How To Video
Free space for apps on Android 2.2+Android phones often feature very limited internal app storage space. Fortunately, phones running Froyo 2.2 can take advantage of gigabytes of space on their microSD card. CNET's Antuan Goodwin shows you how to create space for your next must-have app.
If you own an older Android phone and you're addicted to apps, you've probably come across this "Low on Space" message. This is probably because most Android phones actually have two storage media available--your micro SD card which could be anywhere between 8 and 32 gigabytes and the internal memory where your apps are actually stored by default which is only about 512 megabytes, which is also shared with the rest of the OS data, and what that means is you only got about 250-some odd megabytes of app storage space at best. So, how can you free up more space for apps when digital real estate is so rarified? How about offloading some of those apps to that massive SD card we just talked about. Now your phone will need to be running Android Froyo, that's version 2.2 so if you haven't made that upgrade or if one isn't available to you, you'll be out of luck without a root or some sort of custom ROM but that's the subject of another how-to video. Alright, let's get to it. From your Android home screen, hit the Menu button, then jump to Settings. Now, scroll down and tap Applications and then Manage Applications. You'll be presented with a few lists of all the applications installed on your phone. To find the worst offenders, tap the tab that says All and then hit the Menu button and Sort By Size. The list will be reorganized from the largest digital footprint to the smallest. Okay, so now you found an app that you wanna offload to the SD card. Click on the app in the list and look for a button that says "Move to SD Card." Click on that and the OS will shuffle the app and all of its data to external storage freeing up more internal space for app downloads. Now, not every app will be movable to the SD card but many of the best are. You'll still be able to continue using your app as normal once the offload is complete, unless you somehow remove the SD card or have it mounted for external storage with a PC. Now, if you don't feel like hunting down and checking every single app installed for SD compatibility, you can also use an app such as Apps2SD which will scan your phone, show your available space, and point out movable apps. It'll even take you to the appropriate menu screen. So there you have it, now you know how to effectively manage your Android phone storage. I'm Antuan Goodwin with CNET.com bringing you another Android how-to. Check out our Android Atlas blog for even more Android tips and tricks as well as how-tos on CNET TV.