How to Quickly Free Up iPhone Storage

If you’re running out of storage space on your iPhone, there are a few steps you can take to quickly free up space for new apps, videos, or a new iOS version.

The iPhone does not come with a microSD card slot which puts more emphasis on the internal storage of the device. This is especially true if you have an 8GB, 16GB or 32GB iPhone model. This gap can fill quickly.

A full or nearly full iPhone can be annoying because your phone will alert you if you don’t have enough space to take a photo, download a new app, or install a brand new iOS update. If you’re sick of seeing these warnings, you’ll want to know what’s causing the issue.

This guide will show you how to quickly free up space on your iPhone without having to delete important files or invest in additional iCloud storage.

Delete Saved Podcasts

If you’ve downloaded podcasts to your iPhone, they probably take up a lot of space on your device’s hard drive. If you’re done with any of your saved podcasts, delete them.

To do this, you’ll want to go to the Settings app instead of Podcasts. go from there Manage Storage under General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Storage section > Podcasts.

There you will see a list of Podcasts you have recorded. Tap Edit and delete anything you no longer listen to.

If you’re deep into the podcast game, you can save yourself a few GBs of space.

Delete Music You Don’t Need Anymore

If you use a service like Apple Music, you may want to save your songs to your device’s internal hard drive. These can start to increase if you are not careful.

It will only take a few moments to find and delete music that you no longer listen to or need to store locally.

If you’re using Apple Music, go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. Find Apple Music in the list and tap it.

From here, you can choose to delete individual songs with a simple swipe, or if you prefer to go nuclear, you can delete all your music with a swipe in All Songs at the top of the screen.

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If you’re using Spotify, deleting locally stored music is a very different process.

Instead of going into Settings, you have to go to the app itself and manually delete the songs, playlists and albums stored on your device.

Delete the messages

If you send and receive a lot of iMessages, they may be taking up more than one GB of hard disk space.

First, check your internal storage via Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. If you find that data from the Messages app is taking up a lot of space on your iPhone, go back to Settings and scroll down and tap on Messages.

Once inside, go to the Message History section. Tap the Keep Messages tab and make sure you’re set to 30 Days.

Warning: This will delete previously stored data, so be sure to save any important texts or files from within these texts before taking this step.

Delete the Apps You Don’t Use

Deleting apps you no longer use is a simple yet effective way to reduce clutter on your hard drive.

Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. From there you need to determine which apps can stay and which apps can go.

If you determine that you no longer need an app, select it from the list with a tap. From there, tap on Delete App.

You can always download the app again.

Stop Recording Two Photos

If you’re using your iPhone’s HDR mode, you may have noticed that your phone saves two copies of your photos. One is the HDR version and the other is the normal version.

To stop double recording, go ahead and open Settings > Photos & Camera. Scroll to the bottom of this page where it says HDR (High Dynamic Range).

Tap the switch next to Keep Normal Photo to turn this function off. If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, you will also see a toggle for Portrait mode. Disable this too.

If you use Instagram, you may be doubling down on photos. Your device will save a cropped/filtered Instagram photo in addition to the regular photo.

To turn it off, open the Instagram app. From there, tap on your profile tab in the bottom-right corner and then the little gear icon in the top-right corner of your screen.

Under the Settings section, press the button next to Save Original Photos to turn this functionality off.

Get Rid of Recently Deleted Photos and Videos

If you’ve recently deleted a photo or video from your iPhone, that photo or video is probably still taking up space.

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If you don’t want to wait a month for iOS to automatically delete your photos and videos, you’ll have to manually delete them from your phone.

To do this, go to the Photos app and go to your Albums. Scroll down to the Recently Deleted album and tap on it.

From here you can select individual photos and videos to permanently delete them. Or if you prefer to get rid of them all, you can choose to delete them all.

Clear Browser History

You can also quickly free up storage space by clearing your browser’s data.

If you’re using Safari, go to your iPhone’s Settings > Safari > and go to Clear History and Website Data. Tap this.

Clearing this will remove your browsing history, cookies and other data from Safari. Your history will also be cleared from all devices signed into your iCloud account.

If that sounds like a plan, tap Clear History and Data again.

If you’re a Google Chrome user, go to the app and tap the three vertical circles in the top right corner.

Here you can choose to clear Browsing History, Cookies and Site Data, Cached Images and Files, and Autofill Data.

If you prefer to delete everything, tap Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data. Select them all from there (after doing this you will see a checkmark on the right) and then click on Clear Browsing Data.

Delete Your Reading List

Safari’s offline reading mode is useful when you don’t have an internet connection, but it can take up unnecessary space on your iPhone. Try cleaning it to free up some space.

To clear Safari’s offline reading list on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage.

Under the Storage section, tap Manage Storage > Safari. Then, swipe left on the Offline Reading List and tap Delete to clear the cache.

To delete individual items from your reading list, open Safari, go to your Reading List, and swipe left to delete anything you no longer need.

update to iOS 10.3.2

If you refused to install iOS 10.3 or iOS 10.3.1, download iOS 10.3.2 to free up some space.

If you skipped iOS 10.3 or iOS 10.3.1, the iOS 10.3.2 update will introduce the APFS file change that was the first to arrive in Apple’s iOS 10.3 update. Thanks to APFS, you may find that some additional free storage is unlocked on your device.

You won’t get the extra 10GB of storage, but you can get 7GB+ of free space. We have about 2GB of space on our iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

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