Firstly a gripe, no one told me parenthood would be basically unpaid IT support. On the one hand I want my kids to be able to use technology responsibly and be able to confidently manage their digital lives. On the other-hand I want to tightly control their exposure initially and ensure they have the right experiences without being put off with the unsavoury aspects of say the internet. I firmly believe that …
Computers and technology are a wonderful thing, but it is imperative we give our kids the right tools and knowledge to cope with it all.
That’s why a couple of years back we bought Kindle Fire tablets (Kids Edition) for our two eldest children. I’ve got to be honest these devices are great and have lasted. The appeal of a managed kid-centric/walled garden environment seem a good compromise. All the apps and games they want (within reason) allows them to explore their likes without the parental fear of massive bills every month. Eventually I also bought them Minecraft Pocket Edition, which they’ve used almost consistently. For those who don’t know Minecraft is the digital equivalent of Lego (okay I know you can get Lego computer games too). It’s also more than that you sort of get introduced to programming because combing blocks and resources produce different effects and items.
I know some frown at this sort of thing as somehow ‘less creative’ or encourage a child’s isolation. Firstly my kids sit next to each other talking about what they build, secondly I’ve bought a Minecraft realm where they can join up with their cousins (who don’t all live here in the UK) to build and chat, it’s the opposite of anti-social. Furthermore take a look at where our economy is going… yes we are still building physical stuff but we are also increasingly creating digital products. You only have to look at the rest of my blog to see I trained as a geographer and town planner only to end up creating 3D digital cities for all sorts of uses (mapping, analysis, military and entertainment.). I firmly believe some of our kids need the skills of building digital environments.
Oh dear, I digressed didn’t I? This was a blog post about freeing up space on those damned Kindle Fires!
My method of freeing up space on the Kindle Fire (Kids Edition)
Anyone who has a kid with these devices and the Kids Edition probably knows that the hardware memory allocation wasn’t great, and kids being kids will end up installing ALL THE APPS. Yes you can uninstall them (by long clicking an application/game icon and clicking ‘remove from device’), but sometimes that doesn’t seem enough.
So you check memory usage and you see space taken up by applications and pictures, oh and the system. Well you can do something about some of those applications and pictures but then there’s this huge bar representing ‘Miscellaneous‘ to be honest I’m still not sure what all of it is (probably app related essentials) but basically this bit seems to get larger and can’t be simply deleted.
You search the internet forums and lots of people have this issue, some use special clean-up applications installed (logged on as a parent) on to the kids device…. others recommend deleting games/applications cache. Well I’ve done this stuff before but for one of my kids tablets it didn’t work. So this is what I did:
BEFORE PROCEEDING YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS FOR FOLLOWING WHAT I DID. I CANNOT GUARANTEE THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU OR THAT IT WILL NOT DAMAGE YOUR DEVICE (having said that it should be fine, but if you are unsure don’t do this). Also these instructions assume you know something about Windows, file explorer, and file management. A suggestion for those nervous about deleting files, create an archive directory on your PC with appropriate folder names and copy files to them before deleting on device making sure your record where they had come from).
- Switch on tablet and login as your child
- Plug in the tablet to your Windows PC.
- look in file explorer under “This PC” for an icon representing your Kindle (Windows seems to recognise it as a media device not as a simple USB stick) double click on it.
- Under the Kindle device you will have two ‘drives’ Internal Storage’ and ‘SD/External Storage’, notice how the internal storage bar is red and looks full… double click on ‘Internal Storage’
- Navigate to ‘InternalStorage/Android/data/com.amazon.venezia/files’ there maybe lots of files with file extensions ‘apk’ here these are install files for applications and games. It seems you can delete these and it won’t hurt your tablet (they get downloaded again when you need them).
- Navigate to ‘imageCache/com.amazon.venezia/’ lots of thumbnails here for apps my kids no longer use I deleted all here EXCEPT for the two generic thumbnail images not stored in a sub-directory.
- Now there maybe more tips to freeing up space if you have any add a comment to this post and I will add it in here (with proper acknowledgement of course!)
MINECRAFT PE USERS: My kids had created 300 + Minecraft worlds over the last two years which took up a lot of storage, this doesn’t count as ‘Miscellaneous’ in your usage but I think but having to manually delete each world in the Minecraft application seems awful.
- Navigate to “InternalStorage/games/com.mojang/mineCraftWorlds/”
- List the weird folder names by modified date and delete all the old ones by selecting multiple items (you know click one file then ‘shift-left-click’ to select multiples)
- If you need to check you’re deleting the correct worlds in each directory there is a text file with the Minecraft world name in it,
I hope this all helps put your comments below if you have anything to add 🙂