Consumer Reports

How to Free Up Storage on Your Smartphone

Consumer Reports has some quick and easy steps to free up storage on your phone without sacrificing your data

NBC Universal, Inc.

Picture this - you're about to snap a great photo, but you can't because an alert pops up saying storage on your phone is full.

We've all been there. Luckily, Consumer Reports has some quick tips to help you declutter your phone and get back in business.

Like a lot of parents, Marisa Malvetti loves taking pictures of her kids. But those pictures started filling up her phone.

“I bought a phone with 256 GB of storage because I was constantly running into this issue where I max out my phone storage and couldn’t use the phone anymore," she explained.

Consumer Reports said there are some quick and easy steps to free up storage on your phone without sacrificing your data. It all starts with a little detective work.

"The first thing you need to do is look into your phone and see what’s actually taking up so much space," , Consumer Reports Tech Editor Melanie Pinola said.

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 external hard drive.

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

If music is what you're hoarding, think 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.

“All of a sudden… I’m running out of space and it’s because I have these old apps I don’t even use anymore," Pinola said.

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 agian and pick up where you left off.

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.

For more details on decluttering, click here.

Contact Us