9 Storage Hacks for Your Smartphone

Say cheese! You're just about to take a photo when that little "Storage Is Almost Full" message pops up on your smartphone. Never miss a moment again with these clever hacks that are guaranteed to free up phone memory.

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1. Let Your Text Messages Expire

Do you really need to hold on to that one-time group chat from eight months ago? Probably not. Most smartphones have a function that automatically deletes messages after a set amount of time, freeing up space sans effort. 

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2. Save Photos in the Cloud

Keep your phone camera in check by uploading older photos to the cloud. Several digital tools -- like iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Photos -- store pictures exactly the way you took them. Plus, you'll be able to access all of your photos from any device -- no jump drive required. 

3. Use Social Media as a Scrapbook

Store all of your favorite memories in a social media scrapbook instead of your phone's memory. Apps like Instagram make it easy to upload your favorite photos and tag the friends you are with. Don't want the world to see your pictures? Just make your account private.  

4. Stream (Don't Save) Music

The average song takes up about 4 megabytes of memory, so if you have the entire collection of The Beatles, you're looking at over a gigabyte of storage. Save space by streaming through an app like Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music. If you're worried about using too much data, consider investing in a subscription that lets you temporarily download songs to listen offline, such as Spotify Premium.

5. Delete Apps You Don't Use

You know that closet rule that says, "If you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it?" The same principle applies to your smartphone. Scroll through your phone once a month to see if there's an app you no longer use or a game you've stopped playing. (We're looking at you, Pokemon Go.)

6. Consider an Older Model (with More Space)

Before you rush out to upgrade your phone, check and see if there's an older model that might better suit your needs. You can sometimes get an earlier version with 64 GB of memory for the same price as the latest 16 GB model. 

7. Delete Videos

No matter how funny that one cat video might  be, there's no need to keep it permanently on your phone. Just like with photos, sync videos to a cloud program, or consider uploading it to YouTube for on-the-go streaming. 

8. Keep Track of App Usage

The storage settings in your smartphone can tell you exactly how much space each app takes up. Use this information to purge storage-hogging apps when your memory is almost full. 

9. Get Back to the Basics

Sometimes you just don't need to use your smartphone. You won't have to worry about taking up space with a "notes" app if you write things down on paper. 

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