How to Free Up Phone Memory in Lumia / Windows Phone

windows 10 logo iconWhile Windows Phone devices come with plenty of inbuilt storage, with 8GB being a standard (except for Lumia 530 which comes with 4GB of inbuilt storage), the space still fills up pretty fast. If you’re using a budget friendly Windows Phone device, changes are that you’re already running out of phone storage or are just on the verge of doing so. Microsoft has constantly worked on storage issues of Windows Phone and Windows Phone 8.1 offers some ways to free up space on the phone

Check What is Eating up Space on your Phone

Your Windows Phone automatically notifies you when you’re running out of storage space on your phone, but that can also be done manually to check what data is using how much memory of your phone. To do that,

  1. Swipe left from the home/start screen to navigate to the app list.
  2. Tap/Open Storage Sense

storage sense wp8

Storage Sense is the only app you need to manage the storage on your Windows Phone. The first view shows how much of a drive’s storage is used up and how much is still available. Further tapping on a drive (Phone Memory or SD Card) will initiate the scanning process and the app will take a couple of minutes to calculate where your storage space is being used. Once the scanning is finished, you’ll be shown how much storage space is taken by each category (apps, music, videos, podcasts, maps; etc) of data.

Freeing up Space on the Phone

Once you’ve figured out what is eating up storage space of your phone, the next step is to delete excess and unnecessary data to free up some space on the phone. However, Windows Phone does not allow you to access and delete whatever you want to. Following are the possible ways of freeing up space on the phone.


This sections includes the apps and games that you’ve installed on your Windows Phone. You can determine how much storage space a particular app is using and then delete some of the huge apps/games which you no longer need. Alternatively, most of the apps and nearly all of the games can be moved to the SD card (provided your phone supports expansion via SD card). Plus you can also configure the phone to always install new apps to the SD Card. Read: How to Move Windows Phone Apps to MicroSD Memory Card.

Music & Videos

Any storage consumed by music files (generally MP3 format files) stored in your phone memory are accumulated under the Music category. Similarly, any video files (in supported formats) on the internal storage are counted under the Videos category. Storage sense only shows how much space such files are taking on your phone with no way to directly manage them. You can tap Manage to shoot up the default Music Player or Video Player to delete the files that you no longer need. Or alternatively, browse the file system using a File Manager or connect your phone to a PC to delete the files or move them to the SD card.

Photos & Podcasts

Quite simply, the size of photos stored in the inbuilt storage of your phone is shown here. Using the Photos app, you can either delete some of the unnecessary photos or move them to the SD card by bulk selecting them and choosing Save to SD card. You can then delete the former to make some space. You can also use a File Manager app to easily move photos or folders to the SD card.

Email+messaging, Documents, Downloads and Maps

Email+messaging – Depending on your settings, email storage might be eating up some good amount of storage. You can reduce this by keeping emails for lesser duration and setting the phone to not to download images automatically. Similarly for the messaging, delete the unnecessary text messages to make sure they do not eat a lot of space.

Documents – Generally the txt, word, excel and powerpoint files present on your phone memory. These can be managed using the Office app.

Downloads – Anything downloaded from the web and stored in the Downloads folder gets accumulated here. You can use a File Manager to move them to the SD card, transfer them to a PC or simply delete.

Maps – Offline Maps data stored on the phone’s memory are calculated here. Gerally, it is a good idea to keep maps stored on the phone for offline use, but you can delete them if you need the storage space to store something else. Maps cannot be moved to the SD card unless deliberately enabled by the OEM.

Temporary Files

These files are created for temporary purposes such as the offline cache stored by Internet Explorer or raw file created by camera before processing the image and saving it to the folder. Temporary Files are cleared automatically, but you can also delete them manually. Clearing temporary files should not affect the normal functioning of the phone.

System & Other

System – These are the Windows install files which are needed for the phone to function normally. As such, you cannot access or delete these files. However, in some cases, the System may go up taking a lot of space and unfortunately only a hard reset can free up extra space consumed by the System. Windows Phone also keeps on deleting unnecessary files from the System when the free storage becomes low.

Other – Other generally includes the files which are not recognized by Windows Phone and hence cannot be categorized. Files missing an extension or which are in formats not recognized by Windows Phone, no matter which folder of the phone memory they reside in will be counted under Other. If you fail to locate any such files in the accessible folders, they’re probably located in inaccessible folders and hence, can only be cleared by performing  a Hard Reset.

99 Responses to How to Free Up Phone Memory in Lumia / Windows Phone

  1. Afaq April 11, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    how to create app set up in lumia .. if i want install them offline for next time.. first time i download all of them

    • Narender Singh April 11, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

      You cannot do that. It will be re-downloaded when needed to be installed again.

  2. mobilepundits April 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi, I do everything and still showing almost storage full! I’m totally frustrated! Could you help me out, please?

    Cheers, David

    • Michael Gardner January 7, 2017 at 3:31 am #

      hi david my name is michael and i would to free up storage on my phone please

  3. Rahul Kaushal May 2, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    I got the Solutions…
    Uninstall the WhatsApp
    Reinstall it with Restore Options.

    You find that WhatsApp Data 1.5 GB will be removed and phone memory gets more space.

    Thanks me at +918979424545

    • Multani June 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      Dear Rahul, please clarify if I uninstall whatsapp whether all group to which I am member will also deleted ? If yes, what’s remedy ?

      • Narender Singh June 7, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

        You do not get removed from the groups unless you delete your account. Some messages will be lost though if you do not have a backup in place.

