Make more internal storage space on Android
Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 at 7:16 pm. #
Update: I no longer use a Nexus One. The Galaxy Nexus has no such memory restrictions.
As you’ll know, I have a Google Nexus One Android phone. I quite liked it after 24 hours, I liked it more after four months, and then discovered alternative ROMS later. I’m now using the Blandroid ROM, which is simply vanilla Android with none of the extra stuff that even Google shoves onto its own phone.
Android has four bits of memory. The system ROM – that’s where the actual ROM (“Android”) is held. On my current setup, this is 152 MB. The SD card – where you can put some (not all) applications, and where most applications keep their data. Spotify downloads music here, for example; Google Maps places the map cache here. On a standard Nexus One, this is 4 GB. The third, simply called RAM, is the memory used by the running applications. This is 364 MB on my setup. The final bit of memory is the most important: Internal Storage. This is 205 MB on my setup; and this is where many of your applications are stored, and some data, too. This is the memory space that really matters: and, I’ll bet, the memory space that you need to watch. Chances are you already do.
If you run too low – less than 20MB left – of Internal Storage, your phone warns you. Your phone automatically stops doing certain things – like syncing your email, and sometimes even accepting text messages. This is a bad thing, and chances are, you’ll want to save as much internal space as you can.
Here’s how (on Android 2.3.4)…
First, check how full your internal storage is, by going into Settings/Application Settings/Storage Use. You’ll see “Internal storage” at the bottom, showing how much space you have free.
1. Move as many apps to your SD card as you can
Go into Settings/Application Settings/On SD card. You’ll see a list of all the applications you can move onto your SD card. If any aren’t ticked, try ticking them, and you’ll be taken to a page for the app letting you “move to SD card”.
2. Clear your browser cache
The standard Android browser keeps its cache in internal memory. That’s a little silly. Go into the browser, and choose Menu/Settings/Clear cache. (You might as well clear other stuff as well if you want.
3. Uninstall some apps you don’t want
4. Reduce the amount of Gmail you sync
Open Gmail, then Menu/More/Settings/Labels/Number of days to sync and reduce that.
But, you’re an advanced user, and you’ve already rooted your device (and probably using an alternative ROM). So, here’s some more interesting ways to save memory that I’ve discovered using trial and error:
Download Titanium Backup. You might need the Pro version – £3.79 – to achieve everything below. You’ll probably have this, as a power user, since it helps backup all your apps and settings before switching ROMs.
1. Clean up the Dalvik cache. This is a cache used by the phone when running applications, and sometimes it doesn’t clean itself when you uninstall an application. In Titanium Backup, try Menu/More/Clean up the Dalvik cache.
2. The way to make the biggest saving is to turn applications into system apps. Doing this moves an app from your Internal Storage into your System ROM. I’ve turned Gmail and Google Maps into system apps – saving over 10MB. To do this, first, check on the Titanium Backup front screen how much spare space is in your System ROM; then touch Backup/Restore at the top of the screen. Find an app, long-hold it, and choose “Convert to system app”. You’ll have to change any links on your home screen, which’ll magically disappear. (As an aside, any updated to these apps will need to be converted again).
3. If you want to make more System ROM room, you can even delete the system apps using Titanium Backup. I deleted the Music player, since I use Spotify instead. (Tread carefully, I guess, but my phone is still rock solid).
Arguably, users shouldn’t have to fiddle around to avoid a low memory error: but, unlike the iPhone, you do have considerable fiddle-room when it does appear.