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I'm using Sony Xperia L (Non-Rooted, Stock OS) which shows me I have 1.52 GBs of Device Memory. "Apps and Media" are taking up 0.98 GB and ~240MB is remaining free. I don't understand where all that extra memory has gone to.

So what exactly is this Device Memory? I read that it's "the memory where Android installs Apps". That doesn't really answer my question because I'm trying to get a better understanding of the missing space here and I hardly have Apps installed. So does anyone know:

1) What is the location on the Internal Memory that is considered as Device Memory? I mean is it a Folder?

2) How exactly does Android go about calculating that "Apps & Media"

3) Is there any way of seeing the File/Folder contents of Device Memory?

If we go to Settings> Storage we have a section called Device Memory. Here is a screenshot from my phone.

Notice how the space breakup doesn't add up here.

Notice how the Free space appears faulty

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After a lot of searching around and trial and error I stumbled across the answer to this.

1) What is the location on the Internal Memory that is considered as Device Memory? I mean is it a Folder?

Yes. Device Memory is calculated from the Data folder present under root.

2) How exactly does Android go about calculating that "Apps & Media"

3) Is there any way of seeing the File/Folder contents of Device Memory?

The "Device Memory" includes all the contents of that /Data folder.

  • Apps: (apps that are actually installed on my phone),

  • Data: that is used by these installed apps,

  • Core. I'm yet to find out about this.

  • Dalvik Cache: Which gets created for each app that is installed. There is a particular file that is taken from each apk file installed on the phone and put here on the Dalvik Cache.

  • Free Space: Finally the much needed answer to where all my free space went off too. It got consumed by the way "Device Memory" is architectured. So if you install around 400MB of apps that is enough to actually fill up 1.5GB of Data folder.

Hope this was of help. Here is a screenshot for reference.

/Data contents

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You might wish to take a look at our fine internal-storage tag-wiki for a short definition:

Internal storage generally refers to the storage space on your device that can be used for installing applications and their associated data.

It might be a bit confusing, but that's what the terms "device storage" or "phone storage" usually refer to. With most devices, this is where /data points to, and also other partitions like /system, /cache, and /recovery. You can find some additional details in the answers to Android Folder Hiearchy.

As /data is where the apps store their "private" data (well, to be more precise: that would be /data/data), and /system is reserved for, hm, the system, on a not rooted devices most content will stay hidden from you ("insufficient privileges" to see/access).

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Internal/Device memory is similar to RAM which android OS makes use of. Its location will probably will remain invisible to you since your device is non-rooted.

I am assuming you want access to internal storage and not internal memory. You can access your internal storage which has the path of /storage/sdcard0 where '/' is the root directory.

"Apps & Media" contains all your application data (save files , scores etc), your photos & images stored on the device , music files (mp3, ringtones etc) & videos.

You will need to root your device to see the contents of "/" directory as rooting your device will provide you with super user privileges and thus allow rw access to all directories.

You can check this link to know more about the difference between storage & memory.

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    "Internal/Device memory is similar to RAM which android OS makes use of." I'm talking about the "Device Memory" that is present shown under the Settings -> storage section. I doubt that it's like a RAM because then it wouldn't make sense for the phone to stop installing new apps with the error "out of memory". Also, it wouldn't make sense for it to contain such a large bunch of media, photos etc.. Why load everything into a RAM memory? And why wouldn't it get reset after restarting the system? – Mugen Feb 10 '14 at 6:30

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