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The Ultimate Guide to Freeing Up Space By Deleting Apps and Data

The Short Answer: Yes, Deleting Apps Frees Up Taken Storage Space

To answer this question directly – yes, deleting apps absolutely does free up data and storage space on your device. When you delete an app, you recover the storage that app‘s software files were occupying. And by also deleting the app‘s cached data and temporary files, you can recover even more of your total storage capacity. Read on for a deep dive into how much space deleting apps clears, the relationship between apps and storage, and expert techniques to maximize your free space.

How Apps and Their Data Fill Up Your Storage

Let‘s take a look at how apps and their associated files consume your precious device storage in the first place:

  • The app software itself takes up space – Most apps range from 100MB to over 1GB in size for the actual app executable code and resources. Simple apps tend to be smaller, while complex games and creative apps hog more storage.

  • App data builds up over time – As you use an app, it stores data generated while running including preferences, saved files, cache, and other temporary items. This app data footprint increases the longer you use an app.

  • Unused apps pile up – It‘s easy to download apps over time and forget about them. These unused apps sit there taking up space even if you never launch them.

  • High resolution media fills up fast – Apps like social media, messaging, and streaming video/music deal heavily in photos, videos and songs. These large high-res files add up quickly.

  • OS and pre-installed apps take space – Your operating system and built-in apps consume 5-10GB or more right off the bat.

Source of Storage Usage Typical Size
Operating System 5-10GB
Individual App Size 100MB-1GB+
Accumulated App Data 1-100+MB per app
Unused Apps 100MB-1GB each
Media Files 1-5MB per photo, 50MB+ per minute of video

As you can see, all these sources of app-related storage add up fast. That 32GB phone fills up quicker than you expect!

Recovering Your Storage By Deleting Apps

Now that you know how your storage capacity gets monopolized, the good news is deleting apps helps free it back up again:

  • Remove the app package – When you delete the app itself, you recover the storage space the app software code and resources were occupying. This app package size ranges from megabytes to potentially gigabytes for large applications.

  • Clear accumulated app data – You can often clear out the data an app has stored locally, including cached files, temporary usage files, and preferences. This provides even more recovered space.

  • Delete infrequently used apps – Removing apps you haven‘t launched in months or years is an easy way to grab back storage without impacting your everyday usage. Unused apps can often be hundreds of megabytes each.

  • Offload unused apps – "Offload" features on iOS and Android allow you to remove the app while retaining documents and data. This means you delete the app package to recover space while keeping your content and ability to reinstall later.

  • Remove unneeded included apps – Preloaded apps you don‘t use are prime targets for deletion and recovering their storage allocation.

By leveraging these deletion options, you can systematically clean up substantial storage capacity on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Let‘s look at exactly how to delete apps and their data.

Actionable Steps To Delete Apps and Data

Here are the specific steps to delete apps and their associated data on major platforms:

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage to see your apps sorted by size.

  2. Tap the app you want to delete.

  3. Tap "Delete App" then confirm to remove the app and recover its storage.

  4. To delete the app data as well, tap "Offload App" instead. Then tap "Offload" again in the confirmation prompt.

On Android:

  1. Open the Settings app and select Apps or Application Manager.

  2. Choose the app you want to delete.

  3. Tap Uninstall.

  4. Confirm again on the pop-up to delete the app.

  5. To delete app data, go to Storage, select your app, then choose Clear Data.

On Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings > Apps > Apps & features to see your installed applications.

  2. Select the app you want to remove.

  3. Click Uninstall and confirm to delete the app.

  4. To clear the app data, go to App settings, find the app, click Advanced options and select Reset.

On Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.

  2. Go to Storage > Applications to see your apps by size.

  3. Select the app file then click Delete to remove it.

  4. To manage associated data, click the app then choose Manage to clear caches or delete unneeded files.

Top Tips For Maximizing Storage Freed Up

Follow these expert tips to optimize the amount of storage you recover when deleting apps:

  • Sort apps by size – Target the largest apps first to gain back the most space.

  • Clear app data – Be sure to delete associated cached and temporary files stored by apps, don‘t just remove the app itself.

  • Remove unneeded included apps – Pre-installed apps often consume substantial storage despite going unused, so delete them.

  • Offload instead of delete – Offloading in iOS frees up app storage without losing data, in case you want the app back later.

  • Use built-in storage tools – iOS and Android have great tools to visualize space usage and delete apps/data.

  • Back up beforehand – Back up your device before deleting in case you change your mind about an app or data.

  • Check for recent updates – If an app just updated, it‘s likely still being used and shouldn‘t be deleted.

Common Questions About Freeing Up Storage

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about deleting apps to recover storage:

Do app updates increase app size?

Not necessarily. App updates mainly contain code changes rather than new resources, so updates can both increase and decrease the total app size depending on what changed.

Can I restore a deleted app?

On iOS, you can recover deleted apps if you have an iTunes or iCloud backup from before you deleted them. On Android, file manager apps may allow recovering deleted app packages in some cases.

Is it safe to delete app data?

Deleting an app‘s data is generally safe since the app can rebuild any needed caches. But you may lose preferences and other user data, so be thoughtful about data deletion.

What takes up most space on my phone?

Photos and videos consume the most storage for many users. App data, unused apps, and the OS itself also occupy substantial space that can be recovered by deleting.

What happens when I uninstall an app?

Uninstalling an app removes the main application package and software that runs the app. However, data files, caches and settings associated with the app may remain in storage. These should be manually deleted.

How much storage do I really need?

With modern apps and photo/video sizes, you‘ll likely want at least 128GB or 256GB of device storage. OS and pre-installed apps use 10-20GB, leaving limited room for new apps and media.

In Summary

Clearing out apps and their associated temporary data is one of the most effective ways to reclaim your phone, tablet or laptop‘s precious onboard storage. By removing unused applications and their bloated data caches, you can recover substantial storage capacity and keep those pesky "storage full" warnings at bay. Use the steps and expert advice provided above to take control of your device storage!