When I upgrade an Android application from Google Play, it gets downloaded, then the upgrade stops with the message “Error: Insufficient storage available.”

Yet none of the partitions seem to be nearly full. The app is about 10MB, and I have about 100MB free on /data. Here's the output of df (omitting /mnt/asec):

Filesystem             Size   Used   Free   Blksize
/dev                   171M    32K   171M   4096
/mnt/asec              171M     0K   171M   4096
/mnt/obb               171M     0K   171M   4096
/cache                 469M     2M   466M   4096
/efs                     6M     3M     3M   4096
/system                503M   329M   174M   4096
/data                 1007M   895M   112M   4096
/storage/sdcard0        13G     4G     8G   4096

This is happening on a rooted stock 4.1.2 image from Google.

I've read other questions on this site, such as Why can't I install apps when I have enough storage?, insufficient storage error while updating installed apps [duplicate], and others, but they all concern situations with only about 10–20MB free, whereas I have a 100MB safety margin. Unlike Something is secretly eating up my Acer Iconia A500 internal memory and I need help finding it and What can I do to manage my phone's internal storage?, I'm not trying to figure out which files are filling up a partition, I'm trying to figure out which partition is filled up.

So how can I figure out which partition this “insufficient storage” message is about?

  • What kind of device do you have? On my old HTC Incredible it was the /data/data directory that gave me headaches.
    – Mr. Buster
    Oct 15, 2013 at 1:06
  • @Mr.Buster Nexus S. /data/data is on the same filesystem as /data. Oct 15, 2013 at 1:08
  • Indeed. On my old phone, though, that was were apps were stored on the device (versus the external SD card). When that directory filled up I got the same mysterious "insufficient storage" messages and tons of random force closes even though all other partitions had room to spare. I thought my issue was limited to HTC, so it might not be the cause of the trouble you've got, but it's worth a look.
    – Mr. Buster
    Oct 15, 2013 at 16:26
  • 1
    Related: “Insufficient Storage Available” even there is lot of free space in device memory (though it ought to be moved here). Dec 21, 2013 at 15:38
  • Same problem here. I have 3.3 GB of free storage on my phone. Here's something I've noticed: I can't update an 8.63 MB app like Evernote Skitch, but I can update a 48.23 MB app like the Clash-of-Clans game. WUT?
    – jonS90
    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:45

4 Answers 4


A common problem on android devices is that android will keep and safe all applications which are in your system directory (system apps/apps installed from the factory). This is exactly the same problem I had with my Sony Xperia arc s.

I've fixed this by rooting my phone and install "system cleaner root" (note: only rooted devices can use this app and you'll probably lose your warranty when you root your phone) and run that application. It will search for saved update files on your phone which are system apps, and then delete these old update files.

The problem should be fixed. As long as you run "system cleaner root" once in a while.

  • If this didn't work. Did you also tried to scan the phone for viruses? I use bitdefender anti virus to scan my device so now and then.
    – Handoko
    May 22, 2014 at 16:16
  • For the record. My phone got fixed that way and had enough free space as well.
    – Handoko
    May 22, 2014 at 16:20
  • Also for the record: /system/apps (where the pre-installed apps are located) is mounted read-only. The "insufficient storage" error is not related to that, but rather to /data. That's also where SystemCleaner and similar apps "clean up". For details and further hints, our insufficient-memory tag-wiki is a good starter :)
    – Izzy
    May 23, 2014 at 13:09

I have also had the same Problem. Personaly I solved the Issue by booting in the Recovery Mode on my Samsung Phone and clearing the Cache partition.

Also, thigs could work is using some cleaning Apps, which would release some memory which was being used by application to Cache the Data. You might also want to uninstall some application with are not being used personal (pre installed applications, like S Calender on Samsung Touch WIz.)

Would advice regular cleaning of the cache partition to prolong the Phone Usage.Using Galaxy S2 for about 3 Years now.

  • I had the same problem and used this solution on my HTC One running CM11. Another, simpler way: uninstall the app that won't update then search your file manager app for files and folders related to the app and delete them.
    – PFitz
    Jun 30, 2014 at 18:30

I've had the same issue. What solved my problem was clearing application cache through Application Manager for Chrome and others. I fail to see the connection, but it worked for me.

  • 1
    Well, clearing cache frees up some storage (where the cache had been). So the connection should be clear :)
    – Izzy
    Oct 19, 2013 at 21:15
  • I already had roughly 2 gigs internal storage free, and it was only some apps that wouldn't update. Also now I have 1GB left and this hasn't bothered me for months.
    – johnny
    Oct 21, 2013 at 4:52
  • 1
    You could check with a terminal emulator (or via adb shell) with the mount command, but on many (if not most) devices /cache is a separate partition – while "internal storage" usually points to /data. I just wonder since the "insufficient memory" error normally is related to the latter; I've never heard it in connection with /cache.
    – Izzy
    Oct 21, 2013 at 7:43

use this method to remove dump files and get rid of this error. I found this useful.

From your phone dialler, dial *#9900# You will see sysDump screen on your device. Tap on Delete dumpstate/logcat and it will show you dump result. Click okay and exit.

Source : http://www.theandroidportal.com/fix-insufficient-storage-android/

  • This is a method to clean up some files that are accounted for. My question is about a case where there is free storage space yet application upgrades don't work. Nov 4, 2014 at 10:35
  • According to the original article, "this only works on SAMSUNG phones."
    – Codebling
    Sep 1, 2015 at 2:40

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