These iOS tweaks will free up storage on your iPhone (without deleting anything)

These iOS tweaks will free up storage on your iPhone (without deleting anything)

Oh no. Yours iPhone storage space at the borders? It doesn’t matter if you charged your iPhone pictures of happy memories over the years, or just downloaded too many movies, full iPhone storage is a serious inconvenience. You cannot install the latest iOS software updates, download multiple apps, or even take a single photo or video. Not to mention the phone will probably freeze more often. There are some obvious ways to free up storage space, but they either require you to delete things or spend money.

You can delete large files like movies, TV shows, and music albums, but you might not be ready to give them up just yet. There are various cloud-based alternatives to expand your existing storage, but this requires files to be moved and you may have to pay for them. Just that buys a new phone with more storage – but this is an expensive option.

That’s why if these options don’t appeal to you, you can and should take advantage of certain iOS features to free up storage on your iPhone without having to delete anything or spend money.

There are two built-in iOS settings that help you save significant amounts of storage on your iPhone—one permanent and one temporary—so you can install the latest software updates, take more photos and videos, and download more content. applications. Here’s what you need to know.

For more tips on how to get more iPhone storage, check it out how to free up space on your iPhone with these simple tricks and the best cloud storage options in 2023.

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Optimize your iPhone photos and videos

It’s not always easy to delete the contents of your camera roll, so if you want to keep your precious memories or even just meme screenshots, but still want to free up storage space, the easiest way to do this is to optimize your photos. and videos already stored on the device.

By default, every time you take a photo or video, it’s saved to your device in full resolution. If you take photos and videos at the highest possible resolution, they can take up quite a lot of space. One minute of video in 4K resolution at 60 fps takes up about 400 MB – almost half a GB. That’s pretty significant.

To optimize your photos and videos, go here Settings > Photos and turn it on Optimize iPhone storage (For this to work, you must have the iCloud Photos the setting above it is enabled). Depending on how many photos and videos you have on your iPhone, this can take quite a while, but once it’s done, you should see significantly more storage on your device.

You need to turn on iCloud Photos for this to work.

Screenshot: Nelson Aguilar/CNET

It then moves all of your full-resolution photos and videos to iCloud, while keeping the smaller, lower-resolution versions on your device to take up less space. If you want to access your photos and videos in higher resolution, you can go to the Photos app and download any optimized file, but it requires a good internet connection. Your recent photos and videos can exist in full resolution, so you don’t have to download every photo or video.

If you don’t have enough iCloud storage, upgrading to the cloud is easier than buying a new phone. In the US, you can upgrade to 50GB for just $1 a month, or go bigger: 200GB for $3 a month or 2TB for $10 a month. Prices vary by country or region.

To update iCloud on your iPhone, go to: Settings > (your name) > iCloud > Account storage management > Buy more storage. Choose a plan and follow the instructions. When you upgrade to any paid iCloud plan, you get access to iCloud+, which also offers iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email.

You can spend as little as $1 per month for more iCloud storage.

Screenshot: Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Download your biggest apps

You don’t use every app stored on your iPhone. Many are just sitting there, like your favorite airline apps, third-party cameras, and music productions. And even if you only use them occasionally, you probably don’t need constant, daily access to most apps, so consider app padding if you’re in dire need of storage.

For example, let’s say you want to download and install the latest iOS update. If it’s a major update like iOS 16, you may need a little more than 5GB to successfully install the software. If it’s a point update, like iOS 16.1, you’re looking at around 1GB. And if you don’t have enough storage space to update, you can quickly dump apps, which is a middle ground between keeping and deleting apps.

Go Settings > General > iPhone storage and check which apps are taking up the most storage space. Some built-in apps like Photos and Messages can’t be downloaded, so be warned. When you find a sizeable app you want to download, tap it and press it Download App. Wait a while and the app will be removed offline, while documents and data will remain on the device.

To “delete” the app, you need to double-tap the Download App button.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If you need temporary storage for software downloads, just go through the list and download all possible applications. The amount deposited may differ for each application, but the number next to it should appear Application size. Discard the number next to Documents & Data as it will remain on the device. The only way to get rid of it is to actually delete the app.

Download as many apps as you need until you have enough storage space. Obviously, you can’t use a downloaded app, but if you want to get a downloaded app back, open the App Library and tap the iCloud button to reload. When the downloaded app appears on the home screen, simply tap it to download it. You don’t have to sign in again or anything – you can access the app as if it was never deleted.

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