Memory and storage management: Android

    Learn how manage device memory and storage on Android, and why it is important.

     

     

     

     

    Understanding memory & storage

    Memory and storage are often confused, so we've made a handy guide to help understand the difference.

     

    Memory typeWhat it doesWhat happens when it gets low
    Memory (RAM)

    Internal memory (RAM) is where your device runs apps and open docs. It holds files while they are being used.

     

    It is short term memory. When you restart your device or stop an app, it is no longer in memory.

    Android may close apps, slow down, or cause errors.

     

    See Memory (RAM) management below
    Storage (ROM)

    Internal storage (ROM) is where your device stores app data and the system files it needs to keep. It can load these stored files into memory to use them.

     

    It is long term memory. When you restart your device or stop an app, all saved information is still in the storage.

    Android may have problems saving and reading files, and may even make some apps not function correctly.

     

    See Storage (ROM) management below.

     

     

    Memory (RAM) management

    • Restart the device daily
      • You should restart the phone at least once a day. Turn it off and back on.
    • Reduce memory use
      • Remove some widgets from Home screens (especially ones that update or have animation).
      • Turn off the live wallpaper.
      • Remove all unused Home screens:
        • Pinch the Home screen.
        • On the grid of Home screens, drag unused screens to the trash.
    • Manage apps
      • If a problem starts after installing a new apps, uninstall all new apps.
      • Keep your apps updated.
      • Read reviews of your apps in the Play Store to see if they are causing issues for others. Not all apps work well with all phones.
      • Manage or remove apps that run in the background. Background apps use up device resources.
        1. Restart the phone.
        2. In Settings, go to Apps or Application manager, and then Running.
        3. Examine the list of apps running in the background. View apps that are running in memory, and either:
          • Uninstall the third-party apps
          • Clear cache and data. See your device > How tos > Apps > Clear & uninstall app for steps.
        • Task and battery managers:
          • Android 4.0 and later include a task manager you can use to close running apps. Open the recent apps screen, and manage your apps listed.
            Note: Some older devices include a pre-installed task manager, which you can access from the applications menu.
          • Never install third-party task managers or battery managers. If you have installed a task manager, then uninstall it.
    • Note: Some devices with limited storage space (ex: Gravity SMART, Wildfire S, etc) show memory issues when the storage fills up. Continue to Storage (ROM) management below.

     

     

    Storage (ROM) management

    • Clear storage weekly
      • Check the available internal device storage. It must be over 150 MB for Android 4.0+, or over 25 MB for older versions. If it is less, clear more storage and delete more apps.
      • Delete unnecessary text messages (SMS) and picture messages (MMS).
      • Delete unnecessary e-mail, including 'Sent Items', 'Spam' and 'Trash/Deleted Items' folders
      • Transfer pictures/media to a computer, and remove them from the phone.
      • Clear the browser cache, cookies, or history.
      • Clear Facebook app cache.
      • Delete the call logs.
        Note: See your device > How tos for steps
    • Set the device to manage some memory
      • Set the text message limit to delete messages automatically.
      • Change the setting for email synchronization to download only for the past three days.
    • Manage apps
      • If a problem starts after installing a new apps, uninstall all new apps.
      • Delete apps you are not using.
      • View other apps that are using storage or memory:
        • When in Manage Applications settings, press Menu. Some devices may require you select All first to view all apps.
        • Touch Sort by size.
        • For apps that take up a lot of space, clear cache and data. See your device > How tos > Apps > Clear & uninstall app for steps.
          • Note: Clearing data in an application can delete user created information out of that applications (contacts, call logs, etc)
      • For apps that continue to use a lot of your storage space, uninstall them by touching the app name, then Uninstall.
      • Move some apps to the SD card or storage partition.
        • Note: Some apps may not work correctly from SD card. Do not move: live wallpaper, widget apps, apps that use the notification bar, or apps that synchronize online. Move unstable apps back to internal memory or upgrade to a new SD card (class 6 or above).