Troubleshooting & How-Tos 📡 🔍 Mobile

Android Stops Syncing When Low on Space

A few months ago, my phone stopped syncing contacts and messages (including missed-call and voice mail notices!) after I installed a new app. Email and text messages flooded in the moment I uninstalled it. At the time, I figured it could be the app, or it could simply be that the phone doesn’t sync if it’s low on space.

Now I know: It’s the lack of space.

Last night I updated Gesture Search, which pushed the phone into low-space territory. I figured I’d deal with it later. This morning, I noticed that it wasn’t reporting new messages on Gmail. Reluctant to uninstall any more apps, I followed Katie’s suggestion of clearing out old text messages…and freed up 1.5 MB. (I figure it’s the pictures. They’d better be worth 1,000 words, because they take up a lot more disk space.) A few seconds later, the @ popped into the notification bar.

You’d think that 7+ MB would be plenty of room to download email and text messages, or tell the notification system to pop up a new icon. As near as I can tell, though, if the “Low on Space” icon is visible, Android won’t sync anything.

Next time, I’ll make a point of cleaning things up quickly.

With luck, this won’t be a problem with my next phone. (Yeah, I’m still on the G1.) Whether I go for a Samsung Vibrant, a G2, or something else, it should have more storage on the phone and the ability to install apps to the SD card.