My HTC Evo Shift is feeling cramped
July 23, 2012 1:11 PM   Subscribe

My HTC Evo Shift 4G (two years old?) keeps telling me I'm running out of internal storage. Right now there is only 51.59MB free in the internal storage, while my SD card has over 14G free. It's getting to the point that system apps can't be updated because there is not enough space. What can I do to free up more internal space?

Possibly relevant system info:

* Android version 2.3.4
* HTC Sense version 2.1
* Kernel version | htc-kernal@and18-2 #1
* Build number 2.77.651.3 CL259408 release-keys
(I really have no clue what all of this means)
* No system updates are available

The largest applications on my phone seem to be ones that are part of the system - Kindle, Internet, Flash Player, Facebook, Maps, etc. - and I cannot move them to the SD card or delete them. I do frequently use the 'Manage Applications' function to clear data from these applications, but that only seems to help temporarily.

The Dialer Storage and Contacts Storage are also very large in size. The majority of my contacts are synced with my Google contact list (there are only 4 listed as being only stored in my phone) or come from Facebook. I love that my contacts are linked with my FB account, but I suppose I could unlink them if this is causing a storage space issue. I'd love to tell the phone to store all of this info on the SD card, but don't know if it's possible or how to do it. My SMS messages are limited to 200 per conversation, so older messages are automatically deleted.

Maybe rooting is the answer? I have read this thread in the Android forums about rooting my phone, but it's all very overwhelming and I'm very afraid that I will bork my phone or loose everything. Also, if rooting is the answer, can someone tell me why it would help and/or explain how to do it like I'm five?

So how on earth do I free up more internal space?
posted by youngergirl44 to Technology (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had this problem on my Nexus One, right before my N1 finally died on me and I had to replace it. Rooting is the only answer that I'm aware of. These older phones were just built with insufficient internal memory, relative to the size of applications right now.

What you could do, if you desired, would be to downgrade most or all of the applications to the versions that came with the phone. (On phones with 'undeletable' carrier-supplied apps, if you try to delete them you'll probably just downgrade to the initial version. At least this is on my T-Mobile phones.) They will probably be a lot smaller than current versions.

But as developers have updated apps, they have caused a horrendous amount of size bloat. I think this is mostly because developers, in general, upgrade their phones far more often than average users do. So they are building and testing for the new hotness, leaving those of us with 2- and 3-year-old phones screwed if we want to have more than a few modern apps in the paltry internal storage.

Rooting is a fairly risky procedure and if you've never done it, and you only have one phone, I'd find a friend who has gone through the process to do it with you. (Not for you, but with you, so you'll know for the future.) With a ROM like Cyanogen, I think you might squeeze another year or few out of that phone, beyond what you'd otherwise get with the factory bloatware.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2012

I had the same problem on my 1st generation Sprint EVO. I uninstalled pretty much every app that I didn't absolutely need, and kept using the "clear data" button every few days. I absolutely stopped using Facebook on the phone because it would cache so much every time. When the 2 year contract was up, I bought a new phone.
posted by matildaben at 1:34 PM on July 23, 2012

I had the same issue with my Sprint Evo 4G (same as matildaben), which is just a little older than your shift. I cleared the data out of Maps and Kindle sometimes, since I could re-download under most circumstances. I got an app called App-to-SD or something like that (app2sd?) which could figure out which apps could be moved.

I cursed the stupid apps I didn't need., but wasn't willing to root the phone at the time.

I have a rooted phone through work, and it's about the same specs and never bothers me with this crap-- I don't run facebook and twitter on it, and so I can 86 those apps for real, instead of being married to them.

Also, rooting your phone is low-risk-- that is, it's a low risk of failure, but failure has a high-ish probability of bricking your phone. CyanogenMod 7 is a very nice, mainstream and popular (and fairly well supported) ROM you can use on your rooted phone; it won't cramp your style at all.

