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How to fix storage issues on the Samsung Galaxy Ace

Self help

Low memory is an all-too familiar problem for entry-level smartphone users; indeed we have covered the issue before in our smartphone storage article which has great advice on freeing up space.

However there’s been a few instances where we’ve identified an unexpected cause, namely the amount of memory that contacts are using up on the phone. If you’ve cleared data from the usual suspects like Facebook and Maps but are still having storage issues it’s worth checking to see if this bug has affected you.

Is your device having this issue?

To find out if your device is having this problem, follow the steps below:

  1. Settings > Applications > Manage Applications.
  2. Select All at the top of the screen.
  3. Locate Contacts Storage.

Galaxy Ace Composite 2

Typically this should only be a few hundred kilobytes (KB) at most, if it’s anything more than a few megabytes then it may well be that your device is having this issue.

Fixing the problem isn’t as straightforward as just deleting the data from the app as this will wipe your contacts if they’re on the phone’s internal memory. Before deleting the data you’ll need to back up your contacts first. If they’re already in your Google account then you don’t need to worry, if not then you can back them up to your SD card to keep them safe.

Backing up your contacts

  1. Open the Contacts app on your handset (pictured in screenshot 5 above).
  2. Tap the Menu button.
  3. Tap on Import/Export.
  4. Tap Export to SD Card.

This will place a copy of your contacts safely on your device's memory card which we can restore after we've applied the fix.

Fixing the problem

Once your contacts are safely backed up we can apply the fix to clear the memory your contacts are taking up and free up some precious internal storage.

Galaxy Ace Composite 1
  1. Again, head to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications.
  2. Select All at the top of the screen.
  3. Locate Contacts Storage and tap on it.
  4. Then tap on Clear Data.

This will delete any locally stored contact information on the phone's internal memory. Finally, reboot your handset.

Retrieving your contacts

If your phone is set to sync with Google then the contacts should reappear when the phone turns back on. If you backed them up to the SD card you can retrieve them easily.

  1. Open up the Contacts application.
  2. Tap the Menu button.
  3. Tap on Import/Export.
  4. Tap Import from SD Card.
  5. You can choose to either import them to your Google account or back to the phone memory.

We’re unsure what causes the contact's storage to balloon like this, it’s possibly a problem that occurs when syncing contacts with Facebook or similar services goes wrong so we’d recommend disabling such features if you’ve had this problem.

So far we’ve only encountered this issue on the Galaxy Ace so it may well only affect older versions of the Android software such as Gingerbread 2.3, however it wouldn’t be a surprise to find the same problem occurring on similarly spec’d handsets like the HTC Wildfire S.

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