Buy a new smartphone or tablet and you may be frustrated to see that some of your internal storage is gone right out of the box. While you might have paid for a 32GB device, for example, you won’t have 32GB to fill up yourself.
Some of that original figure will be impacted by pre-installed apps, otherwise known as bloatware. Some bloatware apps can be removed manually after you’ve turned your device on for the first time, and others can be ‘disabled’ or hidden from view.
How to remove Android apps and files
There are a couple of ways to get rid of your apps on Android. First of all, you can use the built-in application manager (right) to get the job done. Head to Settings, and then Apps, and you’ll see what’s installed. By tapping on apps in this list, you can either uninstall them or ‘force stop’ them, which forces running apps to close – handy if something has frozen and you’d like to try resetting it.
Alternatively, open the Play Store, tap the icon in the top-left corner and press My apps and games. Again, your installed apps will all be displayed here. Remove apps by tapping on them and hitting Uninstall. If you press the All tab, you can take a look at every app you’ve ever downloaded, which includes ones you’ve deleted previously.
File manager on Android
If you’re feeling a little braver, you can try navigating to your phone’s internal file system to free up some space and delete unwanted content. Most Android phones come with their own file manager. The Samsung Galaxy S7, for example, has a tool called My Files.
Open this up and you’ll be able to explore your download history, documents, images, audio and videos. Be careful when you’re using file managers, though, as you don’t want to accidentally delete something that’s fundamental to the OS.
Sadly, some Android smartphones don’t let you remove stock apps for good. In the case of the Galaxy S7, you can ‘disable’ stock apps that don’t interest you, which stops them from appearing on your home screen. Disable Skype, for example, and it will leave your home screen and won’t be accessible until you enable it again.