Storage Space Running Out Again? 7 Ways to Increase Storage Space on Your Smartphone or Tablet

storage space running out

storage space running out

Is your phone clogged up with bulky videos, grinding to a halt, infuriatingly slow to use. Storage space running out again?


Taking photos, checking e-mails, endlessly facebook spamming our closest friends, the uses of a smartphone are endless. All this photography, entertainment, and .. capabilities makes out smartphone our closest ally. Until it becomes full up, about as much use as a constipated giraffe, on the brink of explosion, brimming to the edge with songs, movies, and photograph memories. The problem is that these devices have limits, and when your storage bar approaches the red, what then?

The good thing is that you don’t have to panic. This article is for those of you who regret buying a smaller capacity device. Before you spend any money on a bigger phone, read this.


Ways to Increase Smartphone Storage Space

There are a few different ways to help create additional storage to your phone:

  • Plug-in Storage
  • On the Go Cables linking a USB drive
  • Wireless USB Stick
  • Multi-function Devices
  • Storage Case
  • Internal MicroSD Cards
  • Clearout
  • Old-fashioned computer backup


Plug-in storage

A smartphone-friendly USB stick is the simplest method to add additional storage. It plugs into your phone or tablet to help free up space. They usually come with a file manager app to arrange data between your phone and computer.

For iPhone/iPad

storage space running out ibridgeLeef iBridge

The most popular option, this curvaceous little device plugs into the port at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad and curls around the back out of sight.

On the other side of the drive is a regular USB port for plugging into your computer, and It comes with an easy-to-use companion app that can open most of the filetypes you will be moving back and forth.

Capacity: 16/32/64/128 GB

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Sandisk iXpand

Sandisks answer to the iBridge, this mini USB stick doesn’t add too much bulk to to the iphone or ipad, and can copy files from the device to your movie player or music player. The file manager app can open most file formats. So good for backing up photos, videos.

Capacity: 32/64/128/256 GB

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For Android


running out of storage spaceFor Android users, the Ultra Dual USB Drive can be used with Android smartphones and tablets and with PCs. Add it to your key ring, or just chuck a few movies on it for a long train ride. Simply plug the drive into your android device to access your content anywhere.

Capacity: 32/64/128/256 GB

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Note: USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a type of USB connection that allows a device to read data from USB without a PC. Not every Android phone will support USB OTG as it is something the manufacturer has to enable. You can check if your phone supports this feature by installing USB OTG Checker app. A free app that determines whether your android phone can support USB OTG.


On-the-Go Cables

storage space running out OTG cableWith an OTG cable, you can use regular USB drives with your phone. Just  plug one end of an OTG cable into the phone, and the other end into a flash drive, portable hard drive, or SD card reader,

Be aware this probably won’t work with beefy external hard drives that draw power from USB. anything with its own power source, like normal flash drives should work fine. You can even attach a MicroSD card reader, or use it to attach a mouse and keyboard to your tablet.

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Wireless Drive

A wireless drive performs a similar function to cloud storage and streaming services, but this might be better for those who don’t have a generous mobile data plan. A wireless drive is like have your own personal cloud storage.

Sandisk Connect

The Sandisk Connect looks like any other flash drive but has built in wifi, except with a snazzy honeycomb effect. Keep it in your pocket and connect on your phone anywhere wifi signal. Hit the button on it and any wireless device can connect as if it was on its own network.

Have to download SanDisk connect drive app to mobile device, and connect to device to share files. Then can stream videos from devic for 4 and a half hours before battery runs out – takes about two hours to fully charge, which happens when you plug into USB port. Can also set wifi password on stick before you use it, otherwise others could access. Battery life of 4h30 continuous use.

Capacity: 32/64/128 GB

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Multi-functional Device

A multi-functional device has several functions that might just make it the ideal travel companion!

storage space running outRavpower Filehub

The Ravpower Filehub lets you stream media simultaneously to up to five mobile devices. Put a  big SD card or a usb stick into it and create a personal media server for holidays. WIth an internal battery, you won’t need to rely on staying close a plug socket.

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Hootoo Travel Router

The Hootoo travel router is a very popular device with many functions. Use it to create  wireless network from a wired connection, recharge your devices via the built in power bank, or free up space by backing up media devices from your phone or tablet to a plugged in USB drive of your choosing.

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The Storage Case

While iPhone users don’t have the luxury of adding internal storage on a MicroSD card. They can purchase a case which incorporates additional storage, more battery power, and some drop protection.

Mophie Spacepack

The Mophie Space Pack is a chunky case which connects to the port at the bottom of your iPhone (5), and provides 16Gb extra storage. At the bottom of the case is another micro USB port which takes over charging and syncing. You can also plug the case into the computer to add, remove, and organise data, and organise songs movies and, files etc through the app.

Capacity: 16/32/64GB

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Internal Storage – MicroSD Card

Although iPhones don’t accommodate extra internal storage. Many android phones are expandable, allowing you to add a MicroSD card to increase the storage capacity. But before you rush out to buy a card, make sure you check how much a storage capacity your phone can accept. If you aren’t sure if your phone has a MicroSD card slot at all, then check using your manufacturer’s support site, or look under the cover for yourself.

