Which Android versions use less RAM memory

Cell phone memory full: Free up space on the Android smartphone

The quickest way to free up space on your phone is to search your app list for unnecessary and unused apps. It is often surprising which apps use the most memory: some table or timetable apps occupy several 100 MB immediately after installation. Streaming services, digital magazines or music applications tend to accumulate several GB of downloaded content over time. You can see which apps require the most storage space on most Android smartphones in the settings under "Storage". There tap on "Apps": The list is sorted by app size.

You don't always have to uninstall the entire app straight away. Often it is enough to remove all downloaded content in the detailed view of the settings via "Delete data". However, all other personal data in the app is then also gone, such as login information or scores. With many apps, you can also delete content directly in the app - then login information, for example, remains. Be careful not to lose any important content. Alternatively, you can move apps in their detailed settings from the internal memory to a microSD card, provided your mobile phone has a corresponding SD slot.

Some apps are preinstalled at the factory and can only be uninstalled with great effort by rooting the smartphone. But also "deactivating" these fixed apps usually creates space; then updates are uninstalled, which can also take up a lot of space. But you should keep your hands off many of them: Without the Google Play Store, for example, you can only install new apps to a limited extent, without the Gboard, the keyboard is gone.

However, some preinstalled apps are unnecessary: ​​Office packages, advertising apps, games. Such apps are also called "bloatware" because they bloat the system.

Clean up homescreen

Another approach to deleting apps: Go through the home screen and sort out apps that you no longer need. On most current Android smartphones, you can open a direct dialog for uninstalling with a long press on the app icon - only with the preinstalled apps this often does not work. Simply "removing" the icon is not enough; then you can no longer see the app on the start screen, but it is still there in the app list.

Scour storage

It becomes a little more tedious to go through the entire internal memory. You need a file manager for this: some smartphones have one preinstalled, on others you have to help: The ES File Explorer or the Total Commander are worth recommending. Now go through the memory, files that are no longer needed are often hidden in the following folders:

  • DCIM
  • Documents
  • Download
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Movies
  • Pictures
  • Folder with "update" in the name

When deleting data, you can also make serious mistakes here and accidentally delete important data. Therefore, as a precaution, store data from these folders in a different location, for example by connecting your smartphone to your PC with a USB cable and dragging the data over.

Outsource data

Storing data on the computer is also a good strategy for freeing up space. Not every photo taken with a cell phone has to stay there forever. For example, you can load all photos that are older than 6 months onto the PC using a USB cable and also create a backup, for example on an external hard drive. After that, you can drop the photos from the phone. Photos and videos can usually be found in the DCIM folder on smartphones.

Of course, you can also transfer the data to free cloud storage services such as Google Photos, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive and then delete it on your smartphone. This has the additional advantage that you can conveniently reload individual files to your mobile phone at any time using the corresponding apps from Dropbox and Co., should you ever need the file. You can also set Dropbox, Owncloud and some other services so that new mobile phone pictures are automatically uploaded to the cloud. These services are often free up to a certain size, and Google Photos is preinstalled on most Android smartphones.

Remember, however, that with such services, your images and files are stored on the provider's server - and from there, in the worst case scenario, could end up in the wrong hands, for example in the event of hacking attacks.

Clear app cache

In addition to deleting your own files and large apps, you can also try to gain more storage space by emptying various caches and removing temporary files. Almost every application uses an app cache, for example to start faster and to avoid having to download content over and over again.

Applications such as Facebook, in particular, which load a large number of elements from the Internet, sometimes grow this cache considerably. Clearing the cache does not affect user data or essential components of the application. However, it can slow down the start of the app the next time and may use up additional data volume if the app has to reload data. And on the other hand, the effect is often rather small: Many apps restart their services immediately when their caches are cleared and take up memory again just a few moments later.

Clean up with system optimizer apps

Some manufacturers such as Samsung are now offering optimization tools as pre-installed apps on their smartphones that can be used to search for files that are no longer needed. In newer Android versions this can also be done directly in the settings: Open "Settings - Storage" and click on the three dots in the upper right corner and then on "Free up storage" - rarely used apps and previous downloads are listed there .

We also recommend taking a look at the new Files Go app from Google, which can be found in the Google Play Store. It is still in the beta stage, but it already helps to track down duplicate files or particularly large memory hogs.

In addition, numerous tuning tools in the Play Store promise to comfortably handle the above-mentioned clean-up strategies in one go. In the article Refurbished: System optimizer apps for Android we tested numerous tuning tools on three devices - the Motorola Moto G3, Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

However, many interventions by tuning tools are not permanent, because they often primarily delete data from the app cache, which, as described above, has hardly any positive effects in the long term.

Since Android 6, apps are no longer allowed to simply delete the cache of other applications, which is why some tuning apps request that they be allowed to act as an "operating aid" when using them. However, this gives you potentially access to personal data and allows you to control and read other activities on the device. In general, we are rather skeptical of such system optimizers because they demand many rights on the smartphone and are often jam-packed with penetrating advertising.

Expand memory - not possible with every cell phone

If all else fails, new storage must really be found. However, this is only possible if your mobile phone has a slot for microSD cards. If you find a slot like this on the edge of your phone or behind a removable back cover, you're in luck and can expand the memory.

All new media files, such as photos that you take with your mobile phone, usually end up on an SD card. It gets more complicated with the apps: Some mobile phones can automatically move many apps to the SD card, with others you have to push it manually in the detailed settings pages of the app. Some smartphones can even format the memory card completely as internal storage, which means that almost all apps can end up on the SD card without a word.