1. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    Hi Android Experts -

    I'm a technie in some non-Android product areas, but I know little to nothing about Android (I have a phone with a different OS). I'm trying to help my girlfriend (an utter non-techie) free up storage on her Huawei Honor.

    Her phone had about 1/2 GB of free storage when I started looking at it, and eventually I found that she had downloaded dozens of youtube videos, taking up a total of over 10GB of storage (!!). I had her delete a couple dozen of these videos, but she still has only 1/2 GB free. In other words, deleting a significant number of the videos seems to have freed up zero storage.

    I've googled for "recycle bin" and "trash can", thinking that needed to be emptied, but found that Android does not have such a feature.

    I'm sure that I'm overlooking something that is glaringly obvious to all of you, but I suspect that this must be a very-well known problem that is escaping my internet search skills.

    I humbly ask for guidance on this topic and gratefully thank you in advance!

    - NAU

    P.S. Troubleshooting is a painful way of learning a new OS, LOL!
    09-28-2019 10:56 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Unfortunately, it can be tricky to help without seeing some screenshots of the storage menu, to determine what's actually taking up space. Would that be possible? http://forums.androidcentral.com/gen...d-central.html
    09-28-2019 01:14 PM
  3. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    B. Diddy -

    Thanks for the reply.

    It will take me a few days for me to provide a screenshot because the phone isn't currently within reach.
    09-28-2019 01:22 PM
  4. Rukbat's Avatar
    Or just have her restart the phone, then recheck the free storage.
    09-28-2019 04:59 PM
  5. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    Or just have her restart the phone, then recheck the free storage.
    Rukbat, that's a great suggestion, and I am guilty of not stating earlier that the owner has powered the phone off and on several times, and it did not change the amount of free space.
    10-07-2019 04:02 PM
  6. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Unfortunately, it can be tricky to help without seeing some screenshots of the storage menu, to determine what's actually taking up space. Would that be possible? http://forums.androidcentral.com/gen...d-central.html
    I finally have some screenshots. I'm not sure whether I can post them all in one reply, so I will post the screen shots in several replies.

    My analysis of the storage screens is that Android is taking 5.59/16GB and that apps are taking 9.21/16GB. Of course, these two add up to 14.8 GB. Cached Data and Images are taking approx another GB.

    Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-screenshot_2019-10-04-15-57-24.jpgNewb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-screenshot_2019-10-07-12-32-03.jpg


    More screenshots to come in a few minutes.
    10-07-2019 04:10 PM
  7. B. Diddy's Avatar
    The minor discrepancy may have to do with how the storage capacity is being reported -- the might be mixing up decimal and binary: Why is my drive showing a smaller capacity than stated - Centon.com
    10-07-2019 04:25 PM
  8. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    And, here are screenshots that show the storage used by each app. I tried inserting these screen shots at images, but it seems that they are attachments instead. I hope they are viewable...

    The two biggest app users of storage are youtube (4B) and email (1.43GB).

    If I had just started looking at the phone today, my conclusion would be that there are simply too many apps and too much app data on this phone, and that the user either has to get a phone with more storage, or use the SD card (I haven't figured out how to do that so far) or delete some apps. A couple things bother me about this conclusion, though, and I have a question/observation):

    1. my iphone has more apps (of a similar nature (youtube, two email apps, etc) and a few photos and vidoes saved, and I still have a couple of GB free. I realize that this is only a very gross comparison because we don't have the exact, same apps install and we don't have the exact, same amount of app data stored.

    2. The user deleted a few dozen youtube videos prior to taking these screen captures. Unfortunately, I did not take screen shots prior to deleting those videos, but my recollection is that youtube was consuming 12 GB at that time. But, that's impossible, isn't it, given the space taken by other apps? Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but I know for a fact that the user deleted 2-3 dozen videos and gained no free storage. If you like, I can have her delete another dozen and take another screenshot.

    3. A few of the apps seem to be taking more space than 'they should'. In the IOS world, some apps tend to grow and grow over time (and, not just due to updates), and to free up the storage it's necessary to uninstall and re-install the app. If the same is true of Android apps, then a few 100MBs could be freed up by re-installing 2-3 of these apps. Comparing these Android app sizes with the sizes of the same apps on my IOS device, my suspects are: Google, Facebook, Yahoo Mail, and maybe 1-2 others. But, freeing up 200-300MB of storage is simply rearranging deck chairs....

    4. Some of the messaging (Messenger and WhatsApp) apps are taking up a 'suspicious' amount of storage, but freeing up that space is a bit painful. The owner has many months' worth of messages, some including photos, which she wants to save. She has been 'saving' them in the messaging apps, and going through dozens or hundreds of messages to decide what to save is a lot of work, and it doesn't appear that messaging is the primary storage-hog.

    5. I have been reluctant to take the route of moving items to the SD card, although I realize that may be the ultimate solutions. My reluctance is due to: i. that's another area of Android that I would have to learn. I put a few minutes into googling this topic a couple weeks ago and learned that there are various ways of configuring the SD card (I felt myself getting sucked into a vortex of complexity; ii. the user's son, a techie, configured her phone, cloud storage, SD card, etc, and I don't know enough Android to be able to figure out any of this configuration. The son will become accessible eventually, but not at this time, unfortunately. IOW, I've been hoping to fix the storage problem without inadvertently breaking something else.

    Anyhow, I've not posted all of the screen shots that I've taken. If there are other screen shots that would be useful, please let me know.

    I hope that I am overlooking something about user storage management that is painfully obvious to you Android gurus.

