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Support Can't free up space with Google Photos

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by simpler, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. simpler

    simpler Member
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    My Samsung Galaxy S4 has become very crowded lately. It's a struggle to download and install updates to my apps, and as for new apps - forget it. I am constantly clearing all the caches I can find, including the system cache. All the apps that can be moved to the SD card are there already. My music is on the external SD card. All the ebooks I can send back to the cloud I've sent there. I've uninstalled 4 or 5 less-used apps. There's only one thing left for me to do: get my photos and downloaded images off my phone, and keep them where I can still get to them.

    So I installed Google Photos and backed up my pictures to it. But when I hit the Free Up Space button, Photos always tells me there's nothing to remove. I've even uninstalled and reinstalled Google Photos. Same problem. The Help pages in Photos tell me to sign in, but I can't find Sign In anywhere in Photos, even when Photos tells me I'm not signed in (and if I'm not signed un, how come I can see my photos?) I've synced all the Google apps I can sync, and I've tried to find a way to sign out of Gmail so I can sign back in, but there seems to be no way to sign out of Gmail (or Photos).

    Full disclosure: I still have Dropbox, just in case that might help.

    Would removing the photos manually from my phone help, or would it make matters worse?

    I'm at my wits' end.
     

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  2. Dannydet

    Dannydet Android Expert
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    Google photos store the images in the cloud, so that's what your seeing, they are not residing on the phone.
    To double check this, use a file explorer and look for the images in all folders on the phone.
     
  3. simpler

    simpler Member
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    "Google Photos stores the images in the cloud"

    So it should be. I want the images IN the cloud and OFF my device.
     
    #3 simpler, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  4. simpler

    simpler Member
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    I don't know how to edit what I've posted, but in a nutshell:

    Photos says "Backup complete."

    I tap "Free up space" or "Free up device storage."

    Photos says "No items to remove from device."

    How can this be fixed?
     
  5. Dannydet

    Dannydet Android Expert
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    It's simply telling you that it ran it's backup, and there's nothing on your device to remove...
    You can't remove what isn't there.
    All good.
    Device is clean as far as photos.
    There is no fix required.
    End.
     
  6. simpler

    simpler Member
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    It may be the end for you, but it's not the end for this question. I followed the directions given on this Web page to a T:

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article...droid-device-and-retain-them-on-google-drive/

    and Photos still says there's nothing to remove. Meanwhile the photos are still in Gallery (a stock app), Settings tells me there's only about 600MB of free space, and I can't download a file explorer app because there's not enough space to install ANY new app.
     
  7. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Android Expert
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    Not sure why it's not deleting them from your phone like it should, I've never tried so honestly don't even know if that function works.

    Sign into Google Photo on a laptop/PC, not your phone, and make sure all your pictures/videos etc. are there. If they are then delete them manually from your phone, if you are wary then just do one or two and make sure it's working (but it will).

    edit: I mean delete one and re-sync, it should still be on Photos but not your phone. It has always worked for me but it never hurts to make sure ;)
     
    #7 Clementine_3, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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  8. simpler

    simpler Member
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    Thanks. I'll try that. I've taken a "dummy" picture to experiment with.
     
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  9. simpler

    simpler Member
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    OK, here I am in an Internet café and I'm about to log into Google. Only one thing: if I delete a photo manually from Gallery, doesn't it mean that the next time I back up and sync with Photos the photo I've deleted will not be there?

    Since my last post I cleared the data in photos and backed it (them?) up again. With Wifi, no less. Still the same problem. I am SO frustrated. God help anyone who crosses my path.

    Looks like my "dummy" photo is gone. So I'll take another one.

    ETA: I've opened Google Photos on the public computer, deleted one image (the title page of an ebook) on my phone, refreshed the Photos page on the PC, and the TP is still there. On the PC there are no menu items "Back up & sync" or "Free up space." So now I'll take a look at the Photos page on my phone.

    The Photos page says "Backup complete" so let's see - the images aren't all loaded yet ...

    No, Pink and White Tyranny is still on the Photos page, but off Gallery. Now let's see if I can cautiously remove another image ...

