Kim Barloso

How to clear internal phone memory of unnecessary files


There are two symptoms of a catastrophic shortage of internal phone memory:

  1. Applications and Android are slow,
  2. The phone displays a message to take action and free up the occupied space.

The internal phone memory has a fixed size, and it is (seemingly) impossible to increase it. Nevertheless, in this guide we'll tell you how to clear your phone's internal memory from unnecessary /files and applications.

Upgrading the free space in your Android memory will save you time and stop noticing the brakes on your phone and tablet. The complete "cleaning" will take you 20 minutes or less.

Content :

  1. Error "not enough memory on mobile device"
  2. Find out,
  3. Find out how much memory is available on the phone
  4. Clearing internal phone memory
  5. Unnecessary Android applications
  6. File transfer to the SD card
  7. Move unneeded applications to the SD card
  8. Remove data from the App cache
  9. Remove "junk" and duplicates with CCleaner
  10. Manually clean internal storage
  11. Identify largest /files in Storage Analyzers
  12. Import photos to the Google Photos cloud
  13. Questions and answers

Fault: Not enough memory on your mobile device

Usually Android gives this message if a process or application does not have enough free space in the phone's internal memory.

Lack of memory may occur as a result of constantly freezing. If at the purchase of the phone you do not notice it, with the lapse of time, after installing dozens of mobile applications and getting covered in "garbage", you begin to notice it.

Iguess: Does the phone specification "lie"? If not, why does this same smartphone/tablet work stably for others?

Checking the amount of free memory on your Android

When you are informed about the insufficient amount of the internal memory, the question arises: How much memory you have available, how much of it is occupied?

Check the free space through the mobile phone settings. To do this, go to Settings - Options - Storage - Storage settings - Device memory. Very carefully examine the data, paying attention to the following figures:

  • Total space - the amount of the Android internal memory
  • System memory - the minimum space reserved for the operation of the system
  • Available space - how much space is left in the internal memory.

So if the internal memory is not sufficient, you should increase the available memory on the phone to the size of the System memory, in order to avoid the corresponding error message.

In the following chapters I will explain how to clear the internal memory of the Android.

Clearing the internal memory of the phone

Empty the excess space using the built-in tools of the operating system and using third party applications. They analyze the occupied space, helping to determine the /files that can be safely deleted.

Remove apps from Android System Memory

Applications are surely installed on your phone that are hanging dead and not used for their intended purpose. Their size may be up to hundreds of MB (including the cache).

Remove useless applications using the standard App Manager: Options - Settings - Apps.

In Android 8 the free utility FIles Go is very useful to figure out the applications you don't need. For the other OS versions it is available for download from Google Play.

How to delete unwanted applications in FIles Go:

  1. Log in to the Unused apps,
  2. Sort the applications according to modification date or size,
  3. Select the Unused Apps checkbox and press Uninstall.

Video instruction to uninstall the applications:

File transfer to the removable memory

The internal phone memory, as already mentioned, has a fixed size, it is therefore necessary to constantly check if the free space is sufficient for the applications and the OS to operate correctly.

In general, the Android memory is divided in the internal and external ones. The external memory can easily be "upgraded" thanks to the fact that sd-cards today are inexpensive (a 256 GB memory card can be purchased for around $25).

We advise you to transfer photos and videos, documents, and other large /files to the memory card, and not necessarily to the internal memory. Moreover it is more secure to store them on the memory card.

Files may in fact be moved using any file manager - using your phone or your PC.

Moving unnecessary applications from the internal memory to the external memory card

Moving applications may be done using the Android application manager. The advantage is that you free up your internal memory without uninstalling unnecessary applications.

Moving an application saves you a couple of hundred MB of free space. Since the cache is transferred along with the application the savings are significant.

With Android Marshmallow it gets easier. It is enough to format the memory card as internal storage via the settings. There is nothing else to do, Android will detect the applications to be stored on the memory card.

Tip . Install the FolderMount application, an "extender" for the internal memory of your phone. Works also on Android 4.2.1 and later, while analogues do not support multi-user mode. The application requires root.

Removing the application cache

In some cases the application cache occupies an exceptional amount of space in the telephone memory.

