I own a sony xperia tipo that has around 2 gigabytes of internal storage.

Today, I got a warning that my phone's internal storage is full, while using google currents, so I went to the storage menu in the settings, to take a look, and I saw that the calculated amount of used memory in the internal storage section was a tiny bit over 1gb. This didn't sit well with the fact that the reported free space was only 2mb instead of one giga and a half, as I thought it ought to be.

Trying to update apps that reside in the internal storage fails with an "insufficient memory" error.

I have no idea about what the problem might be and how to solve it, but I would like to try and avoid a factory reset, if that is possible.

Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for it.

EDIT: Here are two screenshots where you can clearly see that the total used space and available space do not add up to 2.15GB as they should but are only around 1gigabyte.

I have no idea what could be responsible for this phantom gigabyte, but one would think that the amount of memory the OS uses would have been subtracted from the "total space" and from the "phone memory" entry (not shown here) instead of the internal storage.

(I removed some apps to free up a few megabytes of memory)

  • 1
    Perhaps the issue is that Android itself takes up a large chunk of memory? On my phone, I officially have 16 GB, but it says I have only 13 GB in my settings, because the other 3 GB are used by Android. If your phone displays this in a quirky way, that could be it. So I'm afraid I would go by what it says your free space is if I were you.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 16:00
  • @Cerberus: wouldn't the os be in the phone memory? I can see 3 different memories (?) here. They are: phone memory(700mb), internal storage and my sd card. Shouldn't the first one be android's host? Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 17:34
  • I would think the OS was in the "phone memory", yes. But I would also think that the OS would be in the internal storage, because I think phones don't normally have anything else besides internal memory and SD card. So I would say your "phone" memory was really part of your internal memory, and what is displayed as "internal memory" really means "internal memory left after accounting for the OS partition". It is a bit misleading, I know. You could post a screenshot of your settings if you felt like it. But I'm afraid this is not something that can be fixed.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 0:02

6 Answers 6


Your phone keeps the thumbnails of all the photos that go through your phone. Connect it to your computer and delete all the contents of the folder called ".thumbnail" in the internal storage. You should find that folder inside the DCIM folder.

  • This was actually it, even though the folder gets repopulated when i launch image gallery apps. Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 2:34

Devices with internal SD cards / memory (for instance, my Galaxy S3 has 16GB), are split into many partitions.

4GB goes for OS/bootloader/recovery/system/etc

12GB is partitioned into /dev/mmcblk0p15 and mounted on /data

/data contains 4 main folders:

  • /data/app
  • /data/data
  • /data/dalvik-cache
  • /data/media

/sdcard (aka your user-available storage) is not a real partition, its actually a 'symlink' of sorts to /data/media

So the settings->storage (and a lot of apps, eg; ES File Manager), will report 12GB as your "total" partition size for /sdcard, even though your "sdcard" actually has 12GB - app - data - cache = 10.5GB (in my case) space available to it.

You need to be rooted, and use an app called "DiskUsage" from google play.. It will show you where your used space is going. Hope that helps!


I think this is really an issue with some driver/software or less expectingly hardware. Both me and my wife have the Sony Tipo and at her phone (blue edition) is reporting a wrong amount of free space (177mb free, 1,2 GB used) were my phone (white edition) is reporting a more accurate amount of free space(1,1 gb free, 0,9 used).

Beside the color of both phones is different there is no difference in sw versions. The only difference in usage I can imagine is that she is rebooting her phone quite often (daily) and I am only chaging phone volume in the night.

Maybe there is a problem with bad memory blocks on the sdcard, although I do not want to root her phone and don't know whether it is possible to see it another way.

  • After some searching i discovered that it has something to do with incorrectly removed data. I tried to remove a lot of files lately which were actually not removed from the card when I was looking to it connected to my computer(In Android not visible anymore). Although trying to copy the files did not work. Removing the files using the computer did fix the issue, although I haven't found a confinient way of finding the files which were incorrect. When trying to copy the files using windos 7 it just stops suddenly without an error... (to be continued) Commented Jun 14, 2013 at 22:59
  • 2
    It's probably better to add that comment to your question instead, but you could add a marker... like a BOLD "EDIT #1: ", then "After some...". :)
    – geffchang
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 0:51

The internal storage is also used to store system apps, and the data from system apps.

It is possible that most of the space is going to system apps, and Sony is quite bad for including loads of bloatware.

  • Even if that is the case I find it kind of hard for Sony's apps to cover one whole gigabyte... Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 15:45
  • You would be surprised - my Mum got a Sony phone, and the entire 1GB memory was gone within a week.
    – Liam W
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 15:47
  • 2
    Well, turns out all Sony's apps are stored in the phone memory and alltogether are responsible for something like 4mb total. It must be something else... Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 16:06

Try this... hook your android device on any pc... plug it in and turn on USB STORAGE... and then right click on the device and then choose properties and then choose tools tab... run error checking and then let check both automatically fix system errors and scan and attempt to recover bad sectors... after this go to the root of your memory there would be a hidden folder named FOUND.000... delete that and youll be problem free...


Not a solution, but look at the difference between an apps memory usage when its on the internal memory, then on the phone memory. I have an app taking up 1.39 mb on the internal, move it to phone and suddenly it's 33 mb. Why it hides all this memory I don't know.

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