You’re about to snap a gorgeous picture when suddenly the dreaded message appears on your iPhone:
It’s a terrible feeling. You curse and scramble to delete unnecessary photos to free up a few megabytes of space on your phone so you can take the picture you desperately want. And, of course, you have to resort to this every few weeks because your phone keeps filling up.
But what if you could free up space in ways that didn’t involve deleting your precious pictures? Thankfully, you can.
In this article, we’re going to share with you 21 tips for cleaning up space on your phone. If you implement these, you’ll be able to take photos freely without being concerned about running out of space.
TIP #1: Delete unused apps
This is the obvious one. We all have apps that we downloaded on a whim,then forgot to delete. These unused apps can take up a surprisingly large amount of space on your phone. By deleting just a few apps, you can easily make up to 1 GB of additional space on your phone.
To delete an app, simply press down on it and hold until it starts jiggling. Then press the “X” in the upper left hand corner.
Tip #2: Delete preinstalled apps data
Most people rarely use the preloaded Apple apps such as Stocks, Videos, and Remote. The only problem is that until now, Apple has prevented users from deleting these apps. But with the new iOS, Apple is giving users the option to at least delete the data from preloaded apps. Granted, this won’t give you tons of space, but when you’re fighting for every megabyte, it’s a solid option.
Tip #3: Find out which apps are taking up the most space
To find out which apps are taking up the most space, go to Settings > General > Storage &iCloud Usage, then tap on “Manage Storage.” This will immediately give you a picture of which apps are hogging the most memory on your iPhone. Many people are shocked to see how much space certain apps are taking up.
If an unused app is taking up more than 100 MB, lose it! Also consider deleting old podcasts, which can consume an inordinate amount of space on your phone. If a particular app is small but is using an excessive amount of space, you can delete just the data associated with that app by pressing “Delete Documents and Data.”
Tip #4: Mass purge old conversations
Text conversations may seem harmless in terms of space consumption but they are often not, especially if you get a lot of pictures. These old conversations get stored on your phone so you can easily access them. To free up space on your phone, go through your old conversations and clear as many of them as possible.
To delete old conversations quickly, you can tell iOS to purge messages after a certain length of time, say 30 days for example. Go to Settings > Messages > Message History > Keep Messages and then select a time frame. Older conversations will automatically be purged.
Tip #5: Turn off Photo Stream
The Photo Stream feature allows you to keep photos between your computer, iPad, and iPhone synced. This means that if you take a photo on your iPad, Photo Stream will upload a version to your computer and phone. Most of the timе this is a useful feature. However, when you’re battling space issues, Photo Stream becomes your enemy.
To turn off PhotoStream, go to Settings > Photos & Camera and deselect My Photo Stream. Just remember that this means your photos won’t sync between your phone and other devices any more.
Tip #6: Don’t keep HDR photos
HDR (High Definition Resolution) photos are images with better quality, capturing light and shadows more effectively than Standard Definition photos. Unfortunately, these photos also take up significantly more space. Unless you absolutely need high quality photos, standard definition is usually sufficient.
To be sure you’re only keeping SD photos instead of HD, go to Settings > Photos & Camera and deselect “Keep Normal Photo.”
Tip #7: Listen to your music with pCloud
As appealing as it is to keep all your music on your phone, you probably don’t have enough space for that. The good news is that the pCloud app allows you upload all your music to the cloud and then listen to it on demand. If you have a massive collection of music, this can be a significant space saver.
Tip #8: Clear out your photo editing apps
If you use a photo editing app like Camera+, there’s a good chance you’ll find some old images hanging around. Make sure you delete old versions of the photos still lurking in the lightbox (or other parts of an app).
Tip #9: Delete “Burst Mode” photos
When you take photos in “Burst Mode,” your phone saves numerous almost identical images to create the burst effect. You almost certainly don’t need all those identical photos. Delete the ones you don’t need. If you want to make things even easier, you can simply turn off burst mode and only using it when absolutely necessary can save space on your phone.
Tip #10: Backup all your photos using pCloud
A simple solution is to automatically backup all your photos using a service like pCloud. Instead of constantly fighting for space on your phone, just enable the Automatic Upload function on your phone and then delete the backed up photos from your phone. As an added bonus, when you turn on your Automatic Upload, you never need to worry about deleting a photo by mistake again.
Tip #11: Clean up your notes
While your Notes app won’t show up under the Storage Usage list mentioned above, the more notes you have, the more they pile up taking precious storage on your phone. This is potentially one of the least-impactful ways to free up space, as most notes do not use much memory — but it will force you to clean out the old and unnecessary notes you no longer need, and that will help free up at least a little space if you’re desperate.
