How to survive with a low internal memory smartphone

low memory device

[blockquote right=”pull-left”]
[/blockquote]One of the factors that makes a smartphone pricey now days is its internal memory. The dynamics are simple, a 4 , 8 or 16 GB internal memory smartphone will be way cheaper than a 32GB or 64 gig device. The most annoying thing about low memory smartphones is that a month or so after buying it you start getting low memory warning messages. “ Buying a device with little internal storage space is like moving to the desert. Can you live comfortably in a dry desert? You can, but it’s not easy. Here is our ultimate survival guide to getting by with minimal internal storage.

Your biggest enemy

Yes, you guessed right, its Media. This takes up vast amounts of storage space, and the higher the quality, the more it will take. High-resolution video is particularly vicious, but music and image files occupy vital space too. Also be keen on the apps you download from the app store as they can vary wildly from a couple of megabytes up to around 8 GB in the case of a game like Final Fantasy IX. So what do we recommend you to do?

First, you may wish to limit the quality or resolution of these files. For the few who opt for streaming music, most of those apps let you choose the quality of audio which is downloaded (and who can even hear the difference between 128 and 320 kbps when traveling anyway?)

FROM OUR SPONSOR- Continue for more content

And most camera apps and software allow you to change the size and resolution of images. Remember, the lower the number of pixels, the less storage space they will require.

How to survicve low memory_1

Some UIs make it easy for you to view file sizes – if you go to Settings > Apps, you can see file sizes easily. Others may require you to go to download an additional file explorer such as ES File Explorer, which can be useful for helping you manage all kinds of files.  Google Play generally makes it quite easy to understand how large files are (there is a size category on their store page) but you can find out for yourself too.


If you just want to view images on your phone or a low-resolution monitor, reduce the number of pixels that your phone snaps with.

Store your items Effectively

If you own an iPhone this where things go bad for you, as iPhones don’t support external storage. For those with Android phones that support external storage, this is for you, your microSD card is a backpack. This is your extra space for carrying what won’t fit in your coat pockets. You can assign your microSD Card to store certain kinds of files, such as images, videos, and even some app data. Just note that not all Android phones support them.

You can do this periodically by going to Settings > Storage and tapping Transfer data to SD card (the process will be similar no matter which Android device you own). It’s a convenient one-tap solution. Alternatively, you can move the data of individual apps to your SD card by going to settings > apps > [insert app name] > move to SD card. Not all apps have this functionality, but it can save some precious megabytes.

How to survicve low memory_2


Please note that MicroSD cards don’t act like normal storage (though this will change on some devices with Android 6.0 Marshmallow). So before you buy a device, don’t go into it believing you can buy a 16 GB card, add it to your 8 GB internal memory and voila, a 22 GB device. Make sure you know what size SD card your phone can handle, too. The best way to find this out is to refer to your owner’s manual or look online.


Embrace the Cloud

Whenever I used to think of the cloud the first thing that came on my mind was data hog. But with the benefits it comes with especially if your keep changing smartphones, it starts to become a necessary evil. Think of the cloud not as a cloud but as a cave. This is a vast space outside of your phone that can come in gigantic sizes. Cloud services are everywhere now, and they can hold many types of files and data.

There are pitfalls of using cloud storage, of course. There are concerns over privacy and security, not to mention what happens if your chosen cloud company closes shop. One would trust storing their information on Apple, Google or Microsoft based cloud solutions. But you have to look at the packages each service each gives before you commit. Google Photos, iCloud or drop box come in handy


WhatsApp is your number one enemy – a magnificent creature and your best friend, until it turns on you. All of the files you send and which are sent to you are held in your device’s memory, and this is always filling up.

You can use a WhatsApp setting to automatically backup this content to Google Drive, meaning you can delete it from your device periodically, or assign that folder to be backed up into Google photos by going to Google settings > Google photos backup > Choose folders to backup and selecting WhatsApp images and WhatsApp video.

Final thoughts

As you might have read, there’s no real secret here, just be sensible about how you use your device. Uninstall the apps you don’t need and assign automatic backups to files you want to keep (and remember to delete from your phone once you’re done plus only use WiFi when backing up).

You should also know that a phone you want that comes with 16 GB of internal storage space doesn’t actually give you 16 GB of usable internal storage space. In reality, it’s more likely to come with between 11 and 12 GB, as the article at the link explains.

So, do you have any tips for surviving the perilous conditions associated with low storage space? Let us know in the comments below.


Image Credit: