Soma's Blog

April 28, 2010

Regaining disk space on Android phones

Filed under: Android — somanov @ 22:56

Today after I installed Opera Mini on my G1 I ran pretty low on interal storage. I went to Settings->Application Settings->Manage Applications to remove some of the weightier apps from my phone. To my surprise I discovered that some Apps seemed to occupy a LOT more space than advertised in the Android Market (for example NewsRob used a whooping 12 MB instead of the 1.2 MB shown as install size in the Marketplace). Out of curiosity I uninstalled and re-installed the application. Afterwards it used the 1.2 MB that I expected it to take –> I gained about 10 MB of free space

The same thing seemed to be true for many of my other applications: they used a lot more space than the Android Market suggested they would. Uninstalling and re-installing the application fixed the problem and freed the excess space. Now I have the same applications installed as before, but about 25 MB more free internal storage.

I wonder how this can happen. I noticed that many of the “overweight” applications were installed for a long time and I think they have seen quite a few updates. So perhaps something could be wrong with the way Android (1.6) handles application updates? Maybe some old files dont get deleted when they should be? (No clue really, just guessing).

Anyway I thought this observation may prove useful for other G1 users struggling with disk space shortage.



  1. Did you try to clear the cache first? A lot of applications use the internal memory for storing their information – instead of the card which would be preferable since most of us without Droid Incredibles don’t have 8GB of internal memory – which causes the application to take up more and more space over time. Clearing the cache should bring it back to the initial download size.

    Comment by Martin — July 7, 2010 @ 15:45 | Reply

  2. No, actually I did not realize there was a phone-wide “clear cache” Button I could use. Would be great if you could give me a hint where I can find this. Thanks! 🙂

    Comment by somanov — July 7, 2010 @ 15:58 | Reply

  3. Ah, I spoke to soon. Every App has its own clear cache button in the application manager..I never noticed that before. Thanks! 🙂

    Comment by somanov — July 7, 2010 @ 16:00 | Reply

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