HTC Droid Eris Low on Space?

Phone Frustration

A few weeks ago my phone started saying that it was low on storage space. Low on space? I hadn’t changed anything! Needless to say, it was frustrating for the notification to keep popping up — especially since I kept deleting apps to free up my internal memory. I finally fixed the problem — Facebook was syncing with my phone contacts, making my contact storage over 25 mb! Facebook was also a memory suck, taking up nearly 10 mb. On top of that, my battery was draining too quickly, and I had to start bringing my charger everywhere. Crawling the internet, I found the solution, but I thought it might be helpful to put all the info in one place for other people who are having the same problems I had. Here are my troubleshooting tips for getting your Droid Eris under control.


After doing some research, I found out that apps are stored on internal memory while pictures and music are stored on the phone’s SD card. Lame, right? I’ve heard you can load apps onto your SD card if you root your phone and that a Froyo update might have a setting to do this automatically, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Right now, I use a couple apps to help me out — Spare Parts and Task Manager.

I’ve heard debate on whether or not a task manager is necessary on a phone because most apps don’t take up enough internal memory to cause problems. For me though, my phone’s up time and awake time were exactly the same time — meaning my phone was awake and running full-on the entire time my phone was up. Not good. Major battery drain! With Task Manager (or any task killer), you can see what programs are running even when you think you’ve closed out of them (and then it will close out of them for you). Trust me, you may think that an app is shut down… but it’s not. The Task Manager really has saved my battery. My up time is now 43:43:27 and my awake time is 8:20:34. My phone will stay charged from 7 in the morning until around 12 midnight with moderate use.

I recommend the Spare Parts app as well because it can provide you more of your phone’s information than your settings can. With Spare Parts, I can look at the partial wake usage of the battery and find out what exactly is draining the battery. For me, Android system is at the top for what is using my battery and there is nothing else that is even close to that. Before, when my battery was draining quickly, Facebook was using up a hefty amount and catching on quickly to the Android system usage amount. By using Task Manager and Spare Parts, you should definitely see your battery draining much more slowly.


Before I fixed my phone, I only had about 10-20 mb of internal space free on my Droid Eris. The way you check this — go to Settings — SD card & phone storage — Internal phone storage at the bottom. After I cleaned up my phone, I now have over 100 mb (I have less than 50 apps).

If you are needing to clean up your phone, first thing’s first — clear your cache on your apps. To do this — go to settings — applications — manage applications — wait for all to load — sort by size. Then click your largest apps and clear that cache! Like I mentioned above, my contact storage was around 25 mb which is way too large. Really, none of your apps should be larger than 5-7 mb. Clearing your cache should open up some space and if you really need to, you can uninstall and reinstall the apps to refresh them.

Now my problem was my contact storage was huge — and this was because my phone was syncing with Facebook. I wanted my current Facebook contacts, but I didn’t want my phone to constantly be syncing! I also didn’t want to sync all of my contacts, but I couldn’t figure out how to select contacts individually. I decided to save my Facebook contacts and stop the syncing. Here is how I did it:

– Go into people, hit menu and import/export contacts.
– Export contacts to the SD cards.
– Go back to manage applications in settings. Tap contact storage and then press clear data. This will erase all your contacts but don’t fear! They are all backed up on your SD card.
– Go back into people. Tap menu then import contacts. Load up all your contacts. For me, there were many, many contacts that I didn’t want (because Facebook synced all of my friends). You’ll probably want to go through and delete the ones you don’t want.

After doing this, my contact storage was down to below 5 mb. Don’t forget to unsync Facebook to your contacts, otherwise you’ll have to do this again.

Hopefully this information helps someone — I know it helped clean up my phone. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments — I’ll try and help as much as I can!

UPDATE — January 12th, 2011: Make sure that any new apps that you’ve downloaded are NOT syncing with your phone (unless you want them to — but be warned these apps will take up a lot of extra space). I recently installed the Twitter for Android app and it was syncing my followers with my contacts. I don’t know why anyone would really want to do that, but that is the setting it was at when I downloaded it. I only noticed it after my Twitter was nearly 11 mb.

Also, for some of those people who are having trouble clearing the cache of an app (or it just won’t give you that option) — just uninstall and reinstall the app. It’s a pain. I’ve come across this problem a couple of times with Facebook (why are the updates so huge?!), but when I uninstall and reinstall, it seems to fix the problem. Let me know if you come up with an easier way to fix this!


74 Responses to HTC Droid Eris Low on Space?

  1. Pingback: Eris "Low on Space" CONSTANTLY!! - Android Forums

  2. Anna says:

    This helped a ton! My contact storage was 75 MB!!!! I couldn’t believe it.

    Thank you SO SO much for posting this 😀

  3. Candice says:

    Thank you so much! This problem has been plaguing me for months — so much so that I have only about 5 apps left on my phone since I had to delete them all to save space. Come to find out, my contacts storage was about 50mb! I appreciate you taking the time to share this with all of us!

  4. Candice says:

    Also, any idea what this “Dialer Storage” is? It’s 40 MB on my phone and no option to clear it…

    • ninouye says:

      Thanks Candice! Glad I could help. Shoot, I don’t know what “Dialer Storage” is… mine is only 116KB. I’ll look into it and let you know if I find anything! — Niki

    • Jason says:

      I have the same issue with Dialer Storage — mine is at 82 MB!!

      • ninouye says:

        Okay, so did some quick research and it looks like a HUGE dialer storage is from MMS messages being sent and received. I would go through all of your MMS pictures and video and move everything to the SD card — then delete all the MMS pictures and videos. Hope that works. Good luck!

  5. mitchwhales says:

    How do you unsync your facebook contacts? Sorry if thats silly but I’m not very good with this stuff.
    AND, like the others, thank you very much. I’ve also been having that problem and its a huge bummer.

    • ninouye says:

      No problem!

      Go to settings –> Accounts & sync –> tap the Facebook icon –> uncheck sync contacts.

      That should do it. I think you can also do it from the Facebook app itself, but I think this way is easier!

      – Niki

  6. John says:

    Do you know if there is a way to have the apps saved to the micro SD card in the phone? It would seem that if you have an 8 or 16 gb card in there that you would have plenty of storage space

    • ninouye says:

      I did a little research on this topic and found that apps are only stored on the internal memory on the Droid Eris for some reason. I’ve heard you can load apps onto your SD card if you root your phone (you’ll have to Google how to do that, I haven’t done this and it might void your warranty).

      I also heard that the next Android update (Froyo) allows you to save apps directly to the SD card, but I don’t know when or if the Droid Eris will get Froyo.

      – Niki

  7. Michelle says:

    BRILLIANT! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this down. the low storage thing was driving me crazy!

  8. Kiah says:

    Just a little sidenote, when you delete data for contact storage, it also clears your call history, so if you need a number make sure you have it before you delete this information. I learned the hard way 😦 Thanks for the info on how to free it up though!

  9. Tyler says:

    Wow…thank you soooo much!!!

    This saved me a ton of frustration AND it saved me phone from getting thrown against a wall. Haha.

  10. Jalen says:

    when i try to import my contacts back onto my phone storage from the SD card, it keeps saying force close and error has occurred. what should i do now?

    • ninouye says:


      I’m sure you have probably already tried this — but have you tried shutting off your phone and taking out the battery? If that doesn’t work (and you can’t get it to work any other way), I believe that you can access your saved contacts when you plug your phone into the computer. If your contacts are loaded and look alright on the computer, but still not loading onto your phone, you can try importing contacts into gmail. You’ll then have to sync your gmail contacts with you phone, but that shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

      If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to share! 🙂 Hopefully everything worked out for you.

    • janel young says:

      Jalen, did you ever get this to work? Mine is doing the same thing now. Haven’t tried hooking it up to the computer yet. Restarting AGAIN, first 🙂

      (ninouye, thank you for the post, btw)

  11. Cheals says:

    This is driving me crazy. This stupid storage space notification wont go away. I use task killer religiously. I’ve deleted majority of my apps and cleaned up my sd card. Granted, I do have a ton of space used up in my text messages. I’ve tried to delete these, but my phone will think FOREVER then either freeze or force close everytime I attempt this. I don’t really understand the contact storage thats being talked about, but mines only at 2.46MB. Plus, NONE of my programs allow me the option to clear cache. I can clear data though. I have un syncd my facebook and gmail. I dont know what else to do! I have 12.88MB of available space.. any ideas? thanks!

