Android memory issue: How do I free up some space on my LG Optimus S?

I recently ran into another memory-related issue on my LG Optimus S running Gingerbread 2.3.3 (no, not the memory card issue that I originally wrote about). This time around, I’m receiving a “low disk space” notification with every incoming text message, reboot or application update. This article details my resolution of this issue.

No, moving apps to SD is not the answer: The fact is—at least for us poor LG Optimus S users—moving common applications (like Facebook and Twitter) from the phones internal memory to your SD card isn’t a viable option. I tried using App2SD to do so and was only able to move one application that occupied hardly 2mb of space. The real solution is to make peace with your very finite amount of hard drive space and learn how to maximize it. Here’s what I did:

Uninstall unnecessary applications

Though it may be hard for you to part ways with certain applications, it may free up a lot of space. Do you really need to check your Facebook page on your phone every five minutes? The fact is, apps like Twitter and Facebook can occupy over 10mb of space. While this is chump change on the iPhone, it’s valuable disk space on the puny LG Optimus S. Here’s how to uninstall an app:

  1. Press the main menu button on your phone (see figure below).
    Main Menu button LG Optimus S
  2. In the pop-up menu on your screen, tap Settings.
  1. Tap ApplicationsManage applications.Manage Applications Android
  2. Tap All, navigate to the application you want to uninstall and then tap it.Tap All Android
  3. Tap Uninstall.

Clear data / clear cache for apps

Applications keep a cache of data and other information based on your usage. In some cases, the cache can grow to a significant size. Thus, periodically clearing data and cache for apps can free up space on your phone:

  1. Press the main menu button on your phone (see figure below).
    Main Menu button LG Optimus S
  2. In the pop-up menu on your screen, tap Settings.
  3. Tap ApplicationsManage applications.Manage Applications Android
  4. Tap All, press the main menu button and tap Sort by size.
  5. Tap each application and review the number next to Data and Cache. If those numbers are significant (megabytes-worth), tap Clear data or Clear cache, depending on what’s available.

DISCLAIMER: The effects of clearing data for apps may vary (there are plenty of horror stories). Keep in mind that you may lose some information using this method. Clearing your cache, however, should not cause any problems.

  1. Repeat steps 1-5 for other apps if necessary.

Move photos to computer

Photos take up a lot of disk space. You have a smartphone with a data plan, so there is no reason to keep photos on your phone if disk space has become an issue. Email them to yourself, then open your email on your computer and save those attachments to your hard drive. Once you have moved photos to your computer, you can delete them from your phone.

Delete MMS messages

Have you ever gotten a text message from a friend or family member that contains an image or video? That’s a Multimedia Message, or an MMS. These messages are considerably larger than text messages, so it may help your memory space issue if you delete old MMS messages. Again, backup any keepers before doing so.


The real solution to this issue is purchasing a phone with sufficient disk space and processing power – I hear Apple makes a good one. For the rest of us, I hope these workarounds help.

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Filed under Tech Right

3 responses to “Android memory issue: How do I free up some space on my LG Optimus S?

  1. Robert Kocis

    Moving pictures cannot help. If you connect the Optimus to your pc via usb, it will ask if you want to move files to or from your *SD card*. So, unless your Optimus is storing pix in a place different from mine (my file manager shows them on the sd card), this cannot help you at all. (It would be a great idea if it would work.)

  2. Bruce

    The suggestion about the removal of pictures and text messages, although it makes sense did nothing to increase available space. Sorry

    • I suppose I should have added that the success of that step depends on how many pictures you have sent of received; if the answer is “very few”, which is perhaps the case in your situation, then that step is probably useless. But then again, so is the LG Optimus S.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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