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When we realize that the storage in our Windows Phone is reaching its maximum, we inspect what is eating up all the available storage in our phone. Apart from the space that the apps, music etc consume, there will also be another “Other” Storage visible.

When this “Other” phone storage becomes large, the phone will eventually show “Low Storage” problem. This gives rise to errors while installing a new app or app update or software update. This post explains to you about that “Other Storage” that is seen consuming space on Windows Phone.

The “other” category in the Windows phone Storage is basically a collection of all the files that cannot be categorized easily. They are usually the files that are created by the apps installed in the phone. The collection of all other data that cannot be put into the pre-defined storage categories and they cannot be deleted by the user.

Microsoft mentioned that the formula they use to calculate what files fall under “other” category is:

total storage capacity – size of storage categories – free space =other

The basic types of files that fall under “other” storage category are:

Temporary files:

These are cached files that are created from Internet Explorer History, uploads to OneDrive and also from thumbnails of  photos int he phone and from online photo albums. However, this is for Windows Phone 8 phones only, as Windows Phone 8.1 made this a separate known category.

File types that the Windows Phone does not recognize:

These types of files emerge as a result of file transfer to the Windows Phone from a computer. If you notice that any unrecognizable type of files have been transferred from your computer to your Windows Phone, you can connect them again and delete them.

– Nokia Camera app photos:

In addition to the photo that is visible to us, the Nokia Camera app also has many other files stored within and these are taken into the “other” category.  The series of photos captured using burst mode are also categorized under this “other”. To remove all these files, you can delete them from the photos hub on the Windows Phone or move them to your computer.

– Compressed files: 

When some files that are of the extension .zip are opened in Windows Phone, all the files in it will come under the “other” category.

– MMS messages:

Whenever an MMS message is forwarded to any recipient without editing it, then that message will be store int he phone’s “other” storage folder for three months or above.

Clearing “Other” storage:

Even after trying to delete all the files of the above mentioned types from your Windows Phone, you may still find that the “other” folder is occupying much space.

To help us in such cases, Windows Phone has an automatic feature that allows itself to clean all the temporary files from it. If in any case the Windows Phone has only 250 MB or 6% of the total storage space as available storage space, then the Windows Phone will undergo a process to eliminate all the temporary files.

For Windows Phones with Windows Phone 8.1, users can start this  cleanup process manually.

Go to Storage Sense -> Phone -> Temporary Files -> and tap on Delete. 

This process of automatic cleanup will not guarantee us to make the space occupied by “other” to zero. This is because, while the temporary files are eliminated, the phone still keeps some of the files like those files that are related to the apps installed in the phone, or any other files related to storage issues. So this is the reason that we always see some amount of space occupied by “other” storage.

The other way to clear the remaining space occupied by “other” storage is by resetting the Windows Phone. But make sure you have tried to delete all the data of the file types mentioned above.

Resetting the phone, however, turns the space occupied by “other” to zero. This is because, all the data from the phone will be completely erased during the reset process.

If you have any other queries regarding the “Other” storage on your Windows Phone, let us know in the comments!

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