Troubleshooting Low Space Issues on the HTC Desire

One of the recent complaints about the HTC Desire on the Cellcom Facebook page was that the phone was constantly displaying a low space warning.  A number of users have experienced this warning, and for some, it has prevented them from downloading applications from the Android Market.

So how can you troubleshoot this issue and correct it?  The first thought for many people is to push for an official upgrade to Android 2.2.  Android 2.2 allows users to install and/or move supported apps to a memory card.  While this could solve the issue, Cellcom has not released Android 2.2 for the Desire yet, and there is no guarantee that this will actually resolve the issue for all users.

I don’t intend to solve this issue for all readers or users of the Desire with Android 2.1 either.  But I can provide a few troubleshooting steps to help narrow down the issue.

The first step in troubleshooting this issue is to see how much space you have available on the phone.  To do this:

  1. Go into the Settings Menu
  2. Select SD & Phone Storage
  3. Check the amount available under Internal Phone Storage

Once you see how much storage remains, you can look at the list of Applications installed on your phone and the amount of space they are consuming.  You can access this by:

  1. Going into the Settings Menu
  2. Select Applications
  3. Select Manage Applications
  4. Press the menu button and select “Sort By Size.”
    (Note:  This option may not be available while the list loads).

The list will sort from the largest to smallest applications.  Some of the larger applications that you might have that come with the phone include the Contacts Storage, Maps, Internet, and QuickOffice.  Other larger applications that you can install from the Market include CardioTrainer, Evernote, and Google Voice.

If you have a few applications that you downloaded but no longer need or wish to remove, you can uninstall them from this menu by selecting the application and clicking the Uninstall button on the Application Details screen.

However, you might not have many applications installed, this might not alleviate the low storage space messages, and/or you might have a Contacts Storage that is extremely large.  If any of these are true, then you might need to check your synchronization settings.

You check your Synchronization settings by:

  1. Going into the Settings Menu
  2. Select Accounts and Sync

You will need to look under the Manage Accounts section of the Accounts and Sync screen.  This section displays all accounts that you have set up to sync with another data source, such as your Google Account, Weather, Twitter, and Exchange ActiveSync.  Review all your accounts to see what data you have syncing with your phone.  If there is anything you don’t want to sync, you can disable (or in some cases remove) the account.

There is one application in particular that can be troublesome:  Facebook for HTC Sense.  You can find additional details on what this program does here.  Why is Facebook for HTC Sense a problem?  Well, if it is configured, it will push your entire Facebook Friends list, including a photo for each contact, into your contacts list (People).  With enough friends, this can eat up a large amount of internal storage on the phone.

If Facebook for HTC Sense is configured, you will need to remove the account.  Disabling it from syncing Facebook Friends with your contacts will not remove the contacts it has downloaded, it will just hide them from view.  Removing the account will delete any information it has downloaded, and this could free up internal storage.  I reclaimed about 20 MB of storage by doing this on my Desire.

If this still doesn’t resolve your issue, or you didn’t have Facebook for HTC Sense configured, you might need to perform a factory reset or take your phone in for additional troubleshooting.

If you have a Desire and are experiencing this issue, did these steps help you resolve it?  Is there something else you did to solve your low space issues?

2 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Low Space Issues on the HTC Desire

  1. there is quite an easy fix to thisfollow previous instructions to get to manage applications, tap the running tab, find COM.HTC.SOCIALNETWORK.PROVIDER in this list and tap it, in this section tap the button under storage that says "CLEAR DATA" and this will resolve the issue every time. For any htc phone running any android version

  2. The problem with the HTC Desire is that it's not designed with enough internal storage. Everything suggested here addresses the amount of space I use. But I need all the apps I have installed. I want my apps to use the cache for the same reasons that we have cache in the first place. I need all of my contacts (with their accompanying photos).The problem is not the usage of the space. The problem is that it has less than 200MB of internal storage available for apps, contacts, etc. If bringing the phone in for "additional troubleshooting" will actually increase the amount of space from 200MB to a much more reasonable amount, then perhaps I'll try that.

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