Mar 23, 2020 My phones storage now is accounting for 4,000 photos and eating up more space (of which 1,000 of those photos are now taking up double space). I'd much rather those 1,000 photos on OneDrive to be hosted from my desktop instead of my phone since it has an enormous amount of HD available. 1 day ago How to Free Up iCloud Storage Space from iPhone or iPad. Accessing and organizing your iCloud storage space is a fairly easy and straightforward procedure on any iOS or iPadOS device. Make sure you’re logged into the device with your Apple account.
iPhones are great. And since you're here I assume you agree, at least to a certain extent! Each year, Apple release new designs with bigger, clearer screens, faster processors, cutting-edge cameras and more. However, their storage capabilities always seem to be lacking (and it's very expensive to get those larger storage phones). One question that seems to persist through the ages is 'How to Free Up Space on iPhone'.
Apple have come a long way to help their users by way of storage issues with iCloud, but for many, this still isn't enough.
This article provides a guide which will show you 5 different ways you can get the very best out of your iPhone storage. Some steps you can do directly from your iPhone right now - others require the use of a third party tool such as TouchCopy (backing up your files to your computer before deleting from your iPhone - smart!).
You can jump to each step using the links below:
What's Taking up Space on my iPhone?
How To Free Up Storage Space On Phone Battery
First, let's find out exactly what is taking up space on your iPhone, and how much space you have left.
Pick up your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
You'll see areas like Apps, Media, Photos and Other (What's 'Other'? See Method 2) - as well as how much space they're occupying on your iPhone. You can scroll down on your iPhone to find out how much space each individual app is taking up. Spoiler Alert: tap an app, then tap 'Delete App' to get rid of it.
Emoji autocomplete. In the document conversation, there’s an emoji button to help you pick the best. Quip markdown. Markdown Shortcuts Quip supports the following markdown shortcuts: Keystroke Shortcut 1. Then space Start a numbered list.
Read on to find out how to free up space on iPhone!
Method 1: Delete the Big Offenders
The easiest way to make the most room on your iPhone is to delete the stuff that's taking up the most space. The question is - what do you delete?
The first place you want to be looking is at your Apps, Videos, Music and Photos. Of course, these can all vary in size, but generally, that's where most of your storage will be tied up.
As you can see in your iPhone General Settings (iPhone Storage), your iPhone conveniently lists all your apps by size - biggest first. For the first step in this guide, scroll through the list on your iPhone and delete any apps which you don't need or use anymore. To do this, tap and App, then tap Delete App.
You may be pleasantly surprised by just how much space you can make with this step alone!
Further to this, the next big offenders are likely to be Photos, Videos and Music. You can go through their respective apps and delete anything you don't need. But to be safe, why not back up these items to your computer before deleting them, so you have a safe copy if you want them again? Jump to Method 4 to learn how to do this efficiently.
Method 2: How to Clear Cache on iPhone
Next, let's see how to find and delete data which you probably don't need saved on your iPhone. Cached data is information that apps and websites store on your device to make their applications work more efficiently for you.
For example, a website will store images in your cache so that when you go and access that page again, your browser won't have to fetch the image again because you already have it.
Trouble is that you probably access loads of webpages and use loads of apps too. This means that your iPhone becomes clogged up with oodles of information that it just doesn't need.
Every so often, we recommend clearing out your iPhone caches to get rid of any unwanted storage-hogging files.
Cached data and cookies come under the Documents and Data section of your iPhone Storage. Check out our full step-by-step guide to find out 'What is Documents & Data?' and how to clear cache on iPhone. To do this, you'll need to go into each app's settings and delete cookies, history and caches that you don't need.
Make sure you check the cache of all apps (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter..) and browsers (Google Chrome, Safari..) that you use on your iPhone for maximum storage return!
Method 3: How to Delete Duplicate Songs on iPhone
Beyond just deleting music you no longer like; you may have accumulated many duplicate tracks over time. This is true wasted space because duplicate tracks are unnecessary.
If you don't want to trawl through your library to weed out duplicate tracks, there's a great tool which can help. Tune Sweeper is software for PC or Mac which will cover all of your iTunes clean up needs. The feature we're really interested in is its ability to locate and remove duplicate tracks from iTunes. Once your library is clean, you can then sync it with your iPhone and hey presto - space saved.
Let's see how we can use the popular Tune Sweeper tool to delete duplicate songs on iPhone:
- Download and install Tune Sweeper on your PC or Mac
- Launch Tune Sweeper and click 'Search for Duplicates'
- Your iTunes library will be scanned, and Tune Sweeper will return a list of duplicate songs
- Manually choose which files to remove, or allow Tune Sweeper to do it automatically by selecting a Keep Selection Preference
- Once you're happy with the selections, click 'Remove Duplicates'
- Sync your updated iTunes library with your iPhone to upload your new duplicate free library to your device.
Try Tune Sweeper free ▼
Receive an email with a link so you can download the free trial on your computer:
Note: We respect your privacy. We won't share your Email address with anyone else, or send you spam.
