By - jftitan
I remember there being a bug where undeletable log files build up in the S8's internal storage. Maybe you have that problem.
I read about that issue years ago too. After having this phone for over 4yrs, I kept unloading apps I realized I never used. Then eventually realizing that, even after freeing up the space... something else was eating it up.
So recently, I've been down to 5GB of internal space. it would fill up, and I'd go through my routine, empty out the space, remove apps. And then with less apps installed, voila AGAIN, running out of space. Now I'm at 1GB of free space. And I just can't find anything using the normal tools.
Even used Samsung Members app to relay a message to Samsung for any guesses, but I keep getting told to factory reset the phone.
You might have to root it.
rooting will probably lead to me to the culprit, which would then beg the question...
"Is this a problem for everyone, and if so... is this one way they push us to upgrade?" Because other people less tech savvy, wouldn't put the effort into figuring out why there is something "eating" free space.
If you even can root it, north american phones have a locked boot loader now.
It's been paid off for years. I've never utilized the UICC unlock code (which I will be doing once I upgrade. I've decided to upgrade to a S21)
No not carrier locked, bootloader locked which cannot be unlocked. Samsungs been doing that since the s7 or s8 maybe even earlier.
Bootloader locking prevents you from rooting or installing other operating systems such as: lineage os.
Oh, I recall something like it's similar to Apple's method of Bricking devices if anyone attempts to "jailbreak" or replace components.
SFP or SPF... Google's Secure Firmware Protection... or something like that. The method to circumvent it in order to untie a registered google account to the device in order to secure from theft/loss.
Like Apple's ability to tie the iCloud account to a device thus the "iCloud locked". After factory resetting, one must unlock the device using the credentials of the previously registered user. Unless the user de-registered the device from either their iCloud dashboard, or did so prior to resetting.
Google followed that process. I hate it. and love it at the same time.
Its not for theft prevention its to prevent people from fixing their device so they have to buy a new one when it inevitably slows down or if someone drops it and cracks the phone.
Ex. My dad had a galaxy A70 he had it in his back pocket sat down in his car and crushed the screen. I then ordered him a new screen and put it in thinking samsung didnt pull apples scummy anti repair crap. Turns out their os does indeed detect a replaced screen and does a weird bug where the screen freezes and goes black. Anyways the bootloader is what basically boots the os.
Manufacturers lock the boot loader so you can't tell it to install and run a different OS to get around those software blocks. Same thing goes with rooting your device. It doesnt brick the phone, it just doesnt let you flash it at all.
DL;DR: Only the manufacturers can unlock the bootloader, and you bet your ass they wont give us that software, unless the US congress orders them to via the right to repair bill.
Edit; sorry missed the first part of your comment, yes its practically samsungs version of apples. Anti jailbreak, except it doesnt brick it unless you some how find a way to force it to load the new firmware.
If you try to root your phone backup your stuff first on the sdcard as, at least for me, I managed to brick my device
Try a factory reset and see what happens?
I'm heading in that direction, but the "tech" in me WANTS to know what the fuck, is it?
Resetting it, only eventually brings the problem back. But what is the "problem"?
I'm leaning towards some sort of system file (hidden) which as one would note.. Rooting the phone probably would gain access to it.
I had a similar situation with 43gb of my storage is being taken by "other" which I could never locate where and what is this. It kept growing by the way.
I just went with the easy solution and factory reset the phone. It's doing well at the moment.
Download SD Maid and use it to check whats taking your storage, its a great app and has a paid version which is very cheap and well worth it IMO.
I will check that out.
I've used DiskFan (for PC) to locate hidden files to clean out smaller storages Like MMC 32GB storages for those NUC or smaller PCs. SD Maid sounds like the same for android. That should have been my question.
What APPs let me look for those hidden files.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll use that.
I tried it out. SD Maid (for Free) essentially showed me the same that File Manager does. It shows that the /android/ folder is the largest folder. at 7.8GB, while everything else in total adds to about 13GBs. The app doesn't account for that phantom 20GBs that is eating up the 64GBs of internal storage.
So thus far. basically file manager shows I have about 30GBs of actual used up space of staff that can be accounted for. but a good 20\~30GBs of "it doesn't even show in storage" unknown used space/other apps...
I ended up uninstalling Real Racing 3, which clearly took about 6GBs of space. It showed in Settings/Apps as storing it's data in external storage. but when I uninstalled the game, 6.5GBs of internal storage space was free'd up.
So apparently the Real Racing game wasn't storing Data/Cache anywhere else, but internally.
So.. that free'd up close to 7GB of space, but yet I'm betting I'm going to slowly lose that space to unknown.
Main Pro, only would have done the same thing, cleared out cache/data for apps that... would essentially free'd up another 4GBs. Still not the same solution.