      • José Roitberg October 14, 2016 at 6:15 am #

        Whatsapp make an automated backup in the phone. When you uninstall, then reinstall, the backup is used and all contacts and groups will be ok. I did it some 5 or 6 times. But there is a catch. If you clean all those uselless videos that people send you, than uninst and reinst, probably your backp up will recover all of them. So, there is space used by app and space used by it´s backup.

    • Yndra January 19, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      Dear. Rahul. Could you explain the detail how tO Re-Install With “RESTORE OPTION”. I mean, where can I find the “Restore Option”.

  4. yogesh May 7, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    Hi how to clean catches in sd card memory. How to scan sd card for malware virus detection in windows 10 mobile if any. Many times after deleting file in memory card they again come back.

  5. ravi murani May 8, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    So meny space problem in my Microsoft Windows 535
    How to deleted my phone system
    B’coz system taken so many space

    • Narender Singh May 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

      You need to reset the phone to factory state before you could get that storage back.

  6. nrn May 13, 2016 at 12:07 am #

    whatsapp taking major share of memory, how to delete whatsapp files without deleting account ?

  7. Bilal May 18, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    whatsapp taking major share of memory, how to delete whatsapp files without deleting account ?
    if accounts are deleted then how to recover them back ?

  8. DSParmar May 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    windows nokia lumia 630 phon system is very very poor, email and massage acquiring a lot of space in phone memory but where ? no one can find that really where is this much storage ? even Nokia Lumia 630 maker company Microsoft also don’t know the system.

    • Narender Singh May 22, 2016 at 9:38 am #

      You need to backup and reset the device to get the lost space back.

  9. Ramesh June 16, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

    Archived all messages in whatsapp. Uninstalled & then restored. I got back about 3 GB space from 0.
    Try it

  10. Ratheesh p unni June 25, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    one film recieved via bluetooth in phone memmory is not showing anywhere.but it consumed my phone not showing in filemanager,videos,photos,vlc player,storage sence etc… pls help me

  11. Malini July 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    how do I delete the other folder which where unrecognized folders are seated.. if I am able to delete this folder then I will get enough space in my phone memory

  12. TOTAA July 15, 2016 at 10:50 pm #


  13. Megha July 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    more than 90% if my internal storage is occupied by system .. wht shud i do ??

    • Narender Singh July 30, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

      You will be needed to format the device to free up space.

  14. Nikhil August 3, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Sir how to backup our contact before hard reset of lumia and after reset can I get my important messages of WhatsApp back or not and out of 8gb of internal storage my system 5.8gb of storage and I’ve found ‘other files’ in storage sense so to clear it and free some space.

  15. SFBev August 6, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    My Other files had grown to the gigabyte range. Been searching everywhere for how to get rid of them. Finally found instructions for removing Temporary files that reduced these as well. Remove the back cover; remove the battery for about 10 seconds; place battery back in. Go to Storage sense and let the phone recalculate. Cleaning the cache might gain additional space.

  16. Priyanka Roy August 18, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

    Am using Lumia 640XL.Though the phone is quite good but facing phone memory problem due to which unable to update my phone.I cleared up to 621 MB and shifted the necessary to by SD card and after doing that when i started updating phone,again saw phone space is only 21 MB !! This is strange !
    Please help as am unable to operate net,email from my phone right now..Please help asap.

  17. toredo September 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    microsoft phones sucks …..

  18. tanvir September 22, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    i have lumia 540 still my phone memory showing full…i can not update my phone due to this problem can u help me out in tht ..and also due to this my whatup app also running very much running slowly…

  19. Gia September 27, 2016 at 1:06 am #

    I have NO apps, I’ve backed up all my pictures and taken them off, I have no emails attached to the phone except the required microsoft one, and that one rarely gets any messages, text messages are kept at a bare minimum, and I clear the browser history daily, and still, every time I do anything, I get an alert telling me I have low memory space. The thing taking up the most space is system! D: I’m going to have to get a different phone. I can’t handle this.

    • j80r59m October 16, 2016 at 4:36 am #

      If you like your phone, it would be cheaper for you to just install an Micro SD Memory Card! Another, problem you might be having could be that,if, as you stated, that you have NO Apps, then, how are you cleaning your Phones Cache which requires an utility App for this purpose!

  20. j80r59m October 16, 2016 at 4:25 am #

    Most of the Win10 System Apps, that I don’t even use, nor do I ever plan to, that are pre-installed & built-into Win10 Mobile O.S., can’t be REMOVED, or MOVED from Device Internal Memory Storage & RE-INSTALLED on the Micro SD Card. If some one could figure out how to solve this issue then, only your Critically Important Apps could be Stored in the Phones EXTREMELY LIMITED INTERNAL STORAGE SPACE, & THE NON-ESSENTIAL APPS COULD BE INSTALLED ON THE MICRO SD CARD, essentially solving Phones memory storage capacity issues!

  21. Aditya Jain October 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    i want to upgrade my window 8.1 to 10 but i dont have enough free space in it,i try to clear temporary file of my phone but it shows same space after deleting

    • Narender Singh October 30, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

      You should perform a factory reset of your phone to free up some space.

  22. citizenearth December 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    When I try to re-install Whatsapp, it said not enough memory and cannot install. What to do?

    • Ramesh December 26, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      On my Microsoft 640 LTE mobile, the Default and un – useful Microsoft apps and device system occupies the entire device storage memory. Device Regularly displays storage full message, asking to delete apps. None of the MS apps can be deleted nor can be moved. Not able to receive even message. A world renowned organization is not able to fix a small issue storage issue for a very long time. Disgusting

  23. citizenearth December 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    Then it’s time to change to Android or iPhone smartphone.

  24. mahi December 31, 2016 at 7:02 am #

    there is no option for uninstall when i tap and hold a app…how to uninstall? nokia lumia520 windows 7

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