Fix: Insufficient Storage Available on Android

android_logo If you are using a phone or a tablet running on Android OS and are a geek wanting to try out various applications in Market, then you are bound to see an error message pop up on your device “Insufficient Storage Available” and the application installation fails.  Or, suddenly your GMail would stop sync’ing mails.

This is one of the very common problems with Android OS as all applications, by default, get installed on your phone memory that isn’t too large.  [As a matter of fact, Windows Phones do not have any such issue].  So whichever Android phone/tablet you take up, you will end up with the same problem – and yes, with one quick solution.

With a broadband speed of 20MBPS or more, my bet would be a fix that would take you not more than 15 minutes, around 200 MB of your disk space on your laptop/desktop on which you have Administrator privilege. So here’s it!

Step 1:  Download and Install Java Development Kit from Oracle’s website.  I downloaded JDK 7u2 for Windows x64 (approximately 87 MB)

Step 2: Download and Install Android SDK from Google’s website.  I preferred the recommended Windows Installer

Step 3: Run Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges on Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS.  [Start Menu –> type in cmd –> Right click the Command Prompt –> Run as Administrator.  The UAC will prompt you with a dialog which you should click as ‘Yes’]

Step 4:  If you have installed the latest version of Android SDK (SDK Manager Revision 16 or later), then type in following commands on cmd

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools

You may want to verify & replace the folder on which you have installed the SDK.  If you are using an older version of Android SDK, you may want to give a try at following path C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\tools

Step 5: On your Android phone/tablet, go to Settings –> Applications –> Development and enable USB Debugging.  Once done, connect the phone/tablet to your laptop/desktop via USB cable.


Step 6: Execute following commands (highlighted in blue only) in sequence

adb shell pm getInstallLocation

You would get an output as: 0[auto]

In Android, Install Location has 3 values

0[auto] – Let the system decide the best location
1[internal] – Install the application on internal device storage.  This means any internal storage provided with your device
2[external] – Install the application on external media.  This means any SD, microSD cards attached to your device.

Step 7: So let’s change the default location to 2[external]

adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2

This will change the default installation location to SD card of all the applications that you install henceforth.  What about those that are already installed on device storage?  I am sure you were unable to move all of them to SD card earlier.   You can give it a try now!  Alternatively, you can download an application Apps2SD and manually move them to SD card.

To check if the settings changed or not, you can execute Step 6 again and check the results

Step 8: Disable USB debugging on your phone/tablet. Close the Command Prompt and enjoy!

Step 9:  Drop in a comment, if this helped you.  If there was something else you would like to say, drop in a comment.

Update - 1

Update - 2


Update - 3 : For Samsung Devices

Apart from the steps mentioned above,

Dial *#9900# which will open the SysDump utility. Select Delete dumpstate/logcat which will free up the internal storage from all those logs

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  • Hasitha

    Awesome post dude, it worked. thanks!

  • http://Goa Omkar Harmalkar

    Thnxxx Dude that worked for me……

  • kittle apps and more

    There is 2 ways other then this to fix it, 1: check to see if the app is corrupted, this often happens when you have an app installed on sdcard and restored it from a nandroid backup, stopped a installation of an update, power goes off while updating, or putting to sdcard when the app only works on phone memory,

    2: you need to uninstall the app you are having trouble updating, either by the applications menu. or through the teminal(advanced users only please)

    2a: to uninstall from the application menu you open up settings in the app drawer, or hitting the menu key in most launchers. then go under applications>manage applications>touch the all tab>scroll down untill you see the app name or package name(Ex. the terminal emulator by JACK PALEVICH was corrupted from me, and it displayed its package name, (something like jack.term))>touch it, then click the “uninstall”, or if you converted to system app, and it corrupted click, “uninstall updates” it will also remove it.

    2b: (Advanced users only!) Check to see if you have android developer kit, and java sdk installed, then go to command prompt (windows users), if you deleted the shortcut goto my computer and in the address bar type in “C:/windows/system32/cmd.exe” without quotations. turn on usb debugging, wait for debugging to start (may have to put phone in modem mode, but models of phones may vary), take the exact path of the app you want to uninstall (again advanced users only, you may brick your phone, then get an expensive paperweight) heres an example of the android terminal emulator app on google play market, and is a user app(as its default). type in this and after each line hit enter (note this is when you install android developer kit in its default location, you may need to change the 1st line,

    cd “c:\program files\android\android-sdk\platform-tools\”

    adb devices

    adb shell su -c “mount -o rw,remount /dev/null /system”

    adb shell su -c “rm /data/app/jackpal.androidyerm-1.apk”

    adb reboot

    (end of the command prompt stuff, dont type in anything after adb reboot)

    that should fix it. -joshua kittle (owner of kittle apps & more)

    • kittle apps and more

      sorry i did a typo in my comment, in the code heres what you have to put.

      cd “c:\program files\android\android-sdk\platform-tools\”

      adb devices

      adb shell su -c “mount -o rw,remount /dev/null /system”

      adb shell su -c “rm /data/app/jackpal.androidterm-1.apk”

      adb reboot

  • ravi

    Does these steps work similar to apps2sd app?
    Because that app cannot move all the apps to sd card

  • hassane

    the commands are “adb shell pm get-install-location” and “adb pm set-install-location 2″

  • alonso

    instructions were easy to follow. had small alterations in folder location and some syntax in the commands (i’m using android 4.1) but the gist of it all is well understood.


  • Guillem Serra

    thanks for the help. It works after some problems. I comment here in case it can help someone.
    I own HTC Desire S. I run soon in “Insufficient storage” problem.
    I tried the process in my W7/64 but running under ESX(vmware) server, it was unable to detect de adb device .
    After that I tried on XP/32, also unable to detect de adb device. I installed the ADK for android 2.2 witout success. I tried to install a driver for USB for adb, again failed.
    After that, I installed the “HTC Sync” program on XP/32 and after few tries it Sync’ed with the phone.
    At this moment I was able to execute de “adb shell pm getInstallLocation” comand series.

    The problem was the missing driver for HTC USB port!



  • Diaa

    HI Sir,
    actually i did these steps but i think there is something wrong i do
    i want ask you if you can send me video to show me that because when i start cmd
    it starts with C:\ windows\system32)
    so when i write blue statements gives me wrong path or something
    please tell me other way more easier
    please answer me i need to fix this problem ………………………………………………….

    • Punit Ganshani

      The command cmd always starts at C:\windows\system32.

      Once you have installed the required software you have to use DOS commands (cd\) to navigate to that path.

  • Jin

    I don’t understand In Step 3 : I have problem. It’s show C:\Windows\system32> in cmd window. And I don’t know how to fix it. please tell me.

    Thank you

  • DJM

    Excellent thank you, the instructions were enough to get me through just fine. Much appreciated :)

  • Patrick

    Hi There, works a treat on my china dual sim mobile running android 2.3.5.

  • Patrick

    Thanks worked a treat on my china dual sim mobile running 2.3.4.
    I only have 1 question will I have to reinstall all my apps?

  • Frannie

    followed every step, even though they weren’t very clear and need to be updated (hint: make sure you download Java SDK!!! it has the proper tools. i did everything to a T and it didn’t do anything for the error message. after HOURS of trying to figure out these vague, out-dated directions, i got NOTHING.


  • Danilo

    This was my final solution, because I got the same error message with certain apps

    “I uninstalled all the updates for the factory apps and the error ceased”

  • Danilo


  • Lonney

    This is great. There are a couple of extra steps with the current version.

    Step 4 – the platform-tools directory doesnt exist, you have to first run C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\SDK Manager.exe, and tick Android Platform SDK platform-tools, update/install.
    Step 6 – You also need the USB driver for your phone installed before running these commands.

    The issue I still have with my ATT&T Fusion (Huawei U8652) is after doing this, moving all the applications, I still only have 16mb free with the internal memory. I’m thinking the only way around this is to root the phone and use a different ROM that doesn’t have all the (mostly unneeded) AT&T software taking up space?

  • Jeff D

    This worked for me…for the most part. I’m still working on updating because I had over 30 in need of updates that I couldn’t update due to this error but I’m about 1/2 done now. There have been 3 apps I haven’t been able to update so far. I’m guessing they are designed to force to internal storage despite the setting. I certainly could be wrong but it seems logical. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!!!!

  • Sumit

    Hi Punit, When I type in the “adb shell pm getInstallLocation” line, i get *daemon not running. starting it now port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *
    error: device not found

    Can you please help me out.

  • ChrisM

    A major time-saver is to just install ‘Link2SD’ – which enables more apps to live on the SD card than Android does – and open Menu-Settings-‘Install Location and set ‘External’. It requires root access, of course.

  • fazzman

    I too have the same problem –“device not found” etc. You mentioned that the only way is to root the device. If you can instruct me as to how to do that , GREAT. I have tried before with no success. (no device found ) and the tablet does not show up on device manager (windows XP). I can follow your directions -thanks

    • robert

      You don’t have the phones drivers it needs to be found on a computer search on Google ” your phone name your company drivers” download them and try it again

  • vick

    It didn’t work on my samsung galaxy S. I did all what you said but still having same error with skype. I was able to install angry bird however that takes 16.46 MB but not skype that only takes 14 MB…Please help!

    • Punit Ganshani

      Did you try un-installing all your installed apps and then trying this solution?

      – Apply the fix mentioned in the blog post
      – Go in to the settings and then go in to application manage.
      – After that go in to the market place and then force stop and then also clear all the data and the cache.
      – After that reboot your phone and then again try to do the same and check if you are getting any error.

      If you are still getting the error, the only way would be to root the device. let me know if you would want that fix?

      • vick

        Sorry for the late reply..
        Now I want to root my phone but i want to update the firmware to the newer version so that the phone would unroot again if its possible…my current firmware is 2.2
        I would appreciate your help!

  • Hari

    But in cmd its showing no adb device found

  • Lev

    Did not work. I have 600MB of internal memory available on my Samsung Galaxy S and still getting the same error message when trying to install applications from Google Play.

  • Joeroger1

    Did not work. Samsung Dart from T-Mobile. SD card free space = 7.21GB, Internal memory free space = 65MB. Cannot install many apps… trying to install Angry Birds Space shows “Downloading” for 5 minutes… then it fails with insufficient storage again. Those responsible for the Android OS really need to get their act together… it shouldn’t be this difficult to install a silly game.

  • akemai

    oops I forget to install HTC driver from “error: device not found” is solved.

  • akemai

    I think I know how to install android driver, which is by going to SDK manager and check Google USB driver package to install it.

  • akemai

    what do you do when it says “error: device not found”?

  • Just me

    Thank you. It worked flawlessly, I think I can recommend this to everybody who has problems with their internal memory.

    • Hari

      Hi just tell me whether it required windows 7 64 bit as i am having 32 bit

      • Punit Ganshani

        It should work on both versions of Windows

        • Hari

          adb is not recognized as an internal or external command,
          operable progress or batch file.

          • Punit Ganshani

            If you’re using 32-bit Windows, you need to install the 32-bit USB driver for adb. The USB driver is included in the SDK package. To install it, follow these steps:

            Connect your Android device via USB. When the Found New Hardware Wizard appears, you’ll be asked if you’d like Windows Update to search for software. Select No, not this time and click Next.
            Select Install from a list or specified location and click Next.
            Select Search for the best driver in these locations. Browse to the usb_driver/x86 in the SDK package (\usb_driver\x86).
            Click Finish. The system should install the driver files as necessary. Your machine may require a reboot.

            • Hari

              ya i had finished changing location but when i install apps it installs in phone memory. i had resetted my mobile and the phone memory was filled upto 9 mb. Now when i installed 5 or 6 apps the phone memory filled upto 33 mb so what should i do? my mobile model is samsung galaxy y duos

              • Punit Ganshani

                If you are still getting the error, the only way would be to root the device. let me know if you would want that fix?

                • Ivan

                  Dear Sir,
                  I’m hvaing the same problem with the same device (Samsung Galaxy Y Duos). How do I fix this, please?

  • Vinod Vasnani

    Worked like a charm, thanks lots!