How To Free Up Storage Space on an iPhone or iPad

Running out of storage on an iPad or iPhone is not a nice feeling. You are downloading a new game, taking a video, or adding some new music, and that message pops up on your screen telling you you are running out of space. If you are desperate you can delete an app you rarely use or a few photos you have backed up, but this will only work for so long. Instead, there are bigger steps you can take that will reclaim that valuable space on your device.

How To Free Up Storage Space on an iPhone or iPad

This guide will show you how to permanently delete redundant media files and carry out a trick that deletes cache files, helping you reclaim several gigabytes of storage space.

Preparing to Free Up Storage Space

A necessary step before making space on your iOS device is ensuring you have the latest version of iOS installed:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General


  2. Tap “Software Update.” If you have the latest version, you will see the message: Your software is up to date. Otherwise, you will see options prompting you to download and install the latest version.


  3. Follow the instructions until your device restarts with the latest iOS version. If you do not have enough storage space to update your device, then follow the next three steps to recover some space, before repeating this step.

Before commencing, it is a good idea to use the iCloud to back up files and images you want to keep.

Freeing Up Storage Space

Deleting Unused Apps

  1. Go to “Settings,” tap “General”


  2. Tap “Storage” midway down to see your available storage space.


  3. Scroll down to see a detailed breakdown of all the apps eating up your space (largest appear first).


  4. Select any apps you do not use, tap “Delete App,” then “Delete App” again. This uninstalls the app and deletes all its data.

Deleting Unwanted Media

To permanently delete unwanted media files:

  1. Open the “Photos” app to see all your photos and videos (videos display a small camera icon).


  2. Tap “Select” at the top right, then tap to select the files you want to delete.


  3. Tap the Trash icon, then tap “Delete” 10 Items (or however many you want to delete). Your files are not deleted immediately but are moved to the Recently Deleted folder, where they will remain for 30 days (giving you the option to restore them if you want).



  4. To permanently delete these files and reclaim the storage space they occupy, tap Albums at the bottom of the Photos app, then the Recently Deleted folder.


  5. Tap Select at the top right, tap Delete All, then Delete X Items. You can also delete any podcasts you have already listened to.


Clearing your Cache

Another good way to clear up some space and also potentially make your browsers and apps run faster is by clearing the cache. Unfortunately, this must be done for each app individually. The biggest storage-hogging culprit is usually Safari, or any other browser you may choose to use. Follow these steps to clear your Safari cache:

  1. Go to Settings > Safari.


  2. Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data.


  3. Confirm the deletion.


Some other apps will offer a straightforward way to delete some unnecessary data through the settings menu, but not all.

Wrapping Up

There are a few different ways to clear a little bit of data here and there from your iOS device. When combined they can add up to give you some much needed space. Do you have any experience, tips, tricks, or questions related to making space on an iOS device? Leave them in the comment section below!

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