One of the biggest complaints I hear from Apple iPhone owners is that they’re always running out of space. I even have a friend who can’t install new apps I recommend to him because he can’t fit just one more on his iPhone.
While some users may simply be restricted by older iPhones with 16GB of storage, which made sense back when apps were smaller, there are some solutions that can help you free up much needed space.
Here are some tips and tricks for freeing up space on your iPhone.
Find out what’s hogging your storage
First you want to find out what’s taking up so much storage. You can do this by opening the Settings app, tapping “General” and then selecting “Storage & iCloud Usage.” Next, tap “Manage Storage.”
This will show a list of apps in order from largest to smallest. Remove any apps you don’t use, you might be surprised by how much storage they consume.
Pro tip: Games are usually the worst offenders.
Clear out old messages!
Messages take up a lot of space on your iPhone. You can stop your phone from saving them by going to Settings > Messages and tapping “Keep Messages.” Change it from either “Forever” or “1 year” to just 30 days.
Use the iCloud Photo Library
Keep your photos in the cloud instead of on your device. You can do this by visiting Settings > Photos & Camera and turning on iCloud Photo Library. Then select “Optimize iPhone Storage.” When your phone runs low on space, it’ll store your photos in the cloud and make room for new data.
While we’re here, navigate to the bottom of the page and turn off the options for “Keep Normal Photo” for Portrait Mode and HDR. Those are creating duplicate photos each time you snap a picture in those modes!
Pro tip: Consider using Google Photos instead, it’s even better than Apple Photos.
Try a bit of magic
Somehow I missed this one, but it apparently works really well. Redditors noticed last year that if you’re running low on space, you can head to the iTunes Store to attempt to rent a movie. As long as the movie file is larger than the space you have available, your attempt to rent it will fail and you won’t get charged.
But just trying to make that attempt will force your phone to clear its pipes. Reddit suggests doing this several times in a row. Some commenters noticed they were able to free more than 3GB of space.
Kill the podcasts
This one has hit me hard in the past. I’ll get on a podcast kick for a week and subscribe to about 20 podcasts and then move on with my life. Except the podcast app will keep downloading new episodes as they come out, long after you’ve given up interest.
Manage this by going to Settings > Podcasts and selecting “Limit Episodes.” This way you can always have the most recent episode without downloading every hit each week. Open the Podcasts app and clear out old ones you might have, too.
Delete all those accidental videos, burst photos and screenshots
You might be surprised how many random videos you have stored on your iPhone, some you probably don’t even remember taking. You’ll find these, along with screenshots you may have snapped and no longer need, right in the “Albums” list inside Photos.
Go through and delete all the junk. While you’re there, pop into the “Bursts” album and go through each one. Bursts can snap hundreds of photos in just seconds, and you might not know if you’ve done it.
Take this as a bit of a lesson, though: if you can swing it, always try to buy one model up from the base storage offered by Apple.