Samsung was under fire from some earlier this year when the narrative that system files on the Galaxy S23 ate up a whopping 60 GB of the total storage. That wasn’t true, and in Android 14 Samsung has updated its software to make this more clear.
When the Galaxy S23 series debuted, Samsung was criticized for showing upwards of 60 GB of storage being attributed to “system files,” up to almost 25% of the base storage models of Galaxy S23 Ultra. And, at a glance, it was a jarring figure to see.
However, that was never really the truth.
Rather, the reason Samsung’s software was showing this high figure was due to the nature of storage. “Gigabytes” are the measure of storage that we’re all familiar with, but “gibibytes” are the more accurate way to measure how much storage is available and what the software uses to show it. Those are different systems, though, with gigabytes measured in powers of 1,024 and gibibytes in powers of 1,000. That leads to a 512 GB smartphone actually having 476 GiB of storage.
If you bought a device advertised as 512 GB and saw 476 GB in the storage settings, though, you’d likely be angry. So, most devices effectively tell a white lie here, showing figures that will total up to 512 GB. The excess few percentage points typically get grouped into one of the existing categories.
On Samsung’s 2023 smartphones, this came under fire because it was all grouped into “system files.” Effectively it looked like Samsung’s files and bloatware were inflating the storage used on the device, blocking off storage that would otherwise be available to the end user.
As spotted by our Max Weinbach, Samsung’s Android 14 update tweaks One UI to show storage differently. The storage breakdown in One UI 6.0 now lists this disparity in storage under “other apps,” and now accurately shows the total storage used by system files as just over 16 GB.
This definitely seems like a change for the best, as it better gets across what’s actually happening with a user’s storage. That said, it does seem like there might still be some funny business going on, as it was calculated previously that system files took up around 20 GB of storage on One UI 5 – either that, or Samsung’s One UI 6 update has done some major trimming.
One UI 6, based on Android 14, is still in beta, but should launch to Galaxy S23 and other devices before the end of the year.
Max Weinbach contributed to this article.
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