Although digital trash may not seem as harmful as the physical trash in your kitchen dustbin, it may have similar repercussions. In addition to taking up unnecessary space and making you look and feel disorganized, it puts your device’s health and security at risk. Unfortunately, unlike computers with a recycle bin on Windows or trash on Mac, emptying the trash on your Android device isn’t as straightforward. Here, we’ll look at several methods to clear junk to create more space and make your Android more responsive.
Method 1: Using Files by Google
Google has the Files app that stores data from all other apps on the phone and serves as the file manager. This app lets you delete your junk files and data and remove them from the trash. Here is how you use the Files app. The steps below start with deleting the files you want to remove from your device. However, if your files are already in the trash, skip to step 4.
Step 1: Launch the App
Files by Google is your default file manager if your device uses the Android Go operating system. Otherwise, download Google Files from the play store.
Step 2: Find the Category With the Files You Intend to Delete
Under categories, select the software with the junk files you’d like to delete from your device. For instance, if you intend to delete a song or DJ mix, scroll to the “audio” category.
Step 3: Delete the File
Scroll through the list of files under that category until you find the one you intend to delete. Click the hamburger menu (three dots) to the right of the filename to open a menu. From the menu, tap on “Move to bin” or click the trash can icon on the top menu.
Step 4: Open the Trash Can
Click the arrow at the top left corner to go to the Google files homepage, then click the hamburger menu at the top left corner. Select “Trash” from the menu that pops up.
Step 5: Empty the Trash in Android
On the trash page, check the radio box next to “All items” if you intend to delete all files in the trash. After selecting the files you want to delete, tap “Delete” at the bottom of the screen, then confirm. All files will be deleted permanently from your device. Be careful and review all files before deleting them; this action cannot be undone.
Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:
Method 2: Using a Built-in Trash Holder
Some apps on your Android have a built-in trash can that holds files and deletes them permanently after a while. These apps include Gmail, Gallery, Google Photos, and Dropbox. Follow these steps to empty trash from such apps.
Method 2.1 Emptying Trash in Gmail on Android
Step 1: Open the Gmail Folder and Open the Menu
Locate the Gmail app among your apps and tap it to open. While in the app, click the hamburger menu (three lines) at the top left corner to open the Gmail menu.
Step 2: Open the Trash Folder
Scroll through the menu and tap the trash icon.
Step 3: Empty the Trash
If you don’t want to get rid of all emails at once, you can select the emails you want to empty from the trash by clicking on the profile icon next to the sender’s name. If you’re going to eliminate all the emails in the trash folder, tap the “Empty Trash Now” option.
Method 2.2 Empty Trash on Google Photos
When you delete photos from Google Photos, they aren’t immediately permanently deleted. Instead, they are sent to the trash folder and deleted after 30 days, which takes up a lot of space. Here is how to empty this folder.
Step 1: Open Google Photos and Go to the Library
Open the Google Photos app on your phone. Select “Library” at the bottom left corner to get more options.
Step 2: Open the Trash Folder
Tap the “Trash” option under “Library” to open the Trash folder.
Step 3: Empty the Trash
Long press one of the photos under Trash to enable multiple selections. Tap on every item you want to empty from the trash and click “Delete” at the bottom left. Confirm your action, and the content will be deleted permanently.
Other apps have a built-in trash folder, which varies based on your device’s manufacturer and Android version. Confirm whether an app has this feature and use it to delete the trash.
Method 3: By Clearing Cache Data
Apps store Cache data temporarily for a faster and more customized experience. Although cache data means no harm when in your device, it takes up significant storage space, and deleting it periodically helps to clear space and speeds up your phone. Clearing cache data is also a remedy for solving problems with an app, such as slow loading.
Use these steps to remove junk by clearing the cache.
Step 1: Open Apps and Notifications Under Settings
Locate the Settings app on your phone and click to open Settings. Under Settings, go to “Apps and notifications”.
Step 2: Go to the App for Which You Want to Delete the Cache
Select “See all apps” and run through the list of apps as you try to locate the app for which you want to delete the cache. Tap on the app to open more options.
Step 3: Clear the Cache
Select “Storage and cache” under the app options, and on the open page, select “Clear cache”.
Method 4: By Uninstalling Unnecessary Apps
Are there apps on your phone that you have not used? If yes, these are part of the trash you should do away with to create space in your device. Here are the steps for emptying the trash on your phone by uninstalling all unnecessary apps.
Step 1: Go to App Settings
Open your Settings app and scroll through until you get to “Apps and notifications”. Click on “See all apps” to see a list of all the apps on your device.
Step 2: Uninstall the App
Look for the app you intend to uninstall on the list of apps and tap on it. On the new screen, select “Uninstall” and tap “OK” to confirm your action.
Method 5: Using Third-Party Apps
Some third-party apps are designed to eliminate trash on your device. The recycle bin app is one of the apps you can use to empty the trash on Android. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Install the App on Your Device
Open Google Play Store and search “Recycle Bin” on the search bar. Select the app among the results and choose “Install” to download and install it. Accept the terms and conditions and allow the necessary app permissions when requested.
Step 2: Empty the Bin
Open the Recycle Bin app you downloaded and find the “Recently deleted files”. Select the files you want to empty from the bin and click the trash can icon to delete them. Continue until you have eliminated all the trash on your phone.
The trash on your device can cause it to lag. It also takes up a lot of space that you could put to better use. Moreover, a phone full of trash is also at risk of security concerns. Therefore, use any of the above methods for emptying the trash in Android and free-up your space.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Pe3k/Shutterstock.com.