September 12, 2011

Geek Week: Top Tip for Troubleshooting Android Phone's Low Memory Issue

Do you own an android phone and plagued by the persistent "low memory" issue that hampers your productivity and not to say, your style? And no matter what you do, it won't go away? You're not alone. This is a growing issue among Android phone users like you and me. But fret no longer. Here's a great solution that I discovered and works quite effectively...

Android phones have a preset limit before the Low memory panic alert appears and "paralyzes" the phone. It's set at 20 MB. Lower than this, the "low memory" is activated. Below are some applications and functions affected: {reason will be explained at the end of this post}
  • Email clients - it won't sync to allow new emails in. 
  • Text Messages - SMS are blocked. 
  • Application updates/download - any attempt will be unsuccessful.
Here's my simple formula:
1- Go to Settings

2- Select Applications

3- Select Manage Applications

4- Sort your application by size and select the ones that takes up a lot of memory space and those you use a lot. In my case, Adobe Flash Player takes up most memory space. If you look on the right bottom corner, you'll see that I have 29 MB free currently. I started with 19MB which prompted the low memory problem.

5- Once application is selected, select Clear data. Do this only if you don't care much for the application. This will clear all cached data, settings, saved passwords and temporary files that are collected every time application is used. (After I cleared the data on all my big files, I ended up with 32MB Free memory space)

If Clear Data is not the option you want or need, you can always opt for Clear cache. It will only clear a small percentage but nonetheless helps in restoring some free memory space. This is advisable with applications regularly used like email clients.

And here's the explanation why certain features are affected:
All Applications are typically cached and whenever they're used, like temporary internet files, activities are collected in the cache which requires memory space. If email alerts are set or you check your email a lot, this instantaneously gets cached. With this in mind, I suggest you religiously clear data for such application. Text messages are also stored as threads. If these messages are not important, just go ahead and delete all stored threads.

Now I hope this helped you. If you have any questions or suggestion, feel free to let me know.  Email us or fill our contact form.

Note: Phone featured in this post is Google's Nexus one.
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1 comment:

  1. I had this issue recently, and did what you suggested which helped. I also found that deleting my email accounts and setting them up again cleaned out the Trash folder on the phone, and freed up space. It's easier to delete the accounts and reload them than to manually deleted the trash emails ONE by ONE.

    The photo gallery is another place to look for stuff to delete.


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