    • Jenn says:

      I had the same problem with my text messages. My phone got so bad with texts that I had to do a factory reset to delete all the messages (when I tried to delete them the normal way it would take hours, and still never finish) Now I go through my messages and delete them at the end of the day. And just lock the ones I want to keep. Im also having the same problem with none of my apps giving the option to clear cache, not sure of a fix for that one

  12. Steph says:

    I did these suggestions, and it worked great (thank you!) to free up some space. But now I have a constant sync symbol ever since I did this (this has happened in the past). Any suggestions how to make this stop? The battery went from full life to no life in about an hour.

    • ninouye says:

      Have you checked your account settings in the “Accounts & sync” section of your settings? Some of your settings may be set at a high sync rate, which you can change to sync less often or to sync manually.

      If that doesn’t work, you can always use a Task Manager app and kill whatever is constantly syncing. I use one of these, and I feel like it has substantially increased my battery life. However, if you do download one of these apps, make sure you get one where you can kill the task killer app itself. The first one I downloaded didn’t have this option and it would kill my battery because it was constantly on!

      Good luck, hopefully this helps.

  13. ttobs says:

    what is a cache on your apps?

  14. Jay Cas says:

    while it seems exporting/ importing the contacts would save my life (and my husband’s phone), i am equally frustrated that for whatever strange reason, the media actually does NOT get automatically saved to the SD card. And i have not been able to find a way to move all the pics and other media to the card, so obviously it’s taking up sapce on the internal memory. Any suggestions for that? Thanks.

    • ninouye says:

      Hmm… all of your music and pictures should automatically be saved to you SD card. I know mine were because when I did a factory restart, all of my music and photos were still there (apps are not). If you look at your SD card storage (under settings), does it look like it’s being used (is available space less than total space)? If so, then your SD card is being used… while music and photos are saved on it, apps are not.

      If you are still not sure (and I can’t tell for sure without looking at your phone), you can plug your phone into your computer and save your photos/music to make sure they are safe. It’s super easy to just drag and drop stuff off/onto your phone, I’ve done so on both a Mac and PC. Let me know if you need more help. Good luck!

  15. Matt says:

    You just saved me the anguish of automated phone centers and long holiday lines to fix my problem. Awesome advice. Thank you.

  16. Chelsea says:

    Omg you just saved my life.. I kept getting the low space message and it would actually start to block my text messages and I was ready to send my phone back cause Ive been so frustrated. My contact storage was 200MB!!! Holy crap.. Thanks a ton!

  17. Taran says:

    Is there a way i can facebook sync JUST the people in my phone? if so how do i do that?

  18. Dani says:

    Thank you so much… my husband is a systems administrator and couldn’t figure this out!! Thank you sooo much!! I’ve tried everything– deleting apps, so I literally have 4 apps now, and having major issues with the silly little “Low on space” notification at the top… so irritating! guess it has something to do with the ridiculous text message communication between myself and everyone i know!

  19. CoachFing says:

    Thank God for the posting. This was driving me nuts too!

  20. Lori says:

    Ok, I have done all of these and my internal memory is still only 25.43. I have less than 15 people on my contacts and less than 20 apps because of this. My husbands LG has far better memory and battery usage. Is there anything else I can delete to help? I am about to drive over it with my car!!!!

    • ninouye says:

      If you only have 15 people, 20 apps and none of your apps are larger than 5-7mb, then I would recommend trying a “factory data reset.” This will reset your phone to how it was when you first got it. If you decide to do this, just make sure to save your contacts to your SD card first so that you can import them after the reset. Good luck.

  21. Daryus Blackburn says:

    after i exported my contacts, i tried to import them again and every time i try, it says “Sorry! The application People (process has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” =( ive tried like 10 times

    • ninouye says:

      Have you turned off/on your phone? Taken the battery out? Do you have a task manager downloaded? I would try shutting down your contacts and then try again. I’ve gotten that error for other tasks and from my experience, after a good restart, it should start woking again.