The storage you gain on the MicroSD card can be used for pictures, videos, music and some apps. Although the integration of SD card with phone storage is not always smooth (In fact with my 3rd gen Moto G it is pretty terrible). This means you cannot always place apps on the SD card rather than on the phone itself.

Some versions of android will let you get around this by formatting the SD card as internal storage, but this means you won’t be able to move the SD card between phones without reformatting it.

Windows phones however, treat microSD cards like a part of the internal storage, which means anything saved on your phone can be saved on the card.


Micro SD Card Speed

MicroSD cards are categorized according to their speed into different classes. Cheaper SD cards Even though the price of memory has fallen drastically, cheaper SD cards tend to be in the lower clases. SD cards with lower classes have low read/write speeds and can limit the integration with the phone.

There are four classes of Micro SD card commonly available, and the speed of the card rises with the class.

Class 4 and Class 6 Micro SD cards deliver speeds of around MB/S and 6 MB/s. This would allow you to record HD video direct to the SD, but still isn’t the fastest card class

Class 10 are the top of the range micro SD cards, and deliver a minimum of 10MB/s speeds. This is the only speed class that will allow you to simultaneously shoot HD video and take photographs (This is a feature of some smartphones)

Samsung EVO

Samsung’s Top of the range Class 10 Evoplus MicroSD card offers supreme 90MB/sec write speeds 95/MB sec reads, and 256GB of storage.

Capacity: 256 GB

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Lexar 300x.

If your storage needs aren’t so gargantuan, opt for this Class 10 Lexar card. It still has 64GB of space and enough speed for ample performance.

Capacity: 64 GB

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SanDisk Ultra with Adapter

For the average user who wants a relatively small boost in memory, this one is a good solution. It is cheap, but still a class 10 from a company that is a global leader in flash memory storage. Not only that, but it is shockproof, waterproof, and high temperature proof.

Capacity: 16 GB

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Cloud Services

Instead of keeping bulky music and video files on your phone, download a cloud storage app like Google Drive or Amazon Drive. These offer additional web-based storage to help free up your phone storage capacity.


Google Photos

With smartphone cameras taking ever crisper and clearer photos, they are also taking up more and more space on your phones hard drive. One way to avoid these hogging all of your memory is by using an app that automatically uploads your snaps to an online account. Google Photos would be my first choice, as it offers unlimited storage of photos and offers very easy-to-use interface. It also makes lovely little animations and collages of your photos!  Alternatively, you could use Flickr, or another cloud service like Microsoft OneDrive.

Once your photos are stowed safely on the cloud, then you can remove any copies that are stored on your smartphone. This could free up gigabytes of space, but means you can still access all of your photos through the Google Photos app, or from any PC at The only catch is that in order to qualify for unlimited storage, you need to allow Google to automatically compress the photos that you upload. However, this is minimal, and has little effect on the appearance of the image. The service remains excellent and is well-suited to all but the most serious of photographers.


Google Drive

Google Drive is obviously very well integrated with Android, Googles own OS, but also works with iPhone. This is one of the handiest ways to store your files on the cloud, and by signing up you will get 15GB of free space. This can be accessed from tablets, smartphones, or PCs. Anywhere with the internet. I use this to keep a scan of my all personal documents that can be accessed whenever I need them.

Aside from free cloud storage, the other brilliant feature of google drive is its integration with Google Docs, and the rest of the Google office suite. This is great if you use your smartphone to write or use spreadsheets. Google docs also offers a ‘available offline’ function so that you can work on your files even without internet. They will then be automatically synced when you reconnect.



The Dropbox app is a similar idea to google drive. If you are already a dropbox user then just add the app to the your phone. It has the useful function of automatically uploading photos and videos  that you capture. This way you can then remove them from your device as soon as it starts to get full.



This one is for iPhone users. Apple offers 5 GB of free iCloud space to everyone, so take advantage of this and enable iCloud photo library. This option can be found under settings.






Have a clear-out,. Delete the apps you never use, cut back on your downloads. Phones and tablets can fill up very quickly, especially if you are caching music and movies for use offline. This is more of a problem with lower end devices with limited storage.

As well as upgrading your storage with the methods above, have a good clear-out by emptying all the caches and offline data stored by apps.  Usually in the settings screen you will see an option of what apps are using the most storage and how you can delete them.


Apps that use a lot of storage

Apps use up most of the space on your phone. But some use more than others. Space is taken by the apps cache, it’s data, and the app itself. Any music or video apps that allow you to cache downloads for offline playback will tend to take up alot of space.

In Android, you can navigate to the storage pane and tap the individual app to see how much space it is using for data and cached files.


You can clear the Spotify cache in your device settings to eliminate all of the songs it has downloaded. You can also adjust the Spotify settings to download music in lower quality.


Facebook is a big offender when it comes to memory hogging. It is also terrible for battery life an reportedly has some security issues. If your phone is low lnsotrsge space tbeb definitely get rid of this one. You can always use web based Facebook instead.


Snapchat builds up a cache of media files that you receive which can accumulate to make your phone unstable. Either empty the cache or remove the offender entirely.



those short of space are often short of time , hopefully some of these quick ideas will make sure you have enough storage for the stuff that matters.


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