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Phone is showing storage full when it's not

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by steelpegasus, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. steelpegasus

    steelpegasus Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Last night I got a warning on my phone that the storage is full and functions may no longer work. When I looked at storage details it showed me that 70GB of storage is taken up by apps. There are 77 apps on my phone, meaning they'd have to average nearly a gigabyte each to take up this much space, and there's only one that comes anywhere close. Looking deeper, I see that "Media Storage" shows as an app taking up just over 60GB - equivalent to the actual media that's on the device. It looks like this is being counted twice (as media and as an app) causing the phone to think it's full when it's not.
    Phone details:
    Model: One Plus 9
    Android Version: Android 11
    Build Number: Oxygen OS
    Kernel Version: 5.4.61-qgki-g3cfe691
    Android Security Update: 2021-07-01

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  2. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Internal shared storage

    This will give you a breakdown of what is on the device, separate from any SD card.

    First on the list should be
    Photos and videos
    If there is much here, it should all be moved to a SD card or other storage.
    (I do this at least once a week.)

    Come back to that later.

    Scroll down and click on
    Other apps

    Then click the overflow (three dot icon) in the upper right.

    Show system

    Now all apps should be listed by size, largest first.
    (If not, click the overflow again and click on Sort by size.)

    This is a good way to see what apps are being space hogs, usually with caches- but some will also accumulate lots of data as well.

    Some are safe to clear all data, such as Google Play Services, because they will get whatever they need to work on their own.

    Others, like most apps that you have installed, will lose all personal settings if more than the cache is cleared.
    (Caches are always safe to delete.)

    Keep in mind that most apps grow over time, including system apps.

    This happens due to updates and useage.

    So, eventually your apps will grow to the point that the device starts giving you grief over it.

    At this point, you have some decisions to make.

    Do I really need this app that I like a lot but rarely use?

    How about those 10+ small but hardly used apps?

    Should I just purchase a different device with more memory capacity so that I can have all of these apps?

    I have often been in your situation, as I always have cheap devices.
    (Not that you do, but the end result is the same as far as space constraints go.)

    The best idea I have found is to keep the internal memory about 70% full at most, because this gives an ideal amount of 'breathing room".
    Apps grow and shrink as you use them, and if you make more space you will find that certain apps might grow even larger than you have ever seen them be before.

    This means that you have been hampering the app's performance by having a device that is too full.

    (Not that I am in any way a fan of apps growing large or accumulating data, but it is what it is.)

    It has taken me multiple devices to get to the point where I have what I need and still have room to make a couple 2GB downloads in a row and not immediately need to make room for them.

    So, if any of this helps, great.
    If not, then go back to the internal storage, and take screenshots of what you see and post them here.
    Madd61, Dannydet and ocnbrze like this.
  3. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    The Settings >> Storage menu does include some basic file management functionality but it's pretty rudimentary. You should think about installing a third-party file manager app. They tend to have more expansive feature sets and more elegant user interfaces. I'd suggest you look at MiXplorer or Solid (The installed MiXplorer app requires slightly less storage space than the Solid app, if you are really crunched for free storage space.)
    MiXplorer app
    Solid Explorer app
    Anyway, the Settings >> Storage menu is more about providing you with statistical data so you can see what's what. Use a file manager app to actually well, manage your files and folders. If you're seeing there's 60GB of media files, that's an indication there's a lot of photos, audio files, and/or videos saved in the internal storage. Do you have a lot accumulated photos and/or music files? Large numbers 'might' account for of that but it's also just as likely to be one or a handful of higher res video files. Those can individually require a lot of storage space.
    Madd61 and ocnbrze like this.
  4. steelpegasus

    steelpegasus Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Storage breakdown shows 68 GB of apps.
    When I click on that, set it to show system apps, I find a total of 7.3 GB of apps + 60.78 GB of "Media Storage". I've seen it stated elsewhere that "Media Storage" is a purely virtual number and doesn't actually occupy space, but here I see it included in the total storage used by apps.
    I also see 2.7 GB of photos, 57 GB of music, and .9 GB of files for a total of 60.6 GB. I assume there's some rounding error that accounts for the other .18 GB.
    That means that Media Storage is being counted twice and showing my device as full when it is not.
  5. iBowToAndroid

    iBowToAndroid Android Enthusiast

    This doesn't make any sense.

    Even if it was counting it twice, 60 + 60 = 120 GB used. If you have a 128 GB model, you're gonna have less than 120 available to you on a brand new device (or after a factory reset), after formatting and loading the operating system. If you have a 512 GB model, you shouldn't be anywhere close to being full
    ocnbrze likes this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    How much space does it say you have left?

    Screenshots might be useful here. Or you could do a quick check using something like "Storage Truth" (tiny app from the Play Store, written by one of our moderators, which gives a simple and clear view of actual storage use without the frequently confusing mess that manufacturer's storage settings produce).

    But to be honest, if the phone's OS is double counting, as opposed to this being just another poorly-designed storage settings, the only thing you can do is contact OnePlus and let them know. The phone does require a certain amount of free space, and if it thinks it doesn't have it, whether correctly or not, you will have the same problem. So let's understand the situation, but if your theory is correct it will require OnePlus to fix it.
    puppykickr and Dannydet like this.
  7. poornote

    poornote Lurker

    It is most likely your photos and videos that are taking up the space. Try moving your photos and videos to a computer and see if that frees up space for you. Good luck.
    puppykickr likes this.
  8. svim

    svim Extreme Android User


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