  22. Than you so much. Your info and some of the follow-up info helped remove this issue from my phone. I was a micro-second away from tossing it and breaking down to buy a Verizon iPhone. Thanks again.

  23. jason says:

    WOOOHOOO! been tring to download pocket legends forever!!! wouldnt let me and then you solved me problems! thank you

  24. Malisa says:

    thank you so much!
    I was so sick of deleting Apps, texts and calls all the time for the low disk space!
    I had no idea it was all the time facebook doing it!

  25. Chris says:

    I was just wondering (since the update has come now), can I save some of my apps to the SD card? If so, then how? Thanks for sharing all the information. I did what you said and it should help for a little bit…

    • ninouye says:

      Unfortunately the latest update didn’t do much for the Eris. The specific changes are here — I haven’t noticed anything different, except for that the update completely messed up my SD card and it had to be completely reset (good reminder to continually back up the SD card to my computer). Because the firmware is still 2.1, you can’t save apps to the SD card unless you root your phone. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t look like the Eris will ever be getting 2.2 (Froyo), which is the update we’d need to save apps to the SD card. We can keep hoping though!

  26. Frances says:

    I am getting the low on space message all of a sudden. i have cleared caches, i have not downloaded any new aps and did all mentioned above except re install the entire phone like new and i really dont want to have to do this agian.

    • ninouye says:

      Did you check to make sure that all your apps are smaller than 5mb? You really shouldn’t have more than 1 or 2 larger than that size. I’ve noticed that the official Facebook and Twitter kept creeping up on me, so I decided to try some other apps instead. Other than that, I don’t know any other solutions. Good luck.

  27. Lynn says:

    Ninouye, Thank you~Thank You~Thank You! Out of total frustration, I was about ready to throw this phone away. You post(s) are extremely helpful & gratefully appreciated!!

  28. Dena Covey says:

    thanks so much 🙂

  29. Angela says:

    If I follow your directions and export my contacts to my SD card, will I lose my contact list? I have A LOT of valuable numbers that I’d never be able to get back if I somehow lost them? I’m nervous about this!

    • ninouye says:

      If you export your contacts to your SD card, you will not lose your contact list if done successfully. I was a little nervous about this too, but I have never had issues with this. If you want additional backup, you can save your contacts off your SD card onto your computer, and then you’ll have additional place where you’ve saved them in case something does happen.

  30. mary dils says:

    You are a lifesaver and a wonderful person for sharing all your research. thanks so much

  31. I was having constant low disc space messages. Followed your instructions & this helped free up space. Deleting 600 some odd contacts due to Gmail, Facebook, & twitter syncing was a pain, though.

    I downloaded Watch Dog Lite instead of a task killer, it watches and alerts you about Apps that use excessive CPU.

    Thank you for sharing!

  32. Julie says:

    I cannot thank you enough for this clearly understandable explanation. My phone cannot thank you enough as it was sooo close to being put under my front tire and run over several times. (Especially after taking it in and finding out my warranty expired just one month ago.)

    I may look into rooting my phone but I’ve already gone from around 7mb to nearly 52. I expect my phone to perform a little differently now. This is one of the best posts I’ve found when it comes to the Eris.

  33. Kit Stookey says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Low disk icon was annoying me to pieces. Too bad I just found out how to stop the storage issue; due for new phone next month…different challenges to come, I’m sure 🙂 Will be another Android – love ’em!

    Thanks again!

  34. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for posting this solution. I have spent hours combining and deleting contacts, surfing thrugh the forums, deleting apps, performing soft resets, unsynching contacts only to still have 185MB of the original 191MB of contacts still on my phone and getting the Low Space message.

    Thanks so much! This worked!!! My EVO is working again!!! YAY!


  35. shortee says:

    my phone is stuck in roaming and can not recover any of my downloads

  36. Rocio Loya says:

    You can also download the 1tap clearner which lets you clear your cache and history. The first time I did it, it restored 32 mb alone with 1 tap. This is will save you time from clearing the cache on each one as required on the Eris and uninstalling/reinstalling each app.

  37. After doing the steps you mentioned above, will we still have the Facebook Profile picture associated with the caller ID?

