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.

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  • windows 10 mobile (10.0,14393.1770) needs 1.18gb free & i have delete all apps that i have installed. but still there is not enough space to update my phone.

      • Just connect your phone to your computer and remove it after 2-3 minutes ……the temporary files will automatically be deleted

    • I have a Microsoft Lumia 550 everything is stored on my SD card and the phone is saying i am out of space to the point where my WhatsApp cannot work. I have deleted everything from my SD card and the phone still running out of space. the only thing left on the phone is what cannot be removed what is causing this need help?

      • Nothing could be done, if only a few Microsoft’s inbuilt apps (not used, or cannot be used with this meagre 8 gb phone memory) unmovable could be moved to SD card such as apps like Films&TV, Groove Music, One Note, X Box and One Note, which are seldom used by 8gb phone owners as very costly in terms of consumption of Internal Memory. Unless Microsoft sacrifices atleast 1 gb or 500 mb by releasing from 4+ gb of Apps & Games, of course they cannot do so from ystem & Reserve.

  • guys change the date one month forward,.then switch off the mobile and then switch on connect to the internet double check the storage u will see the temp update memory will be cleared

  • please help. i have never had any trouble with my Nikia lumia, all of a sudden its does not want to play voice notes, download pics???

  • I cant delete the memory from Temporary files in Lumia532. It’s occupying 3GB total memory is 8GB. Please help me to delete the temporary files.

  • Hi. I have no data in my phone and no app is install in my phone memory but its memory is full. And storage sense show that there is data in others. What can i do.

  • Hi! I am Chandrashekhar when I update my phone it shows as completed but immediately started reupdate. What is the problem in my phone?

  • I have Microsoft Lumia 640 phone. I am savings
    Everything in SD card. But still my internal
    memory get filled up. When I delete some contents
    from SD card then only internal memory have
    some space. My question is why it is happening.

    • The probable reason behind this might be that, you are adding playlist song at a number of quantity and that is grabbing the phone memory.

    • Having the same trouble with my Lumia 550 did you get help solving the problem my phone is out of space and there is nothing stored on it and it as an sd card. It wants to update and cannot because of space don’t know what to do.

    • afraid so. I have been unable to free up memory in my phone. I expect that Microsoft are not serious about their phone IMHO.

    • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • hi
    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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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

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

    • I still can’t clear up my internal memory and that is costing me a valuable update for my phone. The problem is Windows Edge history is taking up my internal memory.

  • 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.

  • 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

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

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

    Cheers, David

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

  • i am using lumia 640.. system mem is 4.8 gb.. my phone getting slow
    here i have one question if i remove whats app .. it vedio remains or dlete

  • My Whatsapp spends 1,5 GB of internal storage, I’ve got an empty SD card, after deleting all whatsapp received files i cannot free internal storage. The user has no option to solve this. From Pc I can see all the internal memory empty (zero files).

    I think Windows phone is a very bad option:

    – It needs a computer to do essential activities like storage management.
    – It has a very poor pc interface. Integration with windows pc is the worst compared with android.

    • Uninstall WhatsApp & reinstall it
      With restore your messages & continues.
      Check your Storage sense you find your space back.
      Thanks to +918979424545

  • on my lumia 430 , internal memory is almost full so that i cant acces whats app on my mobile what should i do to clear cache ,,,,,,,………..

  • Hack the WhatsApp, and every other APP that doesn’t allow to be installed on the SD card, which is basically to keep a tap on every phone. If you know enough about phones and programing you’ll understand what I mean. But Microsoft should not allow such a thing in their devices.

  • Hi

    I see the storage of my mail is 2,5 gb, once had a large sync on a google and it did enlarge my mail space,
    then I changed it all to just 3 days for 5 mailboxes but whatever I do the mail usage will not shrink anymore.

    I think it is an kind of database that needs to be compressed like the Outlook dat file.

    Is there a way to do that (besides a factory reset) to shrink the mail storage?


    • My Nokia Lumia 530 mobile phone is showing free space of internal memory only 11.22 mb free space. Due to less memory availability Whatsapp is not functioning. I am unable to clear the space occupied. please advice me as to how the internal memory may be cleared. I have tried my level best.

      Rajeev Tandon.

      • dear friend only solution !go to storage thrn select app and games and move the app to SD card,.
        2 open up whatsApp go to each individual contact delete the videos ( all) which are not so valuable, which occupied more MBS .and delete all txt messages one by one or select multiple messages and delete it. after doing so certainly your internal memory storage would increase.
        Whatsapp require minimum 200MBs required to download all the videos on day to day operation.
        this may help you.
        By connecting to PC orLAPtop it can be done more accurate.

  • My phone memory is 4gb and 3.80 gb software has been taken and other important app which cannot be installed. I cannot download WhatsApp now. What should I do now?

  • I deleted everything in my disk cache on Lumia 630 and opened up 1.65Gig of memory on the SD card.

    No ill effects that I can see, and I believe I would probably not have been able to delete if there was anything crucial in the file.

  • Hey guys all of u facing storage problem. It consequently take space in system. If u want to ur system files, then u have only one solution. U will reset ur phone.

  • I have a Nokia Lumia 530. My phone ‘s memory is getting low because system is eating 3.05GB how can I solve this problem ☹☹☹☹☹

  • Hi team in my 535 phone not shown in one drive images .photos shown in only for system login kindly suggest how can i shown images

  • This is th most useless phone sytem ever, cant even skype or whatsapp- memory full from day one. Useless want my money bacck as its not fit for the purpose.

