How to optimize your phone’s photo library for more storage

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Is your phone constantly warning you about low storage? Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling to locate a particular photo? Over time, our phones accumulate countless images, apps, and files that can clog up space. Here’s how to effectively clean up your photo library and free up storage using tools readily available on your device.

Check your storage

Begin by assessing how much space is left on your device and identifying what’s occupying it.

  • For Android users, go to the Settings app and select Storage.
  • On Samsung Galaxy devices, navigate to Settings, choose Device care or Device maintenance, and then tap Storage.
  • iPhone users can open the Settings app, select General, and then iPhone Storage to see the available space. The steps are similar for iPads.

Eliminate duplicate photos

Removing duplicate photos can quickly free up space. While there are apps like Duplicates Cleaner for Android and Phone Cleaner for iOS, your phone probably has built-in options.

  • In the iOS Photos app, tap the Albums icon, scroll to Utilities, and select Duplicates. You can merge duplicates, keeping the highest-quality copy and moving others to Recently Deleted.
  • Samsung Galaxy users can use the My Files app. Choose Analyze Storage, then Duplicate Files to see and remove duplicates.

Manual cleanup

Manually reviewing and deleting unwanted photos and videos is time-consuming but effective. Break the task into manageable sessions, such as while commuting. Remember to empty the Recycle Bin or Deleted Items folder, as deleted photos aren’t permanently removed immediately.

If you want to keep certain photos but free up phone space, consider transferring them to a computer using email, Android Quick Share, Apple’s AirDrop, or another method. Ensure you have a backup system for your computer.

Seek additional help

If you need more guidance, check out the Apple Support site or the iPhone Storage screen for suggestions on deleting old files and apps. Samsung’s site offers tips for Galaxy devices. Google Photos provides Free Up Space and Manage Storage tools within your user account settings.

Common suggestions include moving photos to an online server or an external SD memory card (if your phone supports one). iCloud for Apple Photos, Google Photos, Samsung Cloud, or services like Dropbox can also save space by storing files in the cloud. Note that you’ll need to pay for additional storage once the free space is used up.

Organize your photos

After cleaning up your library, further organize your photos. Both Android and iOS can automatically group photos into albums based on people, locations, and more. You can also create custom albums.

  • In Google Photos, Samsung’s Gallery, or Apple Photos, tap the option to create a new album, name it, and select the photos to include.
  • Apple Photos allows you to create folders and sub-albums for better organization.

While decluttering takes time, it will make finding photos easier and free up space for new apps and files.

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