Início Tech How to Clean Up Your Phone’s Photo Library to Free Up Space

How to Clean Up Your Phone’s Photo Library to Free Up Space

Are you getting ominous warnings about your phone’s storage? Have you ever whipped out your phone to show someone a certain photo and had to scroll for minutes to find it? If you’ve accumulated gigabytes of images over the years, streamlining your photo library and dumping other unnecessary apps and files can let you reclaim that space. Here’s a guide to doing just that by using free tools that are probably already on your phone.

Start your cleanup process by noting the space on your device — and what’s filling it up.

On many Android devices, open the Settings app and select Storage to check your available space.

On a Samsung Galaxy device, open the Settings app, select either Device Care or Device Maintenance and then tap Storage. On some phones, you can scroll right down to Storage.

On an iPhone, open the Settings app and select General and then iPhone Storage to see the amount of space left on your phone. The steps are similar for an iPad.

Zapping identical copies of photos is an easy way to reclaim turf. While subscription apps for rounding up duplicate files of all types are available (like Duplicates Cleaner for Android or Phone Cleaner for iOS), consider the free options on your phone.

In Apple’s iOS Photos app, tap the Albums icon at the bottom of the screen and scroll down to the Utilities area. Tap Duplicates. The next screen shows the photos and videos with multiple copies in your library, all next to a Merge button. The Merge option preserves the highest-resolution copy (and embedded information) and moves the lesser versions to the app’s Recently Deleted album.

Samsung has a similar tool for tracking down duplicate files on its Galaxy devices. Tap the My Files icon and choose Analyze Storage from the menu. On the next screen, select Duplicate Files to see the list.

Open the Files app, tap the Menu icon in the upper-left corner and choose Clean. The next screen offers a variety of things you can delete to conserve space, including any duplicates, downloads, screenshots, little-used apps and large files.

It can be tedious, but scrolling back and deleting the duds by hand is a precise way to prune your pictures and videos. If you have a huge library, breaking up the project into daily sessions when you’re on mass transit (or otherwise waiting around) whittles down your collection incrementally. Don’t forget to also check any third-party photo apps that store pictures.

A deleted photo doesn’t evaporate immediately. Most systems keep all recently deleted photos and videos around for at least 30 days before permanent deletion, unless you manually empty the trash or deleted-items folder.

If you have photos you want to preserve and don’t use online backup, export copies to a computer via email, Android Quick Share, Apple’s AirDrop or another transfer method. (And be sure you have a backup system in place for your computer.)

Need more help? Apple’s support site has tips, and the iPhone Storage screen offers recommendations for purging old files and apps. Samsung’s site has ideas for Galaxy owners. In the user account settings, Google Photos has Free Up Space and Manage Storage tools that list files to review and delete.

Suggestions typically include relocating your photos from the phone to an online server or to an external SD memory card if your phone has a card slot, which lets you regain the space on your phone when you offload the files.

Apple’s iCloud for Photos, Google Photos, Samsung Cloud or a service like Dropbox frees up space because the device is not physically storing the files, even though you can see the images on it. You get a complimentary amount of space to start, but must pay for more once you fill it.

When you delete a backed-up or synced photo — on an iPhone, in Google Photos or wherever — it disappears on all the devices connected to that account.

After cleaning the photo library, you can further organize it. For years, Android and iOS have been automatically grouping images together into albums based on who’s in them, where they were taken and other factors, but you can also create your own collections.

To move pictures into your own albums in Google Photos, Samsung’s Gallery app or Apple’s Photos, tap the option for a new album, name it and select the pictures you want to add to it. Apple’s Photos can also create folders and then make separate albums inside those folders for grouping similar albums together.

Yes, it takes time to declutter your device, but you’ll be able to find your pictures faster when you want to show them off and have room to install more stuff.

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