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Is your phone constantly warning you about low storage space? Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling to find 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 space using tools readily available on your device.

Check your storage space

First, assess how much space is left on your device and identify what is taking up space.

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

Delete 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 Album icon, scroll to Utilities, and select Duplicates. You can merge duplicates, keeping the highest-quality copy and moving the 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 cleaning

Manually reviewing and deleting unwanted photos and videos is time-consuming, but effective. Break the task into manageable sessions, such as during your commute. Remember to empty the Recycle Bin or Deleted Items folder, as deleted photos are not immediately and permanently removed.

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

Seek further help

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

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

Organize your photos

After cleaning up your library, organize your photos further. 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 Gallery, or Apple Photos, tap the option to create a new album, give it a name, and select the photos you want to include.
  • Apple Photos lets you create folders and subalbums for better organization.

While deleting the clutter takes time, it will make it easier to find photos and free up space for new apps and files.

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