The Best Way To Free Up iPhone Storage (Updated)
Even though today’s iPhones come with a lot of storage (especially if you’re willing to pay a premium for it), it’s quite easy to fill it up with photos, videos, music, and podcasts. Apple is well aware of this, which is why iOS includes tools for managing your phone’s storage. Here, we’ll walk you through five different methods for freeing up your iPhone storage — all of which are fairly simple.
1. “Offload” and Delete Rarely Used Apps
There’s a good chance that your iPhone is running out of storage space due to iOS apps — especially if you’re a gamer. Having said that, our first recommendation for freeing up space on your iPhone is to “offload” and delete apps. Take the following steps:
1. Open the Settings application. Scroll down to “General -> iPhone Storage” and wait a few moments for your phone to calculate your available space.
2. The first option gives the control to iOS. Select “Offload Unused Apps” if you want your iPhone to determine which apps should be deleted. This will ensure the preservation of your documents, media, and personal information. It will delete only infrequently used apps and only when your storage is running low.
3. With the second option, you retain control. Select each app (which has already been sorted by size) and tap on any app you no longer require. This will reveal additional information and the “Delete App” option, which will delete the app and all of its associated data from your iPhone.
2. Reduce the File Size of Your Photos
The iPhone’s camera has improved significantly over the last couple of years. However, the additional megapixels result in monstrous file sizes. Here’s how to optimise your photos to free up space on your iPhone.
1. Launch the Settings app. Scroll down quite a bit and tap on “Camera.”
2. After tapping “Formats,” you’ll see a few options. We recommend selecting “High Efficiency” to instruct the Camera app to utilise the HEIF/HEVC format. Your photos will retain their quality while being significantly smaller in file size. Additionally, you may wish to learn how to view HEIF/HEVC files in Windows in this case.
3. If you have an iPhone capable of shooting in “ProRAW,” you’ll also see that option here. Bear in mind that “ProRAW” images are extremely large in size. There is no reason to use this feature unless you are a professional photographer who edits images.
Finally, be sure to check out our guide on how to delete duplicate burst photos from your iPhone. These can eat up a lot of storage space, especially if you haven’t optimised the Camera app’s operation (as explained above).
3. Delete Locally Stored Media
If you download music and podcasts for offline listening or use a media streaming service to download movies and television shows, you should be aware that these files quickly consume your storage. Here’s how to delete those files and reclaim some of your iPhone’s storage.
1. Navigate to the Settings app and go to “General -> iPhone Storage.”
2. Choose the app that will manage your offline data. For instance, if you have a large collection of locally stored music, launch the “Music” app. Alternatively, you may have a large number of podcasts saved in the “Podcasts” app. Additionally, media streaming apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu can store offline files, which you can find here.
3. After selecting an app, you’ll be taken to a detailed overview of it. Additionally, this is where you’ll find any data saved for offline use, conveniently displayed at the bottom of your screen. Swipe across each file from the right edge of your screen to delete it.
4. Store Photos and Files in iCloud
Certainly, saving your photos and files to the cloud is another way to free up space on your iPhone. and if you’re an iPhone user, there is no more straightforward cloud service than iCloud. To get started with iCloud, follow the instructions in this iCloud tutorial.
The first items you’ll probably want to migrate to iCloud are your photos and videos. They have a tendency to take up a lot of space. To begin storing your photos on iCloud, follow this tutorial.
iCloud Drive is an app that comes pre-installed on iOS and serves as a storage location for your files. Once you’ve signed up for iCloud, all of your files will be stored there. This can be changed in the iCloud settings, which are detailed below.
1. Navigate to Settings, tap your profile at the top, and then click “iCloud.” You’ll see a graph indicating the amount of storage available on your phone for Backups, photos, others, and Family.
2. The image above’s first panel depicts a family plan. Below that is a list of available features and toggles for disabling them, as well as additional menus for enabling additional features. Keep in mind that if you disable them, any files saved will be stored locally and will consume additional space on your phone.
3. If you tap on “Manage Storage,” the second panel above will appear. Along with that graph, there is an option to view the amount of data used by the family and to change the storage plan. Below that is a list of the apps currently installed on that phone and the amount of iCloud storage they consume.
4. By tapping an option, you can delete the saved data.
5. Create a Local (iTunes) Backup and Restore Your iPhone
In some cases, your iPhone may not accurately report your available storage space. A workaround for this would be to make a local backup of your iPhone and then restore it. Not to worry — you will not lose any data. What you need to do is as follows.
1. Using a Lightning cable, connect your iPhone to the USB port on your computer. If you are using Windows, ensure that iTunes is launched. Additionally, if you’re using macOS, launch Finder and navigate to the left sidebar to select your iPhone.
2. Locate the “Backups” section and check the box labelled “Back up all data on your iPhone to this Mac/Computer.” This will create a backup on the hard drive of your computer rather than an iCloud backup.
3. Check the box labelled “Encrypt local backup.” Encrypted backups can contain sensitive data such as Health and Keychain data. If you do not check this box, all of that data will be deleted during backup restoration.
4. Click the “Back Up Now” button when you are ready. Your iPhone will now begin backing up. Avoid using your iPhone for a while if possible.
5. After backing up your iPhone to your computer, you’ll need to restore it. choose the “Restore Backup” option. At this point, you may receive an alert stating that you must disable “Find My iPhone” before the restore can be completed. If this is the case, you can disable this feature on your iPhone by navigating to “Settings -> iCloud.”
6. The most recent backup will be selected by default for restoration. To select another backup file, use the drop-down list next to “Backup.”
7. Click the button labelled “Restore.” To unlock the encrypted backup, enter your password and then click the “OK” button when prompted.
8. Your iPhone will enter restoration mode, and the message “Restoring from Backup” will appear. Until the restoration is complete, you will be unable to use your phone. Maintain a connection between your phone and computer until the phone has restarted and the restoration is complete.
Final Thoughts 😃
“How do I free up space on my iPhone?” is a frequently asked question by a large number of users. Simply recognise that there are no enchanted solutions. On an iPhone, there is no such thing as infinite storage. These methods will assist you in creating additional space. However, your phone will eventually fill up and there will be little you can do about it except for purchasing a new phone.
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