When I go to System Settings > Storage’ I see two storage classification both by the name ofInternal Storage` one is around 2 GB and other is 11 GB. Also there is no SD Card present in my device.

Issues is most of the times the 2 GB Internal Storage gets full and I get insufficient space error, however the other 11 GB space is almost empty.

Why is that why two types of storage, and is there a way I can make both of them one so my device could use complete 13 GB as Internal device storage?

I am using Galaxy Note N7000 with custom Cyanogen Rom.


SOURCE : http://gadgetstouse.com/gadget-tech/internal-phone-external-storage/20812

Most of the today's Android have Three types of storages.

  1. Internal Storage
  2. Phone storage
  3. External storage.

Difference between Internal, Phone and External Storage.


Internal Storage:

In laymen term, it is the personal space of Android, where it stores your (system) applications and its data as well as other sensitive data.

In short this memory is reserved for your operating system and personal data.
And you cannot access it directly, even with a PC.

If you get a Low storage space you can move apps to SD-CARD to free up some space.
This storage gets erased to default by Factory Reset

Phone Storage:

This is the storage that is available to you. When you "move" Applications, this is where they get stored. It is shown as SD-CARD or similiar name. You can use like a normal memory storage.
It doesnot get erased by Factory Reset.

External Storage:

As name suggest, it is the external storage available to you ie your Memory Card.
For Note N7000 is 32/64. So it atleast supports 32 GB memory card.

Apps2SD: To move apps to SD card. download Apps2SD APP. The App will give you full list of apps which you can transfer to SD card and will prompt you in notifications whenever you download an app which can be moved to Sd card.

Not all apps can be transferred to your SD card. (If developers check ‘Apps2SD’ option in there apps, only then you can move that App to SD card.) Another important thing to note is that complete app will not move to SD card. If you move 25 MB Adobe Flash Player to SD card, about 10 MB space will be freed on your internal storage.

How to get more?

In order to get even more that that 2GB (Its a lot already!), you need to do some Advanced Steps which requires basic knowledge of root and/or partition.

By simply rooting your phone, you get the freedom to use it as you want to, but that voids your warranty. you can move most apps and other data to SD card even without root, but even that is something basic users shouldnt have to be bothered with.


For Rooted Devices:

Partitioning Memory Card:

A great article is written over here which explains all the steps in a lucid way.

By following the above steps, you will get extra internal storage from your memory card.
Please note that the above method will Erase your memory card so dont forget to make a Backup in your PC.
Please note that, once done, if you remove your memory card, all the data and apps that you linked wont be available to you anymore. Hence use a memory card (I suggest 16 GB) that can suffice your storage needs.


This section is for advance users only as the knowledge require and risk is much higher. Continue on your own discretion.

Partitioning Internal Storage:

Rather than partitioning memory card and get stuck with it, why not partition Internal Storage itself!

Here is the link to the Guide which is Especially made for N7000

Swapping Internal and Phone storage.

This Article shows how you can even increase the internal storage. Combining with the above and get even more space!

Kudos. It takes a lot of hard-work to write a good answer, a thumbs-up is always appreciated!


Until Android 3.0, with security in mind, the Linux /data partition was allocated around 2GB to install apps from the app store and all its data. While the remainder of the available storage (16GB+) would be devoted to media which can have larger files and needs larger storage for movies for example. But this architecture caused problems with users running out of /data space to install new apps while still having tons of space under /sdcard for media. So, Google decided to merge the two partitions into one from Honeycomb onwards. From Honeycomb, onwards

• User apps from the app store was still stored on /data/app & • apps' data was still stored on /data/data.

But now, all media was also stored on /data/media and this would be fused with /sdcard during bootup and a FAT file system would be emulated. In recovery this is done by mounting /data/media to /sdcard. Mounting is just like what happens when you insert a memory stick into a USB slot in Windows. A foreign partition is accepted by the Windows system into its directory structure. Similarly, /data/media and its contents could be accessed through calls to /sdcard.

A problem is /data/media uses ext4 file system. This is NOT recognised by windows so if /data/media was ever to be directly offered to Windows, Windows would state that this location has not been formatted and would offer to format it with disastrous results. For this reason, Android intervenes and emulates FAT file system before passing the contents of this location onto Windows.

Hence in current versions of Android, there is indeed a /data partition but at the same time, there is also an emulated VFAT /sdcard partition.

At the same time, Google has made the physical /data partition much larger so the out of ‘memory’ space errors would no longer occur when trying to install new apps. Users could choose how to split the allocation of their device storage between apps and media or user documents.

So, for this reason, there exists a physical /data partition where all the apps are installed with their data and this location cannot be accessed by users through a file explorer. Yet the media /data/media section of this partition will be made available through FAT /sdcard emulation.

  • Music is saved on /sdcard/Music;
  • Photos are saved on /sdcard/DCIM;
  • Videos are saved on /sdcard/Videos;
  • Other app data are saved on /sdcard/ (App Folder);
    • Other apps choose to store their app data on /sdcard/ ..., such as Minecraft: /sdcard/games.
  • Downloads are saved on /sdcard/Downloads, and can be easily found if you have the Downloads app.

Source: https://twrp.me/faq/datamedia.html.


To answer your question directly...

The difference between the two types of 'Internal Storages' are as follows...

  1. The internal storage that's embedded into the phone that's non removable...Usually between 32 - 128 GB Most phones are expandable up to 1TB with an SD card as follows below.

  2. A SD Card in which the phone has adopted as additional internal storage, allowing apps to be installed and ran from it, this combines the overall amount of storage a device reads but are housed in separate parts of the device

Am I right?

  • In theory I'd say yes, but OP stated: "there is no SD Card present in my device". So nothing to adopt. So it's rather the system partition and the user-data partition, as the answer by Abhioxic points out.
    – Izzy
    Jun 6 '20 at 22:22

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