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How much storage does Android’s system files take?

Android system files have become so bloated that, in some phones, users are left with significantly less space for their apps, videos and music. Even the 64GB storage size that has become the new base option for many brands just doesn’t cut it. 

I checked the storage settings of my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and saw a whopping 26.9GB reserved for system files. Fortunately, I have 256GB overall internal storage, so I don’t have to worry so much about the remaining usable space. 

Other phones aren’t so lucky and do not provide the same storage luxury. The Google Pixel 4 XL, for instance, takes up 25GB for its system files or almost 40 percent of space of its 64GB model.

For the Nokia 7 Plus, 16GB is reserved. Some Android phones are more efficient storage-wise, such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 that provides 50GB usable space out of 64GB. But in the age of 4K movies, high-res photos and data-intensive apps and games, 50GB of usable space will run out easily. 

Phone manufacturers tend to pre-install apps and features, many of which you likely won’t be using. It’s due to this bloat that these phones require more space than what you would need for a clean Windows 10 installation. The increase in system files size is said to be because of Android’s Project Treble and A/B partition selection (Seamless Updates).

And so if you’re in the market for a new phone, get a model that has at least 64GB or 128GB storage size. That should give you on average about 50GB or 100GB (or less) usable space for your own files. For 32GB, you would be severely limited as time goes by.

If you’re constrained by budget and must stick with 32GB, you should at least check the official specs if the actual/usable storage space has been disclosed. Alternatively, make sure the phone storage can be expanded via a microSD card. Also, consider installing a leaner custom ROM to get rid of the pre-installed bloatware.