We’ve all been there. You get ready to take a photo with your iPhone, and when you push the button, you get told that there is not enough available storage space on your device. You have a couple of options available to you at this crucial moment in order to quickly take your snap:
- Delete some existing photos in order to take more photos
- Delete an app or two to make some space
This process becomes an endless and mindless cycle of deleting, running out of space, and deleting some more.
Deleting a photo here and an app there is never a solution. It just delays the inevitable. Below you will find some useful and handy tricks to help you keep your photos and apps, and still free up space on your phone.
First off, if you want to find out how much free space you have, and what is hogging all your storage, head over to SETTINGS > GENERAL > STORAGE + iCLOUD STORAGE > then MANAGE STORAGE.
In general, the main 4 storage hogs are music, photos, messages and the biggger sized apps that you have installed.
90 percent of the time, photos and videos are the main culprit, and they hog most of your storage. You can always back them up to a cloud service, like Google Photos or Apple Photos, and then delete them off your phone. Apple Photos also has an “Optimised iPhone Storage” setting located in your settings, that will remove original photos once they are backed up. Google Photos has a similar function, where you choose “Free up space”, and all the backed up photos will be removed from your device.
If you are looking for a faster, offline solution, I recommend SanDisk’s iXpand USB drive. Plug the drive into your iPhone, install the SanDisk app from the app store, and then you can move photos and files onto it. You can then plug the drive into your PC and copy the photos over.
It always amazes me how much space messages and texts take up. More recently, Whatsapp has joined this space, with photo and video sharing making huge advances.
iMazing is a $40 app that you can purchase, install onto a Mac or Windows PC, and back up your messages and the photos in the messages, before deleting them from your phone, either one by one, or by going to SETTINGS > MESSAGES > KEEP MESSAGES, and then set to delete messages older then 30 days, 60 days, 1 year – however long you’d like.
You can also use iTunes to back up messages etc, but it is not so user friendly.
IF you use Apple Music or Google Play Music, when you stream music, by default, it gets stored locally on your phone, whether you download or not. This cache can take up a large chunk of your phone’s memory.
In Apple Music, you can delete songs in bulk from your phone but still keep them linked to your music library. Go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > STORAGE & CLOUD USAGE > MANAGE STORAGE, then tap MUSIC. You can then delete by artist, album or song, by tapping on it and swiping left. You can also delete all songs here.
You can always download your songs again at a later stage.
If you are using Spotify on your iPhone, go to DOWNLOAD PLAYLISTS and turn off DOWNLOADED.
In Google Play Music, go to SETTINGS > CLEAR CACHE. You can also prevent songs being downloaded by going to SETTINGS and turning off CACHE MUSIC WHILE STREAMING.
You can also adjust the download quality from high – normal – low, in order to reduce the file size of the songs. Do this by going to SETTINGS > DOWNLOAD QUALITY.
Third Party Apps
Most of the social apps we all use today (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) all cache or save photos and other media to your phone when you are browsing. Twitter has recently added a cache-cleaning option, but unfortunately Facebook and Snapchat haven’t yet.
In Twitter, go to the ME tab > SETTINGS > DATA USAGE > MEDIA STORAGE, and clear the cache there.
To clear Facebook and Snapchat cache, you need to uninstall and reinstall the apps.