The proper cure to fix Android’s “insufficient storage available” problem

My Android phone had this “insufficient storage” problem for months, despite having lots of free space. Here’s a fix that actually works.

If you’re looking for this solution, then I’m guessing you’ve experienced a difficulty with installing new apps or updating existing ones.

Even though you know there’s plenty of space left on your phone, you get an error saying that there’s “insufficient storage available”.

#Step 1 – How to solve the “insufficient storage available” problem.

When I first looked for a solution to this problem, I came across a free app called App Cache Cleaner.
Get App Cache Cleaner for FREE here

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This app will let you clear the cache for various apps, and thus reclaim some memory. In my experience it worked well for a couple of weeks, but then became ineffective.

I’m guessing that initially, it cleared just enough space so that I could update apps again, but as time went by I noticed that I was getting the “insufficient storage available” error again, despite using the app regularly to clear the cache.

The problem appears to be that there are crucial files which are not deleted by the app, but that build up over time to cause the same issue.

Fortunately there’s an even simpler fix, which doesn’t even involve downloading any other apps.

The trick is to access a hidden menu on your phone that lets you delete these files.

From your phone dialler, dial *#9900#
Update: Thanks to Jason in the comments for pointing out that this only works on SAMSUNG phones.

star hash 9900 hash

This will open up the menu, then select the second one down which should read “Delete Dumpstate/logcat”
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Then just hit the Ok button and you’re done.
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That’s it!
Now just go back to updating your apps and you should be able to update them all without that silly “insufficient storage available” message.

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Comments

    • Al Thompson says

      Sorry about that Margaret! I can only guess that it must be due to using a different version of Android.

  1. Mark says

    Thanks, that worked great for me as well. But now I notice that the GPS is not accurate, off by about 1 km or more. Is there any chance it’s related to the “Delete Dumpstate/logcat” operation?

    • says

      Hi Mark, I’m certainly no android software developer so I couldn’t say for sure, but my intuition would be to say that I doubt very much that it’s related. I’ve just tried to Google it and not found any other references to this procedure interfering with GPS accuracy.

  2. Morgan says

    Neither the app nor the code work for me. Is there any other way of getting to the dumpstate/logact? (BTW my internal memory is stating I have approx. 3.5Mb of free space left despite the errors

  3. says

    Godsake, yet another site using Android issues as a ruse to plug Infolife apps – how much are they paying you to push their nag-nag apps on the punter? If we want to clear app cache we simply use Clear All Apps Cache in the App Settings Menu.

    Another thing: this ‘simpler fix’ – *#9900# – is for Samsung devices only.

    • says

      Hi Jason,
      Thanks for your positive comments. I’d never heard of Infolife apps until you mentioned them, and I’m certainly NOT getting any form of payment from them in relation to this article (or anything else). I’ve never found that app to “nag” me in any way, and I find it useful that you can set a schedule for it to clear the cache for you at intervals. There may be other ways to do this too, but I just happened to blog about a solution that I found that worked for me.
      I did not realise that the *#9900# only applied to Samsung devices, so thank you for pointing that out and I will amend the article to reflect that. Cheers.

  4. simren says

    I cannot thank u enough… I faced this problem fr six mnths or so…, n wid ur 9900 trick, my phone is superb again… thanks a lot.

  5. Victoria says

    Hey Thompson. You trick did help me a lot in restoring my dad’s phone. And saving money from buying a sd card. Thanks a lot. Hoe you’re doing well :)

  6. dbmaster268@gmail.com says

    I have a Galaxy S4 and this dial option didn’t work at all. I use Clean Master to clear my cache but it didn’t work..

  7. mercy anucha says

    I use glo samsung android, neither the *#9900# nor downloading the clean app cache worked for me since it still says insufficient storage. if there is any alternative I will appreciate

  8. SUREN says

    Wow…It’s working Excellently…thank you so much…I tried many app but nothing great and totally waste….Very useful information provided….

  9. chris says

    You may find this strange because I did, but changing my Google account sorted my problem out. I can now put a lot more apps on my phone.

  10. Peter says

    I experienced same challenge on my phone. what I did was to CLEAR DATA and CACHE from my devices’ applications, thus Setting— App— click on each of the application to carry out the Clear data and cache. Reboot the device and it started working perfectly.

  11. Ron Bronstein says

    I can’t believe it! After struggling with this for MONTHS, trying just about everything, this actually worked! Not only is it downloading like normal, but my device is now operating so much faster! It must have been tremendously bogged down by all that junk…

    Thank you so much! Not only did you manage solve my storage problem, but you saved me from having to buy a newer, faster device! Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Ron Bronstein says

      By the way, out of sheer curiosity… What IS that logcat dump? I’d never even heard of it before.

  12. Isaac says

    I tried downloading that Catche cleaner app. But still says I have insufficient memory. And that code is no working on my phone. Please help

  13. Chandan Anand says

    Thanx a lot Al Thomas….this was a wish come true…i tried every hell a bit solution but all in vain…lastly read your article and tat worked wonders for me…thanx once again…

  14. Hammad Malik says

    This doesn’t work on my tablet . I had deleted dump using the above method and now their is 417mb free on my device but when I try to download or update any application , then Play Store says that there is insufficient space on my device .

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