Unable to free space on my internal memory


My fairphone1 always tells me its storage is full.

I installed Clean Master and cleaned everything I could. I uninstalled all the apps I don’t really need and moved all what I could to phone storage. But I only have 11MB free, the message always displayed and I cannot install Airdroid…

Internal Storage:

  • Total = 0,98MB
  • Free = 11,13MB
  • Apps = 285MB

Phone Storage:

  • Total = 12.98GB
  • Free = 9.67GB

SD Card:

  • Total = 14.83GB
  • Free = 1,65GB

I saw this page (https://fairphone.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/202049593-Internal-Storage) but I did not find any further documentation to merge the partitions.

How to analyse internal storage usage to see where space is waste?
How to solve this problem?

Thank you for your help.

PS This morning, I uninstalled AirDroid to try to free space. But after it has been removed, very little disk space has been freed. And now, I cannot reinstall it. But I need it ! I don’t understand where the free space goes…

It looks like you never applied the upgrade storage layout.
So you have bought your Fairpone form the first batch which shipped in late 2013/early 2014.
Is that correct?
On which version you are, go to the update to see this?

You’ll have to make the Unified Storage Upgrade. Which version of the OS do you run? 1.6 or 1.8.7 or?

Thank you for your answers.

I have a fairphone from the first batch.

My OS version is 1.8.7

I did not find the documentation to make the Unified Storage Upgrade, I only heard about it on the page I mentioned in my first message.

Here are the instructions: https://www.fairphone.com/tutorials-en/#/manufacturer/fairphone/device/fairphone/category/software-update/topic/install-storage-upgrade-for-v1-8-7/1 (German, Dutch and French is also available)
Please don’t forget to backup all your data, as the upgrade will erase everything.


The important thing to realise about the storage updater is that it will delete all data on the device. You’ll need to have good backups of all your data, and note that the backup and restore app does not save all your data. The official support article about how to backup is here.

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It is a really bad new that the storage updater will delete all my data…

Maybe I don’t have the choice but before doing it, I need to understand some things.

  • What kind of data is feeding my internal memory?
  • Where is that data located?
  • How could I manually analyze it and clean?
  • Why if I have an application installed and working and I uninstall it (and clean unused and obsoletes files with Clean Master), then I don’t have free space enough to reinstall it?

Thank you for your help

A question again: if I perform the storage updater and it merges the partitions (internal storage and phone storage), will the space problem be solved definitively or will it only be hidden for a while?

I am asking that because it seems to me that if an unknown problematic process is feeding my storage with no possibility to free this space, the merged partition will be fed the same thing but slower…

I think it is a real problem and I would really appreciate if you could help me understand the underlying problem, maybe allowing me to manually free space when needed.

Thank you

You should be able to figure out what is eating data via settings > storage. Other than the breakdown into broad categories (which should roughly add up to the internal storage size), it provides links to ways to manage the data - e.g. if you tap misc. it shows an overview of folders that are in misc. and allows deleting any that you select. It also allows to clear cached data from all apps in one go by tapping cached data (this isn’t the same as deleting all data stored by the apps, only temporary storage should be affected.).

Thank you Johannes. In Settings/Storage/Internal Storage, I have only

  • Total (0.98MB)
  • Free (9.34MB)
  • Apps (246MB)

I don’t find misc. If I tap Apps and list the downloaded apps, the total (manually computed) is 180MB. Tapping elsewhere under Internal Storage has no effect.

In Settings/Storage/Phone Storage, I have cached data but it is only 288KB.

Then the other categories are probably only visible after the storage layout change (as I did the update quite some time ago, I’m struggling to remember what the old layout was like).
I’m trying to think of the issues reported here about space filling up, the best one to come to mind is:

But you’d need a root-enabled filemanager to check whether those files even exist (the built-in file manager will not let you see those files). I can’t find the files referred to on my own phone, so this may be something created in earlier versions of Fairphone OS that got deleted when I did the storage upgrade.
If I remember anything else, I’ll add in details here.

That was the answer, thank you very much Johannes. After many tries, I installed a file manager (Amaze) that allows me to access the root folder of my fairphone. And in /data/log_other_mode, I found hundreds MB of log files. I deleted kernel_*.log and I have now 240MB free in my internal storage !

I think this is a fairphone’s bug because log files management is a recurrent problem in computers and this should be configured to not fill the hard drive and causing troubles to end user.

Should I create a ticket somewhere?

I’m guessing it’s been fixed in at least 1.8.7, as it doesn’t show up on my own device (maybe someone else can confirm). Could be that the log hasn’t been growing since the update, but that in your case the files can still be found there as the internal storage was never wiped. I’d first check in a couple of days whether new log files have been added to that folder to see if the problem still exists.

Hi! I have had my fairphone for two years now and a couple of months ago I noticed that something was wrong with the storing on the phone. I tried to download an app from appstore and I couldn’t cause the storing space was full. I tried to delete some apps and photos to get more room for other things, but even if I could see that I ended up with lots of free space on the sim card I couldnt’t download any more apps. It is just saying that the memory is full even if it isn’t. Does anybody know what to do? Now I can’t even update the apps I have. Thankful for respons!

I moved your post here, Ingrid, please read the other posts in this topic. If you have another question, the community is here to help! :slight_smile: