Storage running out and it filling up by itself


I need help with storage problem. I have Moto G5 plus with 32G storage and 64 SD card. Yesterday a message pops up saying storage space running out. I go to setting - storage and it reads: internal shared storage 31.74 used of 32 GB, SD card 3.95 used of 64GB. I then removed many apps, photos and videos, clear data and cache, and able to bring it down to: 30.4 used of 32 GB, but what is strange is after about 2 hours or so, the storage is 100% used again!! And those apps I deleted are not in the phone anymore. I tapped storage and it won’t show storage details, it just keeps loading… nothing else. I used file manager to see apps use only about 700 mb and 2 G large files, but they are mostly in SD card. I wonder what causes the storage fills up by itself. I want to see what is in the storage, but I can’t find a way to do it, your help is very much appreciated!


Hi @donald2013

Have you tried restarting the phone to see if will then let you view the storage details again?
If we can see the details it could help narrow down where your storage issue is coming from. It would be interesting to see where the jumped 1.34GB (that came back after about 2 hours or so) was added to.
I’m pretty sure there are some file managers that can break down the storage for you maybe better than the one you mentioned in your post.
I’m betting some good suggestions will come in from the Community :wink:
In the meantime i would try that restart.


Thank you Super T for your reply. I tried restarting the phone, but didn’t solve the issue, I still can"t see the storage details. It stalls as loading… I do hope community members can help solve this mystery issue.


@donald2013, What if you remove the SD card? (assuming it’s for data and not apps) Then see if you can get a read on the internal storage.


The SD card has only photos and videos. I removed it, restart the phone, it is the same, I still can’t see storage details. When I tap storage, it just displays loading…


@donald2013, are you using the moto file manager? Moto File Manager

If so, try going to the Moto File Manager app and 'force stop" it, and delete its cache (in its storage).

You can also try installing another File manger (google makes one as well) Google File Manager

Ya, we’re kinda throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks :wink:
…but this should be a solvable problem. Stay tuned to see if more advice comes in :slight_smile:


You are possibly running into a condition where there isn’t enough room to either add any apps (as you have found the Android code can’t run to calculate/display what is being used.)

  • You may need to delete more apps, try to disable some that you don’t need, etc. etc … to get it down to where you can see whats eating up


@SuperT, I followed your instruction and force stop it, delete its cache, reopen it, still can’t view all files :disappointed:


@ jben, thank you for your replay and advice, I did two rounds of app removal, was able to remove more than 1.5 GB, and the storage still won’t display its details. What is strange is that the storage will fill up by itself, after apps removal, back to 100% use of the space. Using file manager, I was able to see the following: large files 329.91 mb, installed apps 331.03 mb, not much to delete, in the all files block - details won’t display, just circling…I can go folder to folder, but won’t any one containing big files. I wonder which folder, or folders are likely to have big files.


@donald2013, It almost (again with the guessing), sounds like when you remove apps and free up space that another app is downloading data filling it up. I wonder if you have some setting on a app like (One drive, or Google drive, or a music app) that when it sees you have freed up space, is downloading and filling it up with …something.

If all that is true…try putting your phone in airplane mode and disable WiFi so you have NO data connections. Then try the removal and see if the storage goes up again. (looking for clues here)


@SperT, I do have google drive, I will give a try later tonight by using airplane mode. The remaining apps include google(155MB) and chrome (160MB), wonder if they are the same, if redundant, I will delete one.


@donald2013 Good luck :crossed_fingers:, oh, and always be careful when deleting/removing. Make sure your files stay on your google drive in the cloud (or are backed up elsewhere) when you remove them from your phone.


Have you tried to boot up in Safe Mode? this would prevent loading/activating any 3rd party apps … then perhaps it would allow a closer look at Storage with the native Android code


They are not the same thing. The Google App is the App that controls search, google feed, response of “OK Google” and some other things. The Chrome App is your web browser.


@louisdi, ok got it, thanks, I will keep both.


@jben, @ SuperT, I tried the safe mode safe mode and airplane mode you suggested and the storage still won’t display the details. I also removed several more apps and clear some data from a few apps. I was able to free 1.5 G storage space. I am thinking to get another SD card to increase internal storage, so I won’t run out of it. Thank you for your help!


Is there any chance that when you first set up you SD card you didn’t set to be ‘Internal Storage’ or it is not one that is fast enough for internal? (it would need to be a UHS-1, type per table from Using an SD card - moto g5 plus


An SD card won’t solve the problem unless you offload apps to it, and won’t work for long anyway because you don’t know what app is doing it and if it can offload–not all apps can.

The storage loading forever is a known problem with Moto phones after updating to Oreo. There’s no fix that I’ve seen; my phone does it too. As a workaround, go to apps->app info and look at their sizes from there. Look for the one that’s enormous; you undoubtedly have a piece of junk app just grabbing data, it should be huge, probably multiple GB.


I had a similar issue a few months ago. I can’t quite recall the exact way it was resolved as I had to get my teenage son to address it, as I looked everywhere on the forum for a solution and couldn’t find it.

However, I do recall deleting a bunch of photos and videos from my phone thinking it must be what’s causing me to fill it up. BUT, what I think my son figured out is that I had an issue since photos/videos on my phone are automatically backed-up with google drive (and I also have a SD card). And for somehow what I was deleting, was returning back as back-up later on.

Perhaps that’s the same thing that is happening for you. And at the time, since no memory was left, I couldn’t view anything at all. I have no idea what the specific solution was that fixed that problem. I also have a MotoG5+ and am nervous since traveling overseas this week and hopefully if I get a SIM card, it will work to stay connected, and not mess up whatever else my phone is supposed to do for me. Worse is, I won’t have my IT support (aka son) with me.

Good luck! I do periodically go to Settings -> Storage -> Internal Shared Storage -> and clear cache on some of the files (like photos/videos or music) it’s the cache part, not data.


@jben, yes, I didn’t set the sd card as internal, I thought i could move most apps to sd card, I found out that most apps can’t be moved. I will get another card for internal storage.