Method 4: Backup data from iPhone to Computer then delete from iPhone
If you're still unsure about what to delete from your iPhone, back up your media first!
You can create complete backups of your iPhone in iTunes. Then, if you've made a mistake, you can always just restore the backup as if you'd not deleted the media.
If you're not a fan of iTunes, or you don't want to create backups of your entire device to your computer, try a program like TouchCopy. With TouchCopy, you can browse all your iPhone content from your computer, then transfer whatever you like and back it up on your computer. In this way, you get full control of your iPhone data, which is something you just don't get with iTunes.
Once you've safely copied a batch of videos or photos or music from your iPhone to your computer, delete them from your iPhone to clear up some storage space! Here's how it's done:
- Download and install TouchCopy on your PC or Mac.
- Launch TouchCopy and connect your iPhone.
- Click Photos.
- Choose which photos to copy, or ctrl+A to select all photos.
- Hit 'Copy Photos'!
Once your photos have been safely copied to your computer, you can delete them from your iPhone to free up that precious storage space! Deleted photos will be moved to a 'Recently Deleted' Album on your iPhone and will be kept there for 30 days. If you're sure you want to delete the photos, go ahead and empty your Recently Deleted album to reclaim the space.
Check out our guide if you'd like to find out how to delete single, multiple or all photos from your iPhone.
How To Free Up Storage Space On Iphone 8
Try TouchCopy free ▼
Receive an email with a link so you can download the free trial on your computer:
Note: We respect your privacy. We won't share your Email address with anyone else, or send you spam.
Method 5: How to use iCloud to Free Up iPhone Storage
We've covered some major ways to free up some serious storage space on your iPhone, but it wouldn't be a complete list without covering exactly what you can do with iCloud on your phone. As I mentioned at the top, Apple have come a long way to providing storage solutions for iPhone users with iCloud.
You can use iCloud to store a lot of your files from your iPhone, without taking up the space on your iPhone.
Here's how it works: You take a photo on your iPhone. Instead of the photo being stored on your iPhone itself, it's stored in iCloud. Your iPhone can access and see these photos if you're connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data. Imagine if all your photos, videos and music were stored in iCloud. You can save some serious space!
The only downside to this method is that you only get 5GB of iCloud Storage space free. Anything more and you'll have to put your hand into your pocket.
That said, let's see how we can make use of iCloud to help with our space saving journey:
- On your iPhone, open Settings
- Tap General
- Tap iPhone Storage
- By Recommendations, tap 'SHOW ALL'
Here you can enable such features as 'Offload Unused Apps' and the aforementioned 'iCloud Photos'. Simply Tap Enable on the features you like the sound of!
If you’ve been using an iPhone for a while, you’ve probably seen the “Storage Almost Full” pop-up. Suddenly, you can’t take any cute pictures of your pet or download any new apps. While Apple doesn’t tell you how to free up space on your iPhone, tests show that it starts to slow down when you have less than 500 MB of free space.
What’s Taking Up so Much Space on Your iPhone?
The first step to getting more free up space on your phone is to know what’s eating up all your storage in the first place. To see what’s taking up so much space on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
At the top of your screen, you will see a horizontal bar graph that shows how much total storage you have and how much of that is used. The graph is broken down into five color-coded categories: apps, media, photos, messages, and “other.”
If your bar is full, here’s how to free up space on your iPhone in 13 ways:
How To Free Up Space oniPhone
- Enable Recommendations. Check to see if you have Recommendations in the iPhone Storage menu and enable them.
If you want to free up space on your iPhone, you will probably see storage-saving tips from Apple just below your iPhone Storage bar. The recommendations shown will change depending on your usage. Just click on Enable to turn on the recommended option.
Note: Certain recommendations will make unwanted changes to your phone. Make sure to read their description before enabling them.
- Delete large and unused apps. To remove an app, select one from the list at the bottom of the iPhone Storage screen, then tap Delete App.
While you’re still in the iPhone Storage screen, you can scroll down to see a list of all the apps you have on your phone. Each app in the list is sorted by size, with the largest ones on top. The apps also provide information about the last time you opened them. Clicking on any of the apps will give you the option to delete it. You can also delete an app from the Home screen. You can do this by pressing and holding an app you want to delete until it begins to jiggle (probably out of fear of being deleted). Tap the “X” on the top left of the app, then click Delete on the confirmation pop-up.
Warning: Deleting an app will remove it from your phone entirely. You will lose all your data associated with the app (such as saved games, passwords, etc.). And you will have to visit the App Store and download it again if you want it back on your phone.
- Offload large apps. To offload an app, tap on one from the iPhone Storage screen and then click Offload App.
Offloading apps lets you reduce the size of an app, without losing any documents or data associated with it.
When you offload an app, it doesn’t disappear from your Home screen. But the app now has an icon of a cloud with a downward-pointing arrow to the left of the name. You can reinstall the offloaded app by tapping on it.
Note: You will need an internet connection to reinstall the app. So, don’t offload any apps that you will want to use outside of a wireless network.
You can also automatically offload unused apps by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Offload Unused Apps. Apps will automatically be offloaded when the slider is green.