Tip #12: Delete iBooks
Many people read on their iPhones constantly, whether it’s PDFs of journal articles or books you get from the iTunes Store. In either case, if all these are downloaded to iBooks, then they will end up taking a massive amount of room. The good thing about iBooks is that they are also saved to your Cloud, so removing them from your device won’t delete them permanently. Just tap on the icon and choose “Delete This Copy,” instead of choosing to delete it from all your devices. Additionally, make sure you go to Settings >iTunes & App Store and tap Stop Automatic Download of iBooks, in case you purchase them on other devices.
Tip #13: Remove offline data
One of the convenient things about an iPhone is it saves things like website data or Safari’s reading list for easy viewing when you don’t have an internet connection. However, this can end up using space. If you want to clean up your reading list, go to Settings and then General > Usage > Manage Storage > Safari. Then, go to Offline Reading List and tap Delete. (However, if you want to delete individual items in the list, you must do so from within Safari itself. Just tap on Reading List and swipe left over the items you want to delete.)
Similarly, if you download things like podcasts or music for offline use, this can also eat up a lot of room. Stream your music from the cloud and listen to your podcasts within the podcast app instead of downloading them.
Tip #14: Yank most of your games
The ability to have a bunch of games right in your pocket is wonderful option for every appointment at the DMV or the doctor’s office but a death knell if you want to have a roomy iPhone. Games with high-definition graphics use an enormous amount of space, as do games that have lots of video. (They also drain battery life very easily.) If it’s a game you can’t live without, keep it, but if you rarely play it, think of all the space you’ll save if it’s gone.
Tip #15: Clear the browser cache
Internet browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc. save things like browsing history, cookies, and other temporary files to make the internet experience smoother and seamless, but all of those extra files take up a lot of space – especially if you use the particular browser a lot. To clean up the cache, simply go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. (Keep in mind that clearing your cache may close all open tabs on your browser, so be sure to bookmark them or write them down first just in case.)
Tip #16: Backup files to the Cloud
Cloud-based storage is a wonderful advantage to having an iPhone, and it’s designed specifically to optimize space on your physical device. You can move your music here, off your phone, and then just tap to download a song if you want to play it. (You can then delete the individual song from your device, but it will stay in your Cloud.) Storing photos in the cloud is a great way to keep them off your Camera Roll. All iPhone users are given 5GB of storage automatically when they set up iCloud, but you can purchase more storage. If you decide to do so, do not forget that pCloud is superior to Apple’s cloud service in terms of value-for-money and functionalities so we would definitely recommend that you go with pCloud.
Tip #17: Check the “Other” category in iTunes
When you connect your device to iTunes, it lists and organizes all of the data on your iPhone, much like the Storage Usage list does on the device proper. But with checking through iTunes, you’re able to look at all the data listed in the “Other” category – which can include emails, downloads, junk and broken files, and other things that will almost certainly use unnecessary storage. To clear this folder, you must first backup your iPhone (either to the Cloud or your computer), and then restore your phone through iTunes.
Tip #18: Keep Your Photo Stream turned on
While turning off Photo Stream can free up space, using it in place of your Camera Roll can achieve the same. If Photo Stream is on, any photos you take will automatically be saved to the stream so they can be accessed on all your devices. But, if they’re on your Photo Stream, you can then delete them from the Camera Roll and balance out the memory on your phone.
Tip #19: Delete unnecessary iMessages
Another an obvious but helpful way of getting more space on your iPhone is to look through your iMessages and texts to trash individual ones, or even entire threads, if you don’t need them anymore. Just think about it – do you really need all of the texts from your carrier letting you know they received a payment? Or informing you of a new data plan? Or the texts from Snapchat or WhatsApp giving you login information? Exactly. If you’re like me, those texts pile up. Getting rid of them can be a huge help.
Tip #20: Clear app caches
Apps like Facebook are great, but they can save a ton of redundant data that drains the battery life of your phone and takes up lots of room. An easy way to reset the app’s cache is to just delete the app and then redownload it. This will clear out the junk files.
Tip #21: Kill Live Photos
Live Photos are fun, but their motion capabilities mean they drain a great deal of space. (Besides, do many of us even look at our Live Photos?) Along with deleting the Live Photos already on your phone, to prevent new ones from being taken, open the Camera app and find the three concentric circle icon in the top middle. If it’s gold, that means Live Photo is on and every photo you take will have a live copy. Tap it once to turn it off; the icon will turn white and Live Photos will not be taken until you turn the feature back on.
Fighting for space is frustrating. Running out of space at critical moments is even worse. By taking just a few moments to implement these steps, you can finally win the space battle.
Download the pCloud App from the AppStore. It’s Free 🙂