Want more from your Android phone? We all do. Fortunately, Android is very versatile and accessible.

One way to get the most out of your device is to add apps that open up a bigger world of possibilities. Tap or click here for five handy Google apps you should be using on your Android. But what if your device is running out of storage and downloading apps isn’t an option?

Here’s a quick and easy guide to managing (and understanding) your device’s storage.

Regularly delete old text messages

Sometimes we keep text messages for sentimental reasons. That’s fine, but you can store them somewhere other than your phone. All text messages that are not critical should be deleted. You’d be surprised how much space text messages consume on your phone.

If you want to automatically back up your text messages so you don’t keep them on your phone for a long time, here’s what you should do:

  • Go to your Gmail account and tap the gear icon to Settings.
  • Select See all parameters. On the next page, select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  • In the IMAP Access section, select Enable IMAP.
  • Then, ddownload an app called SMS Backup+ on your phone.
  • When you launch it, select Relate.
  • When the prompt appears, Allow the application to save your SMS. These will be sent directly to your Gmail account.

Delete old text messages once you’ve confirmed they’re in your Gmail inbox. You can sort them by folder in your Gmail and use the 15 GB of space that Google gives to each account.

Use Storage Manager

Did you know that an inbuilt storage manager comes with your Android phone? It’s in the settings menu. Let’s open it and free up some space. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Press your Settings icon in your application menu.
  • Find and press Storage to open your manager.
  • Notice the graph that shows your phone’s storage. This will show you how much space is left.

Once you know how much space is taken up on your phone, you can fix it. If the photos are taking up all your space, consider uploading them to Google Drive if you have the space. Apps should be stored in your system’s internal memory (they don’t work with microSD cards), so consider deleting ones you don’t use often.

Your storage manager will tell you when an app was last accessed to help you determine which ones are no longer essential to your day-to-day phone use.

Download the Files by Google app and clean temporary data

Go to the Play Store and download the Files by Google app. It’s an official Google app (should come pre-installed if you ask us). Run it once installed and you will be able to browse your phone files.

However, the real advantage of this application is the cleaning function. It eliminates duplicate files (multiple downloads of the same file, for example) and unwanted folders. It will also delete temporary data you don’t need, freeing up a lot of space.

Clear your browser cache

In Chrome, which Android devices will have installed by default, you build cache data over time. When you visit websites, your browser temporarily stores information on your device so that the sites load faster next time.

Since mobile websites take longer to load than desktop websites, your mobile browser depends on cache data to speed things up. The flip side is that it stores way more data than it should.

You can clear your cache by following these steps, as long as you know your browsing might slow down a bit:

  • Open Chromium and go to Menu in the upper right corner (hamburger menu).
  • Tap the Settings option.
  • open up Privacy.
  • Here you can delete your Hidden and delete Navigation historywhich will also help you free up space on your phone

You don’t have to do this often, but you should consider cleaning the cache quarterly. Sometimes an alarming amount of data is accumulated by the cache.

Clear your app cache

Your apps also keep small bits of data. This data can pile up pretty quickly if you use half a dozen apps or more. Here’s how you can delete your app’s cache data:

  • Go to your Settings app on your phone.
  • Press on Appsthen Application Manager.
  • Each application will have its own information. Tap on the individual app, then open Storage under the app info menu.
  • Tap the option to Clear your app data.

Remember that this may require you to re-login to apps, so make sure you have all the necessary information at hand. It will also help you figure out which apps you might not be using as often so you can delete them.

Set and forget Droid Optimizer, the automatic cleanup tool for Android phones

Head over to the Play Store and download Droid Optimizer. Then you can set it to clean your phone for you, so you don’t have to go through these processes again. Once you’ve installed it, here’s what you do:

  • Open droid optimizer.
  • Go through the prompt and configure Application permissions (REMARK: You should personally check every app you use, although Droid Optimizer has a habit of being safe.)
  • Press on To clean in the app and it will start cleaning your device, similar to Google Files.

So why should you download Droid Optimizer instead of just using Files by Google? Because just like your computer defrags automatically, Droid Optimizer can clean your phone once a day or once a week. How you configure it is up to you.

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