The Disturbing Case of Windows Phone 8’s Missing Storage

Have you ever experienced losing something that seemed impossible to lose? You don’t have any idea how it could have disappeared because you don’t even remember doing anything that could lead to such an occurrence. Like finding out one day that your savings vanished into thin air, only to find out that it was a due to a glitch in your bank account.  Or when you realize that your cereal box is already empty after just a bowl for yesterday’s breakfast, only to see rodent droppings nearby. Both situations are really irritating and uncomfortable, but at least you were able to figure out what happened to the things that you’ve lost. You get a general idea of what happened, and you can do something to prevent that from happening again.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Windows Phone 8’s shrinking storage issue for some of its mobile devices. There are a considerable number of affected users taking to the Internet to find out why a chunk of their Windows Phone 8 storage was consumed by an “Other” category. As some of you might notice with other devices, “Other” is usually reserved for files which the device is not capable of reading or running. This could include compressed folders, unrecognized apps, or even corrupted files which are yet to be cleaned from the device’s coffers. So, which one is it? The disturbing part about this issue is that you can’t find what’s causing the problem. You can scour through your device, go through your file explorer over and over again, or test every application installed, and you won’t find a thing. It is not even known if this is caused by a phantom file, a corrupted program, or the Windows Phone 8 just going bonkers.

Issue Confirmed by Microsoft

When affected users took to the web to air their grievances and look for answers, one person went directly to the source by tweeting Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Windows Phone Program Management and Design, Mr Joe Belfiore. Belfiore confirmed that the issue does exist, but gave no clue on what could be causing it, aside from suggesting to turn-off Skydrive auto-photo upload. Well, we know that the Internet is an integral aspect of mobile devices today, allowing us to do anything from bank transactions, online shopping, to VoIP calls anywhere, anytime. But by anchoring all our activities to the web, including the simple tasks like uploading our photos to the cloud, issues like these are really bound to happen.

It is hard not to blame Microsoft; after all, they’re the ones behind the Windows Phone 8 operating system. When we decided to part ways with our money for their phones and tablets, we’re buying into the idea that we are getting an infallible device. We really don’t think about the possible issues or problems that could arise after our purchase, considering that their gadgets costs top dollar. But no system is perfect, and Microsoft, despite its success in tech and electronics, has its fair share of failures.

We should at least expect them to act fast and find a fix for this problem, and that’s what Belfiore promised when he confirmed the issue. He promised improvements coming in future updates, hopefully addressing the storage-zapping phantom on their mobile devices. But for those who are desperate to reclaim their “lost” storage space, a free application has emerged from the Windows Phone apps store. Shrink Storage tries to get more from your device by completely filling up your internal storage and restarting your phone to release some storage. It’s worth a try, since there’s no definite time for the next potent update that would address this issue.

To be fair with Microsoft, they were able to come up with an impressive line of phones and tablets, attracting the interest of modern techies and gadget lovers worldwide. We should be optimistic that they’ll come up with an answer to their problems soon, and look forward to more Windows Phone 8 devices in the near future.