Android phone out of space but has plenty of space?

I have an LG Optimus V, Android 2.2.1 with a 32 gig SD card. I keep getting a Low On Space message, and if I ignore it, I become unable to send or receive texts. I have moved everything it is possible to move onto the SD card. Is there a way to move the rest? I feel silly for buying this huge card when I can’t seem to make use of it.

Some applications can’t run on the SD card and thus take up the phone’s memory. So some of the Android handsets out there can have the main phone’s memory filled up very quickly no matter how large of an SD card you have.

I believe on most handsets by default any text messages, pictures you take and things of that nature by default are stored on the handset. So if you have a few of the memory-only applications installed, have snapped a lot of photos with the phone’s camera, have received some multimedia texts and etc it’s easy for your phone’s memory to fill up.

Additionally some applications will in addition to the executable store their application files on your phone’s memory, some of these applications can generate a lot of files and thus you might have an app installed that has filled up your phone’s memory and you’re unaware of it. I’d look into your memory usage on your phone and what is taking up the space.

The big thing to keep in mind is just having a big SD card does not guarantee you anything in an Android handset. Lots of stuff will default to saving to the phone’s memory and if it fills up it will cause various parts of the phone’s operation to fail.

I have two photos and no multimedia texts. Is there a setting for where an app stores its’ data? Or a way to tell?

If you go to: “Menu” “Settings” “Applications” “Manage Applications”

Under the “Downloaded” and “All” tabs, you should see a meter showing you how much memory is used and still available in your phone’s internal memory.

The “On SD Card” tab will show the SD card usage, and the “Running” tab will show your RAM usage.

Oh, and when you say that you’ve moved things to the SD card, are you talking about apps, or stuff like music, pictures, video, etc.?

Because if you haven’t moved any apps, that’s probably what you need to do, and I recommend the free app called App2SD.

I have moved all the apps that will move to the SD card. All my music is on there too.
I have seen that power meter, but it’s not where you recommended I look, and I can’t recall where I saw it.

You might have a memory leak problem. On my Android tablet I will stop Apps I’m not using or restart the tablet when it becomes sluggish. My tablet uses Android 2.3.

There are also various memory cleaner apps in the android market.

This stuff really takes me back. I remember issues like this in the Apple II and mainframe days.

Hmm, you must have one of those non-standard versions of Android. Well, if you go to “Menu” “Settings” “Storage”, that should at least tell you how much space your internal memory has left, but there’s no meter there. (at least on mine, which is running standard Gingerbread 2.34)

If you can’t figure anything out, or find how much free internal memory you have, you should try rebooting your phone.

At least on mine, that’s accomplished by pressing and holding the power/screen-off button, and selecting “Turn off” in the menu that appears. Once the phone has fully shut down, make sure you aren’t plugged in to power/USB and then remove the battery for a few seconds.

It could be (as JoelUpchurch alluded to above) that you aren’t running low on internal or external ROM, but you are running low on RAM, in which case rebooting should probably solve your issue, at least for a while. If this is the case, you should take a look at “Menu” “Settings” “Applications” “Manage Applications” “Running” and see if there are any apps that are running all the time that you can get rid of.

You may also have files downloaded through the browser. Open the browser and check “Downloads” in the menu, and delete files you don’t need anymore.

You can also use a file manager app to look for any obvious unnecessary files you may have lying around. (E.g. data files left by an app you’ve since deleted.)

  1. The Optimus V is a very basic android phone. It has 512MB of internal storage, but most of it is taken by the Android OS itself, so there’s only about 150MB of free space left for apps. Just 3 or 4 large-ish apps can fill that space in no time.

  2. In all android devices the internal storage is formatted as EXT2/EXT3 which is a unix filesystem while the SD is formatted as FAT32. So the apps cannot be moved to the SD because the internal and external storage are incompatible. In android 2.2 and later there is the so-called app2sd option which gives you the option to move part of the app to SD. Not all apps support this and those that do cannot move the whole app to sd, just part of it. For a phone with just 150MB of storage, app2sd isn’t helping much.

  3. The only way to overcome this and use your SD in a meaningful way is to split the SD in two partitions, one EXT3 and the rest as FAT32. Then the phone will see the internal storage and the EXT3 partition on the SD as a single storage. But to do this you have to “root” your phone and install a custom ROM that is capable of taking advantage of an EXT3 partition on the SD. Here on xda-developers you can find detailed instructions on how to do it, along with various custom ROMs that you can choose from.

Note that this is not for the faint-hearted, it requires several steps and possibly the installation of Android SDK (which in itself is not for the faint-hearted either). When you are finished the phone might be a bit slower because it needs more time to access the apps from the sd compared to the internal storage.

I have done the same process on my HTC Desire because it also has only 150MB of free space for apps. Next time I am going to buy a phone that has at least 8GB of internal storage. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have been battling this on my Android (HTC Evo) and frankly am fed up with how difficult it is to manage. You do have to be careful how you go about it. I have captured the wisdom I have found in one place… This worked for me, but I’d caution folks to be VERY careful and do their research (as to not end up where others who have posted on this string):

One more thing - RE: eliminating the contacts bug… Two things:

  1. Your contacts need to be synced to Gmail for this to work from what I know. I save all my contacts to my Gmail account, not to my phone (it is a choice on my evo when you create a contact).
  2. Once you sync then delete your contacts to deal with the contacts bug, it takes about 24 hours for your contacts to build from your Gmail contacts. It was annoying, but my Contacts came back much smaller.

Good luck! Other experts - would love your thoughts on this post, and the blog entry, and anything you’d add/change.

Lots of good advice up above. If none of that works for you, you might try a Master Reset. Basically, reformat your phone back to factory condition. This can cure some memory issues. Of course make sure you back everything up, first.

If the problem really is that you just don’t have much memory (which can happen on lower-priced phones), you just have to live with it or get a new phone. I like to play with a phone in the store before committing to it, and I always check the Available Storage. If there isn’t at least 500 MB available for app storage when you buy it, you’ll face the possibility of running low.

Also - you can’t go by the spec sheet! Ignore the storage that the specs tell you is in there. That doesn’t tell you how much of it is already consumed by bloatware that you can’t delete. Go into the settings and check it yourself.