  • I am using NOKIA 530 . How to you download Whatsapps and calculator Please Give me detailed steps (exactly).Iam trying level best couldn’t succeed .
    thanks for you to solve my problem

    • You just need to open up Store app on your phone, search for WhatsApp and download it 🙂
      For Calculator, it’s already built into your phone. All Apps> Calculator 🙂
      Lemme know if you still have doubts.

  • Am using Nokia Lumia 520,whenever I download a file it goes directly to the phone storage(because I don’t have a memory card).But when I connect it to my PC to transfer the file on my hard drive I couldn’t find it! Please help…..

    • If you’re downloading it using some app, it will most probably go to the App’s isolated storage and hence unavailable via a USB cable.

  • I have a conundrum,I checked my storage and the only thing taking up room is what’s under “system” so I can’t clear any room. Anything I can do about it?

  • I have Nokia Lumia 630. I received the notice that my phone memory was full, and since then I can not access messages, phone book, can’t make call, or do anything that is a part of the phone memory. When I connect it to my laptop, phone memory can not be opened.

  • ok,the storage sense doesn’t really work. it only frees up a bit space. The temporary files which are of no use windows phone can’t even delete them it only at times deletes a bit of MB’s but the bulk of it is never deleted. If you download a file through UC browser and by chance it is stored in your phone memory the file is lost forever in the phone memory you can’t even delete it. Windows platform is all fucked up.

  • After Win10 upgrade I am unable to see local storage and free it up. It is regularly getting filled up. Currently I can not see to freeup the local storage under System> Storage.

  • I’m using Nokia Lumia 730 running on Lumia Denim.
    The photos app doesn’t show pictures saved in SD card ( Sandisk 16GB class 10),
    I can only see Camera roll, Saved pictures and Screenshots albums which are saved in SD card only. But others album are not shown in the app.
    I have tried formatting the SD card both in phone and in PC but it doesn’t help.
    I have even tried a new SD card but the problem remains same.
    The SD card is working fine in other android devices.
    Please help me through this, Thanks in advance! 🙂

  • I am using Lumia 630 dual sim… My phone memory is full so I expanded 8 gb memory card to 16 gb … Now my phone is not supporting the memory card. 8 gb card but was working properly but it was not enough. All photos and videos are stored in sd card right now but can’t appear in phone… What to do ?

  • I’m usig lumi 532 dual sim. it is showing 1.2 GB in other catogary. there is no photos ,videos in my phone memory. only apps are installed in phone memory. i delete all temp files. even it show other in 1.2 GB . what to do

  • Most of the space on my Nokia 520 is taken up under the category”streaming media”as displayed in Data Sense.This category was not covered in your article.Any suggestions?

    • Data Sense? If I’m not wrong, it only lists the consumed data, not the storage. Streaming Media should be your online videos and music streamed over IE or other apps.

  • I’m having 350mb of something on my SD card and I can’t delete it with my phone nor using PC via USB cable.Somehow I have 350mb of invisible stuffs.Anyone has any idea how to delete that?

      • Phone storage app .It gives 2 selections phone and sd card .On SD it shows apps ,pics ,videos ,temp and other files.That other files can’t be removed from phone without formating the card.I can’t see them on PC so its really strange .I don’t think the cache files sit on SD card.

  • I am using a 640XL. The problem is that my whats app seems to be using 2.5 GB of my Phone memory – out of which the app itself is negligible but the data of whats app is using over 2GB. This app cannot be shifted on SD card. I do not need the data files…but can’t seem to be able to access them to delete them. How do I do clear the data on whats app?

  • Hello
    I m using 535 …my phone system consume 5.7 gb space even though my al documents & files even sum apps are also installed in my sd card…
    So how can I reduced the space ….waiting 4 reply asps…

  • Microsoft shame on you..and on ur engineers…i bought this phone lumia640xl with a belief that Microsoft is a big brand and lets try this phone this time, but unfortunately I found problems since day one, I saw my phone memory is just filling like anything, my all folders are zero but still Others” folder is consuming more than 2 Gb , I thought I should delete some apps some goggle accounts but didn’t happen anything then after all efforts I googled this problem and found most of people are facing this problem, but Microsoft is not having any solution, and even I don’t knw but how didn’t get any comment on this issue on any of website …

  • after upgrade to WP10 my storage space is constantly on “low storage” whenever i reboot.

    my system folder is currently using 6.75GB and i have taken off every APP from phone memory to SD Card

    is there anything further i can do to reduce the system folder size.

    this causes my phone to stop responding intermittently, i have to do a reboot every now and then

    • When system starts eating up your space, your only option is to reset the phone because so far there hasn’t been a good enough way to free up space eaten by the system.

    • Hi Austin. U mentioned u update ur phone to windows 10. But ur message says u don’t use windows phone, because that time windows 10 not available for any kind of phone.

  • hi i bought microsoft lumia 535 . first its shows 8 gb storage sense. but after reset the phone its showing 3.37 gb something. how this is possible .

  • if you have installed what’s app in your mobile handset, please remove auto backup feature. its create auto backup file in your handset which consume your phone memory.

  • I had added my google account in email and accounts, it was eating up my memory so I thought of deleting the account instead of deleting the mails one by one. Now that I’ve deleted the email account still there is 256 MB of data which is being shown in the storage sense.
    What should i do to free up my space
    P.S. I’m using Lumia 730

    • That’s pretty unfortunate. Do note that Windows Phone does try to free up system storage if it gets too low, so maybe you can wait for a while?

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