Storage on our devices is precious to us. Typically, we pay more if we want a phone with extra storage, sometimes even more than a couple hundred for the bigger storage version of the same phone. In Slovenia, the country where I live, there’s usually just the model with less storage, with no option for an upgrade.

Of course, some phones have Micro-SD support, and while that sounds awesome, in reality most apps stay on the internal storage of your device. Pictures and media are basically the only things you can move to an SD card.

Because of that, companies have begun to raise the base storage on their smartphones from 32GB to 64GB. That is really nice, especially if price stays the same. The problem is that apps are also getting bigger and bigger. Do you still use Facebook? The size of the app is now bigger than it was a year ago, since Facebook is constantly adding new features and options like VR video viewing, live streaming option, etc. Although 71 MB for an app like Facebook that you probably use every day isn’t a lot, the number rises quickly to 200 MB or even more when you include the app cache.

Thus, I think it’s good to know of some ways to ‘clean’ your phone, because I’m sure you will need to know how after a year or two of use.

You can follow these steps for any kind of Android device. The last step, however, requires Android Nougat (7.0 or higher).

  1. Backup Photos and Videos for free — Google Photos

If you open the Storage screen in Settings, you can see what takes up the most space. Often, it’s photos and videos, as we use our phones as our main cameras.

Google Photos allows you to backup unlimited photos and videos for free at a slightly lower resolution. Luckily, the image quality reduction is unnoticeable in most cases. It automatically backs up your photos in the background while you are on WiFi, but you can set it to backup only when the phone is charging if you prefer.

You can download Google Photos app from the Google Play Store for free. If you own Nexus or Pixel phone, you already have it installed since it’s the default gallery app. There’s also a big plus if your device is a Pixel, since you have unlimited full resolution storage. If you care about the quality but you don’t have the Pixel phone you can still set it to full resolution upload, but it will fill up your Google Drive storage (15GB), so I wouldn’t recommend that.

2) Clean the junk — CCleaner

CCleaner is well known program for Windows but you can also use it on your Android phone. The principal is the same as on Windows. Open the app, analyze your device’s storage, select what you want to delete, run the program, done. The app is available for free on the Google Play Store, but you can also upgrade to the Pro version, which will give you some additional options like scheduled cleaning, storage analyzer, priority support. The app works well even if you don’t buy the Pro version.

I would recommend chosing to clean the cache, clipboard, downloads (if you don’t have anything important), empty folders and thumbnail cache. You can also ‘clean’ the RAM, but it requires Android Marshmallow or below.

3. Smart Storage — Only on Android Nougat

You can find this option in Settings -> Storage -> Manage storage -> Smart Storage. It’s a really nice feature that’s new in Android Nougat. I haven’t had to use it yet, but I’m sure I will once my devices gets a bit older. When you turn it on, you won’t see any difference since it will start working only if your storage is almost full. It will remove your old, backed up photos and videos that are still sitting on your device. These images are still stored in the cloud in Google Photos. If you don’t want to wait, you also have the Manual option, which will free up storage space right away.

I’m hope you found at least one of these tips useful, even if you device is brand new, as you never know when you will run out of storage space.

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