The memory storage space of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is limited and this is a problem, as it is relatively easy to fall short and you need to free up space to store new content.
This problem is especially annoying on devices with 16 GB capacity, although fortunately Apple has finally reacted and the new devices have higher storage capacities, even in the most basic configurations.
Tips for Recovering Storage Space on iOS Devices
However, no matter how much capacity your iOS device has (16, 32, 64, 128, 256 or even 512 GB) you may at any time run out of space and need to use one of the tricks to free up internal memory space explained below.
1.- Clears browsing history and data from Safari and other browsers
Like computer browsers, Safari and other iOS browsers store temporary files as a cache. These are designed to speed up your Internet browsing, but the downside is that they can take up a lot of storage space.
In the case of Safari you can delete the history and browsing data by taking the following steps:
- Go to Settings – Safari.
- Touch the Clear History and Data from Websites option and then confirm in the drop-down menu by touching the Clear History and Data option.
Chrome is the second most used browser in iOS and the steps to delete these files are as follows:
- Open Chrome and tap on the three vertical dots icon in the top right corner of the screen.
- Go to the Settings option in the menu.
- Touch on Privacy.
- Now choose the option Clear navigation data.
- Finally, tap on Clear navigation data and confirm in the secondary menu that appears.
If you use any other browser the steps to follow will be similar to those of Chrome and you will have to access its Settings menu to locate the option that will appear as: delete browsing data, delete temporary files, delete browsing cache or similar.
2.- Remove the apps and games you do not use
I’m sure you have apps or games installed on your devices that you hardly ever use and uninstalling them can make you reclaim a considerable amount of storage space .
All you have to do is press one of them on the main screen and wait until they all start shaking. When you do this you will see an icon appear in each app in the form of a circle with a X inside. Touch it in the apps or games you want to uninstall and then confirm with the dialog that will appear.
Another good option is to use software such as iMazing, which allows you to view the apps installed on your iOS devices, the space each one takes up, and easily remove them if you wish.
3.- Activate the iCloud photo library
The iCloud library is a dual-function Apple cloud service: optimizes photos and videos to take up less memory on iOS devices and keeps all files synchronized between different iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TVs that have the service active.
To activate the service in the iDevices the steps to follow are the following:
- Go to Settings – Photos and Camera.
- Activate the iCloud Photo Library option switch.
- Choose the Optimize Storage option.
It is very important to choose the option Optimize storage in point three. This is the option that really saves space in the internal memory of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, leaving only versions of the content optimised for the device’s screen and saving the originals in full resolution in the Apple cloud.
In addition to this, it is also very advisable to keep the iPhone or iPad photo library clean and tidy, so it is highly recommended to do some cleaning from time to time and remove duplicate photos, screenshots you no longer need, blurry images, etc, etc. . Doing this manually is a rather tedious task (especially if you have thousands of images), but with the help of apps like Gemini Photos this cleaning can be completed in a matter of seconds and with very few touches on the device’s screen.
4.- Delete music and video files and access them via streaming
We live in the era of streaming services and therefore deleting local music, series and movie files can be a very good solution to save a lot of disk space .
Instead of using these files, you can use services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix or HBO that don’t take up as much space as carrying around several movies, hundreds of songs and a few episodes of series.
5.- Delete Messages, WhatsApp and similar services conversations
Instant messaging or chat apps such as Message, WhatsApp, Telegram and the like can be real storage beasts.
All messages received and sent occupy, but the most worrying thing is the videos, photos and other files that are sent through these services. Each photo takes up several megabytes and videos can take up hundreds of megabytes and even gigabytes if the resolution and length are high.
These contents are permanently stored in the conversations, thus filling the disk space.
To remove them the quickest way is to remove the conversations from these applications and the contents stored in them will automatically disappear. Another option is to access the details of the conversations and selectively delete photos, videos and other types of files that you don’t want to keep.