Me, I upgraded to the Sprint 4G LTE. No LTE yet but the phone is a dream so far.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:40 PM on July 23, 2012

Yup. CyanogenMod is the answer to this problem.
posted by pharm at 2:08 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had the same problem with my Evo 4G, and perusing some of the smartphone forums online it seems that it's a known issue. HTC end-of-lifed the phone, but Sprint pushed an update a few weeks ago that seems to have fixed the problem.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:10 PM on July 23, 2012

Response by poster: Ok, so let's say I do want to go with CyanogenMod. What do I do? I was poking around on the CM site, and found where to download the firmware for my device, but no instructions on how to get it onto my phone. I honestly have no clue what to do and, as I mentioned in the OP, all the instructions for rooting just overwhelm me. I feel like such a jerk because I'm usually able to figure out things like this on my own.
posted by youngergirl44 at 2:22 PM on July 23, 2012

I found that the cache is the problem on my phone. There is a way to get to the root menu and clear the cash then request the update. I don't have those instructions on me now and I have to go but I'll update later with the right link.
posted by CodeMonkey at 2:22 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here are fairly good instructions for that phone. I haven't tested them though, and if they don't make sense on an initial read-through, you should probably find someone in real life who has done it to help. It's not that hard, but if you don't do it right, you will own a brick/doorstop/hockeypuck.

Also it involves crapping up a PC with a lot of software that you probably won't need later, and which might interact with other stuff you have installed (particularly weird hardware drivers). You may want to hose off a fresh WinXP machine expressly for this purpose, if you have one sitting around. That is what I'd do, anyway.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I also have an EVO Shift.

Here's my non-root solutions:

- move as many apps as possible to SD card
- clean out your contacts in gmail, then clear data in the app settings (back your contacts up first tho) and ready them after you cleaned out
- clear data from Facebook
posted by k8t at 2:34 PM on July 23, 2012

I'm running out in a minute, but the rundown for CyanogenMod is this:

1) Backup everything you can before rooting!!! YOU WILL PROBABLY LOSE EVERYTHING ON YOUR PHONE.
2) Root the phone. (Primer: ClockwordMod (CWM) is the environment that you can use to Flash new ROMs onto your phone. Think of it as being analogous to booting your PC into DOS from a floppy, if that makes any sense to you...)
3) Download and install ROM Manager from the Play Store. It provides a nice GUI that you can use to flash ROMs instead of the normal CWM interface. You can also make full system backups (called a 'nandroid') here.

I'm not sure of any specifics with the Shift 4G, so someone else please feel free to add any caveats/gotchas with the instructions above. On some other phones, some folks made fixes for the 'Low Space' issue that merged two partitions on the device, and didn't require you to flash a custom ROM. There are also plenty of custom ROMs that retain HTC Sense instead of the "Standard Android" UI that you get with CyanogenMod.

When you flash your new ROM, you'll probably need to wipe *everything* first (annoying, right?). You might be able to skip this if you're flashing a fairly standard Sense ROM, but definitely not if you're flashing CyanogenMod for the first time. (Some people suggest manually formatting the /system partition when trying CyanogenMod for the first time, but YMMV) Make sure you know how to manually boot into CWM, in case you screw things up and need to re-flash or restore a backup.
posted by schmod at 2:37 PM on July 23, 2012

You don't need to install a new ROM to solve this issue, just an app called Link2SD. You will need to root the phone, which is fairly trivial, and you will need to partition the SD card which is a little harder, but it's still a lot easier than installing a new ROM.
posted by alexei at 3:47 PM on July 23, 2012

If you need any help with the rooting process, or something goes wrong, sign up at XDA-Developers. The forums there are read and written-to by phone nerds of the highest order. XDA was the first HTC phone to come to the US, and that forum was created by, and for, HTC fans, but covers many more phones now. It's free, it's a giant potential timesink depending on your interest level, but if you read it long enough, you'll find yourself thinking about cooking your own ROMs. (At that point, get some sunlight.)
posted by Sunburnt at 7:20 PM on July 23, 2012

OK, I am back. Here is some suggestions I found that MIGHT help:
posted by CodeMonkey at 6:40 AM on July 24, 2012

I realized that my text message thread with my spouse is HUGE and full of photos... see about deleting those sort of things.
posted by k8t at 12:19 PM on July 24, 2012

If you want, there are a number of apps that will back up your text messages to Gmail. I think "SMS Backup" is the utility I use, although there are several.

You can run that and then delete the messages from your phone, and you'll both preserve your messages and free up a lot of space. And you'll make your messages searchable and have a permanent archive.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:51 PM on July 24, 2012

« Older Is my landlord right about air circulation &...   |   A Device for Every Snowflake! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.