5 Ways to Free Storage Space on Your iPhone

Such an infuriating notification.

As the proud owner of a 16GB iPhone, you will know the struggle: storage space is basically inexistent and you’re constantly running out of space for your photos, music and apps. Not to mention the struggle that is updating to the latest version of iOS.

But even 64 and 128GB options can sometimes feel too small, especially if you’re always downloading new apps, music and taking twenty-four pictures of the same flower to get that perfect shot. (We’re personally guilty of taking photos of every cat we see. Our camera roll looks like a pet adoption website.)

So how do we keep from filling up our iPhone’s memory to full capacity? Follow these tips to free up some well-needed storage space, and you’ll never see that ‘Cannot Take Photo’ notification pop up ever again.


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1. Find the Culprit

Find out which apps and programmes are taking up the most space in your phone by going to your Setting > General > Storage & iCloud Usage, then go to Manage Storage and wait for the list of apps to update.

Your apps will be organised by the amount of space they take up, so the ones at the top will be the main culprits. (The Messages app can be a bit of a space-hogger if you receive a lot of images through texts.)

2. Delete, Delete, Delete

Now that you know which apps are responsible for your lack of storage space, you can get started. By simply deleting a few apps, you could get up to 500MB of extra storage! On the home screen, tap and hold on the app you’d like to get rid of – then, when it starts shaking, tap the X in the left corner to delete it. It’s that easy.

Get rid of unwanted pictures and music you haven’t listened to in a while, as well as old iMessage conversations and spam texts, and watch your free storage space go from a couple hundred MBs to a full GB. You can also set messages to automatically delete after 30 days or a year.

Delete all these apps you've ever only used once.

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3. Turn off Photo Stream & HDR Duplicates

If you own multiple Apple devices (like the Holy Trinity of iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air), having Photo Stream turned on can fill up your memory with picture you never even took with your phone. All the pictures taken on your iPad or uploaded to your Mac will be transferred to your iPhone as well and are likely to take up quite a lot of space. Simply go to Settings > Phone & Camera and turn off My Photo Stream.

Also, when your phone uses HDR mode to take better pictures, it automatically saves the lower-quality photo alongside the HDR version. Turn off that option in Settings > Photos & Camera so your phone only stores one picture each time you press your camera button.

4. Take Full Advantage of Cloud Storage

In Settings > Photos & Camera, turn on iCloud Photo Library to automatically upload your entire photo library to iCloud, which can then be accessed from all your devices. You can then delete the pictures from your phone, knowing they’ll be safely stored in the Cloud.

You can also use Dropbox as alternative cloud storage: when you sign in to the app, enable Camera Upload to automatically send your pictures to your Dropbox folder.

5. Take your iPhone to Isengard

This trick, which has been circulating on Reddit for a couple of months, is actually incredible. Reddit user eavesdroppingyou posted the following instructions:

“I have an iPhone with 16 GB so I'm always dealing with low storage. A trick I do to get back some storage is to try to "rent" a movie with a big file size (something like Lord of The Rings: the Two Towers.)

Just go to iTunes and search for the movie (with a bigger file size than what you have left on storage), click rent and soon you'll get the message saying you don't have enough storage and offers you to go to settings. Click that and magically you will get some storage back (probably it erases some useless data from different apps to try to download the movie).

Repeat the process 4-5 times and before you know it you recovered 1 to almost 2 GB.”

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We’re not exactly sure how this works, but our best guess would be that your iPhone automatically clears the cache of your apps and programmes in order to try and make space for the movie it’s trying to download. Give it a try and let us know how you get on!


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How do you deal with a lack of storage space? Do these tricks work for you? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+!

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