Emptying the Android trash bin: here's how to clear space

Emptying the Android trash bin: here's how to clear space

Did you know that it's technically impossible to empty the Android trash bin? Not to worry though, you can free up storage space in other ways.

Unlike desktop operating systems like Windows or macOS, Android does not feature a universal trash bin. However, individual apps on Android devices often include their own version of a trash bin that temporarily stores deleted files before they are permanently removed. The process to do this will vary from app to app. 

To empty the Android trash bin, first you will need to check if the app you are using has one. This can be time-consuming, so we recommend that you use the Files by Google app. This helpful app can do everything in terms of file management and is the closest it comes to an Android trash bin. Here's how you can manage these files effectively to free up space on your device.

  1. If you have not already installed it, download the Files by Google app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open the app and access the menu by tapping the three horizontal lines in the top left corner.
  3. From here, select 'Trash' to see which files can be permanently deleted or restored.
  4. Permanently delete or restore the files that you want to remove.

If you want to work with a bit more precision, you will need to empty individual trash bins. Different apps have different methods for managing their trash bins. Here are some guidelines for popular apps, although most methods will be similar:

Google Photos: To manage your deleted files, go to the 'Library' tab within the app. Here, you have the option to either permanently delete files or restore them from the trash, giving you a second chance to keep important photos or videos that have been accidentally deleted. This is useful so you don't accidentally delete precious memories. 

WhatsApp: For message and media management on WhatsApp, go to navigate to Settings > Storage and data > Manage storage. This section allows you to view and delete various types of files such as messages, photos, and videos, which helps in managing the app's storage efficiently.

Gmail and Outlook: In Gmail, you can empty the trash by accessing the trash folder through the settings menu and selecting to delete all contents at once. For Outlook users, the process involves using the trash bin icon located in the 'Junk Email' and 'Deleted' folders to remove unwanted emails, helping maintain a clean and organized inbox.

These are the simplest methods for clearing space on your Android device in the absence of a dedicated trash bin. If Android does incorporate this feature in a future update, we will keep you updated.