with the required amount of memory and do not bother yourself with choosing and purchasing microSD cards of the required class.

And everything would be fine, but the trouble is – the price for an extra ten gigabytes in this case turns out to be very, very solid. Comparing the prices for different versions of the same smartphone, many users will decide that 16 GB is enough for them, and will prefer not to overpay for extra space.

For some, this amount of memory is really enough for the eyes, but very, very many will face the fact that 16 GB in 2015 is very little. Especially when you consider that in reality only a miserable ten of them will be available to the user, the rest will be “eaten” by the OS and pre-installed applications.

Someone likes to play 'heavy' 3D games, someone takes a dozen or two photos and a couple of videos every day (and every minute of a high-quality video translates into hundreds of megabytes), someone can't imagine life without a solid collection of music, someone then you need offline access to Yandex.Maps for several cities (where 4 GB will go only to Moscow and the region) … There can be a lot of options here, but the result is always the same – at one point a notification appears in the status bar that the phone has only a couple of percent of free space.

Postpone for tomorrow or do it today?

Do not reassure yourself that there is still some place, which means that you can not worry. From the first message about the lack of free memory to real problems – one step. Recorded a short video or installed an application – and that's it, you are already beyond the red line. Now you will no longer receive notifications of new letters, there will be a lot of problems with updating programs, the smartphone camera will refuse to save the taken pictures, and the phone will start to slow down noticeably.

What to do and who is to blame?

Of course, you can just connect your smartphone to your computer and copy all your photos and music to it. Or just uninstall them without looking, at the same time getting rid of half of the applications installed on the smartphone. But such a radical method is not suitable for everyone, because you can forget about listening to your favorite music on the road or sending your friend a photo from the last meeting. And without the usual applications, the benefits of a smartphone will noticeably diminish.

So isn't it better to understand the reasons for such a sad situation, and not blindly fight the consequences?

Clean master

To begin with, you should try the simplest and most painless solution – the 'cleaner program', which will find and remove excess garbage from your device. Similar apps in Google Play are a wagon and a small cart, I personally prefer Clean Master.

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I will immediately note the main disadvantage of the program – it has a lot of unnecessary functions that the overwhelming majority of users will not need. And she periodically reminds of them and offers to try. On the other hand, no one forces them to dig into them, you can simply use one single 'Trash' button, which is located right on the start screen.

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What is this garbage? A bunch of everything. For example, residual files of already uninstalled applications, unnecessary cache, outdated apk files and much more. If you have been more or less actively using your smartphone for at least a month, then there is guaranteed to be something to clean.

If desired, you can switch to advanced cleaning mode. In it, Clean Master will show the largest files, applications with the largest data volume, duplicate photos and other similar things. However, you need to use it very, very carefully. If 'simple' cleaning works literally in one click and is guaranteed not to lead to problems and data loss, then in the 'advanced' mode everything is different. This is no longer about system junk, but about your data. And everything that you delete, you delete it exclusively at your own peril and risk.

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Analysis of installed applications

On the other hand, it is not only possible, but also necessary to take note of the information from the 'advanced cleaning' screen. Take a look at which apps are in the top of the most voracious, and consider if you really need this data. For example, I constantly save all potentially interesting articles in Pocket so I can come back to them when I have time to read. But it simply did not occur to delete already read articles, because by itself each note weighs very little. As a result, by simply deleting anything older than two weeks, I was able to free up a ton of space.

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Another example is modern reading programs like Moon + Reader. They allow you to display books not only with a simple list of files, but also in the form of a bookshelf, where each book has its own cover.

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For those who do not use such a bookshelf, it makes sense to delete the cover cache – in some cases it can weigh as much as half of your library itself. Considering that some lovers of good reading keep several gigabytes of electronic literature on their smartphone, this can be a very noticeable volume.

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A completely banal, but no less important example is messengers like WhatsApp. Many users love to exchange videos and photos, leave each other voice messages, and so on. All this also takes place, but often does not represent much value.

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Sometimes everything depends on the application itself. Replacing Yandex.Maps with an analogue from 2GIS or some other developers, you can save several gigabytes on saved maps. Another question is that not everyone will be ready to change a familiar and convenient program for something new.

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If you are not ready for such radical options, it is better to start with simpler and more obvious solutions. For example, go to the settings of your smartphone and check what exactly all the built-in memory was used for.

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Google photos

Photos are the main space eater on smartphones for many people. No matter how much free space they manage to free up with apps like Clean Master, the problem will still return in a week or two. But nothing 'superfluous' and 'unnecessary' will be left on the smartphone.

