Monday, January 3, 2011

Application Data Space Is Low

[update July 2011]  So I finally bit the bullet and clicked the "clear data" button for the Dialer application.  It was at an incredible 70MB, but I feared I would lose all kinds of contact information.  Turns out it has more to do with stored SMS and MMS, as all my messages were wiped after doing this (luckily I thought to run a data back up before doing this.  I guess HTC thinks it needs to store SMS/MMS data in the Dialer Application AS WELL as the SMS and MMS programs? WTF? Anyway, I haven't had any storage issues at all since doing this.  In fact, I reinstalled a bunch of apps I had deleted for space, including Netflix, and have experienced no issues whatsoever.  Just thought you might like to know.

[update June 2011]  This is getting effing ridiculous.  I have removed Facebook.  I have removed all SMS and MMS.  I have moved every application possible to the SD card.  I went into Apps and cleared all caches (and even some data from programs).  Still, I am not able to even listen to my voice mail (of which I only have ONE), because I get the message: "Unable to manage your messages because your storage is full.  Please delete content from other applications to make more space."

I have more than 6GB of free space on the phone.  If HTC/Google doesn't fix this sh*t soon, they are losing a customer (I assume many).

Topics covered:
  • managing SMS and MMS
  • application data space and application space
Ah, the dreaded HTC/Android “Application Data Space Is Low” error.

Hopefully the genius architect who coded HTC phones to only allow a miniscule amount of a phone’s memory to be used for app data has been fired, ‘cause this is a horrible over site.  You should at least be allowed to change this setting yourself (allocate an amount of memory to system vs. data).

I’ve got more than 5GB of free space on my phone’s memory, yet my Droid Incredible keeps screaming at me: “Application Data Space is Low!”

There are quite a few apps at which people often point fingers.  The two biggest culprits I’ve found in my searches were Facebook and News Rob (or other RSS/Feed readers that cache data locally).

Another thing I learned is don’t EVER sync the Facebook App to your phone for your contacts.  You don’t need (or want) every friend you have on Facebook synced to your device.  The HTC Facebook app that came with your phone does a great job of syncing faces to the numbers you have on your phone.  If you allow the app you downloaded from the market or Facebook to sync, it will store a lot of useless data on your device.

HTC Mail often gobbles up application memory as well.  Clear your stored mail!
Here’s a list of some of the top space gobblers on my device (this is just the space the actual app takes up –not necessarily its data):
  • Dialer Storage: 62.57 MB (wtf?!)
  • Contact Storage: 21.23MB
  • Firefox: 17.71MB (this is way to much, I think I’m deleting the app)
  • Google Earth: 15.06MB (I’ve never used this; I think I’m deleting it)
  • Google Maps: 10.63MB
The next app (doubleTwist) is at 6.35MB and they get smaller from there –all under 7MB.
To find apps that are gobbling up too much data resource, go into Settings > Applications > Manage Applciations > Running (or All) and look for the culprit.

Some people have also had success just clearing the cache for various apps.  Don’t hit “Clear data” as that will clear user names and important data for the app.

Another thing that can help is where you store your apps.  I’ve got a 16GB SD Card in my phone, so I try to store as many “non-speed sensitive” apps as possible on the SD card instead of internal memory. Unfortunately your apps will start competing with the space for your media (songs and videos) when you do this.

THE FINAL SOLUTION (for me): The thing that I never really thought about (duh!) is that I’ve had my phone for going on a year, and I’ve never backed up my SMS or MMS.  That data can build up, so I assume it’s taking up a lot of space –especially with all those MMS photos.  Some of my conversation threads have over 1,000 messages (I’m looking at you Mikey B, Miguel, and E)!

Deleting text messages seems to be a long and laborious process unless you do a “select all” and just wipe everything.  You can also just delete certain threads (conversations with certain people) by long pressing the conversation and selecting “delete.”  Note that you can “lock” specific messages (under the message’s long-press menu) so that when you delete the entire conversation those messages won’t be deleted; just be sure you don’t tick “delete locked messages” when you’re deleting the thread.

