How to Free Up Storage on Your iPhone or iPad

A recent study shows that 42% of iPhone users run out of storage on their device at least once a month.


Storage

Part of the problem is that people buy iPhones with only 16 GB, which means they have around 12 GB after installing iOS. Add a few apps, some music, and lots of photos, and most users will find that their devices are full.

It’s easy to free up space on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how.

2015 01 26 13 44 27First, delete any apps you don’t use. To do this, tap and hold any app icon until all the icons wiggle. Tap the x at the corner of an app’s icon to delete it. Note that you cannot delete apps that are installed as part of iOS. In the screenshot to the left, you’ll see several of these, such as iBooks and Videos, which don’t display the x.

2015 01 26 13 38 23You can also view your apps and see how much space they take up. Go to Settings > General > Usage > Storage > Manage Storage. You’ll see a list of all your apps and their sizes. These figures include the data they contain. So you might not realize how much data certain apps may store.

To delete any app from this list, tap its name, then tap Delete App.

2015 01 26 13 38 40With Music, you have an additional option. You can delete an artist’s music quickly from this screen. Tap Music, then find an artist whose music you want to remove. Swipe to the left, then tap Delete.

Finally, go to the Photos app and clean out your photos. You may have hundreds of them, and if you’ve shot videos, they’ll take up a lot of space as well. Tap a photo to select it, then tap the trashcan icon. Or, to delete multiple photos, tap Select, then tap the photos you want to delete, and then tap the trashcan icon. Photos don’t get deleted immediately, however. You need to go into Recently Deleted (in Albums), then tap Select. Tap Delete All, if you’re sure you want to delete these photos.

With these steps, you can ensure that your iPhone or iPad has more space when you need it. Just remember to back up any photos you want to keep, and make sure that any music you delete is also on your computer at home.

2 thoughts on “How to Free Up Storage on Your iPhone or iPad

  1. I’m finding the relationship between local storage on-phone versus iCloud storage dizzying. The systems and terminology for “removing download” versus “deleting everywhere including iCloud” are not consistent from MacOS to device, nor between Music and Photos. Further, the iPhone will notify me of storage near-overload and sometimes seems to handle it as it “should” by removing older, unused iCloud-stored files to free space without my input, and yet other times not. Finally, these notices have occurred when away from home (and home network), which is just when I’m least able to cope with a storage idiosyncrasy safely. Am I missing something?

  2. I’m finding the relationship between local storage on-phone versus iCloud storage dizzying. The systems and terminology for “removing download” versus “deleting everywhere including iCloud” are not consistent from MacOS to device, nor between Music and Photos. Further, the iPhone will notify me of storage near-overload and sometimes seems to handle it as it “should” by removing older, unused iCloud-stored files to free space without my input, and yet other times not. Finally, these notices have occurred when away from home (and home network), which is just when I’m least able to cope with a storage idiosyncrasy safely. Am I missing something?

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