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Android USB Storage Full Problem & Possible Solutions

In this article we will solve one of the most common Android problems i.e. when our phone tells us that USB storage is full even though it's not.

Do you have a brand-new Android phone or Android tablet which keeps telling you USB storage is full? Do you still have 5 GB of free space available but when you access gallery the phone tells you the storage is full?

This is unfortunately one of the most common problems many users of Android experience. In response to your questions about this issue, I examined a few devices with that problem and here I have a few viable SOLUTIONS for you. Ready to start?

Symptoms of Android USB Storage Full Problem

Android ISB Storage Full Problem

Even though the problem is rather common, there are a few different variations of it. I've tested about 5 phones with this problem and in each one symptoms were a bit different. These are most often the following four scenarios:

  • You can't access gallery (or take new photos) on your phone because it says your storage is full.

  • You can't even listen to music because your Android phone keeps telling you its storage is full.

  • When you connect your phone to your computer via USB, you cannot transfer any files because the computer says that USB storage is full (even if there is still a lot of space left).

  • You can't install new apps even though you have plenty of space on your SD card storage.

Solutions to Android USB Storage Full Problem

There are at least several things you can do to solve the problem. This is the list of things I came up with. At least ONE of them must work in your case.

Simply Restart Your Phone

This is the first thing I always advise my visitors to do. Many people use their Android phones for weeks or even months without a single restart. Many of them become really amazed at what happens after a single restart (their phones speed up, become responsive and usually most of the problems disappear).

In the short video below, you can see how to restart your phone.

Clean Cache

Another "basic" thing to do when we encounter this problem is to clean cache. If you haven't restarted your phone for weeks, it's very likely that this is the solution for you. Depending on the type of USB storage full problem, you can try cleaning cache in the following ways:

  • Download and install some app/task manager. Most of them have an in-build feature of cleaning cache. You can use, for example, Android Assistant or ES Task Manager (both are shown in the screenshots below.) This is the easiest way of cleaning cash.
ES Task Manager
ES Task Manager
Android Assistant
Android Assistant
  • You can also clean cache of one selected app only (e.g. of gallery app if you have problem accessing your photos or videos). To do that, go to Settings > Storage > Phone Storage > Gallery and under Cache tap Clear cache. When you are in Gallery, you may also try tapping Force Stop, which can also help.
Android USB Storage Full Problem: Cleaning Cache
Android USB Storage Full Problem: Cleaning Cache
  • You can also use an in-built feature of your phone. Go to Settings >Storage > Phone Storage and tap Make more space and the phone will suggest what you clean or erase o get more space.
Android USB Storage Full Problem: Making more space
Android USB Storage Full Problem: Making more space

Use Some File Manager

Sometimes when our Android device tells us that storage is full we cannot believe it. We installed just a couple of apps and took some photos, how is that possible?

The thing is that we are very often not aware of what occupies our SD storage. To check this, it's best to install some file manager and see what's in the folder named "SD memory" or something similar to this. I can recommend using a free app called File Manager.

File Manager
File Manager

Analyze Your Storage in Detail

There is a brilliant app which will help you analyze your phone's memory usage in much detail. This is a free app called DiskUsage. By design, the app is supposed to help you find directories and files which consume a lot of space.

DiskUsage displays diagrams showing directories proportional to the amount of space they occupy. To see more details and subdirectories, you have to zoom in (just like you zoom in your photos).

In the video below, you can see DiskUsage.

Move Apps to SD Storage

You receive notification that storage is full as if your internal memory was full. This is a very common problem in older Android phones whose internal memory is rather small (e.g. 150 MB or even less). After you install a couple of apps and the phone starts to display memory full notification even if you still have plenty of space on your SD card.

You can easily get rid of that problem if you move most apps to SD storage. Before you do that, you have to remember that there are some apps (preinstalled apps, such as, gallery) which cannot be moved to SD storage. The easiest way to move apps to SD is to use some app specifically dedicated to it, for example, AppMgr III (App 2 SD).

AppMgr III
AppMgr III

However, if you cannot download another app, you can move apps to SD in a different way. Simply go to Settings > Apps and tap On phone storage. You will see the list of all the apps installed on your phone and the ones which are installed on internal memory will have a "tick" besides. To move a certain app into SD memory, simply tap on it on and when App Info window opens select Move.

Android USB Storage Problem: Moving apps
Android USB Storage Problem: Moving apps

Reset Phone Memory

This is usually the last thing to do if nothing else helps. You have to make sure that you backed up your data before doing this. If you cannot do this, you may at fist try to uninstall a few apps to release just a little space and use one of Android backup apps to back up your files.

To do that, go to Settings > Storage  and tap Erase phone storage, which will erase music, pictures an all data on the storage.

Android USB Storage Problem: Erasing Phone Storage
Android USB Storage Problem: Erasing Phone Storage

Did You Solve Your Android USB Storage Full Problem?

Did you solve Android USB storage full problem? Was this article helpful? Do you know any other way of solving this problem? Have you ever had this problem?

Feel free to either leave a comment in the comment box below or submit your own Android story and have it published as a webpage to this site.

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