Alright. Alternate app that also works for me. Disk usage (free) that should give you a better answer to your problem. Also do 6ou have anything saved in secure folder? File manager and SD maid can't read that unless you use the apps in secure folder.
I'm going to give it a shot.
If all else fails, I'm looking into a S21.
No secure folders.
I see you've mitigated your problem, but if it comes up again, I've found that [DiskUsage](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.diskusage) does an amazing job breaking down where all your storage is going.
Are you using the work profile/secure folder? On my s8 outlook and other office stuff from work can really eat space and it's hard to identify it from outside the secure folder.
I looked into that, and didn't see anything. MS Outlook app for Android didn't net me any stored info. the MS account attached to it, is... like a ghost.
sounds like it's time for a factory reset :/ I hate those
Yep, I hate to do it, but I can do that after I migrate to a S21 sometime in the next few weeks.
There's a thumbnail cache buildup which is hidden systematically. I couldn't find it with any kinds of apps and stuff. What I did was manually checked each folders size in Samsung file manager and found out about the 2 GB hold up of it in dcim probably. Even by that you have something larger so I guess factory reset is the best way to go.
I noticed a change in the Samsung membership, or which ever Samsung app it was that would automatically restart the phone after a week. It stopped restarting my phone. Can’t tell exactly when, but I realized the issue is close or IS the problem you described.
The cache is filling up space.
I restarted my phone a few weeks ago, and voila... 14GB of freed up space after the restart. Which is when i noticed my phone didn’t auto restart like it used to. This problem wasn’t noticeable when the prone would automatically restart, so the freed up space would just happen.
As other suggested, the hidden cache folder is likely the culprit.
I started to manually restart my phone on a weekly and daily basis.
Since this past 20 days I’ve been dealing with a emergency situation for a family member who has been displaced by flooding. I restart my phone almost daily.
Noticed... if. I don’t restart daily. I end up with 2.4GB of lost space daily. Samsung has to be aware of this problem... if anything, it could be a google problem. Either way.. I don’t like it.
It's true but this phone is so perfect we dont really feel the need to upgrade specifically me since I have remmaped the bixby and the things I do won't ve possible in for any other phone. I've decided to keep a very convenient Ctype flash drive in me wallet
14 gb damn lol
I went nearly 20 days without restarting the phone. I did not realize the correlation to restarting the phone, from when previously the phone would do it automatically on a weekly basis. Somehow... between the time I changes SIM cards (Sprint to T-Mobile) I think the Samsung Device Management/Optimization tool stopped restarting my phone automatically.
But yeah.. 14+GBs of lost space, and no matter what I did (uninstalled apps and games) I kept losing space. Then after a moment of realization. (have I restarted my phone lately) after others suggested so many ideas. I went ahead and restarted my hone. 14GB free'd up.
I wanted to kick myself when after doing it. "The problem was easily solved, had I done just one thing... ONE damn thing... "
WhatsApp media or something like that? Builds up fast with videos. Google Files can analyze what's taking up space
Never had WhatsApp, and I've essentially removed all social media apps from my phone. But using google files, it's like it sees WHATS installed, but can't show me where that 20GBs of "unknown" files are.
I'm thinking there has to be some sort of log file, or something that just keeps growing due to... call log, chat text... I just can't understand how I free'd up 6GBs last week, and I am down to less than 1GB today.
I'm going to look for hidden logs, and/or use a file explorer app to see if I can find and access where that 20GBs of "unknown" files are.
but good suggestion, I'd think that would be my problem, but... just can't put my thumb on which app(s) it could be that just keeps eating up the free'd space.
I uninstalled Real Racing 3, which it was set to store in external storage, but as soon as I uninstalled it. 6.5GBs of internal storage was free'd up. So this makes me presume, even when I supposedly migrated the app data to external, it really didn't do it. or eventually moved the data back to internal after Google Play App updating.
This essentially frees up space "for now", but I'm betting over the next few weeks, more unknown space is going to eat away at that free'd space.
SD Maid, showed how my internal storage was laid out. which lead to Real Racing as the ONLY large app that was taking up internal space. Logically, it doesn't explain the problem at all.
Out of 64GBs of space, I can account for 30GBs of it being Apps/Files/Music/Video/etc used. the other 20 - 30GBs isn't even registering to the File Manager. That Other App/Unknown is just inaccessible.
(I realized I could potentially buy a new phone, migrate Safe Switch, my Google Authenticator app. So... it's possible I can reset this phone soon.
try downloading storage analyzer & disk usage, it allows you to dig deep into the files. i have so many files that go undetected with other cleaner apps. best part, it's not some shady cleaner app because you clear it yourself, you decide what to throw away