If you’ve owned an iPhone for any amount of time, you probably know what it feels like to run out of storage space on your device. Well, nearly the entire population of iPhone users have encountered this challenge and quite truthfully, it is utterly frustrating. That annoying pop-up reminding you that you are running low on space drives everyone crazy. When you are about to try out this new amazing app, but you're forced to either not download it or delete a different app. The simple problem of low storage space makes you want want to rant and curse because you don’t know where to even start! Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to release some of the room that your phone has been gobbling up. Here are some of the easy hacks to get back on track.
1. Check Usage
You do not have to go blindly deleting items from your phone without finding out where much of the space is being used up. If you do that, you are bound to encounter the same problem in the near future and get equally frustrated, turning into a vicious cycle.
First and foremost, confirm what is using up the space by using the simple procedure below: General > iPhone Storage
A list will pop up showing your apps ranked in order of how much space they are using. Some of these apps are small, but hold a lot of data in form of files. Here you have the option to either delete some of the apps that are less useful or simply delete files in the smaller apps that you might no longer be using. It also shows the last time you opened that app, so if it's something you haven't used in months, maybe it's time to get rid of it.
2. Delete Junk Apps
If you take your time and go through the apps in your phone, you will be surprised to find apps that you do not even recall downloading. Games that you don’t play anymore (I’m looking at you, Candy Crush) are often part of these apps that are eating up space on your phone for no apparent reason. Go ahead and clean them up by simply going to: Settings > General > iPhone Storage > click on the app you want to delete and tap on the "delete app" option. Apple also provides a way to get rid of the app without completely getting rid of it. Save space by choosing to "Offload Apps". By doing this, Apple will delete the app, but save all the documents and data so if you ever choose to re-download the app, you can pick up right where you left off.
Alternatively, tap and hold on the app icon and click on the ‘X’ at the upper left corner. You can always re-download these apps later if you miss them. A good way to save space is by choosing apps that save data on online servers instead of directly on your phone storage.
3. Use Alternative Photo Saving Applications
Having a camera in your pocket has made it easier to go around taking pictures of everything and anything. Some people get attached to these photos or enjoy sharing them with friends and relatives at a moment’s notice, which requires them to be easily accessible. However, this can chew up a lot of storage space. Worry not, for technology never disappoints! You can easily optimize storage by using alternative applications that save the data on online servers.
Option 1) Download the Google+ app and create your account, where you can back up your videos and photos.
Option 2) Download the Dropbox app, which serves the same purpose as the Google+ app.
Option 3) Auto-backup your photos on the iCloud. With that settled, you can enjoy taking photos every hour with minimal worry about space and you can easily access them online. By having them stored on the cloud, you can delete them from your phone all while knowing they are safely backed up somewhere else.
4. Only Keep High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos
If your phone uses HDR, then it probably stores two photos for every one photo you take. HDR technology works like this: it takes three images at different exposures, then the system decides on the best look and saves that photo, plus the original. If you decide to keep the HDR photo anyway, then there is no point in saving the original as well.
You can turn HDR off by going to Settings > Camera > scroll to ‘Keep normal photo’ and tap to turn it off. This easy process will save you tons of space at minimal cost or energy.
5. Clear out your Safari cache
Every time you visit a web page or view an image using your phone’s Safari web browser, the data ends up in a ‘cache’ that takes up a lot of space. To clear out some space, you can clear your browsing history and website data by going to: Settings > Safari > Clear History & Website Data. If you like the convenience of having frequently visited sites, you can keep your browsing data and wipe everything else by: Advanced > Website data > Clear all website data.
6. Delete unwanted songs.
Be honest: are you as excited about owning all of Justin Bieber’s music as you were four years ago? Trimming down your phone’s library and using an online streaming app will save you space and provide you an option when your phone’s music gets boring. To delete specific songs: Open music app > Click on song button > Scroll down to the song you want to delete > Swipe right and tap delete
To delete all music: Go to settings > General > Usage > Manage storage > Music > tap on edit on upper right > Click on the red minus icon next to all songs then click on delete.
Apple Music, Google Play, Pandora, and Spotify are all great music streaming options with enormous music libraries—more than you could ever store on that 16GB iPhone. Additionally, these apps typically charge $5-$10 a month to use with unlimited access to all the music on the app. Stop paying for individual songs and save yourself some space AND money!
7. Get rid of older messages
Sure, maybe some of us are fond of going through their older texts and reminiscing on fond memories. But for most of us, messages over a year old in your phone are nothing but junk. Take a deep breath; it’s time to let go. You can easily set your messages on auto-expire by: Settings > Messages > Under ‘Keep messages’, select a shorter duration.
Deleting hidden attachments in messages like location details can also save you a considerable amount of space. To do that, you need to go to individual conversations and tap on the details to delete the hidden attachments. You can also adjust the time duration to keep your audio and video messages because just like junk mail, they are space consuming.
And there you have it. Problem solved! The next time you see that pop-up about your storage running low, don’t throw your phone across the room–smile and sigh in relief because you have what it takes to make it disappear.