The habit of filming everything and everyone on the phone is one of the trends of the new time. A lot of photos of friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances, your own face from all possible and impossible angles, hundreds of photos of food and cafe interiors, pictures of festive fireworks and funny signs, city landscapes and photos from summer cottages and picnics – all this is piled up on a smartphone in one big heap . This behavior was once called the 'Japanese tourist syndrome', but now it is not called in any way. Indeed, for millions of people from various countries this is no longer a 'syndrome', but the norm.

Most of these pictures are of little value, but it is impossible to quickly understand what is needed and what is not. It's a shame to delete everything, and it's simply impossible to store thousands of photos on your smartphone. You can copy everything to your computer without looking, but often it's about the same thing as just throwing it away – after a year you will definitely not be able to disassemble these tens of thousands of photos. And you will not have access to them from a smartphone or another computer, even if you need something urgently. And in this situation, Google Photos or another similar service can be an excellent solution.

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Google Photos is a smart storage service for all your photos and videos. It simultaneously solves two problems at once – the lack of memory on the phone and the difficulty of finding the desired picture.

The first problem is solved by automatic photo sync, which can be enabled in the application settings. There you can also choose the size of the image uploaded to the cloud – pictures of 'standard' quality will be slightly optimized, but they do not waste your space in the cloud. That is, the service can be used simply without hesitation, all your pictures will always be safe and sound. If you choose 'original quality', the images will be uploaded to the cloud 'as is', but here you need to understand that the volume of your storage is not rubber. Personally, I prefer the first option, but it's a matter of taste.

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The search is doing just fine. You can search for photos as you like, for example, by typing in the search box such words as 'food', 'sky', 'Yaroslavl', 'evening', 'cat', 'August', 'sunset', etc. You can sort the feed of photos by time or place, you can manually arrange photos into different albums, you can share them with friends, and so on. All this will be available to you at any time and from any device.


I will not dwell on the other features of the service, I will only say that there are enough of them there. I personally liked the 'Assistant' the most, which automatically generates photo reports-presentations after each trip. When and where he visited, what he saw, and so on. And at the same time it glues together panoramas from several pictures, creates simple animated 'live' photos or collages and so on.

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Google music

You can do the same with music, although it all very much depends on personal preference. I almost completely switched to Google Music a long time ago – I either found most of the songs I needed in the service itself, or downloaded from a PC. For the most part, this whole thing is stored exclusively in the cloud; I only keep a couple of dozen tracks on my smartphone for the current mood. You usually don't need more – at any time, the list of available offline songs can be changed by downloading something new to your phone. Or, as a last resort, just listen online, although this is not always convenient and not everywhere.

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There are also disadvantages to this approach – firstly, “full access” to Google Music is paid, and without it, everything is much less interesting.


Secondly, some people prefer to listen exclusively to lossness formats, but there is nothing like this in Google Music. But there's nothing you can do about it – if you need a large collection of high-quality audio, then a smartphone with 16 GB of memory without a microSD slot is not the best option anyway.

Clouds, white-winged horses

In general, you should always think about which data should be stored on a smartphone and which can be placed in the cloud. Of course, cloud storage is not a panacea, and why some smartphone manufacturers consider the same Google Drive or DropBox a full-fledged replacement for memory cards is a mystery to me. But there may be some benefit from them, and many do not have to choose anyway.

It is very convenient that many applications by themselves offer to use cloud storage for backing up or synchronizing data. For example, the well-known FBReader reader is able to use cloud services not only to synchronize the reading position, but also to store the entire library in the cloud. Considering that books weigh very little and you can download them even with very slow and unstable Internet access, storing gigabytes of books on a smartphone is far from always justified.

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But using cloud storage as an external drive or cloud folder is not always convenient. First of all, unpretentious mobile clients, which many cloud services sin, are to blame. If on a PC we work with Google Drive or DropBox as with a regular directory (copying and pasting files and folders, convenient editing, automatic synchronization, and so on), then on a smartphone there is nothing like this. Just copying or downloading a folder with files from Google Drive is already a problem.

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However, if you wish, you can bypass this limitation. It is enough to install a more powerful file manager on your smartphone, for example, ES Explorer. In it, you can connect the same Google Drive as a network drive, which is much more convenient.

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Although all this in any case does not insure against problems with Internet access. And it takes a long time to load.


In conclusion, I would like to remind you that this article is not a comparative overview of applications. Specific programs are given here just as an example, they can always (and sometimes need to) be replaced with a more convenient analogue for you. Fortunately, there is no shortage of good applications on Google Play, and there are not even dozens of useful cloud services in the world, but hundreds.

At the end, I will have a traditional request to our regular readers. Tell us how you yourself cope with the lack of space on your smartphone, what tricks you know, what applications and services you use. Many novice users Android will find this information very useful. Thank you in advance.



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