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HTC Desire: How to free up internal memory without rooting

September 24, 2011

It’s been a year since I’ve had my HTC Desire, while it’s a great phone and one I plan to use for many years to come (how long my phones usually (should) last for), the phone’s low internal memory has always bugged the hell out of me. This is a common problem that all HTC Desire users have and while there have been temporary fixes such as the App2SD or 1 Tap Clean Cache app, the problem still remains!

For awhile I’ve just kind of had to ignore and live with the problem of the phone’s limited capability because that’s what it’s essentially doing even though the phone itself is really powerful!

I came close to the idea of rooting my phone, having Googled and read up on it A LOT and even taking some of the preliminary steps to ensure my phone was the correct this and that to allow the root. I ended up chucking the idea because even if there is (supposedly) a small margin of risk that the phone will ‘brick’, I still didn’t like those odds. Especially since rooting a phone is new territory for me. I wouldn’t start to know how to troubleshoot such a problem if it did indeed ‘brick.’

My next alternative was finding a way to install apps on the sd card by default because having it install on internal memory then moved to sd card is hopeless if you haven’t much space to start with as it wouldn’t let you install it in the first place. So I finally found a method that seemed pretty simple and straightforward and finally actually works!

I found the non-rooting fix from felix1318 on though I suspect the original was from Lars Aronsson from Androinica. It worked like a charm for me.

Two things I did notice that were slightly different from the steps were the directories you needed to go to in steps 3 and 4. This is probably because the guide is one year old and the Android SDK software has been updated since. Here are the updates:

  • In step 3, it says to find the folder android-sdk\usb_driver but for me it was android-sdk\extras\google\usb_driver
  • In step 4, in the cmd (command) panel you need to navigate to C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools instead of tools to find adb devices because apparently the adb devices moved directory. It flags this up somewhere but can’t remember when it did.
One problem I came up against (which you find you might have) is that on step 2 where you needed to download and install the usb driver using Android SDK Manager, I found the software somewhat buggy because it would download less than 10% before it would freeze and after many restarts (of the program), I found that it downloaded if you clicked it again despite the other download window being there (and frozen).
I also like the idea that I can reverse this fix though if you read the guide, you would see you wouldn’t have to though I did find some of widgets do not load properly even though it’s installed on the internal memory.
Apart from that, I am able to move existing apps to sd card that I originally could not before though you have to be careful about this (I was so excited I went overboard) because it means that app takes a little longer to load after sd card is mounted or on booting up. Also could potentially make your widgets not function properly.

Happy non-rooting!


From → Tips & Tutorials

  1. xyz permalink

    bro i am done till 2nd step but in 3rd step when i need to connect the desire with pc,when i conect it,it doesn’t show any how can i install its driver then!!
    desperately waiting for ur reply..

    • Hi, not sure how much help i can give. Firstly eliminate any hardware issues, maybe try another usb port, re-plug the cable, restart the pc, etc. If that doesn’t work, go through steps 1 & 2 again to make sure you did everything properly. If you can, maybe use a different pc/laptop? I’m not the original author of this non-rooting process, just a user documenting my experience so don’t have all the technical know-how. Apologies if this isn’t helpful. Let me know how it goes.

  2. Abarajithan Gnaneswaran permalink

    Hi, I got a Desire recently and Installed App2SD and used the above method also. Now almost all my apps (except very few) are installed in microSD. But, my internal memory was filling up each time I installed an app (on SD), and now there is less than 2 MB left in the internal memory. (But there’s no any apps there)..

    Is this because those apps are using internal memory as cache? But clearing up cache has not solved this. How the hell can I solve this WITHOUT ROOT?

  3. Nhlanhla Mahaja permalink

    i have an htc desire and the internal memory sucks. even though i have an sd card and all my important apps are on it, still my internal memory is chewed up. Now i only have 2mb and it doesnt allow me to load anything. come on htc solve this problem.

  4. photo tool permalink

    I enjoy whatever you men are up too. This sort of inventive
    task and also exposure! Maintain the good works folks.
    I have incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

  5. Nitish permalink

    Hi I have seen Lars article and as you mentioned, the sdk software has updated, I am having troubles with following the steps – step 2 specifically.

    I have downloaded and extracted the sdk tool. In my extracted folder, I see two folder, ‘sdk’ and ‘eclipse’. ‘sdk’ does not have any ‘sdk setup.exe’. I looked inside every sub folder and could not find a setup.exe file.

    Has someone else followed these steps lately?

    Please help

  6. Abdulazeez permalink

    Am totally confused!!! What is the step 1 and 2 ? Pls ur reply mean a lot to me

    • Hi,

      Steps 1 & 2 can be found in the original article linked above. I’ve copied and pasted it below, if you need more info, please see original article.

      1. First you have to enable USB debugging on your Android device from Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging.
      2. Now you need to download and install the Android SDK on your computer from Once you’ve downloaded and extracted the package to the folder of your choice, run SDK Setup.exe and click on Available Packages to the left. If you get an error message at this point, enable “Force https://…” in the Settings. From the list of available packages, select “Usb Driver package”, click on the Install Selected button in the bottom right corner and follow the prompts.

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