It’s happened to all of us. The smartphone notification none of us want to see: not enough storage. By the time that pop up shows on your phone, it’s no longer a friendly reminder to clear out data; it’s a block and preventative measure stopping you from downloading anything else. And it usually happens at the moment you need your phone the most – capturing a photo or trying to record video of a moment you know you’ll never get to recreate.
We use our smartphones for everything. They store our emails, calendars, photos, and videos. And while it feels like everything can be captured and stored in this hand-held device, they too reach maximum capacity. No matter how many gigabytes a smartphone can store, storage limitations will always surface when the volume of apps and, high-resolution photos and videos become too much. But, that doesn’t mean you have to run out for a new phone with more storage. We’ve got solutions that will let you keep your phone, keep your data and still have the space to create more.
Find out what items are taking up the most space
Start by evaluating how much available space your smartphone currently has to work with. Whether you’re an iPhone or Android user, open the settings app and select storage. There you’ll see a list of all installed applications and how much space each consumer (hint – it’s usually your photos, videos, podcasts and text messages). This part is important. You need to know who the data hog culprits are and what they’re doing behind the scenes.
Delete app cache
Your phone is called a smartphone for a reason; it knows its own data limitations and works to speed up the loading process on its own. That’s what us tech-nerds refer to as cached data – when apps work on their own to speed the process of future downloads. But that process also impacts your storage capabilities. Find out which apps are absorbing the most space, and then reduce cache data by deleting and re-downloading the application. Think of caching data as hygiene for technology. Instead of holding onto information that can eventually cause problems, clear out the information and history and give your apps a fresh start. You can cache data by opening your setting, apps and then tap into the storage option. There you’ll find the option to cache.
Free storage backup plans
It’s simple: use the free storage available to you. Both Apple and Google offer cloud-based servers that let smartphone users back up their files for free. Apple’s iCloud Drive is available to all users with an iTunes account and provides 5 GBs of free storage. For $1 per month, users have the option to purchase 50 GB of storage.
Google Drive is available to Android and iPhone users and provides 15 GB of free storage. All users need is an active Gmail account to get started with Google Drive. Like Apple, you’ll have the option to buy more storage and purchase 100 GB for $2 per month.
Delete old data from your phone
Once files like photos, videos, apps, and movies are safely backed up on the cloud or an external hard drive, delete the data from your phone. If your data is backed up but your phone is still filled with old apps or photos from 2012, it’s time to press the delete button. If files are safely backed up you can always choose to download them again. So, don’t worry. Your memories have not disappeared permanently; they just now live on the cloud (or a hard drive) instead of our phone.
Apps that help reduce data usage
There is an app for everything and that includes an app to help reduce issues around data usage. These applications are not only free but can save you money on your data plan.
Opera Mini is a mobile browser that reduces data consumption by 90 percent. It also blocks ads to increase browsing speed and has a built-in news feed. The browser is free to download for Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows, and Symbian smartphones.
Onavo is an app that actively compresses data on smartphones. It not only monitors and limits data storage but protects and encrypts the personal information of users. Like Opera Mini, it is free to download.