Isn’t it amazing that those iPhone storage full notifications always come at the worst moments? Somehow your iPhone always seems to be at full capacity during your tropical vacation or before recording a once-in-a-lifetime video, and never while downloading a TikTok or screenshotting a horrible tweet.
With the entry-level iPhone SE (2022) starting at 64GB, it’s easy to forget that storage space isn’t infinite. Photos, videos, games, podcasts – they all eat up space.
Whether you’re in trouble and need to free up space for your vacation content, or you’re ahead of the curve and doing a little spring cleaning, we’ve got some simple tips to help you free up some of the stress on your iPhone.
Here’s how to check how much storage space is left on your iPhone
How close are you to running out of storage space on your iPhone? It’s easy to find out.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on “General”.
- Tap on “iPhone Storage”.
Don’t worry too much about all the options listed here. It’s just a summary so you know what’s clogging up your iPhone. Does this top chart show 100GB of photos? Let’s start there. Or do apps somehow take up most of your storage capacity? Time to delete some.
Delete unnecessary files in Photos app
As Apple improves the iPhone’s camera system year after year, photo files have only gotten bigger (and we all take more photos now). A huge photo library will be the cause of many storage problems. We have an entirely separate guide to cleaning up the Photos app because it’s such a endeavour, but here are the basics:
- Delete duplicate and similar photos. The last photoshoot yielded some killer profile photos, but you can delete any photos where you had your eyes closed – you’ll never look at them again. That goes double for food photos.
- delete videos You don’t want to keep. Videos – especially long ones – can take up an enormous amount of space, so check your library for accidental inside-the-pocket videos and get rid of them as soon as possible.
- Manage larger media files. ProRAW photos, burst mode collections, slo-mo videos, panoramas, etc. all take up more space than a standard video. Most users play around with these shooting modes here and there and end up with photos they don’t want to keep.
- Empty your Recently Deleted folder. Your iPhone actually retains deleted media for up to 30 days after you attempt to erase it. Find this folder under “Albums” and empty it regularly.
Delete unused apps
We all have apps on our devices that we’ve only opened once or twice – a game downloaded for a flight, an app you once needed for work, another camera or photo editing app that you clicked on friend swears etc.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used the app recently (30 days is a good time frame), then you don’t need it. You can always re-download an app if you ever need it again.
The iPhone storage menu is a great way to see which apps are taking up the most storage space. Scroll down and you will see the culprits. If you see an app at the top of this list that you don’t really use, tap on it and on the next page click the “Delete App” button.
You can also opt for “Offload Apps” instead of deleting them directly. This option removes the base app but keeps documents and data – if you download it again later it’s like you never left. Of course, this method doesn’t free up as much space.
Your iPhone can detect apps you’re not using and automatically offload them when you want, freeing up storage space regularly without you having to do anything. This option is at the top of the iPhone storage menu. Of course, this can mean you can’t find an app you need to use in a pinch, such as B. rarely used banking apps or travel tools.
Manage your messages
Messages usually do not record to lots of storage space, but it can become a problem if you use the same iCloud account for years without deleting anything. Even those spam texts and verification codes can take up a lot of space if you let them stack.
Delete photos, videos and GIFs
Texts alone don’t take up much space, but since it’s so easy to share them on iMessage, it’s easy to send photos, videos, GIFs, stickers, and more without even realizing they’re taking up the space you’re using. Ability to delete these files while keeping your important text messages.
- In the iPhone storage menu, scroll down to the list of apps and tap “Messages”.
- You can select one of the categories here to view all related files stored on your device.
- Tap “Edit” in the top-right corner of the screen, select the files you no longer need, then tap the trash can icon in the top-right corner to delete them.
We love this method because you can choose what to delete instead of bulk deleting photos in your messages and accidentally removing a needed file. Of course, this is much more time-consuming the longer the message history is on your device.
Remove messages automatically
If you’re not sentimental about text messages, you can set your iPhone to automatically delete messages.
- In your Settings app, scroll down to find and tap “Messages”.
- Under the Message History heading, tap Keep Messages.
- By default, your iPhone saves all your messages forever, but you can change that here to have them deleted after a year or 30 days.
Manually delete unwanted threads
You can probably delete that one-time exchange with co-workers, your landlord, and pizza delivery guy.
- From your Messages app, tap Edit in the top left of the screen.
- Tap Select Messages.
- Tap to fill in the speech bubble next to the conversations you want to delete. When done, tap “Delete” on the bottom right to get rid of them forever.
Delete offline videos and music
Whether you have a library of downloaded music in Spotify or an entire TV season in Netflix, all that offline content is a memory hog. Deleting is a very manual process as it is on an app by app basis. You need to open each of your streaming apps and delete them from their respective settings menu.
Clear your browser’s cache
Another pool of data that takes up space on your phone resides in your web browser. Cookies, browsing history, image caches, and more can take up a significant amount of disk space if you never completely cleared them.
How to clear cache in Safari
- From your settings menu, find and tap “Safari”.
- Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data.
- Confirm by tapping on “Clear history and data”.
How to clear cache in Chrome
- Open the Chrome app on your iPhone.
- Tap the three dots icon at the bottom right of the screen.
- Tap on “Settings”.
- Tap on “Privacy”.
- Tap Clear Browsing Data.
- You can select a period of data to delete. If you haven’t already gone through this process, we recommend that you select “All time”. Fair warning: This process will log you out of all websites, so make sure you have all your passwords sorted.
- At the bottom of the screen, tap Clear Browsing Data.