    Now I think I'll remove another TP from Gallery, and look for it on Photos on my phone ... "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" is still on Photos, and so is the jack o'lantern picture I deleted manually from Gallery.


    I still don't know why Free Up Space isn't working, but now I have something to go on.
     
    #9 simpler, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  10. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Just curious but approximately just how large is your photo library collection? A few hundred photos? A few thousand? More? If it is just a few thousand it will be quite sizable but at some point you might want to stop fixating on your photos as taking up all your storage memory. Videos will take up a lot of space for instance. Other things to look into is your music/audio library. Another thing to consider is if you've been installing and uninstalling a lot of apps over the years, have you just been using the 'Uninstall' button or have you also been tapping the 'Clear data' button before 'Uninstall'? If the former there's going to be lot of old, unnecessary settings and config files taking up space in the /data partition, the singular place in your phone's internal storage where all your personal data resides.
    Also, don't bother wiping the system cache, it has its own dedicated system partition, and it's completely separate from the app caches stored in /data. Clearing the system cache will have no effect at all freeing up space in that user data partition because the system partitions are distinctly kept separate from the user data space. And for the most part, clearing caches, be it the system cache or your app caches, is generally a maintenance issue to address some kind of functional problem. Dumping caches otherwise isn't really even a practical, short term fix to free up space as the apps need their caches to function. You can dump the app caches as often as you wish but they just get rebuilt as soon as the apps are used again.
    Maybe try using this 'DiskUsage' app from the Play Store. It can show you a graphical representation of what's on your internal storage memory and maybe you can find some unwanted stuff just taking up space
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.diskusage&hl=en
    If you do find some stuff to clear out, try using 'My Files', the basic file manager app Samsung includes as its default file manager. it will be in your App menu. If you need something more capable, take a look at 'File Expert' a third-party file manager app with a really good, extensive feature set.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xcxin.filexpert&hl=en
     
  11. simpler

    simpler Member
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    No time to talk much tonight but the I have 118 images in Gallery and slightly more in Photos.
     
  12. Rachael Alice

    Rachael Alice Member
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    When complete your backup then is show option for free space for your phone.
     
  13. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    That's a relatively modest number of photos. Just an anecdotal reference point but there just over 2000 images in my DCIM folder, and that's taking up about 1GB of space on my microSD card. Why not just migrate your photo storage folder to your microSD card and then focus on just what is taking up all your S4's internal storage space?
     
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  14. simpler

    simpler Member
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    Don't know how to migrate my photos to my micro SD card, because the stock My Files app shows the DCIM folder empty. But since I have Dropbox on my phone, I just opened a non-Google Dropbox account and am cautiously migrating my photos and other graphic files to Dropbox.
     
  15. simpler

    simpler Member
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    OK, here I am again about a year later with the exact same problem, only now I have a Galaxy S5 and a ton of photos from a trip abroad. My internal drive is so gunked up that it will not let me download another app, so forget third-party app solutions.

    So once more with feeling (i.e. desperation), I ask: How do I get my photos off my device while keeping them in Photos and/or Drive and/or Dropbox?

    I still don't have a PC of my own tho I can access Drive on a PC in an Internet café. I don'tknow about Photos.

    I also have a new LG GPad X2 tablet, but not much experience with it. For one thing, it's a royal pain to type on, so I'd assumed I'll use it only for reading ebooks and watching streaming video.
     
  16. Rian Wouters

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    I have the exact same issue with myour Samsung j3. Everything backed up but refuses to free up the device images.
    Really! Wonder why Google cant solve it.
     
  17. simpler

    simpler Member
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    I'm bumping this thread because I'm desperate for a solution. Nothing works! I've done all the cache-clearing I can, moved every app I can move to the SD card, even deleted a few apps I do use (or used before I deleted them). Please, please, is there any solution?
     
  18. Stryker59

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    My problem is a little bit different. I have uploaded all the pictures in my Gallery app, which came with the phone, to Google Photos. My backup is complete. In the past, all I had to do was click free up space and it would remove the images from the phones internal storage. Now I'm getting the message: "Can't free up space Use free up space when items are backed up and can be removed from your device." Here's the problem: Google Photos at the top of the screen above the pictures shows "Backup complete." Appears to be a bug.
     

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