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Look, I am never, ever ever going to use Docs, Sheets and Slides on my LG K7 (running 5.1.1), but I have come to terms with the fact that there is no way to remove them from my phone without rooting, which I am not interested in doing. But I figure at least I can free up scarce storage space by erasing the apps' data, which typically is on the order of about 70 MB each. Liberating 200+ MB of available space on a phone that only has 4GB internal storage, 3/4 of which is taken up with the OS and apps that can't be removed: it means the difference between "Not enough space to update apps" / "Voicemails will not be downloaded" and normal operation.

But every time I clear this memory -- without fail -- I find that within 24 hours the data is recreated and I am right back where I started. Note that I'm not using Docs, Sheets or Slides during this 24 hour period, so the apps are not running. Why does this data keep getting recreated, and is there anything I can do to stop it?

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You shoud disable those apps:

  • Go to Settings › Apps – where you usually deleted the data
  • before deleting data:
    • push the "force close" button to make sure the app is not running. Else it might recreate data before you reach the point of disabling it.
    • then push the "disable" button, so it won't start anymore.
    • on "disable" you might be asked if you wish to revert to the "factory version". Say yes: this will remove all updates the app has received, and which are stored in "user space" as well. So this will even free additional space
  • finally push "clear cache" and "delete data", to complete the cleanup job.

Now that it's disabled, it won't start on its own anymore – and thus not collect or recreate any data. Nor should any updater pull updates for it.

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