Consumer Reports

Decluttering Your Phone Will Free up Storage Space

Consumer Reports has some quick and easy ways to free up some space on your smart phone or tablet

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We’ve all been there: You’re about to snap a great photo, but you can’t because an alert pops up saying the storage on your phone is full. Luckily, Consumer Reports has some tips to help you quickly declutter your phone and get back in business.

It all starts with a little detective work. The first thing you need to do is look into what’s taking up so much space on your phone.

To check an Android phone, go to Settings > Battery and device care > Storage. On an iPhone, it’s Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

If your phone is photo-heavy, you can offload pictures and videos to cloud-based storage, such as iCloud or Google Photos, or move them to a computer or an external hard drive.

You can also optimize your photos, which means full-resolution pics will be stored in the cloud while smaller versions remain on your phone.

If music is what you’re hoarding, consider streaming instead. You don’t really need to download and store a lot of music on your phone. That goes for podcasts, too.

For some people, the issue is memory-heavy apps. In that case, you can delete old apps or offload them—which gets rid of the apps but keeps the data related to them. So you can always download them again and pick up where you left off.

Some apps, such as Google Chrome or TikTok, will also have a "clear cache" option. That's where website or video data is stored, and can be cleared to free up space without getting rid of the app.

And don’t forget your text messages – all those shared photos, videos and GIFs can take up space. iPhone users can clear out big text attachments on the iPhone Storage screen.

Another tip: Change your settings to save your text messages for a year or 30 days instead of forever.

Finally, some phones have an option to include an SD card. If your phone has one, you can buy one to act as another storage device, just make sure apps will still work before you move them from your phone's local storage.

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