How to free up and retain free space on lowend older Android devices with small memory

Hi all owners of older Android phones, I belong to you and we all share the same problem, low disk space….

One year back I bought myself a ZTE Blade I, device with Android 2.2 (I had mine with 2.2 at least), +-150MB of space in the device. It’s low cost device with good display (device is actually about 2-3y on the markert and it came with 800×480 display , what was at that time and for that amount of money quite a shock). A perfect fit for my needs at that time.

Anyway there are more older phones or Android devices that have same problem (like HTC Desire, etc), install some apps and there is no room to install more and although you moved to SD card what you could, phone still has good battery, good display and is not worn out, you just can’t use/enjoy it.

So here are my few points what you might do :

First of all, grab this app : DiskUsage : , from Ivan Volosyuk, thank you mate for this one.

I don’t want to duplicate how app works, it’s all on the Google Play sub page, but I would like to share some things I discovered on my device with help of this tool (I used it to scan my internal memory and identify apps that take most space. It’s really easy.) :

  • All the updates of Google’s own apps like Voice search, Street view, etc, all these don’t just update (overwrite) older versions, they install in some reversible state, so you have on your precious small drive apk from previous version + updated one and you can revert back (not sure if this can be changed in any way, please share this information if you have it) . My advice here is to remove all updates on Google apps you don’t use. Or update once needed (anyway at least Google Play and Gmail will be updated since I suppose these are integral part of your phone and you do use them, in other words, it will add value to you when you update),
  • Biggest hogs I found on my device were browser with 20MBs!!!!! of cached data. I was erasing the cache from browser’s menu, but this freed only +- 4-5 MBs. Once I removed this, all my cookies and my stored links went down the drain, but whatever. Another hog I found was gallery with +-4MBs of some cached things and Google Play store app as such, which BTW installed some I suppose “deamon” for downloading the apps once you click on them on page. It takes up 7,5MBs and when you try to uninstall it, it will install back in the background,
  • I don’t want to repeat thing that are everywhere on the internet like move apps to card, or some other tweaks (root and/or download SDK and set default install location to SD card… etc.), you already know them and use them.

Hope this helps some of you and it will extend life of your devices at least a bit 🙂 You can always use them later for geocaching of as sport tracking device as I do 🙂



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