My phone says insufficient storage but I have space

My phone says insufficient storage but I have space. Why does the phone show the amount of memory incorrectly? What to do if there is no free space on the smartphone, although it is not occupied by anything?

For various reasons, the mobile device may incorrectly display the remaining free space in the internal memory. However, only in rare cases is this really a flaw or a system error. Usually it’s about files that are inaccessible to the user or not visible at first sight.

Why does the phone show storage incorrectly?

To solve the problem of incorrect display of free, you need to make sure that the phone really does not display it correctly.

System errors

The phone’s memory can be filled with hidden or non-obvious files, however, in rare cases, errors can occur on the phone that the developers missed. Owners of Xiaomi smartphones face such problems. After transferring applications from internal memory to microSD, the system shows these applications as if they are still in the phone’s memory. Unfortunately, this flaw cannot be corrected, but it does not affect the operation of the mobile device in any way.

Out of memory warning

If the phone does not allow you to download applications or other files due to lack of memory, and the owner is sure that there is still a lot of memory, you need to check this. Hidden and non-obvious files can be stored in the following locations:

  • System files. Hidden folders with system files cannot be deleted, as they directly affect the operation of the phone. In this case, you need to remember that part of the phone’s memory will always be occupied by system files. For example, if the phone’s memory is 64 GB, some of them will be occupied, even if the user has not downloaded anything yet.
  • “thumbnails” folder. It stores image thumbnails so that they load faster.
  • Application cache. Consists of temporary application files, which are also needed for faster downloads.
  • Problems with Google Play cache. Sometimes attempts to download an application end up with a warning about insufficient memory due to an incorrectly formed cache on Google Play.

It is impossible to exclude the fact that the memory can be clogged imperceptibly for the user himself. Application updates, files received in messengers and other data are accumulated on the phone and take up enough free space.

What should I do if the phone shows the memory incorrectly?

Here you can take several steps to correct the problem. Let’s start in order.

Free space analysis

You can find out for sure how much free space is left in memory and what it is clogged with using third-party applications, such as DiskUsage. It sorts all the folders on the phone and other files by size so that the user can immediately understand if the phone is really showing the memory incorrectly.

Clearing Google Play Cache

If the problem is a malformed Google Play cache that prevents the phone from downloading new apps, it needs to be cleared. For this you need:

  1. Open phone settings.
  2. Select the “Applications” section.
  3. Find the Google Play Store app.
  4. Select the “Clear Cache” action.

Clear App Cache

You can delete temporary files of all applications through the “Memory” or “Storage” section on your phone. To do this, click on the line “Cache data”, and then select “Clear”. In addition, if the phone has a built-in “Clean” or “Optimize” function, you can delete the cache through it.

Cleaning up the .thumbnails folder

You can clear the .thumbnails folder using the file manager. In it, you need to find the DCIM folder, and then .thumbnails. Then it remains only to delete its contents. 

Data transfer to microSD

Memory problems can be quickly resolved by transferring most files and applications to the memory card. However, on some smartphone models, transferring applications to microSD is not possible, so only images, audio, and video need to be transferred.

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