I have a Samsung Galaxy S2, Android 4.0.4. For the last few days I can't sync my gmail or update any apps.

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This, of course, is a barefaced lie. There is plenty space available:

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But still, I have this constant message, "Phone storage space is getting low".

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And I can't update any apps, because this tells me that "Application cannot be installed in the default location".

I have been using this phone for 2.5 years without needing an SD card, and I don't see any reason why I should now suddenly need to get one for my phone to continue working the way it has for the past couple years.

After googling and finding many other posts with the same problem I have tried every suggested solution that I found:

  • Restarting
  • Cleaning the app cache
  • Cleaning the contacts cache
  • Removing my Google account, then re-adding it.
  • Uninstalling every unnecessary application.

But this stupid message keeps appearing and preventing my phone from updating.

Anyone else have any ideas how to fix this?

  • 3rd icon in status bar from left is the visual indicator of low storage space. As matter of interest, are you running twitter or facebook app or internet heavy app, they have tendency to cache a lot of data, sound like you need to clear a certain app's cache that is preventing google sync. I discovered by accident, a similar situation as yours, that my tweetcaster app chewed up 30mb space for cache, clearing it from tweetcaster's menu did the trick.
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 2:53
  • @t0mm13b, thanks for the tip, where do I see how much cache each app is using?
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 7:11
  • This. I just wanted my Gmail and my calendar to sync. I think they should handle this false alarm on low storage specifically to allow sync.
    – justhalf
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


It seems to react on your low, internal memory. And while 178 MB should be enough for a few small apps, there might be something that denies more installation due to already low amount of space.

Now, the first thing I would advise you to do is uninstall any app you don't really need. However, many apps come with the phone, so they can not be removed. For these, and any app you do not want to remove, you can clear the cache. To do that, hit settings -> Application manager -> Slide til you see a list called "all". Now all you have to do is hit each app you want to clear the cache off, and choose "Clear data" and "Clear cache". Beware that the "clear data" option will likely delete any saved password or settings the app uses, and thus you might need to redo those settings. It may also delete some information attached to the app, so use the "clear data" option at your own risk. Tho for apps like facebook and twitter, the option should do no harm.

You can also choose to move some apps to the SD card. While I have not tried that out myself, it should push some of the stuff from internal to "external" memory.

You may also want to download Clean Master. It's an app somewhat similar to CCleaner, if you are familiar with that (deletes cache and junk files). I use it myself, and it helps a bit. It's free and you can download it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cleanmaster.mguard&hl=eng

  • 1
    I've tried cleaning the cache several times. Has a short term positive effect, but in no time the caches get refilled. I don't have a SD card, haven't had for years. If necessary I can buy one, but I don't understand why I need to if I've been ok without one for so long now...
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 17:49
  • More to the point, if total space is 1.97 GB and 701MB is taken by apps, then why is there only 178 MB available?
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 17:50
  • 1
    The rest is likely taken by the OS. When a phone states it has, say, 2 GB of space, that's usually without the OS.
    – Sharain
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 18:30

I had this same issue. To fix go to your number keypad enter "*#9900#" You would get some options. Select "Delete dumpstate/logcat" This frees up space occupied by uninstalled apps


I found no other way than freeing some space.

  1. Removing apps I don't use.
  2. With All-In-One Toolbox: Cleaner & Speed Booster.
  3. Removing cache.
  4. Clearing data from Microsoft apps Microsoft apps always eating up space with data, for apparently no reason .
  5. If a system update is pending, execute it (see Note in this answer).

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