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How to get more storage on iPhone

Our tips for easily freeing up iPhone storage

If you’re running out of space on your iPhone, there are a few handy things you can do to free some room. From keeping your photos and messages remote on the cloud, to weeding out data greedy apps, here’s our rundown of how to wring out some extra storage from your handset.

How to get more storage on iPhone

1. Work out your storage situation

To see a simple breakdown of your total storage, and what apps are taking up the most space, head over to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. There you’ll find a bar chart encompassing a colour-coded breakdown of what is using space on your iPhone, from apps and photos to messages and other media. There, your iPhone will have a number of suggestions for freeing space, such as:

2. Offload unused apps

This gives iOS free reign to automatically delete apps you haven’t used for some time if storage is running low. Your documents and data will be kept on the device, but the app will appear as a greyed-out icon until you reinstall it.

3. Auto delete old conversations

This will automatically delete conversations on Message were sent over a year ago. You can also change how long messages are stored on your iPhone by going to Settings > Messages, and selecting from 30 days, 1 year or forever from ‘keep messages’.

4. Review large attachments

This will present you with a list of the largest attachment files on your iPhone, whether they’re in Mail, Photos or Messages. From there, you can either delete files manually or mass delete by tapping Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.

Aside from these suggestions from iOS, you can also do the following to free space:

5. Use iCloud, Google Photos or other cloud services

Instead of storing files locally, you can use cloud services to do the heavy lifting. Apple’s iCloud may be your first choice for iPhone, which gives you free storage of up to 5GB. If you want more space, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee, depending on how much storage you need. In the UK, you can get 50GB for 79p; 200GB for £2.49; or 2TB for £6.99.

There are a range of other cloud services, each with their own data limits. Google Drive and Dropbox, for example, are solid offerings for documents, but given the nature of smartphones you’re more likely to want to store images. Google Photos is a definite contender for this, with unlimited free storage of photos at 16MP or below. Upload your photos, then delete them locally on your phone.

6. Delete (and restore) data greedy apps

Your iPhone storage settings (Settings > General > iPhone Storage) will give you a list of your currently installed apps, arranged by how much data they are taking up. You can delete these apps to free up space, clearly, but you can also save space by deleting and then reinstalling apps that build up a lot of cache.

Social media apps are a prime example here. The apps themselves aren’t large, but the likes of Facebook and Twitter can accrue a great deal of bloat with all the cached images and videos you’ve been browsing through. Deleting and then reinstalling them will reset this cache, freeing up crucial storage space.

Is there something else you’d like us to explain? Do you think there’s something we’ve missed? Let us know on Twitter @expertreviews!