How to get more out of your iPhone storage without spending a penny

How to get more out of your iPhone storage without spending a penny

Too many people are iPhone has become a storage center for everything from photo libraries to music collections, books, games and much more. But it also means that it can be easy to run out of space. Although Apple increased iPhone’s default storage from 64 GB to 128 GB with iPhone 13it may not be enough for everyone.

The best way to save on local storage is to invest in it a cloud storage service like Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, Box or Dropbox to download some of your files. But there are also certain settings you can change to make sure you’re using your iPhone’s storage capacity to its fullest. When iOS 16 launches, the iPhone will also be able to detect duplicate photos, which should make it easier to keep your photo library slim and organized.

See below to learn more about how to free up storage on iPhone.

read more: Your iPhone lock screen is getting a major makeover

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

To maximize your iPhones storage, you need to know what’s taking up your device basically. Take a look at what’s eating up your storage space so you know where to start. Launch SettingsPrint General and scroll down to iPhone storage. Select this option to see an overview of the types of files and media that are taking up space on your iPhone. apple may also make some 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’s eating up iPhone storage in the settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Make sure your iPhone optimizes image storage

Pictures are among the biggest offenders when it comes to gobbling up space on the iPhone. But iPhone settings the menu has an option that allows the device to save smaller image files locally if the device is 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 ensure this feature is turned on, start by opening Settings app. Then scroll down to Pictures and make sure there is a blue tick next to it Optimize iPhone storage option.


Make sure your iPhone is as efficient as possible when it comes to storing media files.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Read more: Should you upgrade to the iPhone 13? See how it compares to older models

Save photos and videos to a cloud service instead of your device

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

But before you delete anything, make sure the photos you want to save have been backed up or transferred to Google Photos. If your photos and videos aren’t backed up to another service like Google Photos, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive before they’re deleted, they’ll be permanently deleted. This guide guides you through how to copy your entire iCloud photo library to Google Photos, but just note that unlimited free storage option is no longer available.

You may be wondering why you need to use a separate cloud service if your photos are already stored in iCloud. That’s because deleting your photos from your iPhone also deletes them from iCloud, so you’ll want to use a different service if you plan to delete photos from your device.


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

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Delete apps you no longer use

Another great way to clean out your iPhone is to get rid of it apps you no longer use. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at which apps you haven’t used in a while. Open your iPhones Settings menu, press General and go to iPhone storage. You’ll see a list of your apps along with how much space each app takes up and the last time you used it. Scroll through the list and try deleting apps you haven’t used in a while.


Get rid of apps you haven’t used in a while. You can see the last time you used a particular app in your iPhone’s settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Download apps you don’t use all the time

If you don’t want to completely delete an app, you can download it instead. When you download it, you can keep the documents and data associated with that app, so you can reinstall it at any time and quickly pick up where you left off. Navigate back to the list mentioned above by opening Settingspresses General and choose iPhone storage. Tap any app in the list and select Download the app. You can also set yours iPhone to do this automatically on opening SettingsPress App Store the option and ensure that Download unused apps the switch is turned on.

iphone offload app

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

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Read more: An iPhone without a charging port is not as crazy as it sounds

Delete old messages automatically

It’s not just pictures, videos and apps that can clog iPhone storage space. Get rid of old text messages may be useful as well. You can set your iPhone to automatically delete your message history by opening Settingsselect Messages and press on Keep messages option below Message history. From there, choose whether you want your iPhone to keep text messages for 30 days, a year, or forever.

iphone delete messages

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

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Delete videos and music from apps

You probably have videos and music stored offline in multiple apps on your phone, and luckily there’s an easy way to find these files and delete them. Launch Settingschoose General and choose iPhone storage. Search for an app you’ve 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 have downloaded offline videos, you will also see a section for this content under the Delete App button. Place your finger on a downloaded video and swipe it all the way to the left side of the screen to delete it.

iphone delete video

It’s an easy way to delete videos and music files you’ve stored in the app to free up space on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Read more: Want to get more out of your Apple Watch? Change these settings

Clear your browser’s cache

You can always try to clean it up browser cache if you’re really looking for space, although deleting apps and media will make a much bigger difference. But doing so can give your iPhone quite a speed boost when browsing the web, so it’s worth a try if you’re low on storage and experiencing slow browser performance. But just remember that it will log you out of websites you’re logged into.

Open Settingschoose Safari and press Delete history and website data.


Clear the Safari cache to see a performance boost and save some space.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

If you are using Google Chrome, tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen, select History and press Clear browsing data. You should see a check mark next to three categories: Browser log, Cookies, website data and Cached images and files. If you only want to delete browsing data for a specific period of time, tap Time frame option near the top of the screen before tapping Clear browsing data on the bottom.


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

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Looking for more iPhone tips? Check out our guide to best new features coming in iOS 16. Plus, Here’s how to clear your iPhone’s cache.

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