Windows Phone ‘Reserved Space’

My Windows Phone is showing that almost half its paltry capacity of 8 GB is consumed by “reserved space and content from other computers”.

Windows Phone - Reserved Space

I’ve gone into the Zune desktop software –> Settings/Phone/Reserved Space and set the amount reserved to zero.

Windows Phone - Reserved Space of 0

So if the 3.36 GB isn’t “reserved” then it must be “content from other computers”. Hmm…. well I’ve never paired the phone with any other computer other than my awesome laptop, so what’s going on? This article strives to explain what could be going on. You might have to read that twice – I know I did.

I tried the “Erase all content” button. The phone and Zune desktop software both showed zero music, video, pictures and podcasts. This had the following effect:

Windows Phone - Reserved Space with no Media

I also found a few other links that asked the obvious question – how do I free up this capacity? Plenty of people questioning – but I didn’t find an answer that worked for me.

The last link offers some hope. It suggests that the number may actually be nothing whatsoever to do with “content from other computers” or “reserved space”. Its actually space used by the installed applications and games. Of course this now seems perfectly obvious. Not only is there the cost of installing the applications – but also the data that each keeps locally – for instance the mail boxes, map cache, saved games etc. What’s strange though is how much this allocated capacity seems to fluctuate. I tried uninstalling some apps, deleting the mapping history and removing one of my outlook mail boxes. That reduced the number a fraction – down to 2.6 GB.

It would be great to be able to get more insight into what has that space allocated. Aside from resetting the phone (removing all apps) I’m not too sure where to go from here. Suggestions anyone? [Oh – and I’ve already tried installing a 32 GB memory card – that didn’t end well either].