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Low storage warning on J5 (2015 model)

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Gallopinhairpin, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Gallopinhairpin

    Thread Starter

    My wife's J5 has recently started popping up the low storage warning. I've installed a 32GB SD card and moved all the image files on to it although it turned out they only amounted to 30MB. The phone won't transfer videos nor will it record videos to the SD card. However she only has a couple of short videos stored amounting to about 95MB.

    I've repeatedly tried clearing the cache and she's deleted all the old email messages in the Trash folder and all her old SMS messages but this only frees up about 300 MB and only resolves the problem for a few days before it returns and causes the phone to stop picking up new emails.

    This model only has 8GB of memory in the phone itself and most of that is occupied by the system (3.35GB) and apps (4.06GB). The only apps over and above those that came pre-installed are Firefox, DuckDuckGo, WhatsApp and Avast free anti-virus. I've tried to uninstall some unwanted apps but they are just marked disabled and still occupy memory.

    I've been looking into rooting the phone so I can completely remove some of the unwanted pre-installed apps but I'm in uncharted territory and very nervous about removing something vital so I'd be most grateful for any advice on whether this is the right way to tackle this problem and if so what pre-installed apps definitely need to be kept (such as the likes of Google Play).

  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Have you tried uninstalling updates from the unwanted pre-installed apps? Pre-installed apps generally live in the /system partition, so don't use space in the /data partition (the bit of storage that's available to you), but their updates do occupy the /data partition. Of course this may depend on the Android version, e.g. on my current phone I do not have that option for apps like Chrome (which I keep disabled). I would make sure that storage is cleared for all unwanted apps.

    Have you checked the browser app's caches (as opposed to system cache)? Browsers easily end up caching hundreds of MB, though as you note clearing caches is a temporary solution.

    You could try moving some of the user-installed apps to SD if that is an option, but from what you say that's not likely to save you more than a few hundred MB of storage.

    For rooting, I'm not a Samsung expert so can't really advise, except to note that it will depend on which country you are in and whether the phone is locked to a carrier and if so which (some lock the software down more than others). Others will have to advise on that.

    The best solution is not to have an 8GB phone, to be honest. I considered that inadequate storage even back in 2012, and am disgusted that manufacturers continued to sell such inadequate devices to the unwary public. Especially Samsung, who are not noted for being restrained in the amount of crap they pre-install.
    Dannydet likes this.
  3. Gallopinhairpin

    Thread Starter

    Thanks for responding. I've spent a bit more time playing around with the phone and found a way, within the Storage reporting app, to clear both cache and app data for most of the apps. I've also disabled a few more of the pre-installed apps that will never be used. On this phone there is only the option to Force Stop or Disable. When using Disable it asks if I want to put the app back to 'Factory' and when I select yes it reports 'Uninstalling' but the app remains in the list, albeit with substantially less storage used. This seems to be quite misleading and poorly thought out. There are a few apps where, although the Disable button is present and not greyed out, it doesn't respond when tapped. I haven't found any way to move apps to the SD card but did find a few more image files in the DCIM folder of the device and moved them.

    Anyway, by these methods I have managed to free up just over 900MB so we'll see how long that lasts and I won't dive into rooting just yet. I agree with you that 8GB is a ridiculously small memory size. My own S5 is also quite small by modern standards at 16GB but since I don't load it up with lots of apps it hasn't presented any problems. I've tried to impress on SWMBO that it's false economy buying a budget phone but she will always tend to skimp on these things unfortunately. My phone is still perfectly usable after 5 years whereas she is now having to think about upgrading. :rolleyes:
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Actually it is doing what it says, though it could have been spelled out a bit more. "Putting the app back to factory" means uninstalling updates to the app, leaving just the copy in /system (i.e. the original version the phone would have come with). So the "uninstalling" is correct, in that it is uninstalling the copy that's in the normal app storage space, it's just that in this case there is another copy in the system which it cannot uninstall.

    But hey, at least it asks you: these days Google seem so sure that they know better than you do that they don't even ask, e.g. I still have 79MB of Chrome, 32MB of GMail, 30 MB of Android Auto etc after disabling all of those apps - they just assume that I'll want to keep the last update even when I'm telling them I don't want the app at all (arrogantly assuming they know what you want is very much Google's way of working).
    Gallopinhairpin likes this.

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