I know this question is quite common, but nothing I've read so far really helped me. I have a Samsung Galaxy Mini, and had a similar problem with the stock ROM. For some other reasons, I've rooted it and put Cyanogenmod 7 on it. Everything works quite well, but the free space is just eating itself. All my applications are sent to SD card (except facebook, which runs exceptionally slow when on card). And still, I'm only left with 6MB of free internal space. I've cleaned up my SMS messages and browser caches, nothing really helps. I'm showing my storage analysis. The thing that bugs me are the /system and /data partitions. How come that /system has so much empty space, while /data has so little. Isn't it supposed to be a compact partition?

As for applications, I really don't have a lot, except regular GMail, Google Maps and such. Just Opera browser, iGo, Adobe Reader, Outlook and a few apps with less then 1MB.

Storage Analyzer for /data Storage Analyzer for /system

P.S While taking the screenshot, the Storage Analyser is showing 18MB free, But the system is showing 9MB. Nevertheless, both are not enough for normal work.

2 Answers 2


First a little explanation on the storage (you might also check the tag wiki of the tag for a short introduction):

Why can't I use the free space available at /system?

The /system partition holds the often so-called "ROM", i.e. the Android core system (including the pre-installed apps, see ). By default, it is mounted read-only for several reasons (including "security", so no app can tamper with anything here -- and the user cannot accidentally render the system unusable). This is also why a factory reset will present you with a "virgin system": it will not touch this read-only partition.

Being mounted read-only makes it clear you cannot write things onto this partition -- which answers the question why you cannot make use of the "free space" it has. You might wonder why a read-only partition then is not "sized appropriately" -- but it is: it just takes into consideration that additional space might be needed for a system update. Future Android versions might (and most likely will) need more space, also providers might want to add more bloatware...

Why is there so little space at /data?

To put it in simple words: 180MB is all that was left after taking away the ~200MB for /system. The Galaxy Mini S5570 isn't a high-end device. And before you ask: No there's nothing you can do to increase the amount of overall storage available to /data (at least nothing easy -- though some geeks might think of creating a bigger partition on the SDCard and mount it as /data, this is nothing simple and also not without side-effects).

What can be done?

Nothing much. If your device is rooted, you could think of using a bigger SDCard (your device supports up to 32GB), and moving stuff over there with things like or even Data2SD. You can regularly clear your apps' caches and do some other cleanup. Or you can simply go for a new device which offers more storage (and more RAM, and a faster CPU).

I know it's not very satisfying that a device, just being 2 years old (the S5570 was released to the market in February 2011) already is unable to keep up with daily needs. But unfortunately, 180MB storage (and 384MB RAM) really is not much to play around... So all that currently remains is to refer you to the most faqs of the "insufficient storage" tag to find a solution until you can get yourself a new device. See especially:

  • Thank you! This is a very detailed answer. I'm not a stranger to android, but these system level things were unknown to me. I know that this is a very entry level phone, but I supposed it could be used at least as a smartphone :) . The bloatware is the key problem, obviously. And applications that are not really optimized well, and consume space without really needing it. I had to remove the stock ROM because it was completely full with android features, and it still wanted to upgrade. Thankyou, again. Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 17:26
  • You are right: bloatware is a key issue especially on "lower-level phones". Even if you can "disable" them with Android 4+, they still consume space in /data, and you only can get rid of them when rooting -- which in most areas voids your warranty. Not very smart for a phone, I'd say ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 19:02

Very simple solution is available. I also faced same problem. I uninstalled virtually everything but no help. I couldn't even get sms. finally got a very simple solution. Here are the steps

  1. open keypad
  2. type *#9900#
  3. dial
  4. choose "copy to SD" from sysdump menue (make sure sd has enough space, upgrade or delete music or any ...)
  5. you will get "copy success"
  6. now u can install software

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