Here is how you can Free Up Storage Space on iPhone, if you are preparing for a Major iOS update or dealing with ‘Not Enough Storage’ pop-up on iPhone or iPad.
Free Up Storage Space on iPhone and iPad
Over a period of time, the storage space on your iPhone gets filled up, often leading to ‘Not Enough Storage’ error message on your device.
With only a limited storage space remaining on your device, you won’t be able to install iOS updates, download Apps or take Photos.
You will find below the steps to check the current storage status on your device and Free up Storage Space on iPhone or iPad.
Check Storage Status of iPhone or iPad
Follow the steps below to check the current storage status of your iPhone.
1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
2. On the next screen, you will be able to see the amount of storage space used and remaining on your iPhone.
If the remaining amount of storage space is less than 1.5 GB, you need to take measures to Free Up Storage Space on your iPhone or iPad.
1. Delete Photos & Videos
The Photo’s app is easily the biggest consumer of storage space on iPhone and iPad. You can expect to recover tons of storage space just by deleting photos and videos from iPhone.
If you do not want to delete All Photos, you can also manually delete unwanted Photos and Videos by going to the Photos App.
1. Open the Photos App > tab on Albums > Recents.
2. On the next screen, tap on the Select option located at the top-right corner.
3. Select Photos that you want to delete and tap on the Trash icon.
4. Next, make sure you go to Albums > Recently Deleted and delete All Photos in this Folder.
This should free up enough storage space on your device to accommodate a major iOS Update (1.2 GB) and to download Apps, songs and shoot new Photos.
2. Delete or Offload Unused Apps
There will be Apps on your iPhone that you had downloaded, but you do not really need or use them.
1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
2. On iPhone Storage screen, scroll down and select the App that you want to delete.
3. On the next screen, you can choose to either Delete or Offload App the App.
The Offload option, removes the App from your device while still keeping its Documents & Data on your device.
Similarly, you can repeat the above steps to Offload or Delete other unused Apps from your device.
3. Save One Version of Photos
When you take Photos on iPhone, it saves two copies of the same Photo on your device (Original image and its HDR version).
You can save storage space by opting to save only the HDR version of Photos on your device and discarding the original image.
1. Go to Settings > scroll down and tap on Camera.
2. On the next screen, disable Keep Normal Photo option by moving the toggle to OFF position.
This option is suitable in case you are happy with HDR images as produced by iPhone.
The other option is to go manually through the Photos and decide which version you want to keep and which one to delete.
4. Delete Safari History & Cache
You can recover some storage space on your device by deleting Safari history and cache. While this space may not be large it does add up to saved space.
1. Go to Settings > Safari > scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data option.
2. On the confirmation pop-up, tap on Clear History and Data option to confirm.
5. Delete Downloaded Music
As a music lover, you may have downloaded hundreds of songs on your device. However, it likely that you only listen to a few selected songs most of the times.
Hence, you can easily free up some storage space by Deleting unused Music Albums and Songs from your device.
1. Go to Settings > Music > Downloaded Music.
2. On the next screen, swipe-right on All Songs and tap on Delete option that appears.
You can also go through Albums/Artists or Songs individually and delete selected Albums and Artists.
6. Turn Off Photo Stream
Photo Stream causes photos from other devices (iPad, Mac) to show up on your iPhone and this takes up storage space.
1. Go to Settings > Photos > disable Upload to My Photo Stream option.
You can learn more about Photo Stream and make an informed decision regarding this feature by reading our earlier article: How to Enable and Disable Photo Stream on iPhone
7. Delete Documents and Data
Over a period of time app related data starts accumulating on your device and ends up taking a lot of storage space on your iPhone.
This app related data will be listed as ‘Documents and Data’ on your iPhone and can be cleared to recover some storage space on your device.
You can find the steps to delete documents & data on iPhone in this article: How to Delete Documents and Data On iPhone and iPad
8. Disable iCloud Photos Library
iCloud Photo Library automatically uploads and stores your entire Photo Library on iCloud, so that you can access them on any device.
However, the problem with iCloud Photo Library is that it also stores Photos taken from other devices on your iPhone.
Hence, you can consider disabling iCloud Photo Library, especially if you are struggling for storage space on your device.
1. Go to Settings > Photos > disable iCloud Photos.
2. On the pop-up that appears, tap on Remove from iPhone option.
This will remove all the optimized versions of Photos from other devices stored on your iPhone. The original Photos will still be available on other devices using the same iCloud Account.
9. Delete Downloaded Books
In general, books do not take up much storage space, but they can add up, as you continue to download books on your device and forget to delete them.
If you have been downloading books for a while, you can use the steps as listed in this article: How to Delete Books From iPhone and iPad
10. Turn Off Shared Albums
The Shared Albums Feature on iPhone allows you to create Albums to share photos with other people and to subscribe to other people’s shared albums.
However, you need to be aware that joining other people’s photo stream causes photos of other people to appear on your iPhone and consume storage space.
Go to Settings > Photos > disable Shared Albums.
11. Set Messages to Auto-Delete
Over a period of time, Messages with all their attachments can start taking up a lot of storage space on your device.
To free up storage space, you can either delete old messages manually or set up your device to delete messages automatically after a certain period of time.
1. Go to Settings > Messages > scroll down tap on Keep Messages.
2. On the next screen, tap on either 30 Days or 1 Year – Depending on how long you want to keep record of messages on your device
Depending on the setting, messages older than the selected period will be automatically deleted from your device, along with their attachments.
12. Delete Voicemail Messages
If you get tons of Voice messages, you can free up some storage space by deleting old Voice Messages stored on your device.
1. Open the Phone app > tap on the Voicemail tab located in bottom menu.
2. On the next screen, you can go through Voicemail Messages and delete them.