How To Make The Most Of Your Phone’s Meagre Internal Storage

Phone always low on storage? Check out our tips | iStock

It’s 2017 and we’re still seeing phones with low internal storage than what we would’ve liked. Even though the trend of killing the 16 GB phone storage options is on the rise, there are still many brands that are not willing to change or adapt.

And if you happen to own such a phone, then here’s something that will help out. Not just for folks using older Android devices, but also older iPhones.

1. Use Google Photos

Google has made uploading media to their Photos app absolutely free, without any limitations on storage. However, if you’ve had an older offer that you utilised, then the space occupied by your media during the offer period will expire with the offer itself. The only option left at that time will be to delete, empty trash and re-upload all your media to Google Photos.

We love keeping memories captured by our phone’s camera, but let these stay on Google Photos.

The app has no limit on storage. Once Google Photos backs up all your device’s media, you are free to delete it from the phone’s internal storage. Just ensure the option to back up your photos and videos was turned when you installed Google Photos. If you already have the app installed, cross-check this by swiping on the left menu bar. Then tap on Settings, then on Back up & sync and ensuring the first toggle is turned on.


This tip will help out both Android and iPhone users as the app is available for free on both platforms.

2. Optimising iPhone internal storage for photos

This next tip is exclusive for iPhone users. Ever since Apple introduced iCloud for their products, users have had the option to back up your photos to the iCloud Photo Library. If you’ve not made any use of it, head over to Settings menu. Here, tap iCloud and under Storage tap on Photos which is where you need to ensure Optimize iPhone storage is checked.

internal storage

This is a great option to make use of as it not only lets you delete photos from your iPhone’s Camera roll once they are backed up but will also keep your media in sync with other devices.

3. Lite apps For Android users

Now it’s the turn for Android users to pay attention as this tip is aimed right at them. There’s no doubt that people love sharing stuff on social media but apps like Facebook (and Kindle) end up occupying way too much storage on your phone. Luckily, a lot of Android developers have built ‘lite’ versions of quite a few apps and it’s best to uninstall the default versions of space-hogging apps to replace them with the ‘lite’ versions.


For Facebook, I recommend using Swipe for Facebook as it’s got a nicer design and is very good on a phone’s internal storage. This Reddit thread has a full list of official lite versions of social media apps plus some great alternatives too. Try out some and stick to ones which you like the most.

Alternatively, you can also just use Chrome (or whichever browser you use) to check Facebook and enable notifications via the browser itself.

ALSO HELPFUL: If you’re on Android, then you should check out our guide on securing Android devices.

4. Stream music

It’s 2017 and even India is now enjoying free 4G data. If now is not the time to switch to streaming music, then I don’t know when is. Storing your favourite tracks locally on your phone is so 2010 and if you keep adding more and more songs, you’re going to run out of space before Trump makes America great again.

Streaming music makes infinitely more sense than storing and playing back

Services like Apple Music (paid), Gaana (free with ad support), Saavn (free with ad support) and several others are available for both iOS and Android users. Pick the one you like and start listening to music on these. You can thank us later!

5. Delete media shared via chats

WhatsApp, Telegram, Hike and other chat clients have become really popular in India in the past few years. However, every ‘Good Morning’ image forwarded from your favourite family member need not be kept. It’s a good idea to delete these images directly from the chat client itself once you’ve seen them and wished them back.

There’s no need to keep every image, video or GIF file received via WhatsApp or a similar chat app.

Sure, there are some apps that scan your existing media library and tell you to delete some junk files. But adding another app to a phone that is running short on space, to do something that really doesn’t require a lot of time, feels counter-intuitive.

Make your smartphone great again!

If you stick to our tips on making the most of your phone’s storage, then even 16 GB won’t feel measly. The best way around this problem is upgrading to a phone with more internal storage, but till you do, ensure you bookmark this page and keep following our advice on a regular basis.

Thinker. Tinkerer. Writer. Editor. Many hats, one heart. Several roles, one goal. You get the picture. Right?


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