Fix: Android phone says ‘Storage is full’ even after cleaning up


Space organization on digital devices is a problem as old as the first data storage. And nowadays, when we become multimedia freaks, all those photos, music or apps must fit. Storing devices are getting smaller and storage space bigger and faster to read. Sometimes the phone ‘memory’ is as important as our own with all those memorabilia. And Android is just the right showcase of the phenomenon.

This ‘race for storage space’ can lead to a few problems. One of them can be software error that is misinforming you about full storage even though is not. Others share the same message but are actually on point. The internal storage is really out of space for new additions, and the measures have to be taken.

We prepared some tips for you to clear out internal space or even expand it.

Use Cloud or PC storage to relief some data

First and foremost, online storages are your best bet to easily put away your data and reach for it whenever is needed. Additionally, it is the safest option. You may lose or break your phone or corrupt SD data. With the files uploaded, you may stay sure they will be there next day: safe and accessible. Android implements Google Photos wich offers unlimited photo storage. For other files types, you can choose between Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, MEGA and many others.

A viable option is moving data to a PC. True, you won’t be able to access it on the move, but remember, that will give you more space for new data. And there are so many new scenes just waiting to be photographed.

Inspect your storage for the ‘heaviest’ files

Android phones have built-in Storage tool that will give you an insight of what is exactly taking all that space on your storage. It is good enough for the classic clean up of the drive but won’t show all the details. There are leftovers of uninstalled apps and unnecessary or duplicated files. That is a job for third-party apps.

Since there is a lot of free apps, you can choose for yourself. We are using SD Maid and find it to be a brilliant solution. With user-friendly interface and a lot of valuable options, you can clean up your storage in no time.

Use your SD card as internal storage

For the beginning, the lack of internal storage can’t be replaced with SD card expansion. Sure, you can put all of your music, videos, and photos on the SD card. However, the apps aren’t functioning that way. Even if you choose to install the app on external storage, the parts of the app will be stored on the internal one. Or, rather, try to move an already installed app from the phone to SD? Nope. It will save you up some space, but you’ll still have the traces of the app in internal phone memory. Apps run trough the internal storage and that’s it.

But what if you can make your phone read your SD card as an internal storage? After the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it is possible. Instead of using your SD card as external storage, you can format and adopt SD card like an internal memory with Android built-in support. While this will create more space for your apps, it has a few drawbacks. First, your SD card is likely to be slower than the standard internal storage. Second, once formatted, SD card can’t be accessed from other devices. Moreover, as the system will read it as an internal rather than external memory, it shouldn’t be removed. Still, if you are down with that, grab yourself some fast SD and try it out.

To do so, follow the instructions:

  1. Insert the SD card.
  2. Tap Setup.
  3. Select Use as internal storage.
  4. The card will be formatted and all its data lost.
  5. Choose to Move now or Move later.
  6. That’s it. You are ready to go.

Remember that you can change SD back to external storage or migrate files anytime. This can be done by accessing Settings > Storage and USB > Tap the name of the card > Settings.

Clear apps cache

Have you ever been in this specific situation:

You download and install an app that is around 10 MB, for example. After some time, you discover by using your built-in Storage Tool, that the app is consuming 1 GB of space. Confusing, isn’t it?

Well, thing is, the app, its cache, and data, are all summarized in that amount. If you are, for example, using WhatsApp and sending the photos to your friends, all the photos will be stored in apps data folder. So, cleaning the cache and data once in a while can free you a lot of space.

To do so, follow the instructions:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Choose All.
  4. Select an app.
  5. Tap Clear Cache.
  6. Tap Clear Data.

Even though we placed it at the last spot, this should be your first step in freeing up some space. Additionally, most of the apps will work faster once the cache and data are cleared.


We hope that you’ll manage to overcome your space annoyance with this tips. If you are still having the problem or, maybe, rely some different solution on your mind, do share it with us.

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