One of the main challenges of owning a smartphone is making sure you don’t run out of space for photos, music, video or apps. Recent updates to Windows Phone 8 have made storage space management easier than ever.
Whether you’re a music fan who rarely removes their earphones, or someone who loves to snap photos, eventually you’re going to run out of space on your Windows Phone. The same goes for regular gamers (especially those playing the Xbox Live titles which are usually more sophisticated and as such take up more storage space) and anyone who uses their phone for podcasts and watching or recording video.
There are various ways to monitor data use and remove files from a Windows Phone. Before deletion, of course, you should ensure that you have your data synced to your PC or to the cloud (using SkyDrive, for instance) before you lose something you might regret later on…
Monitoring Storage Usage
Before you delete any data from your Windows Phone, you should check how much space you have on the device, and consider how much you will need.
There are two good ways to see how much space you have left on your device.
First, and an option open to all Windows 8 users, is to install the My Windows Phone app and sync your phone with it. Once open, look for the bar across the bottom of the window and tap Details to see more.
Meanwhile you can also check remaining space on your phone. All Windows Phone 8 users can open Settings > Phone storage to see a mobile version of the information displayed in the Windows Phone Sync Tool.
However, if you use a Nokia phone and have the Amber update, then you’ll also have the Storage Check option available to you in the Settings menu. As well as displaying your data use in an attractive ring graph, a swipe to will open the Details page where information about specific data types is displayed.
Delete Files Via Windows Explorer
When you know what data you want to remove, there are several approaches you can take. The first is by connecting your phone to your computer via USB and opening Windows Explorer.
You should see your device listed in the left-hand pane (complete with a small Windows Phone icon). Select this to open the browsable files in Windows Explorer, where you can copy, paste and delete files in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Ringtones and Videos folder.
Use the Windows Phone Tool To Delete Files
The Windows Phone Sync Tool can also be used to delete files, although this can be time consuming.
In Windows 8, with the phone synced and the app open, tap the Photos or Music tiles, depending on which type of data you want to delete.
In the next screen, tap and hold a tile to be deleted. The context menu across the foot of the screen will appear, inviting you Delete the item. You can also use Select All to prepare for bulk media deletion.
Windows 7 users have a different interface for the sync tool. Here, all you need to do is select from Music, Photos, Videos or Podcasts and click the box or select a range of files you wish to remove, clicking Delete when you’re done.
Delete Files With The Windows Phone Storage Check Utility
Owners of the Nokia Lumia 920 and above have the advantage of the Storage Check tool, a new feature of the summer 2013 Amber update for Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets, as mentioned above. Using this tool, you can easily delete temporary files from your phone. These can be discarded by opening the utility, swiping to Details and tapping the Clear button under Temporary files.
Further data can be removed by opening Settings > Applications and selecting Internet Explorer. Here, use the Delete history option to discard temporary Internet files and web history.
Finally, if you want to make more space by removing apps, you can delete these from the apps list. Tap and hold the app you want to remove and select Uninstall from the menu.
Conclusion: Manage Storage Easily With Windows Phone 8
There is, of course, one other way to remove data from your Windows Phone – the nuclear option of reverting to factory settings, which can be achieved via Settings > About > Reset your phone. If you want to clear your personal data and media files from your phone – perhaps to sell it on – then this is the option for you.
As you’ve seen above, however, there are three simple ways to manage storage and delete data on your Windows Phone. If you have any comments or questions, please share them below.
Image Credits: by N i c o l a Via Flickr