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How to Empty Trash on Android? Full Guide

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 10, 2024 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

"How to find trash or recycle bin on Android phones and remove junk files to free up space on Android? My phone is running low on storage and I can't seem to find the trash folder in Android!"

This is a query from one of the Android users from our community about the Android trash folder that we have got recently. Though, a lot of other Android users also ask similar questions quite frequently. If you are using your Android phone for a while now, then you might be suffering from the lack of free space on it and could be looking for the Android trash bin. Unlike Windows or Mac, there is no one location in Android to collect all the trash. Therefore, users need to make some extra effort to clear junk files on their phones. In this guide, we will teach you how to access trash on Android and delete miscellaneous files easily.

Part 1. How to Empty Trash on Android?

One of the major reasons for finding the trash folder on the Android phone is to empty it and get more free space on the device. To empty the trash on Android, follow this:

Empty the Trash for an App

To clear the cache data for a specific app:

  1. Go to your device Settings > Apps.
  2. Select any app from the list. Visit its storage settings and clear the trash for the particular app. You can follow the same drill to clear cache for other apps as well.
  3. After that, you will see a notification that the deleted files will be permanently deleted after 30 days. To delete them immediately, click the three-dot icon at the top right corner, then click Empty.

clear cache data on app

Empty All Trash on Android

If you want, you can empty the trash data in one go as well. Simply go to your device's storage settings and tap on the cache data option. From here, choose the option to clear the entire cache data and confirm your choice.

clear entire cache data

Part 2. 7 Methods to Empty Trash on Android for More Storage

Cache data consists of intermediate data stored by apps for a faster and more customized experience. While it would enhance your app experience, it might also take a toll on the device storage as well. Thus, you should get rid of your phone's cache every once in a while to make more available space on its storage. If emptying the trash alone is insufficient for your requirements, continue reading to discover additional methods for clearing the trash on Android.

1. Delete Downloaded Files

Too many times, we download a lot of content from the web that isn't needed afterward. Therefore, when you try to remove junk files, consider visiting the Downloads folder on your device as well. Just go to its File Manager and visit the Downloads folder or the Download History. Access the downloaded content here and delete the files you no longer want.

delete the downloaded files on file manager

2. Delete Duplicate Photos

We all use our smartphone cameras to click numerous pictures on the go. Though, sometimes it can accumulate a lot of storage and might take unwanted space on our device. To avoid this, you can try to find duplicate photos and remove the ones you no longer need. If you want, you can do it manually by visiting the Gallery on your phone.

There are also readily available third-party apps that can help you do the same as well. For instance, Duplicate File Fixer is a popular solution that would scan your device storage and look for any duplicate content like photos, videos, files, etc. This will help you get rid of duplicate photos automatically in less time.

delete duplicate files

3. Manage Downloaded Music

Music can be the lifeline of your device and chances are that you might have downloaded a lot of songs. If you want to free up space on Android, then consider visiting the Music app on your phone and check your playlist. From here, you can simply erase songs that you no longer want. Also, if you use a music streaming app like Spotify or Google Music, then try not to save songs offline as it would accumulate more space on your device storage.

manage the downloaded music files on android phone

4. Unload the Least-Used Apps

Our apps can sometimes accumulate a lot of space on our devices. If you want to get rid of some unwanted data, then delete the apps that you no longer use. There are numerous ways to delete apps on Android. You can do it from your home by long-pressing an app icon and tapping on the delete button. Also, you can visit its Settings > Apps and select the app you wish to delete. As you open the app settings, tap on the "Uninstall" button, and confirm your choice.

uninstall the unwanted app

5. Use Smart Storage

Smart Storage is the latest feature that was introduced in Android 8 at first. It helps us get rid of any unwanted and duplicate data from the phone storage that has already been backed up on the cloud. You can just go to your phone's Settings > Storage and turn on the Smart Storage Manager. It will keep running in the background and would automatically delete miscellaneous files and unwanted content.

use smart storage

6. Use an SD Card

If the internal storage of your device is limited, then you can consider using an SD card to expand its storage. Since almost all the Android devices have an SD card slot, it makes it easier for us to manage our data. After connecting an SD card, you can simply move your photos, music, videos, contacts, etc. from the phone's internal storage to the card. Not just that, you can even go to the app settings and move the app data to an SD card as well. This feature is supported by some if not all the apps.

use sd card to storage data

7. Backup Files to Another Location

Lastly, you can just backup your phone's data to another safe location and delete it from your device afterward. For instance, you can connect your phone to your computer and use it to perform data transfer. Access its saved content and move it to your system's storage to take its backup. In the end, you can remove junk files and duplicate content from your phone to free up space on Android.

backup files to other location

How to Recover Deleted Files from Android SD Card?

While managing your Android device storage, chances are that you can end up deleting something unintentionally. In this case, you can take the assistance of the Recoverit Data Recovery tool. A highly advanced tool, it can help you get back the lost, deleted, or inaccessible content from your SD card under different scenarios. This includes the formatting of the SD card, accidental deletion, virus attack, and so on. The application is known for its high data recovery rate and a user-friendly interface.

