How to free up storage space on your smartphone

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(Source: Kheng Ho Toh and Guido Vrola via 123RF) (Source: Kheng Ho Toh and Guido Vrola via 123RF)

Q: There’s got to be a better way to keep me from constantly running out of room on my smartphone.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
A: Storage on any electronic device is like a refrigerator; no matter how big it is, it always seems to fill up.
Android users have much more flexibility because they can install an SD card that can double, triple or even quadruple the total storage.
Because iPhone users don’t have this expansion option, a little more discipline is required.
Apple charges a huge premium for additional space, which causes so many to choose the smallest option.
A good chunk of the iPhone's storage (2 to 3 GBs) is taken up by the operating system, which you can't do anything about.  Roughly 15 to 20 percent of a 16GB device is taken before you load your first app or song or take your first picture.
Start by looking at "Usage" in the Settings menu of your device. That will show you how your storage is being used.
Review all the apps you have loaded to determine which ones you don’t need.  Statistical usage data suggests that most of us spend 80 percent of our time in five apps or fewer. Uninstall anything you aren’t using.
Most apps don't take up a lot of space, but if you've been "app happy" removing a large number of unused apps can make a dent.
Next, review your pictures and videos. Videos, in particular, can eat up large chunks of space; a two-minute video can take as much space as 80 to 100 HD photos.
If you care about them, transfer the videos to your computer or to an online storage service so you can delete them from your phone. If you take a video that didn’t come out all that great, get into the habit of deleting it right away.
Digital photography is great because you can take pictures with reckless abandon and delete the ones you don't like. The problem is most of us never get around to doing that.
If you take a lot of pictures, you could have thousands of images stored on your phone, many of them duplicates that you may not even care about anymore.
Make sure your phone is making proper use of its associated cloud-storage option (iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox, etc.) which allows you to free up space on your phone. Google Photos now offers a free unlimited storage option that can be used by both iPhone and Android users.
If you're a music fanatic, it's quite easy to fill your phone up with new music, especially if you aren't rotating off older songs on a regular basis.
If you're on an unlimited data plan or can connect to Wi-Fi pretty readily, you might want to consider using one of the many streaming music services as a way to fulfill your music addiction.
One last area that most people forget -- text messages.  Messages that included photos or videos can take up a significant amount of space, so make sure you transfer them to your camera roll or delete them so they don't become invisible space killers

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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