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(Pocket-lint) - Files by Google is a file management app for Android phones with limited storage. It replaced an older app called Files Go, that served a similar purpose.

The primary focus of the app is to free up space on your phone - by intelligently recommending apps, spam, and duplicate files to remove so that your phone stays in tip top shape. But it can also help keep your device organised, and it doubles as a file transfer service that requires no internet.

Here's what you need to know about Google Files.

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What is Google Files?

The Files app from Google is free to use, lightweight (only takes up 10MB of space), and offers three core features: clean out junk files and cache, to boost phone memory and performance; browse your storage and find everything with a few taps; send pictures, share videos, and transfer large files at a fast speed (rate up to 480Mbps over encrypted direct Wi-Fi network).


How does Google Files work?

Download app

You can download it from Play Store.


Upon launching Files, you will be brought to a main screen that has two tabs: Clean and Browse. Under Clean, you can free up space with just a few taps. Delete old photos and memes from chat apps, remove duplicate files, erase unused apps, clear your cache, and more. You will even get a prompt to remove junk or temporary files, as well as helpful suggestions about files to erase before you run out of space.

You can also use Files to see how much free space is left on your phone (and SD card, if it has one).


If you select the Browse tab, located at the bottom of the Files app, you will be brought to a screen that allows you to find files on your device by type, such as downloads, received files, images, videos, audio, and documents. Simply search for your files or navigate to them through categories and filters. From there, you can manage files, whether you want to view, delete, move, rename, or share them.

If you want to keep a file forever, select it from the Files menu and back it up to Google Drive or any other cloud storage app.

Share offline

The Share offline function used to have its own tab but it can now be found at the top left in the menu (three horizontal lines). Once you give the app the requested permissions, it will let you share your pictures, videos, documents, or apps with others nearby at a fast speed up to 480Mbps.

It works without the internet, too. Just pair up your phone with anyone nearby who has Files. The app uses Bluetooth to set up an encrypted and direct fast Wi-Fi connection (it's secured with WPA2 encryption).

Plus, if you run out of storage on your phone, Files will let you transfer large files or videos to your SD card, if you have one.

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Do you need Google Files?

Google has been focused on delivering slimmer, less data-hungry apps that will work on all sorts of hardware, including less expensive devices with a lot less storage, which are popular in emerging countries.

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With Files, Android device owners can maximise their phone storage. If you find yourself constantly worrying about storage space, Files might be the perfect solution for you.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Luke Baker.
Sections Google Apps