My Android device is low on storage capacity and some services do not work correctly, i.e. camera. About device: (Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, SM-G800F, Android Version 6.0.1) .

Now, I want to find out, where the data is and remove it from the device to the computer. (I removed the external SD card, before taking the screenshots below).

I open the "My Files" Application, which looks like this:

Screenshot of "My Files"

However, the "Storage Map" Application does not reveal, where the GB are stored, as it only has 1.47 GB:

Storage Map

When I copy the whole "Phone" folder with the USB cable to my computer, I even only get 0.99 GB.

I've given up, this has been going on for half a year now, but I cannot identify, where the data is. Does anyone have experience with this?

How can I get the space back? I read about rooting the device, but it sounds sketchy at best, as people have reported various issues: e.g. this post. I just want to be able to use the device. I was thinking copying everything to the computer, resetting the device and then copy it back would solve the problems, but this does not seem to be a viable solution. What should I do?

  • You're (almost for sure) won't be able to see those data without root. Here is a good answer to your question.
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


I'll give you a good list of things to take care about if you want to free some space. But before that. You need to be aware of this:

  1. System the phone is running claims storage too up to 2.7GB for big ROMs at /system
  2. Dalvik-Cache which the Dalvik Virtual Machine uses to prepare system applications classes files claim your internal storage at /data/dalvik-cache

These two will take up to 4GB maximum by default. That's why, for example, on a 16GB phone you might only access 12GB as the user end memory.

Back to creating space on a hogged device, things to note:

  1. Photo Thumbnails hidden data at /sdcard/.thumbnails or /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails You need to enable viewing of hidden files to see this. It contains previews of photos as loaded by gallery app

  2. Package installers .apk files systemwide. They can be shared ones or downloaded ones except the ones downloaded by Google Play since it deletes the installers immediately after successful install. Search for .apk and delete the packages that you already have installed

  3. Temporary application files like Es File Explorer's recycle content at /sdcard/.estrongs and uninstalled vault applications like Gallery Lock apps which dump data at /sdcard/data or any other folder

  4. Application updates also can use a lot of space if you regularly update them. Uninstall the updates of apps you don't like using a lot or which updates don't make any significance for you. You can disable automatic updates at Play Store

  5. Some phones don't delete application data after app uninstall. Take care of files at /sdcard/data and /sdcard/obb delete the folders of package names that you currently don't have installed apps for them on the device from the folders

  6. Social messenger folders like sdcard/WhatsApp and /sdcard/pictures/Telegram etc also need to be taken note of

Those are the basic things that hog space on your device. Advanced issues for root users include:

  • activity logging files at sdcard like MTK logs

  • dalvik cache of deleted system apps or renamed system apks

  • application data of directly over installed apps at data

I think after addressing all these. Things will be a bit better for you

  • Aha, is the `/sdcard/´ not actually referring to the SD card, but to internal storage?
    – Jonas
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 8:37
  • What s a good file explorer? (like Windows Explorer on Android?)
    – Jonas
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 8:41
  • /sdcard is the location of internal sd while /external-sdcard is the external one. Based on their location from the root of file system
    – Thally Ace
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 11:22
  • /sdcard is the location of internal sd while /external-sdcard is the external one. Based on their location from the root of file system. Good file explorer? What do you mean to say. Incase you're looking for an app that can work good for you doing the above, use Solid Explorer on Android
    – Thally Ace
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 11:32

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