1. danallenhtown's Avatar
    Background: I just read 50 threads in this forum, all asking the same question. I could find no solution in any of them. Part 1 of my question is the same question.

    Part 1 - How can I fix the storage report on my phone so that it reports correct information? The storage report (Settings->Storage) says

    Internal Shared Storage
    6.65 GB is used of 24.06 GB.

    The problem is the details provided for how that storage is used do not add up to 6.65 GB. They add up to a number that is 30% smaller. That number is 4.60 GB.
    How can I correct this problem?

    Part 2 of my question:
    Can you verify that this is a bug that only Team Android has the access privileges to fix?

    My android is a droid turbo 2.
    09-12-2017 02:31 AM
  2. PJRed2008's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central. The android OS is based on Unix/Linux and does not operate like Windows or iOS. It can't be changed and, at times, makes no sense unless you're very well versed in that world. It is not a bug. And I saw no bonus material.
    09-12-2017 02:38 AM
  3. chanchan05's Avatar
    What phone are you using? The report on my S7 Edge adds up fine.

    09-12-2017 03:02 AM
  4. danallenhtown's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central. The android OS is based on Unix/Linux and does not operate like Windows or iOS. It can't be changed and, at times, makes no sense unless you're very well versed in that world. It is not a bug. And I saw no bonus material.
    Am I mistaken in my belief that Windows and iOS are not relevant to this thread?

    Regarding bugs, let's get technical. Designating bugs requires a standard or specification that can be compared to actual system behavior. Discrepancies between the two are bugs.

    My assumption is these numbers should add up, because when they don't, it confuses a significant stake holder of these systems, namely their owners. My assumption clearly could be wrong.

    Is there any sort of specification or other documentation that explains the required behavior of the storage settings panel and the numbers it shows?

    Even if there is a specification saying these non-tying numbers are exactly what is supposed to be there, my assumption is that specification would be in error, or at least should be reconsidered in light the fact non-tying numbers violate common sense and creates confusion. Regarding that last point, I am sure that Android QA standards include preventing confusion where possible. There is no way these non-tying numbers are the right answer.

    Regarding bonus material, right after posting, I edited the OP to remove reference to bonus material.

    What phone are you using? The report on my S7 Edge adds up fine.
    My current Android is a Motorola Droid Turbo 2. I have seen the same behavior of the numbers not adding up on an LG phone I still have. Based the frequency of this issue opening threads, I think it is safe to say that hundreds of thousands of androids are affected, even though yours is not.

    This is a screenshot from my Droid Turbo 2, with annotations.

    "Storage Does Not Add Up" Issue is A Bug And Needs To Be Fixed, Right?-internal.png


    This exhibit spells out one change that would make the situation much better.

    "Storage Does Not Add Up" Issue is A Bug And Needs To Be Fixed, Right?-analysis.jpg
    09-12-2017 07:09 AM
  5. chanchan05's Avatar
    There is a missing category on your Motorola that is present in Samsung devices: System Memory.

    Basically, on a newly bought phone or device, with nothing installed, there will be a partition for system. Android doesn't count it under the categories listed in your screenshot. It is entirely separate. But it is counted against your total memory. A newly reset device for example will not have its entire 32GB free, it will have around 3-5GB used up ny the system, but under the used memory view in settings, it will not count against the categories listed.

    On a Samsung there are two tiers of viewing used memory. One is the screenshot I showed. To get to the stock Android categories like what you show, I have to go under 'used space'. This is because Android doesn't count itself as used space. Samsung had to add an additional layer of memory category for it to show itself as using space. My guess is, since Moto is nearly stock, it doesn't have that additional layer. Nor did LG decide to add one.

    This is probably a carry over from old versions of Android, when the on board memory used to be divided into two partitions, with the system sitting in a separate one, then counts the contents of the other partition.
    09-12-2017 07:16 AM
  6. danallenhtown's Avatar
    There is a missing category on your Motorola that is present in Samsung devices: System Memory....
    Thank you for that response, that is highly informative.

    Does that mean the entire difference between those details and the top number I see on droid turbo 2 is comprised of system memory?

    I thought memory is what RAM is for. Storage can be used to supplement RAM by using swap files when memory requirements exceed RAM. Is that anything like what is happening in the area of storage being used for system memory?


    Preliminary Hypothesis
    Based on your explanation, ti sounds to me like Andoid OS is pretty ragged in it support for accounting for storage use and that Samsung picked up some slack. Also makes me wonder if there isn't some jerk on Team Android to whom this fractured scheme for accounting for storage makes perfect sense, not realizing or caring that it makes sense only to him or her, everyone else has to do mental gymnastics or buy from one of their licensees who has improved the product. That would run about par for any software course I ever saw, including my own. I bet we could find the person I am talking about within a few minutes of walking into Team Android's work area. fwiw, I have noticed, they are not easy to contact.
    09-12-2017 07:42 AM
  7. chanchan05's Avatar
    No. RAM is different. It's for volatile memory. It's for running processes. You don't save anything to RAM. Think of it as another app. One that is 3GB in size.

    Think of it this way. You buy a laptop that has 500GB hard drive with no OS. You install Windows so it's usable. That will take up 30GB.

    So your phone has 32GB. Motorola installed Android, which took up 3GB.
    09-12-2017 08:26 AM
  8. danallenhtown's Avatar
    Google search led me to another thread on this forum and my question about what system memory is answered. System memory has nothing to do with memory, except android has redefined the term memory as it applies to computers. This exhibit tells the tale.

    Attachment 268114
    09-12-2017 09:31 AM
  9. danallenhtown's Avatar
    No. RAM is different. It's for volatile memory. It's for running processes. You don't save anything to RAM. Think of it as another app. One that is 3GB in size.

    Think of it this way. You buy a laptop that has 500GB hard drive with no OS. You install Windows so it's usable. That will take up 30GB.

    So your phone has 32GB. Motorola installed Android, which took up 3GB.
    This explanation is great, everything you have said makes complete sense and is easy to understand. If only my phone was like that....

    Up one level in the storage panels from the one I showed a few posts back, the android installation is in included as its own thing, separate from internal shared storage, that means none of the unaccounted storage in internal shared storage is for system memory.
    "Storage Does Not Add Up" Issue is A Bug And Needs To Be Fixed, Right?-more.png
    09-12-2017 09:56 AM
  10. Rukbat's Avatar
    System memory has nothing to do with memory
    "System memory" is actually "system storage" and has nothing to do with RAM. Storage isn't memory and memory isn't storage, but the cellphone world mixes the two up constantly. (See Android - Memory or Storage? - Rukbat's Ramblings )

    The problem is that in a phone, storage is actually non-volatile memory, while RAM is volatile memory, so if someone doesn't want to be exact and long-winded, we get this "why am I missing memory" or "why am I missing storage" kind of question. Most people don't know the difference, because the manufacturers advertise the amount of storage in the phone as the amount of memory. (It's the same thing with a ROM. That's actually a semiconductor device used to store things, but in the cellphone world, it also means "everything the phone comes with in storage" - which is software, not hardware.)
    09-12-2017 04:22 PM

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