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You can also recover deleted files from your Android's SD card by following these steps:

Step 1. Select the Location

Once the application would detect the connected SD card, it will display a list of the available locations to scan (including your SD card). From here, select your SD card's location and start the scanning of data.

mac data recovery

Step 2. Scan the Location

Recoverit will start an all-around scan. Once it is completed, you will be able to preview some files. During the scanning, you can already make some filterings and selections, including searching for your lost files using the File Path or File Type. You can also pause or stop the scanning process if you find your data at any time.

scanning lost data from android phone

Step 3. Preview and Recover Files

Once the scan is complete, you can preview the recovered emails one by one. And then, select the desired ones you want to recover, and hit the "Recover" button.

recover android phone data

Recoverit provides two different scanning modes – normal and deep. In case if the initial scan is not able to fulfill your needs, then you can perform a deep scan as well. Click on the "All-around Recovery" option to do this. It is a more time-consuming and extensive scan that will certainly help you get back all kinds of data from your SD card.

Some Basic Information About Recycle Bin/Trash in Andriod

1. Is There A Recycle Bin/Trash on Android?

No – unlike a Windows or Mac system, there is no Recycle Bin or Trash folder in an Android device. This is because most smartphones have a limited storage capacity that might range from as little as 8 GB to 256 GB. Therefore, it isn't feasible to maintain a dedicated folder just to collect trash from everywhere. Nevertheless, some apps (like Photos) have a separate folder (for Recently Deleted Photos) to store the deleted items for a particular duration.

Therefore, if you wish to remove junk files from Android, then you need to look for unwanted data on different apps and remove them one by one.

android recycle bin empty

2. How to Access Trash on Android?

As you know, there is not a dedicated trash folder like Recycle Bin in Android for us to delete junk files in one go. Though, if you want, you can visit certain apps and clear junk files associated with them to free up space on Android.

1. Google Photos

Google Photos is a native application developed by Google for Android devices. With it, you can take a backup of your photos and manage them in different ways. When we delete something from Google Photos, it is moved to a Trash folder. If you want to get rid of these deleted pictures, then you need to visit its trash folder in Android.

  1. Firstly, launch the Google Photos app on your device and visit its options by tapping on the hamburger icon on the top.
  2. From the list of the available folders, tap on the "Trash" option. This will display all the deleted pictures on Google Photos.
  3. Select the photos that you wish to get rid of permanently and tap on the trash/delete icon to remove them.

    where is trash on android

2. Gmail

Just like Google Photos, Gmail can also accumulate a lot of trash. When we delete an email, it isn't erased right away. Instead, it is moved to the Trash folder where it stays for the next 30 days. To get more space on your Gmail, you can visit the Trash folder and empty trash emails from there.

  1. Launch the Gmail application on your phone and tap on the hamburger icon on the top left corner.
  2. This will display a list of various categories and folders on Gmail. From here, visit the "Trash" folder.

    android trash folder

  3. Now, you can just select the emails that you wish to get rid of and tap on the delete icon on the toolbar.

    recycle bin android

  4. Furthermore, you can select all emails from the Trash folder in one to go as well and tap on the "Empty Trash Now" button to delete all the junk files from the trash folder.

    empty trash on android

3. Dropbox

Dropbox is a freely available cloud-based app that helps us take a backup of our data and manage it at the same time. Since the free version only supports 2 GB of space, it is recommended to clear junk files on your Android's Dropbox application every once in a while

  1. Open the Dropbox application and from its home, visit the Trash folder. Simply tap on the trash icon on the toolbox.

    visit the trash folder on dropbox

  2. This will display a list of all the deleted data on Dropbox. Select the files and folders you wish to get rid of from the Trash folder and tap on the delete button again.
  3. In the end, just confirm your choice and wait for a while as the selected files would be deleted.

    confirm to delete files

4. Recycle Bin App

To help you clear Android trash and delete miscellaneous files from your device, there are tons of third-party apps as well. For instance, the Recycle Bin app will let you access the deleted content on your phone and manage it as well. You can download the Recycle Bin app from right website and follow these steps to access the Android trash folder.

  1. Install the Recycle Bin app on your Android device and agree to the terms and conditions while granting it the needed permissions.
  2. Once it is installed, you can access the local file system or the connected SD card. Simply visit any option to explore the storage.
  3. Here, you can view all the deleted content on your Android trash. Make the needed selections and tap on the trash button to clear junk files.

    clear junk files on android phone

I'm sure that the guide would have helped you answer questions like "is there a recycle bin on Android" or "how to check trash on Android phone". We have come up with different options to delete Android trash and free up space on Android as well. Feel free to try these techniques to empty trash from your device in seconds. Also, you can share the guide with your friends too to teach them how to find trash on Android phones and clear junk files in no time.

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Recoverit author

David Darlington

staff Editor

Home > Resources > SD Card Solutions > How to Empty Trash on Android? Full Guide