Don’t run out of iPhone storage. Try these tips to free up space

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We store pretty much everything on our iPhone: family photos, movies, music libraries, etc. That’s why it’s important to make sure you don’t run out of space. Apple made this a little easier in 2021 by increasing the iPhone 13 default storage option up to 128 GB from 64 GB. But for those who need more space or have a lower capacity model, you’ll want to make the most of your iPhone’s storage space.

The best way to save on local storage is to invest in cloud storage service like Apple’s iCloud, Google drive, Box or Dropbox to unload some of your files. But you can also change a few settings to make sure that you are using your iPhone’s storage capacity to the fullest.

See below for more on how to free up storage space on your iPhone.

First, see what takes up the most space on your iPhone

To maximize your iPhone storage, you need to know what occupies your device in the first place. Take a look at what’s eating into your storage so you know where to start. To throw Settings, faucet General and scroll to IPhone storage. Choose this option to see a breakdown of the types of files and media that are taking up space on your iPhone. Apple can also make recommendations on how to free up space, such as reviewing videos stored on your device as shown below.

iphone storage

Take a look at what is eating away at your iPhone’s storage in the settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

Make sure your iPhone is optimizing photo storage

Pictures are among the biggest offenders when it comes to gobbling up space on your iPhone. But the IPhone Settings The menu has an option that allows your device to save smaller photo files locally if your device is running low on space instead of the original versions. These full resolution photos and videos are instead stored in iCloud, and you can download them as needed. To make sure this feature is enabled, first open the Settings application. Then scroll down to Pictures and make sure there is a blue check mark next to the Optimize iPhone storage option.


Make sure that your iPhone is as efficient as possible when it comes to backing up media files.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

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Save photos and videos to a cloud service rather than your device

The best way to free up space on your iPhone is to delete files that you don’t need to store on your device. But that doesn’t mean you have to reduce the size of your photo library. Instead, try to store them in a third-party cloud storage service like Google Photos rather than on your device. It’s a quick way to free up a lot of storage space without forcing you to part with your old memories.

But before deleting anything, make sure the photos you want to save have been backed up or transferred to Google Photos. If your photos and videos are not backed up to another service like Google Photos, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive before being deleted, they will be permanently deleted. This to guide shows you how to copy your entire iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos, but just note that the the free unlimited storage option is no longer available.

You might be wondering why you should use a separate cloud service if your photos are already stored in iCloud. This is because deleting your photos from your iPhone also erases them from iCloud. So you will want to use another service if you plan to delete pictures from your device.


You can try saving photos to cloud storage app like Google Photos.

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Delete apps you no longer use

Another great way to empty your iPhone is to get rid of applications you no longer use. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the apps you haven’t used for a long time. Open your iPhone Settings menu, press General and go to IPhone storage. You will see a list of your apps along with the space occupied by each app and the last time you used it. Scroll down and try removing apps that you haven’t used for a long time.


Get rid of apps that you haven’t used for a long time. You can see the last time you used a specific app in the iPhone settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

Offload apps you don’t use all the time

If you don’t want to completely delete an application, you can unload it instead. Offloading it allows you to keep the documents and data associated with this app so that you can reinstall it at any time and quickly pick up where you left off. Return to the list mentioned above by opening Settings, by pressing General and choosing IPhone storage. Tap any app from the list and select Download the application. You can also set your iPhone to do it automatically by opening Settings, by pressing the App Store option and ensuring that the Unload unused apps the switch is activated.


You can offload apps that you don’t use very often instead of deleting them.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

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Automatically delete old messages

It’s not only Pictures, videos and apps that may clog your iPhone storage. Get rid of the old text messages can also be useful. You can configure your iPhone to automatically delete your a message story by opening Settings, by choosing messages and tapping on the Keep messages option under Message history. From there, select whether you want your iPhone to keep text messages for 30 days, a year, or forever.


Stop saving text messages indefinitely by changing this setting on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

Remove videos and music from apps

You probably have videos and music stored offline in multiple apps on your phone, and luckily there is an easy way to find these files and delete them. To throw Settings, Choose General and select IPhone storage. Find an app that you downloaded offline content from, such as Netflix. You will then see storage information about the app, such as its size and buttons to delete or unload it.

If you downloaded offline videos, you’ll also see a section for that content under the Remove App button. Place your finger on a downloaded video and drag it all the way to the left side of the screen to delete it.


There is an easy way to delete the videos and music files that you saved in the app to free up space on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

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Clear your web browser cache

You can always try to clean your Web browser cache if you’re really looking for space, although removing apps and media makes a much bigger difference. But that might give your iPhone a slight increase in speed when browsing the web, so it’s worth a try if you are low on storage and the browser performance is slow. But don’t forget that it will log you out of the websites you logged into.

Open Settings, Choose Safari and press Clear history and website data.


Clear your Safari cache to see an improvement in performance and save some space.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

If you use Google Chrome, tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen, choose Story and press Clear browsing data. You should see a check mark next to three categories: Navigation history, Cookies, site data and Cached images and files. If you only want to delete browsing data for a certain period, press the button Time interval option near the top of the screen before hitting Clear browsing data basically.


You can also easily clear your Google Chrome cache in the app.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

For more details on how to clear your iPhone cache and why you might want it, check out our guide. here.

Looking for more iPhone tips? Check out our guide to best hidden features in iOS 15.