    P.S. BTW, I'm not an IOS fanboy. If I had to replace my iPhone today, I would buy an Android.
    Attached Thumbnails Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-amazonmusic.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-clock.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-files.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-googleplaybooks.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-googletexttospeech.jpg  

    Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-maps.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-provisioning-message.jpg   Newb question: Deleting downloaded files doesn't free up storage.  Please help.-themes.jpg  
    10-07-2019 04:41 PM
  9. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    I should have mentioned that I did not take all of the screenshots at the same time. I took a few screenshots, then realized hours later that I needed more, and I had the owner take more screenshots. The numbers didn't change by much, though.
    10-07-2019 04:43 PM
  10. B. Diddy's Avatar
    1. my iphone has more apps (of a similar nature (youtube, two email apps, etc) and a few photos and vidoes saved, and I still have a couple of GB free. I realize that this is only a very gross comparison because we don't have the exact, same apps install and we don't have the exact, same amount of app data stored.
    Which iPhone do you have, and what is the total storage it comes with? A 16 GB iPhone probably has 1-2 GB more free storage available to the user compared to a 16 GB Samsung phone, since there tends to be more bloatware on a Samsung (apps from Samsung and the carrier that you can't remove)

    2. The user deleted a few dozen youtube videos prior to taking these screen captures. Unfortunately, I did not take screen shots prior to deleting those videos, but my recollection is that youtube was consuming 12 GB at that time. But, that's impossible, isn't it, given the space taken by other apps? Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but I know for a fact that the user deleted 2-3 dozen videos and gained no free storage. If you like, I can have her delete another dozen and take another screenshot.
    Difficult to answer, since we can't see the actual storage numbers involved. It probably wasn't 12 GB -- maybe 1.2 GB? If she has an SD card installed, some of that may have been app cache or data that was stored on the SD card.

    4. Some of the messaging (Messenger and WhatsApp) apps are taking up a 'suspicious' amount of storage, but freeing up that space is a bit painful. The owner has many months' worth of messages, some including photos, which she wants to save. She has been 'saving' them in the messaging apps, and going through dozens or hundreds of messages to decide what to save is a lot of work, and it doesn't appear that messaging is the primary storage-hog.
    Saving messages can start to take up a ton of space. There can be thousands and thousands of messages, with associated photos, so that all takes up space. It's really up to the user, but if the phone doesn't have much storage space, then purging messages or using a backup method is something she'd need to consider.

    5. I have been reluctant to take the route of moving items to the SD card, although I realize that may be the ultimate solutions. My reluctance is due to: i. that's another area of Android that I would have to learn. I put a few minutes into googling this topic a couple weeks ago and learned that there are various ways of configuring the SD card (I felt myself getting sucked into a vortex of complexity; ii. the user's son, a techie, configured her phone, cloud storage, SD card, etc, and I don't know enough Android to be able to figure out any of this configuration. The son will become accessible eventually, but not at this time, unfortunately. IOW, I've been hoping to fix the storage problem without inadvertently breaking something else.
    The SD card is best used for storage of media (music, photos, videos), which should offload at least some of the internal storage. But you always need to keep in mind that SD cards can corrupt or fail more easily than onboard storage, so never rely on the SD card as the sole storage for this data. Always make sure it's backed up or synced somewhere on a regular basis.
    10-07-2019 04:55 PM
  11. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    B. Diddy, thank you for the quick reply, Sir!!

    I forgot to mention this, but my iPhone is a 5S, with 16GB of storage, the same as my friend's Huawei Android. So, I was using the two devices for a gross comparison.

    I did not know that about bloatware. Thanks for mentioning it!

    So, my conclusion is that the user needs to delete 2-3 GB of youtube videos or move those videos to SD, which will leave her with enough margin to be able to continue to use this device for another ~year, assuming she doesn't install any more apps. Secondly, maybe 1GB could be freed up in the Email app. The other areas seem to be much higher hang fruit.

    Does that make sense?
    10-07-2019 05:07 PM
  12. B. Diddy's Avatar
    That might help, but if she uses YouTube a lot, that storage starts to build up again quickly. See the tips in this guide about maximizing storage: [GUIDE] Android Storage Memory and How to Deal with Insufficient Storage Warnings - Android Forums at AndroidCentral.com. In general, a 16 GB phone is actually too small for the average user these days -- 32 GB is the bare minimum, and most people who want to install a lot of the popular apps these days should probably have at least 64 GB of internal storage.
    10-07-2019 05:09 PM
  13. nonAndroidUser's Avatar
    That might help, but if she uses YouTube a lot, that storage starts to build up again quickly. See the tips in this guide about maximizing storage: [GUIDE] Android Storage Memory and How to Deal with Insufficient Storage Warnings - Android Forums at AndroidCentral.com. In general, a 16 GB phone is actually too small for the average user these days -- 32 GB is the bare minimum, and most people who want to install a lot of the popular apps these days should probably have at least 64 GB of internal storage.
    That's great advice WRT today's storage needs.

    As a techie, I'm able to keep my iPhone 5S limping along by frequently checking Storage, occasionally re-installing an app, and not storing much data (including videos) on the phone.

    I've determined that my friend does not actually need to download youtube videos. She has been downloading youtube vids as a way of saving them for later viewing, although wifi will always be available to her for viewing them. I've advised her that she can use the Watch Later youtube feature for this purpose.

    As a complete non-technie, of course she has been using the phone as though she has unlimited storage.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    10-07-2019 05:20 PM

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