I have an Android phone and trying to understand how it deals with disk space. When I connect my phone to my computer via USB, I can see that I have: * internal storage space (1.8GB) * SD card (16GB)

My android phone still complains often that I don't have enough free storage. So I installed the DiskUsage app (which was suggested on some blog). It visualizes perfectly how the data is organized. The app shows that I have roughly 700MB of total storage. Why is that? According to Windows I still have 1.7GB free.

Displayed in Windows

How does this work? Does Android run on a partition which only is 700MB? How can I access the "other" 1.8 GB?? Is there a way to reclaim all that unavailable storage space?

Displayed in Disk Usage App

  • While in that Disk Usage app, click the back button. You should get more options than just the Data partition?
    – Fiksdal
    Jul 7, 2016 at 18:43
  • Do you have a screenshot with 700MB of total storage? Jul 7, 2016 at 18:44
  • @Alex.S that might not be relevant. The insufficient storage broadcast is triggered only for the /data partition (usually when free space falls below 10%).
    – Izzy
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:33
  • @Fiksdal that's correct. I thought it shows my SD card as additional card (so not the same physical storage device with the remaining 1.7ishGB). I will check though, thx
    – bas
    Jul 8, 2016 at 13:33
  • 1
    @Fiksdal yeah good one! Thx again!
    – bas
    Jul 15, 2016 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


The internal SD-card of the device is probably partitioned.

Check out this screen in the app you mention in OP:

DiskUsage screenshot

Since my SD-card is not partitioned, I only see one partition. In your case, you should see more than one. The combined sum of all the partitions should equal the total size of the SD-card.

You could root the device and attempt to change the partition table and merge the partitions. It may be a bit risky, though. But it's certainly worth trying if you're open to the risk of rooting, tinkering, etc.

You may also try apps such as this one to move apps to the storage partition. You can free up space on the app partition that way.

If you want to root, you can also use this app to remove bloatware system apps that you don't need. This can also free up space. However, this may also be risky. If you try this, you should be prepared that something might potentially go wrong, and you might have to re-flash stock firmware. That said, removing preloaded bloatware is often easy and trouble-free.

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