How to Empty Trash on Android

Learn how to empty your Android phone's trash to maximize storage and performance.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
How to Empty Trash on Android

How to Empty Trash on Android

As an Android user, you likely accumulate a lot of deleted files, photos, app caches, and more in your device's trash folder over time. This can gradually eat up your valuable storage capacity without you even realizing it.

To solve this issue in this article we'll give a step-by-step guide to emptying the trash or recycle bin on any Android device. So let's get started.

Why Empty the Trash? 

Here are some key reasons you should periodically clear the trash:

  • Recover storage capacity on your device, especially if you're running low on space.

  • Maintain device performance - the more free space, the better it will perform.

  • Remove potentially sensitive deleted items completely from your device.

  • Good digital hygiene habit to avoid massive buildup.

  • Photos, app caches, and unused files contribute to trash buildup over time.

How to Empty Trash on Android

Step 1: Finding the Trash Folder

The trash is typically located in your internal storage, but it may be named Trash, Recycle Bin, Bin, etc. depending on the device manufacturer.

To locate it:

1. Open your device's Files or File Manager app.

2. Look for a folder named Trash, Recycle Bin, or similar. Tap to open it. And here you'll now see all deleted items accumulated in the trash.


Step 2: Emptying the Trash

1. Tap the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner.

2. Choose "Empty trash" from the menu.

3. Tap "Empty trash" again on the prompt to confirm the deletion. The folder will now show as empty! All contents have been permanently removed.

The process can vary slightly by device but follows the same general principles. Be very sure there are no files you want to recover before emptying the trash, as they cannot be retrieved.

How to empty the trash in different apps

The process for emptying the trash in different apps varies slightly. Here are the steps on how to empty the trash in some popular apps:

1. Google Photos

Open the Google Photos app & go to the Library section. Here Select the Trash folder & Tap the three-dot menu button in the top right. Now simply Choose the Empty Trash option.

2. Files by Google

Open the Files by Google app & tap the three-dot menu button in the top right. Here select the Trash folder & After selecting your files, tap the Delete button.

3. Gmail

Open the Gmail app & go to the Trash or Bin folder. And here select the Empty Trash option.

Additional Cleaning Tips

1. App Management: Take some time to review all the apps you currently have installed. Are there any that you no longer use? Uninstalling unused apps can help remove unwanted files and data that are taking up space.

2. Photos and Videos: Over time, photos and videos from past events, vacations, and more can pile up and consume large amounts of storage. Consider going through your gallery and moving any photos or videos you don't access on a regular basis to cloud storage like Google Photos or Dropbox. This frees up room on your phone.

3. Cache Clearing: Apps frequently store temporary cache files that aren't needed once you're done using the app. Clear the cache data for apps you don't use often. This deletes any redundant files that may be building up unused.

4. Downloading Smartly: Be mindful of how many random files, videos, or songs you download and keep on your phone long-term if no longer needed. Every so often, take a few minutes to remove any downloads filling up your storage that you no longer need access to.


To sum it up, if you’re an Android user, it’s a good idea to regularly clear out your device’s trash or recycle bin. This helps you free up storage space, keep your device running smoothly, and get rid of any sensitive deleted items. The process for doing this is pretty simple - just find the trash folder and hit “Empty Trash”. And while you’re at it, why not take a few extra steps to optimize your phone’s storage and performance? You can do things like managing your apps, organizing your photos and videos, clearing app caches, and being mindful of what you download. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your device in tip-top shape!

Latest Stories