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Is your android phone running out of space?

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Is your android phone running out of space?

I've made a startling discovery recently after running so low on space my phone decided to notify me at 5:30am.

I knew i had plenty of space left - at least 500mb however my phone was having none of it.

I've set my camera app to use the SD card, i move screenshots straight over, keep other stuff on the SD card like music, videos etc. Only apps get kept on my phones main storage and i hadn't installed any new ones in a few months.

I had to uninstall ebay just to shut the poxy phone up! Then I had to uninstall others just to install Malwarebytes then Avast (after uninstalling the former).

Something here was very wrong yet neither Malwarebytes or Avast could find anything dodgy running / using space.

I looked at my installed apps to see that some of them looked huge. Chrome alone was nearly 600Mb. That didn't seem right so I cleared the cache but that didn't make that much of a dent (i only visit the same few sites daily).

Then i noticed my gmail app had swelled to over 150Mb. A relatively simple mail client on a small mobile device - somewhat iffy isn't it. So I did something you'd never think of.. I went to the play app and decided to uninstall it (which actually only uninstalls the updates to the preinstalled apps). Suddenly it shrunk massively to around 11mb.

Next up was Google Calendar. Again massive but i'd never updated it. I hit update... guess what? The update weighed in substantially smaller too.

I repeated this for almost all of the big apps - either uninstalling the updates or just updating them. Every single google related app SHRUNK! - Massively.

Many 3rd party apps also shrunk too when updated. I went from having just 300mb free (which android refused to let me install into) to having over 1Gb of available disk space.

It doesn't stop there though because I've found that while android apps appear to deliberately swell, there is a fault in teh way android and google play both report your available disk space in the first place.

 

I've taken these screen shot sets (Settings and Play app at the same time) on different days / times. Look at both the percentages and the used Mb.

 

screenshot-1071 screenshot-1072

 

screenshot-1066 screenshot-1069

 

screenshot-1070 screenshot-1068

This now raises the question.. is Android even being honest with you about how much space you have left or is it a deliberate ploy to make you keep your apps up to date - and if so why? - the NSA and CIA like to hack devices...

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Aspiring Champion
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Can't say I have any issues with Android miss-reporting space available. Maybe the varying amounts of ram being reported might be due to the cache etc growing and shrinking.

 

But running out of space was one reason I got a new phone. I kept hitting not enough memory (internal) on updates and the phone was only 3 years old. It'll take quite a lot of apps before I get up to 64Gb on the new phone but why I can't put more apps direct onto the SD card in the first place really sucks. And of course there are apps that come with the phone which, even if you disable them (because you don't use them) e.g. Linkedin, go and download the latest update! Bad design. There is always rooting I suppose but I really can't be bothered to go down that route - yet!

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎12-03-2013

Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Be warned that rooting an Android phone will stop certain apps from working.

Banking apps usually wont work on a rooted device.

What version of Android is everyone running on there devices?
Aspiring Champion
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

That's one reason I suppose not to root.

 

Version 9.0 Pie 😀

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Community Veteran
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Did you know, that..... you can run Android apps on Windows PC`s

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/179691/4-ways-to-run-android-on-your-pc-and-make-your-own-dual-os-system/

Seasoned Pro
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

I have Android 10 using UI 2.1 on a S10. The Samsung version of Android has broken an app (across several models) which it was hoped would be repaired with the UI 2.1, but it didn't. Strange things is the app works on the S20.

Aspiring Pro
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

FWIW - The Android Auto app was broken for a while just for Samsung S10 users on lots of Peugeot / Citroen vehicles - Google & Samsung did fix the app in the end.

That's nothing to what happened last year to I phone users with Peugeot / Citroen vehicles when a IOS update then broke the Apple Car Play feature.
Community Veteran
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Today i checked my disk space again.

The other day as you'll note from the first set of images at the top of this thread, i had just under 600Mb of available space.

Today i have over 1.8Gb.

I have uninstalled NOTHING. I have upgraded NOTHING. I have done NOTHING of any significance.. except to leave my wifi connected for long periods. Having left it connected for long periods there would be ideal opportunity for android to silently phone home and do sinister things...

Here's the proof - note again that the percentage and Mb figures are completely different:

:

screenshot-1073 screenshot-1074

 

I am running Android 9 PIE - supposedly completely clear of any bloat..

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

My Wifi has been turned off a lot today...

Guess whatr? - Gone from 1.9Gb of free space down to 560Mb. Oh and as always, the phone and google play app both report different amounts of space.

 

screenshot-1078 screenshot-1078

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

There's definitely something mysterious going on....

 

I "upgraded" my 5 year old android phone to a F&B camera model.

Within a few hours, with minimal apps added, my new ANDROID went from128GB phone storage, NOT memory, down to just 5 mb reported !!

 

Uninstalled apps, reboot, back up to 128GB  phone storage, not memory.

Few minutes later, back down to 5mb......

Unable to add extra apps due to lack of storage.

 

Stuck with it for a day, tried various "cleaners" wasted a whole day, before I rejected the new phone.

 

Contacted the online seller, they offered an immediate refund, no questions asked, just return the phone.

 

So, they obviously knew of a problem.

 

SIM back into old faithful, no problems.

 

 

 

 

 

Aspiring Champion
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

@7up  Just a thought, you don't have Netflix on your phone? I don't know about this years flavour but last year I found it would quite happily turn itself back on and start operating in the background. Battery life was pretty bad. I did away with it.

 

Anyway I'd check the battery usage. If you're going from those sort of settings, something must use the battery to do it. FWIW, with all my apps (96) on it, internal usage is up around 20Gb. a couple of hundred Mb sounds a little bit low

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Community Veteran
Posts: 15,318
Thanks: 1,146
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

No I don't have Netflix and the battery seems to last forever unless i start using the phone - which is when it starts to drain.

All the apps are the sme as the ones i had on my previous phone.

I'm certain this is an android bug / feature. No app could force the OS to report one amount of space and then influence the play app to report completely differently.

Both report different MB and %. Often varying by 10% - as you've seen from the screenshots.

One thing is for sure, Carphone warehouse are going to have some explaining to do when they reopen.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
All Star
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Could it be that some apps are assuming that 1MB is 1024Kb while others are use 1000Kb. Could this explain the variations you see?

Community Veteran
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Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

It would if this was consistent behaviour but it isn't.

Yesterday I made some videos on the YouTube app and uploaded the one I was happy with. Last night I found my disk space was down to 300Mb.. deleted the videos and went back to 1.8Gb of free space.

This morning I'm back down to 560Mb. As always, my WiFi has been turned off all night.

What's odd is how Android always reports the same sizes of used / available space when they change. I've also been looking at the app space used via the settings app and literally seen some apps change size right on front of me.

Malwarebytes and Avast both gave the phone the all clear last time I tried.

Thankfully I've finally got my old phone apart, battery out and ordered another battery..
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Is your android phone running out of space?

Well tonight a revalation happened. Android has definitely been playing games.

I got a popup tonight forcing me to restart so that Android could be updated to Android 10.

No choice in the matter either, it's do it or do it. Obviously I did it...

It did it's poop and then i noticed that the apps storage dropped by over 1GB - it was at 5.2Gb and is now at 4.3Gb. Further the System storage has dropped down from 9.1GB to 7.8Gb. Yes you got it, Android has sneakily downloaded and HIDDEN 2.2Gb of data on my phone without consent, forcing me to delete some stuff, uninstall stuff, lose downloaded stuff, disturbed my sleep...

Completely unacceptable. Carphone warehouse i'm gonna be coming to see you..

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!