How to remove the cache:

  1. Find out the consumption of a given application in the Settings - Apps.
  2. In the list of installed applications click on the item of interest.
  3. Check the space usage in the Storage section.
  4. Clearing the cache, press the Clear Cache button.

Cache Removal Manual

Clearing unwanted /files with Piriform CCleaner

Cleaner helps you to free the internal memory of your Android (flash), it removes temporary /files, application cache, find large /files; it provides optimal memory optimization suggestions. The program is free, you can download it here.

As an alternative to CCleaner, the aforementioned Files Go application can be used.

How to manually increase the memory of your Android

Any file manager is a good choice for the manual cleaning of the phone memory. We suggest ES Explorer or Total Commander.

File Managers for Android

Be careful and delete only unnecessary user /files in Android internal memory which you have created/copied yourself.

So, open a file manager, go to the root of the internal memory, start searching and delete unnecessary /files.

which /files it is advisable to delete (transfer to the memory card) first:

  1. Photos, videos, voice recordings and other documents saved not on the sd but in the internal memory;
  2. Documents received by mail or through social networks (most often they are saved to the Download folder);
  3. Electronic books and other /files saved by third party applications to the device memory;
  4. Contains folders DCIM, bluetooth, sounds.

We use Storage Analyzers (for clarity)

For clarity we recommend the Files Go app or any other storage analyzer for Android that shows you in a chart which /files take up the most disk space and where the /files are located. Among these applications we would like to mention:

  1. Storage Analyzer & Disk Usage
  2. Storage Analyzer
  3. DiskUsage

Pictures and Videos on Google Photos

The photos and videos "eat up" the most space on your phone and you can quickly free up your memory card or internal storage. If your phone doesn't support a memory stick, move infrequently accessed /files to the cloud. The best application for this is Photos, or Google Photos. It automatically uploads your photos to a service where they are available in their original quality through a browser or app.

Besides Google Photos, you can look at alternatives like Dropbox, Flickr, or Microsoft OneDrive.

Even when your photos are only available on a server, you can easily access them if you have the internet working. And most importantly, it is a really convenient and fast way to free up a couple of gigabytes of internal memory!

Clearing Memory: Q&A

Android 7. The file system consists of applications and cache. It is used as a tool to increase memory. All downloads are stored in the internal memory. How to transfer to the card?

The instructions on how to automatically save the downloaded /files to your memory card. To do that you have to modify the browser settings you use and modify the "Settings" of your Android OS.

I did not have enough internal memory on my phone, half of the pictures I had transferred to the sd-card, when I opened it they were all blurred.

You probably did not copy the originals to the card, but thumbnails. The original photos could have remained in the internal memory of the phone. If it did not, the DiskDigger utility will help you.

I did not have enough internal memory on the phone, I wanted to clear it. I transferred data (photos, music) to the card. Phone does not read the /files, although it can read the card. How can I get at least the photos back?

If there is not enough space in the device memory, /files should be copied to the PC (make a backup) and only then move them to the Memory Card. You may find useful the instruction on how to clear the internal memory of your Android (see text above).

I have a Sony Xperia phone, when I enter the PlayMarket and I want to download an application, the system alerts me that there is not enough memory on my Android, although my Flash has 16GB!

Most probably the reason for the "not enough memory" error on your Android is the lack of internal memory, this is where the installation /files are downloaded from Google Play.

  1. Transfer your most large /files from your internal Android memory to your sd-card.
  2. Uninstall unnecessary applications through the file manager or through Files Go.
  3. Use the CCleaner utility to clean the unwanted /files in your phone memory.

I cleaned the phone memory, deleted many folders. And now I cannot access the Gallery through Android, the OS writes: "Storage is not available. How do I get it back?

Probably you have deleted the photos folder on your Memory Card (SDCARD/DCIM/CAMERA) while erasing. You can recover /files from there by using CardRecovery or PhotoRec.

From Play Market you can not install any apps. The Android operating system indicated that there is no space on the phone, although my applications have been moved to the sd-card and have enough space (9GB).

You have running out of space in the internal memory of the phone. Therefore you need to delete /files exactly in this area. For this purpose use any file manager (say Total Commander or ES Explorer).

It is also recommended to clean the memory from unneeded applications or alternatively to move them to the sd-card, using the standard Android App Manager.


“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso