Getting a Memory Full error message on a Smartphone? Here’s a fix.

Is your smartphone showing a “Memory Full”, “Low on space”, “Text message memory full” or “Insufficient memory” error message? Chances are there is a simple fix. In this article I will cover some possible causes as well as some solutions to try and get your phone working correctly again.

Check your Storage

Let’s start out by checking your available storage. Your phone might just be full and not have any more space to save anything. How to actually check the storage is going to depend a lot on the phone itself and what operating system it’s running on. It’s usually under the phones settings and then storage. You want to look for how much space is available on the internal storage (internal not external). The internal storage is how much space is on the phone its self, the external is often a memory card in the phone.

If the Internal storage is showing a Number and then MB (megabyte), for example 15MB then your phone has run out of space and you need to do some cleaning on the phone.

Moving Applications to a Memory Card

Some phones simply do not come with enough internal storage on them. Some have such a small amount that the manufacturer actually includes a memory card to go with the phone.  

If this is the case with your phone then I recommend you:

  • First check your memory card and see what size it is, if it’s 4GB or smaller I recommend you invest in a bigger memory card. You can read about what memory card might be best for you if you want some tips about buying a micro SD card, just don’t forget to check the class before buying.
  • Second, move as much as possible to that memory card starting with your applications. To move your applications on an android phone you can typically go into the phones Settings and then Manage Apps then click on the individual applications and see if the phone will let you move the app to the memory card.
  • Third, you should set the default storage location for the Camera to be the Memory card. That way your phones storage won’t fill up as fast and it will add more security for your information. Should the phone ever malfunction or break, your pictures and videos will be on that memory card as opposed the phone.

If there is still too much information on the phone and your memory is still full then you might have to do some more cleaning.

Phone Backup

One of the best ways to clean up your phone is to backup your phone to a computer, save everything to the computer that you need and then erase it from the phone. Its surprising on how fast pictures, videos, texts, apps, and basically all information can add up on the phone. So backup your information to a computer, a memory card, online, and if you have 250 contacts or less than you can usually save your names and numbers to your phones SIM card as well (If your phone uses a SIM card that is).


After doing a backup or going though your info and deleting the unimportant info go back and check your storage. If the storage is saying GB instead of MB then you should be in much better shape. One GB (gigabyte) is equal to roughly 1000 MB (megabytes). Try the phone out and see if it fixed the issue.

Hard Reset

To make sure that this issue doesn’t continue or reoccur I suggest that you do a full backup and then a Full reset on the phone. You should wipe everything from the phone and put the phone to its factory default settings. The option to do a reset is called different things depending on the phone sometimes it’s called a Factory Data Reset, Master Reset, Master Clear, etc. just make sure you backup your phone before you reset it for obvious reasons. You don’t want to lose any important information.

After doing the reset the phone should revert back to its factory default settings and everything that was added to the phone should be wiped from the device. It will be as it was when you first bought it. If it’s still error messaging after performing a full wipe and there has been nothing downloaded to the device then your phone might have a software glitch, bug, or virus and you should look into alternate options available. You can review some of those alternatives or replacement options here.

If you had rooted your phone then do a search online to reload the default or most current OS (Operating system) onto the phone again to see if that fixes it. Flashing the phones software can be a little complicated but you can consider doing that as well.

If your phone just has a problem of filling up with too much information to fast then you might want to consider purchasing a memory card for the device. This will allow you to extend your devices storage capability and will also help protect your information should your device ever malfunction. You can read about what SD card might be right for you here.


In conclusion a reset will often fix weird issues like this and if it doesn’t then you might need to look into replacing the device. Check your warranty, insurance, upgrade or purchasing options if you need to. Otherwise don’t neglect your backups, don’t text and drive, don’t listen to music on your phone while in the shower, and enjoy the device.

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2 thoughts on “Getting a Memory Full error message on a Smartphone? Here’s a fix.”

  1. cannot move to SD card
    Hi, i have not been able to move app from phone to SD card. These options are greyed out. Also it gives me no further option, so I am stuck.

    1. I have found that not all

      I have found that not all applications will allow you to move them to your SD card. NOW if you’re getting an error message about memory then check the space on your memory card to make sure that it isn’t full. If it is full (doesn’t sound like it is) then you might want to free up some space or look into buying a better memory card.

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