I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" tablet (Android 4.1.2, not rooted). I tried to install a big app recently and it failed because it said that I didn't have enough space.

When I go into Settings > Storage, this is what I see:
8GB - Total Space
2.83GB - Apps
199MB - Pictures, videos
116KB - Audio
18.69MB - Downloads
3.47GB - Miscellaneous files
1.14GB - Available space

The 3.47GB for Miscellaneous files seems really odd to me. When I select the "Miscellaneous files" item, it says that most of the space (3.33GB) is being used for "System Memory" and the rest contains a number of small files.

I have tried restarting it, cleaning out cache of various apps, and a lot of poking around with a file manager. I have also moved as many apps to SD Card as possible, but most of my apps don't support that function.

I just can't understand what is taking up almost half the available storage space. Is this normal operating system stuff that can't be cleaned up? Is there a way to see what is contained within and clean some of that space up? If there is one particular app that is taking up a ton of "System Memory" space, then I might be willing to remove it. Note that I have looked at the applications through Application manager, sorted by size, and the largest app is only using 323MB of app space.

  • Your list misses some important information. The sum of used space is not that helpful in the first case; it's rather the fact which is where, and how much space is available where. That overview has segments for e.g. internal storage and sdcard. If you look at the insufficient-memory tag-wiki, you will find the all-important question is: How much free space is left on internal storage. Maybe you could edit your question and include a screenshot?
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 18:42
  • Try tapping on where it says "Miscellaneous files". On my Galaxy S3, that brings up a list of what files it means. In general, it's anything you have on the internal "SD card" that isn't audio files, pictures, videos, or in the downloads folder.
    – Compro01
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 19:06
  • usually the os doesn't use a lot of memory, I suggest to use play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fm.clean Clean File Manager to explore your files, it works really good in these cases.
    – maxpesa
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 21:39
  • 1
    How disk space is used on Android device? Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 8:11

4 Answers 4


Just get X-plore mate ;D. I have been usign it since 2006. It is available on multiple platforms.

  1. You can see system folders.
  2. You can see hidden files and folders.
  3. Which you can delete/copy/move (be careful when you do that)
  4. You can open many archived files as well.



You can use an application called DiskUsage. It displays your files and folders in a tree view with their respective size. It requires root only for the /data folder.

It has often helped me to track biggest files on my sdcard and useless pre-installed apk. :)


That might include system log files, which can be cleaned up without doing harm:

  • Go to your Phone Dialer
  • Dial *#9900#, this will open SysDump
  • Press "Delete dumpstate/logcat"
  • re-check your storage to investigate the changes
  • 5
    This doesn't sound like it answers the question, and if it does it fails to explain how it applies to what the asker wanted to know.
    – Saiboogu
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 22:09
  • Maybe the phrasing is a bit unlucky... Let me try to improve that.
    – Izzy
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 19:31
  • Hmmm. This may clear 100, maybe 200mb at most. It certainly works like that on mine
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 10:56

Ah, a fellow tab 2 user. It's been a while.

"System memory" is, well, you /system partition and a few others. These contain files like your recovery and download modes, system UI, and literally anything that means your device can do something other than being a snow-covered/not snow-covered roof tile. You can't really play look-see until you root, but for now, just keep in mind that almost half your storage may be used up before your first boot, but it is meant to be like it.

Oh, and root your device + throw on a custom ROM. It'll free up a LOT in the system (I switched to a SlimROM, re-partitioned, and now have 6GB of internal to play with.

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