To save future pain, you can set the number of messages your phone will keep.  Just be sure to back up your SMS/MMS often unless you’re not worried about archiving your messages.
Go into your message app.  Click the second icon at the bottom of the screen (it’s a text bubble with lines overlapping a text bubble with an icon).  Press menu.  Press settings.  Click “Delete old messages,” and set “Text message limit” and “Multimedia message limit” as you wish.  These settings are per conversation (not total).

ALSO: Scroll down to MMS settings and select Attachment Storage.  Change it to SD Card.
You can also change your voicemail attachment storage location from here (scroll down a little farther on the main message settings screen).

This whole shabang has brought me to the search for a good back up app.  There are some fun apps that backup SMS to Gmail, but none of these handle MMS, and I’d like a more robust back up app anyway (for apps, call logs, etc.), so I think I’ll be going with MyBackUp.  More on that in another post soon!


bonkrood said...

this helped a lot with this issue I was having.

to back up my SMS messages I use Dexrex. I had it on my blackberry too so I have records of all SMS for the past 2.5 years accessible online.

misterbillsmith said...

I have been messing with this issue for a couple of weeks. One thing I found was that the Facebook app needs to be the latest version to prevent this issue. And, unfortunately, you have to Clear Data before upgrade to fix the problem. It's worth the trouble. The Google apps do retain a lot of data, but they are allowed more space. It's the social networking and Mail apps that are the issue - in my experience.

KBG said...

With many apps, I frequently have this issue on my Incredible.
App2SD makes it easy to move apps to the SD card (and back), and DiskUsage helps identify the offending apps (both data and app).

Amy Gene said...

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the help. Do you know how to un-sync your Facebook friends from your phone? I didn't even realize I did this but I have noticed how annoying it is. Thanks!

The Invisible said...

Hi, PP. I think it's best to leave your friends synced with the HTC Facebook application (it just syncs pics with contacts). The memory hog is the dedicated Facebook App (this is different than the HTC App that just grabs friends' profile pics and e-mail). If you don't use the App from Facebook very often (as opposed to the HTC one), just uninstall it. For what it's worth, I've actually reinstalled Facebook's app(after figuring out what other applications were hogging even more space) and am just resigned to the fact that it takes more resources than most apps do (more than any should).

RageKage said...

I have been having this problem too. I installed Firefox as an alternative to the preinstalled browser and just launching Firefox causes this message to pop up for me. I think it's crazy that there isn't an option to change the allocation of phone memory to increase the application data space. Has anyone looked for, found or thought about creating an app to do that? Or is it impossible with Android OS?

drew said...

This is not htc's fault, Google is to blame since they set the data/data partition size to be that low without allowing modification of the size limits. All app data gets cached in that location which is pretty dumb. This the only serious flaw I see with android. You can work around this by downloading NotEnoughSpace which will allow you to create another partition with the size that you desire to store your app data. But you must root your phone to do this.

Anonymous said...

I have Over 325 apps on my Incredible. I have an 8gig sd installed. and I got the low memory icon. I have the true fix to this prob. It has nothing really to do with what or how many apps you have. The Fix. Locate a folder on the main level of your sd card called ".MAIL" delete this folder. However deleteing this will not affect you mail in any way.

Anonymous said...

"SMS Backup+" backs up SMS and MMS to Gmail. Auto-backups, dead simple, never failed me. Must-have.

Anonymous said...

How do you Un-sync your Facebook contacts from you phone if you have already done it? I did not know that it was a bad thing and have tried everything to undo it. But I hvae not found a way.

Suz said...

Thanks... I've got my fingers crossed that the changes I made to my messages will be the final fix!

Phostenix said...

Uploading pics using the HTC Facebook app (version 1.0) is what started this for me. Clearing data on the HTC Facebook app resolved the issue for me. I use the FB app from Facebook, so clearing data on the HTC FB app didn't affect my normal Facebook app at all.

Anonymous said...

The problem ACTUALLY appears to be 100% Netflix. Uninstal that, restart, and watch the problem go completely away!

Anonymous said...

Uninstalling Netflix worked for me as well