    • ninouye says:

      Yes… if you had already linked them before you do these steps. It will keep the photos that you saved with your contacts, but it will not update again (with Facebook) unless you re-sync with Facebook again.

      • Thanks….Giving it a try tonight…wish me luck…:-)

      • Ok, I did it and it was successful. I have a few other things way over the storage space you say it should have.

        I now have 94 mb free now…prior I had 34 mb

        Facebook for HTC Sense 73.41 MB 28.79 MB
        Facebook 14.39 MB

        Any suggestions?

  38. Cindy says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! My Contacts dropped from 77MB to 0.90MB!!!!

  39. Lurinda says:

    Unsyncing fb to contacts worked immediately to clear notification of low phone storage space, THANK YOU!

  40. Lindsey says:

    I don’t know if this is taking up much space, but do you know how to clear data from my phone such as attachments I may have opened, downloads/pdfs, etc? (I don’t even know how to locate them on the phone, but when I hooked up my phone to my computer to sync music to my computer from my phone, it showed all these old pictures and other things I didn’t even know I still had– and they aren’t in my photos, but I guess pictures that had been sent in attachments etc). Thanks in advance

    • ninouye says:

      Interesting! I actually haven’t tried this yet, but it would make sense that these attachments and such would take up some room. These types of attachments and photos shouldn’t take up your “Internal Phone Storage” space though (the space where you apps live and run), I wouldn’t think… instead, they’d take up your total space (where you photos and music live). If your total space is low, then I’d definitely take a look at deleting some of these unwanted attachments/images.

      Hope that helps.

  41. Amber says:

    I have a problem with high mb coming from my internet app….its almost 20mb…its all data, so clearing the cache doesn’t work. I also can’t uninstall to reinstall. Any ideas?

    • ninouye says:

      Hmm… If I couldn’t clear the cache and/or uninstall the app, I’d probably do a hard reset. I’ve had issues in the past that I couldn’t seem to fix with any of my known methods, and a hard reset was the only solution. Good luck!

  42. Pundie says:

    You people all have Android phone’s you should be saving your contacts into GMAIL you shouldn’t have to worry about saving your contacts into the phone and definitely not onto the SD Card. To do this either create the contact in your contacts list at or when saving on the phone choose to save as a Google/Gmail contact instead of a phone contact. Then all you need to do is synch (will do this automatically) and all your contacts will be available back in your phone instantly without having to swap from SD cards, backup to computer, or any other crazy stuff any time you want to do a factory reset, buy a new phone, etc as long as its Android and you run a synch you will have all your contacts back – They’re saved in the cloud on Google servers! Apart from that very good article, but telling people to save contacts to SD and then import back onto phone is bad advice compared to the Google Contacts cloud solution.

    • ninouye says:

      Keeping contacts in Gmail would be a good solution, but it’s not ideal for everyone, and I don’t recommended it for good reason. Personally, I refuse to sync my contacts on my phone with my Gmail contacts because there are many, many people in Gmail that I email, and I do not want them in my phone. I have not found a solution to fixing this, as Google would continually sync my contacts with my email contacts (one time people, like from school or from Craigslist, potential jobs, random people) that I don’t want to save as contacts. In addition, when I do try to delete these people from either list, it completely fails to delete and continually tries to sync. However, Gmail will keep adding to my contacts with people I don’t want to be added. I do not believe my advice is bad, as this is the best solution that I’ve found personally for my situation. I wish the Google contacts sync would work better (or maybe it’s just the phone). Anyway, I won’t be having this issue for long, as I’m currently waiting for my iPhone 4S to arrive. Thanks!

  43. This was very helpful–I don’t have an HTC, just a lowly LG running android. HOWEVER, I’ve been showing low on memory for ages, and I have hardly any games or apps loaded. Uninstalling cleared out a load of memory. HOWEVER, can’t put my contacts on my SD card….wish I could!

  44. T Jelly says:

    OMG, YOU’RE A GENIUS! Thank you so much!! Needless to say, it worked. But am I able to jus leave my contacts on my SD card? What will happen if I do???

    • ninouye says:

      I’m not sure what would happen if you leave them there. It might not recognize your contacts without importing them into your phone. Good luck!

  45. Jen says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have just saved me hours of frustration!

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