How to empty the recycle bin on Android

To avoid being left with little memory on your smartphone, you need to delete unnecessary files: here's how to proceed to empty the recycle bin on Android.

Always with us in everyday life, at work as on vacation, a tool for connection and entertainment. So much so that when we forget it somewhere we feel like we've forgotten a part of our existence. Our cell phone is a bit like our memory and our baggage of notes and memories, but even the latest generation devices, however cutting-edge they may be, have a quantified space that, sooner or later and depending on the use we make of it, can put limits on us.

Every time we realize that we have little space on our device, always at the most inopportune moments, when we are about to install the much sought-after app that we need for work or when we find ourselves immortalizing an unmissable landscape, we get the annoying message that our phone has little memory. The only thing left to do is to act in advance and proceed in time with the deletion of files that are no longer needed, thanks to Android's virtual recycle bin and other solutions.

Deleting extra files: the recycle bin on Android

First of all, it's good to remember that in an Android device there is no real folder that depicts the icon of a recycle bin, as in Windows or Mac systems. Consider that most smartphones have a limited capacity for files to be stored, which can range from a minimum of 8 GB to 256 GB.

And yet the cleanup icon we're so fond of is present in some Android apps, such as those for managing the photo gallery, email clients, etc. If you've decided to tidy up your phone's memory, you have to click in the specific trash icon of the app you're interested in and delete the files inside.

Emptying your app trash on Android

If you're wondering how to empty the trash within the Android operating system, first you'll have to go to the app that contains heavier files, to free up some space and make it easier to update all the apps and enjoy the phone itself. This is because, as you'll know, a phone that has space issues gives many problems, besides slowness and poor usability. Let's start with email by going to the specific app you use for your email server (e.g. Gmail, Outlook, etc.).

If you have the Gmail app installed, go in and click on the top left on the three horizontal dashes in the main menu and in the list you'll find the trash icon. When you delete a message, it is placed in the trash for 30 days, after which it will be permanently deleted automatically by the system. You can also empty the trash manually by clicking on Empty. In Outlook, the process is also very similar by clicking on the app and the "Deleted Items" icon and then with "Empty Trash".

To empty the photo trash on Android, you need to look for the reference gallery app installed on your device. Most of them have already set up Google Photos, the official Google app that grants each user 15 GB of space for free, designed for managing, storing, sharing, backing up and saving images and videos in the cloud on your phone. Clicking on "Collection", you'll see the trash icon appear where the deleted items from Android's photo and video archive are placed.

So, if the backup and sync feature is enabled, the photos and videos you're going to delete will be placed in the trash for a period of 60 days. After that time, the items there will be deleted by default. Even in this case, you can empty the recycle bin before the standard timeframe. Just go to the "Empty Trash" item, confirm that you want to continue and click "Delete".

Many smartphones and tablets with Android operating system have a different app for managing images and videos saved in the phone's internal memory: it's the Gallery app divided into folders. On Albums, the last item is the trash can icon, with the words Recently Deleted. Inside you'll find the deleted images that are kept for 30 days before they disappear permanently.

Make space in the memory of your cell phone on Android

In addition to the mythical trash icon on Android that allows us to get rid of files that only take up space and no longer serve us, there are many other methods to do a bit of cleaning up and make our device as good as new. It's important to keep an eye on the cache of the apps installed in the system.

We're talking about that part of memory set up to hold files that serve to make the startup and operation of applications more dynamic and the search for useful data more specific. It's always a good idea to empty it from time to time, but keep in mind that these are temporary solutions, as the app cache is regenerated continuously throughout the life of the app.

If you have little time to manage the space on your device, you can think about installing apps created just to impersonate a sort of virtual trashcan of Android. For example Trash Dumpster, downloadable from the Play Store in the basic version or with more features for a fee. It's also suitable for getting around the problem of accidentally deleted files or photos.