Get the Most out of Your Phone Memory & SD Card

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undefinedHave you ever had to delete ten pictures just so you could take one? Or received the “Storage Almost Full” warning when you were trying to download a new app?

Smartphones have a vast amount of applications, but can’t keep up with all of our memory needs. Thankfully, there is a quick fix. You can head over to your local electronics store or shop online and purchase an SD card for additional storage space.  

Your SD card will host things like music, photos, and apps so your phone doesn’t have to. Most Android phones are equipped with an SD card slot. The iPhone requires an adapter that runs through the charging port, but can still accommodate your storage needs.

Once you max out your phone’s limited storage, you have the option to “move” certain apps over to an installed SD card. Knowing how to use your SD card in the most efficient way is important.

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Here are some of the best practices for managing your phone’s storage by itself and with an SD card:

1. Go through your photos and videos on a monthly basis. People use their photo album for a number of reasons, like taking selfies, screenshotting holiday recipes, and keeping track of expense receipts. At the end of the day, do you really need five identical photos of yourself, or the restaurant bill from your business trip six months ago? These photos have probably already served their purpose, and more than likely, you’ve completely forgotten that they are there.

On a side note, not all photos will automatically be deleted the first time around. Check if you have a “Recently Deleted” album on your phone that is storing the images you thought you got rid of. Clearing them from this album will delete them from your phone for good.  

2. Don’t just go through your photos and videos – back them up and delete them. It’s always a good idea to back up your photos every couple of months in the event of a crisis (i.e. lost phone, water damage, manual reset). You should also back up your photos and videos to free up space in your phone’s memory. Once they are safely stored away on your computer, you can delete them from your mobile device and make new memories.

3. Delete apps that you no longer utilize. Maybe you downloaded an app out of curiosity, or because a good friend said you had to try it. It’s been months and the app is still living on your phone, but you haven’t opened it since the day it was downloaded. It’s time to let it go because apps take up an immense amount of your phone’s storage. No need to fear – if you’ve made a purchase in the App Store (rather than downloading something for free), you can still change your mind and reinstall it later on.

4. Clear your internet and app caches. Your phone is a handheld computer and needs to be flushed just like your browsing history on a PC.  Navigate to “Settings” on your mobile phone and find the appropriate subcategory. Look for the icon of the web browser you use (i.e. Safari, Firefox, Chrome) or the specific application you want to clear. Social media applications like Facebook and Facebook Messenger will eat away at your phone’s memory without you even realizing it.

5. [iPhone only] Turn off iCloud drive if you don’t use it. iCloud lets you back up your contacts, photos, videos, and documents to a massive remote server, ensuring that everything is safe. Unfortunately, unless you pay for an upgrade, you’ll max out your iCloud storage quickly. If you’ve decided to back things up manually to iTunes or your computer instead, there’s no need to have iCloud drive constantly working in the background. Head over to Settings → Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store (directly underneath your name) → iCloud. Scroll down and switch the button for iCloud drive off.
Your phone will continually remind you that it’s almost out of storage space until the problem is resolved. There is no way to bypass the incessant pop-ups, you can only delay them temporarily.

Be proactive with the storage needs of your mobile phone, not reactive.

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