Get More Space On Your Phone, Tablet & PC (Part 1)

8/15/2013 9:27:40 AM

Don’t let bloated programs and useless files hog valuable space on your hard drive. We suggest 30 ways to reclaim space and boost the storage capacity of all your devices.

Although hard drives are larger than ever and some new tablets offer an incredible 128GB of internal memory, you can never have too much storage space on your computer or mobile device.

Apps, software and media files are getting larger all the time, as their quality and complexity increases, which means you can run out of room much faster than you'd expect. For example, every photo you take with a 12.2-megapixel digital camera is 5 to 10MB in size. An hour's worth of 1080i HD video will consume around 11GB, while an hour of uncompressed 1080p footage will take up a whopping 350GB. And then there are those huge, graphic-intense games, which require more space on your hard drive than everything else put together.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can reclaim that space, and add more when you need it, with very little fuss and expense. In this feature, we reveal how to boost the storage capacity of your PC, laptop, tablet and phone to give you more room than you'll ever need, and make all your devices run more smoothly.

Uninstall software & apps

Force broken software to uninstall

Most programs are easy to uninstall, but some refuse to go quietly and others leave behind lots of files. GeekUninstaller ( is a free alternative to the built-in ‘Add or Remove Programs’ tool in the Control Panel. It can forcibly remove stubborn and broken applications from all versions of Windows. GeekUninstaller can also keep your hard drive tidy once you’ve uninstalled software by running a deep scan to check for any remains and deleting them.

Geek Uninstaller

Geek Uninstaller

Uninstall apps you no longer use

You can free up a lot of space on your iOS or Android phone or tablet simply by uninstalling apps you don’t use very often. To remove an app in iOS, press and hold it down, then click the small ‘x’. Tap the Home button to stop the rest of the apps from wobbling.

On Android devices, tap the Menu button, go to Settings, Applications, select an app and uninstall it from there. Pressing an app and dragging it to remove will only delete it from your screen, but not your device.

Securely uninstall anti-virus software

Removing your current anti-virus program to install a new one can sometimes cause problems. For this reason, security software companies usually provide a dedicated uninstaller for the job. ES ET ( has a handy list of such tools for all the major anti-virus programs including AVG, Avast, F-Secure, McAfee, Norton, Panda and Trend Micro ( Although the links are provided for “removing anti-virus products installed on your system prior to the installation of ESET”, there’s no requirement to install ESET afterwards.

Uninstall ESET antivirus software

Uninstall ESET antivirus software

Remove the most awkward programs from any computer

AppRemover ( is a special tool designed to safely and cleanly remove anti-virus products, security software and file-sharing applications from your PC or Mac. The comprehensive list of supported programs includes most products from AVG, McAfee and Symantec, as well as uTorrent, Miro, eMule and BitComet.



Temporarily remove apps

If you’ve downloaded an Android or iOS app, but don’t currently use it, you can uninstall it for the time being to free up space on your device. When you do want to use the app, simply reinstall it through the iTunes Store or Google Play. Don’t worry if it’s a paid app - you won’t be charged more than once for it.

To restore an app you’ve removed from an iPhone or iPad, open the App Store app and go to the Updates tab. Click the Purchased menu at the top to download again nearly any app you’ve ever bought.

For Android devices, go to the Play store website click the My Android Apps link to view everything you’ve previously downloaded. In the ‘Other apps in my library’ section, click the Install button next to any apps you want to reinstall.

Spot the space hogs

Find the largest files on your PC

One of the best ways to reclaim space on your hard drive is to identify the files and folders that take up the most room and remove them. DiskSorter ( is a handy free tool that detects space hogs and lets you delete the worst offenders. Just choose some directories or drives to scan, and click the Classify button. The program will tell you how much space is being used by files such as images, videos, music and documents, and let you instantly view the largest files in each category. DiskSorter was recently updated to make it even faster at classifying files, and usefully displays information about space usage in easy-to-understand, color-coded pie charts.

Disk Sorter Pro

Disk Sorter Pro

See our Mini Workshop on the left to find how to make the most of DiskSorter.

Identify space-wasting apps

Some mobile apps games in particular are huge, which means they can quickly fill up your phone or tablet, especially if they’re stored in your device’s internal memory. To identify the largest Android apps, tap the Menu button and select Settings, Applications (or Apps). Tap the three-dot menu button again and select ‘Sort by size’.

On iPhones and iPads, tap the General icon, then Usage. This will show you how much space is being used by your installed apps, and the size of each of one. The largest apps are listed first, so you can see which ones are using up the most space.

See what’s hogging your device

Apps, music, photos and videos are usually the biggest space hogs on mobile devices (aside from the operating system itself). The free Android app DiskUsage ( lets you see at a glance which files and directories are using the most space on your Android phone or tablet. It offers a visual breakdown of storage on your device, which you can tap to zoom into directories to see their contents. This is handy if you just want an overview of “stuff that’s clogging up your phone” (as one review puts it), or a more detailed look.

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