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How To Fix "Insufficient Storage Available" Error On Android Phones

Updated on December 22, 2014

How to Fix the "Insufficient Storage Available" Error on Android Phones

Most Android users at one point or another have experienced the nuisance of being told there is "insufficient storage available" when trying to download a new app. I know when I first got this message, I was especially confused because I had plenty of storage left, and Android only limits the installation of new apps when you have less than 15 MB of storage remaining. I quickly learned that rooted Android phones were much more likely to have this bug than unrooted ones. ("Rooted" or "jailbroken" phones allow users access to Android's subsystems.) Users typically get this error because the app is installing on the internal rather than the external storage —and the internal storage is pretty small.

Many of the work-arounds I saw online reportedly had mixed results, so I decided to put together three different ways to fix the "insufficient storage available" error on Android phones.

#1 Fix for Insufficient Storage on Android

The Lucky Patcher app is one way to fix the "insufficient storage available" error on android phones. Lucky Patcher is a pretty nifty app that works on rooted devices to remove ads, modify permissions, and bypass license verifications. For our purposes, these are the steps:

  1. Find the Lucky Patcher app, download, and install it in your device.
  2. In the menu of the app, navigate to "Troubleshooting."
  3. Click on the button highlighted in red below.

Then restart your device. This quick, easy process should solve the problem. Should you encounter the same bug again, you can simply repeat these steps and you will be able to install any app you want.

Android Insufficient Storage Available error and Solution

Fix for "Insufficient Storage" Error on Android #2

If the first option doesn't work, there's another one you can try. For this method, you will need a file manager with root access. If you don't have one installed, The Root Explorer, OI File Manager, and ES File Explorer are all good options and can be downloaded from Google Play.

1. Open the file explorer and navigate to the app directory.

2. Find the application whose installation prompted the "Insufficient Storage Available" error. Once you find it, click on the .apk file—in this instance, the AccuWeatherPhone2014 application—and delete it.

3. Then, re-install or updating the app again. That should get rid of the error.

Fix for Android "Insufficient Storage" #3

The last method for fixing the "insufficient storage available" is a little complex. It requires the use of a PC or a laptop and begins with downloading and installing the Java Development Kit, if you do not already have it installed.

  1. After you've installed the Java Development Kit, download the latest release of the Android SDK.
  2. On a Windows 7 or 8 operating system, run the command prompt as administrator. To initiate the command prompt, click on the start button and type "cmd."
  3. Rick click on the command prompt and run as an administrator, as shown below. When the dialogue box appears, click "Yes."

4. Then, on the command prompt, type the following on the command line: C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools.

5. On your Android phone, enable "USB Debugging." (Menu => Settings => Applications => Development). Once in the "Development" folder, click on the button enabling "USB Debugging."

6. Connect your phone to the computer through your USB cable. In the command prompt, perform the following command: adb shell pm getInstallLocation

Running this command will allow you to change the installation location for your applications. You will be presented with three options:

  • 0 (auto): the system will decide the best location for installing the applications.
  • 1 (internal): the system will install the application on the phone's internal storage.
  • 2 (external): the system will install the application on external storage, such as any SD card you have installed on your device. Choose this option.

Once you've made your selection, disable USB debugging on your phone and close the command prompt on the computer.

Your phone should now be fixed!

You have now successfully completed my guide to fixing the “insufficient storage available” error on Android phones. You can now continue to enjoy your Android phone experience, especially with the numerous apps made available for Android.

How To Fix "Insufficient Storage Available" Error

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  • TTGReviews profile image

    TTGReviews 2 years ago

    @dpats Option #2, The app is the one that you are trying to install. It will appear with the *.apk file type, but it will only be there if your device had enough space to download the apk, but not enough to install the app on top of that.

  • londonaccountants profile image

    Goringe Accountants 3 years ago from London, UK

    Great tips, many thanks for sharing!!!

  • profile image

    Xuatqc 3 years ago

    many thanks. Option 3 Follow the Mediavince way its worked.

  • John Puhr profile image

    John Puhr 4 years ago from Terre Haute, Indiana

    Thank you so much. Was getting frustrated trying to solve this.

    had the problem with the droid Razr M and the third option was the one to work ( though it was 2 so i set it to 0)

  • profile image

    mediavince 4 years ago

    Option 3 worked on Samsung S2 for new installs, by doing this:

    adb shell pm set-install-location 1

    note that the camelcase method does not work, it works with hyphens:

    getInstallLocation ~ get-install-location

    nb: still looking for a solution to be able to update existing apps...

    hope that helps!

  • profile image

    Chris 4 years ago

    Method 3 is working for me this way; first: (adb shell pm get-install-location), then: (adb shell pm set-install-location 2) or 0 or 1.

    Copy without parenthesis.

    But anyway the storage of Galaxy2 has stupid partition around 12GB and 2 GB is left for rest of the system and that 12GB is almost empty and there is no way to change location there. 0 is auto what it mean internal 2GB, 1 is internal - the some 2GB and 2 is external SD. No numer to redirect to that not usable 12GB partition of 16 GB internal storage

  • profile image

    dpats 4 years ago

    Hi

    concerning the first option, when i try to install the Lucky Pather app it gives me the "Insufficient Storage Available" message. So I can't even install it.

    Concerning the 2nd option i do not know which already installed app is the problematic one , so that I delete it. And Which file from the app should I delete. And where should I locate it?

    Concerning the 3rd option I have already tried on the LG Optimus L7 but didn't work.

    Can you advise me please?

    Thanks