How to Free up Space on the Galaxy S6

In this guide we’ll show you how to free up space on your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy Note 5. It’s frustrating to run out of space on your phone. Not to mention things get slow, apps won’t install, you can’t take photos, and other problems arise. If you have an aging Galaxy S6 that’s out of space we’re here to help.

Samsung’s phone has a lot to offer, but expandable storage isn’t one of them. That means you’re stuck with only 32GB of space inside devices like the Galaxy S6 or the Note 5. That year Samsung removed the microSD slot.

Read: 5 Things to Know About the Galaxy S6 Oreo Update

Thankfully Samsung has a few tools in place to help you manage your Galaxy S6 storage. You’ll need to use these tools if you’re out of space. Or, to prepare for the Android 8.0 Oreo update. Our instructions below uses something called Device Maintenance or Smart Manager, both by Samsung.

When you only have 32GB of storage it’s easy to run out of space. Especially after owning the Galaxy S6 for a year or two, or even three. So, whether you’re having problems, don’t have enough space to take photos, or you just want to prepare for future updates, here’s what you need to do.

Before we begin, if you have the latest Android 7.0 Nougat update on the Galaxy S6 or Note 5, you’ll probably want to look for “Device Maintenance” in settings. If your phone runs older software, continue to the “Smart Manager” section of the instructions below.

How to Free Up Space on the Galaxy S6 or Note 5

First things first, head to your settings menu and open the Device Maintenance tab. From here, each category breaks down into multiple layers for easy access and full controls. This is where we’ll control and manage your device storage.

  • Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped settings icon, or find the Settings app in the application tray
  • Scroll down to and select Device Maintenance
  • Now, select the third icon labeled “Storage”
  • From here, follow the instructions below or in our video

In storage, you’ll get a breakdown of everything on your phone. You’ll see all of your documents and downloads, images, audio, videos, and all of your apps. Each category displays how much storage is in use.

In the middle of your screen, you’ll see a big “Clean Now” button on new Galaxy devices. This is a very basic cleaning, but effective nonetheless. Samsung quickly frees up storage space by deleting unnecessary files, data, cached info, thumbnails, advertisement files and video preview icons.

The image above is from the Galaxy S7, but you’ll have the same options on your Galaxy S6. Go ahead and select Clean Now then wait for the phone to finish. Expect to get anywhere from 1-5GB of storage back, if not more, depending on how much you use your phone. This doesn’t erase anything important, and simply removes old leftovers and residual files from your phone.

Next, you can tab on each sub-category for more information, or to clear things from each individual area. It’s a good way to delete duplicate pictures, old videos, text messages, unused apps and more. After you complete this process you’re all set. The only other way to free up space is to delete old photos, uninstall apps, or remove content from your phone.

How to Free Up Space Your Samsung Galaxy with Smart Manager

If your phone isn’t running Android 7.0 Nougat you’ll want to use Smart Manager to free up space on the Galaxy S6. To start, head to your settings menu and open the Smart Manager tool.

  • Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped settings icon, or find the Settings app in the application tray
  • Scroll down to and select Smart Manager
  • Now, select Storage

This is where the magic happens, just like the app we mentioned above. You see how much space is available, and can easily delete unnecessary data, user data, and other things. Scroll through the list and select from the options that best suit your needs.

You can simply hit delete to clear unnecessary data like old files, cached data, thumbnails and other things, or tap “Detail” to see a breakdown of everything in each category. This helps you understand what’s where, and what areas to focus on if you decide to use other apps to help you free up space.

Next, simply go back to the main “storage” screen and tap the second choice “Unnecessary data”. Your phone will delete cached files, residual files, and such. Your phone decides what to delete here, and it’s nothing you’ll miss. So don’t worry about it deleting photos or videos, that won’t happen. It only deletes temporary files and stuff that isn’t important.

Other Details

These are the easiest ways to free up space on an old Galaxy S6 or Note 5. The same steps work for most Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets, so keep that in mind. Your only other option is to delete apps, remove videos or content, or use something like Google Photos to backup images to the cloud. Then delete them from your phone. Additionally, we recommend upgrading to the Galaxy S8 or upcoming Galaxy S9, as they have a microSD slot for storage expansion.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to being more aware of storage as you use your phone day in and day out. If you take 10 photos while trying to get a clear photo, delete the bad ones when you’re done. Don’t just leave them for later, otherwise, you’ll eventually have 2 years worth of photos taking up all the free space on your phone.

Take 15 minutes every month or so to clean out pictures or videos, or uninstall apps you no longer use and enjoy. That way you’re not in a rush to delete anything and everything when you’re phone suddenly tells you there’s no space left and you can’t download apps or take photos. Before you go, check out these 65 Helpful Galaxy S6 Tips & Tricks.

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