The smartphone brings a plethora of features which enable us to browse the Internet, take photographs and videos, play a host of games, and download music and movies among other uses. Whilst the features and add-ons available are in abundance, they also require a lot of memory. Subsequently, if you have a stellar collection of apps, music, photos and videos, you may find yourself running out of storage and faced with the dreaded memory full error message. If this is the case, read our advice on how to free up space on your device, whilst not overly compromising on usage.
Firstly, it is advisable to check your phone’s memory usage in order to determine the features on your phone which are taking up the most space. You will then be able to assess which apps you may want to delete. On iPhones, this menu can be found via Settings > General > Usage. On Android devices, the usage profile can be found within ‘Settings’ or the ‘My Device’ area of your phone. You can also export some data, including contacts and apps, on some phones to an external SD card to free up your internal memory.
"we often acquire apps over time and rarely delete the apps which are no longer useful"
In this app-tastic world, we often acquire apps over time and rarely delete the apps which are no longer useful, and the ones which we no longer use. You may, for example, find yourself with a host of games on your device which you no longer play. Some games can take up more than 1GB of data because of 3D graphics. It is worth regularly browsing through and deleting the games in which you no longer play.
If you have purchased apps and games and find yourself needing to sacrifice some of these in order to free up space; fret not, you will not lose them completely. All purchases are managed by the account linked to your handset; for example, Apple ID for iPhone and Gmail for Android. If you want to delete an app and then install it at a later date, provided you are signed in with your original ID, you will not be charged again.
To prevent you losing photographs should anything happen to your phone, it is advisable to back up your camera pictures to your computer. You will then be able to delete some photographs on your phone and free up space whilst doing so. We are all guilty of taking multiple shots to get the perfect picture and one of the easiest ways to free up memory, without losing precious data, is to delete duplicates.
Videos are also serial memory drainers with each file taking up roughly 4MB for every minute of footage. Whilst it is fun to have films and TV episodes at hand, it is advisable to delete videos once they are watched in order not to compromise too much on phone memory.
"limit your phone’s mobile collection to one or two albums"
Music is another source of storage woes. As a smartphone user, you will have access to an endless and frankly unimaginable amount of music; the iTunes store, for example, has over 26 million songs available for download. Music programmes, from Internet radio apps to guitar tuners and everything in between, are also in abundance. In order to free up space, it is advisable to delete the music programmes which you no longer use. You may also want to limit your phone’s mobile collection to one or two albums of the moment and regularly update the songs which you have on your phone. You can also opt for a music streaming service so you will still be able to listen to your music, without compromising on phone memory.
Podcasts can also take up space on your phone – a 30 minute podcast can be 25MB. You can often limit episodes to the most recent 2, 3 or 5 and/or set your phone to automatically delete episodes once you have listened to them.
Though it will not make a huge amount of difference, clearing browser history, deleting outdated contacts, completed reminders, old notes or text messages will give you a little extra space.
If you have a smartphone that supports a memory card, the best way to gain the largest amount of free space is to add or upgrade such an extension. Android and Blackberry devices all support memory cards and if you are a Windows phone user, refer to your manual to determine whether an additional memory card can be added. In having a memory card, you will have the option to store more photos, music and videos on your device than if you relied solely on the phone’s internal memory. Through using the memory card, you can also easily transfer such files to another device.
If you have a lot of apps on your phone, it is also beneficial to move some of these onto your phone’s memory card. This may also improve the performance of your phone.
Do you have any other tips on how to extend your smartphone’s memory? If you do, please do let us know.