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8 Easy Ways To Free Up Storage Space on Your iPhone

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
July 01, 2016 · 3.2k Views

A message just popped up on your iPhone with the dreaded words “Storage Almost Full.” Your first thought, “But I keep everything I need on my phone. I can’t delete ANYTHING!” True, your phone stores photos, important work and personal information, apps to make life easier, apps to distract you – you get the idea. But it is also full of a bunch of junk that you don’t need. Here are some quick and easy ways to free up storage space on your iPhone.

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1. Before you do anything, check your storage space.

Source: DealsPlus

Tap the Settings icon on your home screen then go to General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage

At the top of your phone screen, you’ll see how much space you’ve used and how much space is available. Just below is a list of apps shown in the order of how much space each app is taking up on your phone.

NOTE: For some apps, you are only seeing the download size. Apps like Spotify could be taking up a lot more storage if you are using it to download music. Tap on the app icon to see the actual app size versus the download size.

2. Stop keeping text messages forever.

Text messages are automatically stored by default on iOS 9. Text messages are also space hogs, especially if they have photo attachments. You can make your phone automatically delete messages by going to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages. You’ll be prompted with the following options for keeping your messages: Forever, 1 Year, or 30 Days. Not comfortable with setting up automatic deletion? Then make sure to manually delete unimportant texts every so often in order to free up space.

3. Delete old podcasts.

Source: Marketing Cloud

We all have a list of favorite podcasts. We listen to a podcast once and are on to the next. Well, all those old podcasts can take up a lot of storage space. Get rid of them by left swiping on the individual podcast and then hit delete.

4. Delete old videos.

Source: The Sweet Setup

Movies, TV shows, and music videos are often a main culprit when it comes to low storage space. Address the issue by first tapping the video app on your phone’s home screen. The bottom toolbar is where you’ll find your movies and TV shows.

To Delete Movies

Tap the movie icon to see thumbnails of the movies that are currently on your iPhone. Hit the Edit button and a black “X” should pop up. Next tap the X of the movies you want to delete off your phone.

To Delete TV Shows

Tap the TV show icon to see thumbnails of your downloaded TV shows. Tap a TV show and you’ll be prompted to choose a season on the next screen. Then left swipe on an individual episode and hit delete.

While you are here, check to see if music videos are taking up space on your phone. To delete, follow the same steps.

5. Delete games you don't play anymore.

Source: iMore

You become obsessed with a game, but after a few months, it starts to get old. Candy Crush anyone? These old games add up, and can eat a lot of storage space. To get rid of them, go to Settings > General > Manage Storage, tap on the game app, then hit Delete.

6. Use Google+ to back up photos.

Source: iMore

Your photo library is huge and takes up a lot of storage space. But they are keepsakes of great times with friends and family and you don’t want to delete them all. Not to worry. Try backing up your photos automatically to a cloud storage system. The Google+ app is easy to use and free. First download the app and make a Google account if you don’t already have one. Next select Auto Back-Up under the app’s Settings. To avoid unwanted data use charges, make sure to select Over Wi-Fi Only. You can also use Dropbox or Apple’s iCloud.

7. Stop double-saving photos.

Two hidden space consumers on the iPhone are the HDR mode and Instagram. Both automatically save 2 photos: the HDR version and the original version; for Instagram, filtered and cropped version and the original version.

Source: DealsPlus

To stop double-saving HDR photos, go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Keep Normal Photo. Turn off Keep Normal Photo so it is not green.

To stop double-saving Instagram photos, open the Instagram app and go to your profile. Tap the Settings gear at the top right. Next scroll down to Save Original Photos. Turn off Save Original Photos so it is not blue.

8. Stop storing your entire music collection.

Source: BGR

You are proud of your music collection. That’s great, but surely there are albums and songs you haven’t listened to in years. Use your iPhone to store favorites and listen to the rest using an online streaming service. iTunes Match is $25 per year and gives you access to your entire iTunes library via the cloud. It also lets you download songs and albums to your phone. Spotify grants access to a vast online music library. Sign up for a free account. But be aware that your music will be interrupted with annoying ads. The premium account is $9.99 a month and includes ad-free listening and option to download music.

You don’t need to make an appointment with an Apple Genius the next time your home screen flashes a warning about limited storage space. Follow these quick and easy tips and you’ll be able to manage your iPhone’s storage space like a pro.


catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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