Files you downloaded, shared with you, or you created on Android can always be erased. Whether you store it in the internal storage or your external SD card, you can always erase them if you don’t need them anymore. That’s why, when you cannot delete files from the internal storage on your Android device, you go easily panic.
Is it broken? No. Is it because of a virus? Probably, but there are still other reasons why this issue can occur. In this article, this alarming issue will be tackled. The reason, workaround, and permanent fixes will be discussed.
Internal Storage vs. Internal Memory
Before jumping into the issue, it’s better to have a clear idea of what internal storage is all about. Of course, it’s obvious that internal storage is a complete contrast to external storage. However, a few may have confusion between internal storage and internal memory. You should know that in this article, the focus in on the internal storage. For those who aren’t that familiar with internal storage and internal memory, these are discussed below.
The internal memory (RAM) is an allocation in your storage dedicated to the system software. If you won’t root your phone (getting access to the software of the device, a jailbreak in Apple devices), you can’t delete anything from this. This is something that won’t run out.
The internal storage, on the other hand, is where you can store music, apps, videos, documents, and other files. This, you can run out, but you can easily free up space by uninstalling apps or deleting unused files. So, if you can’t delete a file that is stored in your internal storage, something should be off — and you should know why.
Why I Cannot Delete a File from Internal Storage
There are a lot of reasons why you can’t delete files from your internal phone storage. Among the most common causes is either your internal storage is mounted as read-only or it’s because of a virus. Or, sometimes you encounter the problem because you don’t have permission to delete a particular file.
Whatever the reason why you have a problem deleting files on your Android phone, you must know a solution. It’s quite alarming because it isn’t the normal behavior of your phone. The next section will give you a detailed explanation and steps for you to escape from this circumstance.
Reasons Explained and Problem Solved!
Since there are various reasons why you don’t have permission to delete a file that you created or downloaded, there are also various ways to fix this. You don’t need any special IT skills — just have to follow the steps here in order to successfully get out of this dilemma.
Internal Storage is Mounted as Read-Only
Although this isn’t how your internal storage should be, sometimes, whether it is a bug or a virus, Android users can encounter such a problem. And, as a result, you cannot delete any file from your internal storage.
- Connect your phone to a PC or laptop using a cable.
- Depending on your phone, you can automatically mount it as a drive in your PC or you’ll still be prompted whether you connect your phone to charge and other stuff. If you are prompted upon connecting your phone, make sure to select the option to mount your phone as a mass device.
- If you have seen your phone’s storage mounted, go to Command Prompt and remove the read-only settings from there.
- Once you have launched the Command prompt in your PC, make sure that it C:\Windows\system32>.
- Type diskpart.
- It’ll return a list of the mass storage you have. So, you should know what storage you are looking for. Otherwise, your problem will not be solved.
- If you have successfully revoked the read-only setting of your internal storage, you can easily delete any file now.
No Delete Option
For Android 6, for example, the Delete option can’t be seen in plain view. So, if you want to delete a file, you need to go to Settings. From there, follow these steps:
- Go to Storage>Internal Storage.
- Tap Explore and select the folder where the file you need to delete is stored.
- Tap More (generally be found on the right-hand corner).
- Tap on Edit, and now, you can select the file/s you want to delete.
- You can now see the Delete option.
- Tap it and you can now get rid of that file.
Still, Can’t Delete File?
If your internal storage isn’t read-only, yet you can’t still delete a file, connecting the phone again to your PC saves many Android users from stress.
- Connect your phone as mass storage on your PC or laptop.
- Open File Explorer and tap the storage.
- Navigate to the folder where your file can be found.
- Select it and hit Delete key in your keyboard. Alternatively, you can right-click and Delete it. Whichever way, you should be able to delete it successfully.
If the issue persists and you still can’t delete the file with these steps, it’s possible that your phone has already been infected with a virus. Use a trusted virus software app and install it on your phone. It should detect any unwanted stuff on your phone.
Or, worse can, you need to reset your phone to factory setting. Remember, it’ll wipe out your data, so you must have a backup. Backup your files in your computer first, then, do the Factory Reset.
The Final Say
If you cannot delete files from the internal storage on your Android mobile, then, something is really off. You need to know the reason why your phone is behaving that way. If you are prompted with a message that you don’t have permission to delete, most likely your internal memory is mounted as read-only. You need to connect to a PC and steps are laid out in this article.
Or, you can also delete the file through your computer. Just connect your phone as mass storage and this method has saved a lot of Android users. However, if the issue still persists, then, there’s no other reason why your phone becomes hardheaded — a virus. You can remove it with an anti-virus app or resetting your phone to factory settings.
Whatever the reason, it’s not something you can take lightly because of possible infection. To avoid this problem, keep your phone secure and make sure not to install unknown apps. It always pays to be careful and safe.