How to free up space with storage tools in Android 7.1

The latest version of Android has built-in tools to help you manage storage space.

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Squeezing out enough storage space is one of the ever-present struggles of smartphone life. 

Android 7.1 brings some integrated tools to handle this all in one spot. To check out what’s here, go to Settings > Storage.

As with previous versions of Android, you’ll see a breakdown of storage used by category.

android storage

Android lays out your storage situation in clear terms.

However, check out a new tool by selecting Manage Storage at the top of the list. You’ll see an option for Smart Storage, which when toggled on will automatically remove backed up photos and videos when your phone's storage is almost full. If you have a Pixel (the first phone with Android 7.1), you get free storage at full resolution. 

manage storage

Explore the storage situation in more depth.

Then, if you select Free up now you get more specific options for removing items. Since these items look for apps or photos that haven't been used in a long time, you may not see a ton of suggestions right away, especially if you have a new Pixel or just reset your device with Android 7.1

Finally, you can get more specific details about which apps and other elements of your phone are the main storage culprits. 

internal storage android

Get more details about which apps are using up the most of your storage.

From the shared storage menu you can touch on any of the categories, like apps, images, or videos. This will let you know what’s using up the most room.

Also, touch the overflow menu and go directly to Free up space if you know you want to start right away on some purging.

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