6.- Disable Live Photos and save a single photo for HDR and iPhone 7 Portrait mode
The functions of Live Photos and the preservation of the normal photo when shooting in HDR or Portrait mode also consume storage space.
Turning off these options can help you control your device space and not fill it up so quickly.
To disable these options you must do the following:
- Go to Settings – Photos and Camera.
- Disable Keep Normal Photo in HDR and Portrait Mode.
- Exit Settings and access the Camera app.
- Tap the yellow icon in the top center of the screen to stop your iPhone from saving your Live Photos.
Of course you should be aware that you have turned off these options and turn them back on if you need them at a particular time during a photo session.
Clean Safari Offline Reading List
Do you use the Safari offline reading list? If so, you should know that this feature can take up a lot of memory space on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. That’s because this browser feature saves the entire web page locally so you can read it when you don’t have an Internet connection (text, photos, etc.).
So if you make intensive use of the reading list, you can imagine that can take up quite a lot of space , so cleaning up from time to time is not a bad option.
To do this you must do the following:
- Go to Settings – General – Storage and iCloud – Manage Storage (in the Storage section)
- Tap on Safari in the list that appears.
- Tap on the Edit button in the upper left corner.
- Finally, tap on the red icon that appears just before the Offline Reading List section and confirm with the Delete button.
Of course, you must also remove the contents for offline access from other apps that have this function . For example, Spotify songs you haven’t listened to for a long time, Google Maps map zones you no longer need, etc, etc…
8.- Clear the apps and iOS cache
The apps and the iOS itself don’t have a button to delete the temporary files or cache, but there is a trick that allows to do it in a quite simple way.
In order to use this trick, the storage memory of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch must be practically full, ideally only a few hundred megs left. If you’re in this situation, following these steps can help you reclaim up to several gigs of space.
- Open the iTunes Store and go to the Movies section.
- Access the file of any movie and touch on the option Rent.
When you are short of storage space the device will tell you that cannot download it , that you free up some space and then try again.
After that, if you check the storage space, you’ll see that iOS has automatically taken care of deleting temporary files, caches, and other junk files it doesn’t really need and has recovered a lot of space.
It’s important that what you’re renting or buying doesn’t fit in the device’s memory, otherwise Apple will charge you for it and I guess you don’t want this.
9.- Keep your device in the latest version of iOS
Apple is concerned about making iOS more and more efficient. Not only in terms of performance or stability, but also in the disk space it takes up .
That’s why keeping the device always updated to the latest stable version of the operating system available is a good idea . In addition, doing so will also improve security, something that should never be overlooked considering the amount and type of data we all carry on our iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
10.- Restore your device to factory status.
This advice is perhaps the most radical, but it is also one of the most effective I can give you. By restoring an iOS device to factory default you will be able to remove all the temporary files and other garbage that is generated over time.
After the restore the operating system will start from scratch, i.e. there will be no content or apps, you will have to adjust the options again … This gives you a new opportunity to install only the apps you actually use and set all the options in the best possible way for the type of use you make of the device.
Of course, before you restore your device, remember to make a full backup so you can recover your data in case you forget to copy something or don’t have it in sync with iCloud or other clouds.
What other tips do you know?
This is our collection of space-saving tips for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch . What other tips do you know? What has worked well for you to always have free space in your iOS gadgets?
On TodoAppleBlog : Tips to reduce mobile data consumption on iPhone and iPad
Tips for Recovering Storage Space on iOS Devices
- 1.- Clears browsing history and data from Safari and other browsers
- 2.- Remove the apps and games you do not use
- 3.- Activate the iCloud photo library
- 4.- Delete music and video files and access them via streaming
- 5.- Delete Messages, WhatsApp and similar services conversations
- 6.- Disable Live Photos and save a single photo for HDR and iPhone 7 Portrait mode
- Clean Safari Offline Reading List
- 8.- Clear the apps and iOS cache
- 9.- Keep your device in the latest version of iOS
- 10.- Restore your device to factory status.
- What other tips do you know?