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I've noticed that several of my applications have 2 apk files (different versions). Why are there two? And is it safe for me to delete the older one? For example, on my phone I see: "Google Play services for Instant Apps_1.13-release-159715800.apk" and "Google Play services for Instant Apps_1.14-release-161844041.apk" also: "YouTube_12.25.54.apk" and "YouTube_12.23.60.apk" also "Chrome_58.0.3029.83.apk" and "Chrome_50.0.2661.89.apk" also "Amazon Kindle_7.15.0.73.apk" and "Amazon Kindle_7.14.0.18.apk" and more ... I'd like to delete the older ones. Certainly, combined, they are taking up a lot of space on my phone.

One more question. Not every app has 2 apk files like this. Is there a setting to limit them all to one file? Thanks.


Hey all, thanks for the comments. Very good point to look where the files are. Just some background how I got here: I usb'd my phone to my PC and searched *.* and sorted by size to find what was taking so much space on my phone's internal storage (will check my sd card next). Saw these APK files coming up and noticed the duplicates, so I asked this question.

At any rate I've gone back now and checked where they are located and it appears that most of them are in /storage/emulated/0/SmsContactsBackup/apks/. Based on the term "Backup" being part of the location, I'm going to assume that I can delete both copies of the apk files when both are in that directory.

Again, Thanks for the comments. I definitely should have thought to take note of where the files were located from the start. Any additional comments or answers as to how the apks got into that directory would be appreciated. I'm guessing that either the install put them there, or once upon a time I ran some backup program on my phone (not something I do regularly since my most important stuff syncs to google anyway).

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    It would help if you could point out where you found those APK files. If they are in some "download folder", it's safe to remove them. From other places, things might be different. – Izzy Jan 15 '18 at 21:29
  • @Izzy It's always safe to remove anything in Internal Storage (I didn't mean /data), especially for APK files which if needed wipl simply be downloaded again by the app who generated them. – iBug Jan 16 '18 at 1:33
  • @iBug True – but how do you know where Daniel found the APKs? And not to confuse "Internal Storage" with "Internal SD card" (better use the latter term): Unfortunately, there is no "clear name" for the "internal storage" (/data) which is not the internal SD card (/mnt/shell/emulated) – and I wouldn't suggest it being "always safe to remove anything" from the former (that's why you excluded /data obviously, but just to be sure – as there's also e.g. /mnt/obb and more on internal storage ;) True, that possibly requires root, but you didn't exclude that possibility. – Izzy Jan 16 '18 at 6:30

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