Android Space Hog

Piyono

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
572
Location
Toronto
Today my Pixel 4a started throwing warnings about low storage space.
This seemed unusual because my usage is pretty consistent and I tend to stay on top of clearing out old files.
But as you can see from the green rectangle in the DiskUsage screenshot, there's are 56.3 GB of data unaccounted for.
The Android internal storage viewer tells a slightly different story.

Anyone know how to figure out what's eating that space?
 

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LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
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16,662
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USA
Can you just delete the offensive software and then reinstall or that doesn't work?
 

Piyono

Storage is cool
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There's no easy correlation I can establish between that green block and any particular piece of software.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,587
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I am omnipresent
It's explicitly stuff that doesn't map well to anything else, so the OS just gives up and says "put it in that other category." If you are looking at things closely with ADB commands or a real file manager (e.g. Solid Explorer), you can get a better idea of what's going on, but that one report has always been misleading. It can mean orphaned files or temp files or the possibility that files that aren't particularly associated with an app on the device are there.

You might also be able to do better detective work with something like SpaceSniffer to get an idea of what's going on with the parts of your phone that an end user is allowed to read.

Also remember that Android never explicitly shows end users what's going on with the system partition, and if you're getting messages that storage is full, the most likely culprit is a filled up system partition because some unwise motherfucker decided to mark Facebook as a system app on your device.
 

Piyono

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
572
Location
Toronto
It's explicitly stuff that doesn't map well to anything else, so the OS just gives up and says "put it in that other category." If you are looking at things closely with ADB commands or a real file manager (e.g. Solid Explorer), you can get a better idea of what's going on, but that one report has always been misleading. It can mean orphaned files or temp files or the possibility that files that aren't particularly associated with an app on the device are there.

You might also be able to do better detective work with something like SpaceSniffer to get an idea of what's going on with the parts of your phone that an end user is allowed to read.

Also remember that Android never explicitly shows end users what's going on with the system partition, and if you're getting messages that storage is full, the most likely culprit is a filled up system partition because some unwise motherfucker decided to mark Facebook as a system app on your device.
As usual, Merc, you're right. I thought there was some kind of invisible system file hogging all the space but it was just various bits of image and audio data that I'd been neglecting to clear out. Whatsapp media made up the bulk of it.

Another contributing factor was my Google One account which was at capacity so images were not getting backed up and I couldn't free up the local drive space until I deleted some files in the cloud (I'm not ready to upgrade to the CAD$140/year 2TB subscription).

BTW, I've been a Total Commander user forever but on your suggestion I tried Solid Explorer and I like it quite a lot. Might buy a license.
 
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