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Support My phone doesn't seem to be reporting internal storage space properly

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by Parrot0123, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Parrot0123

    Parrot0123 Lurker
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    I'm running Android 6 on a 3rd generation Moto G. It's not rooted.

    Internal storage reports that I'm taking up almost 4GB of space. However, when it breaks it down by type of data, the total when added up only comes up to less than 2.5GB.

    How do I figure out where the discrepancy lies here?
     

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  2. Hadron

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    Try installing an app called "Storage Truth" from the Play Store. That will give a clear idea of the sizes of your storage partitions and how much space is used on them. The system menus often try to be "friendly" (i.e. spare users the details) but end up confusing as a result.
     
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  3. Parrot0123

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    Okay, I've installed it. I think I need further instruction though, because I don't see how this is giving me any extra helpful information:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Hadron

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    It helps because the storage menus of many phones are confusing about this. Here we can see that you really are using 3.9GB of your available space, and so it's the breakdown that is incomplete, as opposed to the total including stuff that is outside your control and not part of the storage you can access (which we get quite a few examples of).

    So it doesn't tell us what the breakdown doesn't include, but without seeing that we can only guess. But the total is accurate.
     
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  5. Parrot0123

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    Okay, but what I really want to know is what's taking up this extra 1.5GB and can I get rid of any of it. Can anybody help me with that?
     
  6. Hadron

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    And without a description of the 2.5 we can't guess what the 1.5 might be.

    Your internal space is used by apps, their data (permanent and temporary - caches), perhaps by media (if you don't save them elsewhere), and maybe by other files saved by your apps (in folders in /sdcard, aka /storage/emulated/0, which is actually internal storage pretending to be a sd card). Also system apps' data, and updates to those apps, use this space. So for space saving you can clear app caches (a temporary solution, as they refill), find and delete folders left by apps that have been removed, uninstall unwanted apps (or, where you can't, clear data, uninstall updates and disable - just make sure you know that an app really isn't needed first). There is an app called "sd maid" that can be useful for finding and cleaning data that are no longer needed, but use with care: not everything it will find should be removed, so look at the results and select only stuff you know you don't need.
     
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  7. Parrot0123

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    The breakdown is 1.66GB in apps, about 500MB in pictures, 76MB in cache, and 100MB in "Other"

    There were a few more but they're negligible, measured in kilobytes.

    Shouldn't this list be able account for that 1.5GB somewhere? The size of an app's cache is included in that total. I can't see how that explains the discrepancy.
     
    #7 Parrot0123, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  8. Hadron

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    It should add up, and it does on my device but the system storage menu is something behaves differently between different manufacturers and devices, so I don't know why it doesn't here.

    How about a second opinion: there's an app called DiskUsage that can give a fairly detailed representation of how your storage is used. That may throw some light on the problem.
     
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  9. Parrot0123

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    DiskUsage breaks it down a little differently - into Apps, Media, System Data, and Free Space.

    It measures System Data at 1.9GB - I assume that accounts for the missing 1.5GB and a few of the things that Internal Storage had already accounted for as well.

    Why is there so much space allocated to System Data on the partition that doesn't contain the operating system?
     
  10. Hadron

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    The /system partition is treated as ROM: apps there are updated only via system updates, and individual system app updates and system apps' data are stored in the data partition. There's some sense in that the system partition may not have much free space, and an update may be larger than the original system, so if you tried to keep the data there too there might be a problem.

    However, I'm not sure it's that simple. Because if you look in more detail at the apps you will see system apps amongst them, so system app updates are not part of that block. I am rooted, so can look at this in a different way, but it's not clear to me what the standard "storage card" view calls "system data" because when I look at the /data partition (mostly the same space as "storage card") I don't see a group of things that add to the size of the" system data" in the other view. There's an impenetrable "system data" block in this view too, but much smaller, so some parts of what you see as system data may be related to parts of the updated system apps or their data, but it's not clear to me what (it's not system app caches, but that's all I'm certain of).
     
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