- Delete downloaded music. To delete your music, go to iPhone Storage > Music and tap Edit. To delete all of your songs, tap the red minus sign next to the “All Songs” option and then tap the delete button that appears. You can also delete individual artists by tapping the red minus sign and then Delete.
- Delete old podcasts. To delete podcasts, go to iPhone Storage > Podcasts and click Edit at the bottom of the screen. Then click the red minus sign next to a podcast and then the delete button that appears. When you delete a podcast, all the episodes will be removed.
You can also stop the Podcast app from automatically downloading new episodes by going to Settings > Podcasts. Under the Episode Downloads screen, check the Off option.
If you want to make sure your podcasts are not taking up too much space in the future, you can also enable the Delete Played Episodes option. This will delete podcasts from your phone after you have finished listening to them.
- Store photos on the cloud. To save your images to iCloud, go to Settings > Photos > iCloud Photos. Then make sure the slider next to iCloud Photos is green.
When you enable this, your photos will be automatically uploaded to Apple’s cloud storage – and off your phone. Don’t worry. You can still browse, edit, and share your photos at any time. If you want to know how to transfer your photo to your Mac, check out our previous article here.
- Turn off photo streaming. You can turn off Photo Stream by going to Settings > Photos then toggle off the Upload to My Photo Stream button. You will know it is off when it is greyed-out.
Photo Stream syncs the last 1,000 photos from all your devices for the past 30 days and collates them in one feed. While it does not count towards your iCloud storage, it does take up space on your phone. But really, these are just duplicates of photos you already have, so you might as well turn this feature off.
- Only save HDR-quality photos. You can save space by going to Settings > Camera and toggling the Keep Normal Photo button off.
When you take a photo with an iPhone, it saves two versions: one with HDR (High Dynamic Range) and a normally exposed one. HDR combines 3 photos with different exposures to give you one with the best color and detail.When you have the Keep Normal Photo option enabled, a normal version of the photo will be saved to your phone along with an HDR one. Turning it off means your photos only take up half the space, which is perfect if you want to free up space on your iPhone.
- Delete content stored in Messages. You can manually delete content in Messages by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Messages.
The content is under five categories: Top Conversation, Photos, Videos, GIFs and Stickers, and Other. Each of the categories also displays the total size of all the files. Select a category then click Edit. Then choose the item or items that you want to delete. Finally, tap the Trash icon in the top right corner of your screen. Every photo, video, GIF, and stickers you use to jazz up your messages takes up a little space. Even if you only receive one of these, it takes up a little space on your phone. Even though they are small files, a lot of them can add up.
- Automatically delete messages. You can set your iPhone to delete messages automatically by going to Settings > Messages. Under Message History, click on Keep Messages, then choose either 30 Days or 1 Year. Tap on Delete on the confirmation dialog box.
By default, the message history in Messages is set to keep messages forever. But you don’t really need to hang on to all of them, unless you have legal or other important reasons for doing so.
You can also automatically delete audio messages. Go to Settings > Messages > Audio Messages, and click on Expire. Choose After 2 Minutes instead of the default option of Never.
What Does Other Mean in iPhone Storage?
The Other category consists of temporary files that the iOS does not recognize and cannot put into the standard categories. Other content consists of files like downloaded email attachments and web browsing caches. The Other category also includes device settings, Siri voices, voiceover data, and system files.
If you want to free up space on your iPhone, here’s how to delete all that other storage:
How to Delete Other Storage on Your iPhone
Unlike the apps, media, photos, and messages categories, the “Other” category is a lot less straightforward. You won’t be able to see what items comprise this category in the iPhone Storage menu.
- Clear your browser cache. To clear Safari cache files, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data. You can delete website data individually or choose to Remove All Website Data.
Browsers like Safari and Chrome save data on their caches for web pages you visit often. This data is saved so the browser doesn’t have to load the content every time you go to the site. This enables your browser to load pages faster, but the data also takes up storage space. The same goes for music or video you download from Apple TV or Apple Music. The iOS categorizes the downloaded content as Media, but the cached files are stored in Other.
To clear your Google Chrome browser cache, just click on the ellipsis at the bottom navigation panel. Tap History then Clear Browsing Data.
- Delete old voice notes. You can delete a voice memo by opening the Voice Memos app and tapping Edit. Then select a recording you want to remove and hit Delete.
Voice Memos are a great tool for students to record a lecture or record interviews and meetings in a business setting. But like all other files, they can eat up your storage space. Keep in mind that one hour of recorded audio usually takes up 30 MB of space.
- Delete offline content from apps. To delete offline maps from Google Maps, just click on the hamburger menu to the top left (the one with three lines next to the Search Box). Go to Offline Maps and choose the one you’d like to delete.
Navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze store some data on your phone memory so you can use them even if you are offline. But if you don’t use these maps that often, then consider deleting them to free up precious phone space.
Just like the human body, your iPhone also needs a detox once in a while for it to work optimally. If all else fails, you can back up your iPhone data on iTunes before restoring it to factory settings. But until then, these tips should help you know how to free up space on your iPhone.