storage

Free Up Space on an Android Device

There are many inexpensive, or even free, Android phones being offered by carriers that may seem too good to turn down. Unfortunately, they may be too good to be true, though. Some of these phones are crippled with very limited internal storage space, and they may not even have an SD card slot for expansion. It's also important to remember that the actual usable space on the device will be less than what is advertised, because the operating system itself takes up space.

How much storage does my mobile phone really have?

Mark from Tustin, CA

Episode 1303

Mark's son has an 8GB Samsung Android phone. How can he make more room on it? Leo says to do a factory reset. That will wipe the entire phone and leave just the operating system. From there, he'll have a good idea of how much room that phone really has on it. It won't be much. Apple doesn't sell 8GB phones anymore, neither do most of the Android makers. They're about to dump 16GB models as well.

Why am I running out of room on my iPhone?

Episode 1295

Dennis from Costa Rica
Apple iPhone 6 and 6s Plus

Dennis got an iPhone 6s Plus a few months ago and he can't seem stop the storage from filling up his phone. Leo says that the iPhone caches a lot of data. If he plugs it into his computer, he can take a look at it in iTunes. It will show him a graphical representation of the space used in "other." The only real way to clean it up is to backup the iPhone, erase it, and then restore it. That will get rid of all the cached stuff. He can go into Settings > General > Storage and Usage, and clear everything out piece by piece.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1293

Dick DeBartolo

Dick's gadget this week is the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB 3.0 Drive. If you push the lever in one direction, you'll get the MicroUSB end that you can plug into your phone and it will show up as an additional drive. Then when you get back to the computer, if you push the lever in the other direction, you'll get a standard USB 3.0 end. For 32GB, it is $9.97. The 64GB version is $17.

This is a great solution for Android phones that don't have SD card slots. It does require that the phone be OTG-enabled.

Can I store apps on my miniSD card on my LG phone?

Episode 1294

William from Anaheim, CA
LG G5

William's old 8GB LG G5 has filled up and he wants to add a miniSD card for storage. Can he add apps to the card as well as storage? Leo says that this is a common problem with Android and it largely depends on what flavor of Android he's using. For William, it's Lollipop. But even then, ideally, it gets confusing with the app and the phone. It could be different from app to app. So he'll need to go into the app settings and see if it supports it. There should be an option to move the app to the SD card.

What makes up the 'other' category for storage on my Mac?

Nabile from Dana Point, CA

Episode 1227

Leo says this is a common problem on the iPhone as well. There are some programs that will help him see what is using up his storage, and should tell him more than just "other." Leo recommends Disk Inventory X. It will show him a graphical display using big colored blocks, and he can click on the blocks to see what is using up that storage. Leo would guess this "other" storage could be temporary files. It could also be stuff he deleted, that hasn't been completely deleted yet.