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My HTC Incredible refuses to let me view my SMS messages. It will show the list of SMS senders, but when I click one to see their messages I get blocked by this popup:

Unable to manage your messages because your storage is full. Please delete content from other applications to make more space.

Of course I checked right away to see if I was using too much memory. I went to Menu->Settings->SD & Phone Storage and saw I have plenty of space:

SD card - Available space: 5.72GB

Internal phone storage - Available space: 6.25GB

Phone memory - Available space: 571MB

I have more free memory than used memory so that can't be the problem. I tried restarting my phone as well but no change in message. I also Googled the problem and among all the "me too" responses found that other have this problem where SMS is blocked even though they have plenty of memory.

I couldn't get a clear resolution and I'm worried the answers are now out of date. ZDNet published a couple of articles on the issue:

Have I solved my Droid Incredible storage problem?

Is your Droid Incredible low on disk space?

Both suggest this is HTC's fault and that there is no fix. They say you can try clearing the cache on HTC's apps like Peep, Messages and Mail and also advise clearing the cache on your browsers.

I've tried these techniques, but they didn't work.

Does anyone know what causes this and what solutions exist?

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Maybe the message is misleading and it's just the db for the SMS app that is "full". Have you tried deleting some messages? –  Flow Oct 19 '11 at 6:43
    
Why would its DB be full if there is more memory on the phone? txts are tiny and I have no problem with them using some of my extra memory (there's lots) –  Michael La Voie Oct 19 '11 at 17:39
    
Well, there could be a hard coded maximum for entries. –  Flow Oct 19 '11 at 21:19
    
+1 for a great question. –  Mr. Buster Feb 13 '12 at 20:27
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2 Answers

The Droid Incredible's available space for apps to store their data is only 150 MB, but it's impossible to view the amount of free app space on the stock ROM. So the error message is correct, but you have no way to view the available free space.

In technical terms: /data/data is mounted on a different partition than /data, and all your free space views show you the amount of free space in the 750 MB /data partition.

What you need to do is start clearing data for spps that are taking up lots of space and that you don't use often. One possibility is clearing the web browser's cache. Facebook is another big data hog. Check your other installed apps to see how much space they are using on data.

Here's a dump of the df -h output on my Inc:

Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
tmpfs                   206.5M     32.0K    206.4M   0% /dev
tmpfs                   206.5M         0    206.5M   0% /mnt/asec
tmpfs                   206.5M         0    206.5M   0% /mnt/obb
/dev/block/mtdblock3    248.0M    121.8M    126.2M  49% /system
/dev/block/mmcblk0p1    748.0M    237.7M    472.3M  33% /data
/dev/block/mtdblock6    149.0M     79.7M     69.3M  54% /data/data
/dev/block/mmcblk0p2    193.7M     37.1M    146.5M  20% /cache
tmpfs                     8.0M         0      8.0M   0% /app-cache
/dev/block/vold/179:3     6.6G      1.2G      5.4G  18% /mnt/sdcard
/dev/block/vold/179:3     6.6G      1.2G      5.4G  18% /mnt/secure/asec
/dev/block/vold/179:9     1.8G    951.8M    930.1M  51% /mnt/emmc

(Note: I'm running a recent Cyanogenmod build that allows for swapping the SD Card and internal storage mount points -- that's why /mnt/sdcard is showing up as 6.6G while /mnt/emmc is only 1.8G.)

You can see how /data is a 750MB partition with plenty of free space, while /data/data is a teensy 150MB partition that's over half full.

This XDA Thread has a flashable mod that will make /data/data a subfolder of /data rather than a separate mount point, unlocking all that 750MB for app storage and allowing all your free space views to be accurate. You'll need to root your phone in order for this to work since it also converts the filesystems to ext4 and that's going to require a replacement kernel. (Recent Cyanogenmod builds already have this support, but if you're running the stock ROM you'll need to flash a different kernel.)

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I was getting constant low memory errors on my rooted Incredible until I ran the ext4 on it. So glad I did that, it was annoying the crap outta me. Now I have a Galaxy Nexus and, thankfully, that problem will never happen on it. –  Zooks64 Feb 13 '12 at 21:18
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To wipe the cache partition (this will not delete your data or apps):

  1. Boot into recovery
  2. Press and hold Power, Choose "Restart" option
  3. When screen turns off, press and hold Volume Down and Power
  4. When the white HBOOT screen appears, use the volume button to move down to “RECOVERY.”
  5. Press the Power button to select “RECOVERY.”
  6. When the Green Arrows and\or triangle and exclamation appears, hold the Volume Up and Power button at the same time.
  7. Using the volume button, scroll down to “Wipe cache partition” and select it (power button).
  8. Select "Reboot system now"

Now you have enough space to download and install the additional update. Verizon released 2 updates for the HTC Incredible, I'm guessing you only got one. Go to Settings> About Phone> Software> Build - 4.06 right? there is a 4.08 that seems to resolve this Low on Space problem. To get that update immediately (recommend connecting to WiFi first for the download): Go to Settings> Date\Time> Uncheck Automatic and manually set your clock ahead 1 month Then go to Settings> About Phone> System Updates and it should be there waiting for you. follow the prompts, it'll take about 10 minutes.

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