Running out of storage on an iPad or iPhone is not a pleasant feeling. You are downloading a new game, recording a video, or adding new music, and that message appears on your screen telling you that you are running out of space. If you’re desperate, you can delete an app you rarely use or some photos you’ve backed up, but this will only work for a while. Instead, there are more important steps you can take to reclaim that precious space on your device.
This guide will show you how to permanently delete redundant media files and perform a trick that clears cache files, helping you get back several gigabytes of storage space.
Preparing to free up storage space
A necessary step before making room on your iOS device is to make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed:
- Go to “Settings«>»General«
- Tap “Software update.” If you have the latest version, you will see the message: Your software is up to date. Otherwise, you will see options that ask you to download and install the latest version.
- Follow the instructions until your device restarts with the latest version of iOS. If you don’t have enough storage space to update your device, follow the next three steps to reclaim some space, before repeating this step.
Before you begin, it is a good idea to use iCloud to back up the files and images that you want to keep.
Free up storage space
Delete unused apps
- Go to «Settings,» tap «General»
- Tap “Storage” halfway to see the available storage space.
- Scroll down to see a detailed breakdown of all the apps that consume your space (the largest appear first).
- Select the apps you don’t use, tap «Delete application» later «Delete application» again. This uninstalls the application and removes all your data.
Unwanted Media Removal
To permanently delete unwanted media files:
- Open the “Photos” app to view all your photos and videos (videos show a small camera icon).
- Tap «Select» at the top right, then tap to select the files you want to delete.
- Tap on the Trash icon, then touch “Delete” 10 items (or all you want to remove). Your files are not deleted immediately, instead they are moved to the Recently Deleted folder, where they will remain for 30 days (giving you the option to restore them if you wish).
- To permanently delete these files and regain the storage space they occupy, tap Albums at the bottom of the Photos app, then Recently removed file.
- Tap Please select in the upper right, tap Delete all, later Delete X Articles. You can also delete podcasts that you have already listened to.
Clearing your cache
Another good way to clear some space and also potentially make your browsers and applications run faster is by clearing the cache. Unfortunately, this must be done for each application individually. The biggest culprit for hogging your storage is usually Safari, or whatever other browser you choose to use. Follow these steps to clear your Safari cache:
- Go to Settings > Safari.
- Scroll down and tap Clear story and Website data.
- Confirm the deletion.
Some other apps will offer an easy way to remove some unnecessary data through the settings menu, but not all.
There are a few different ways to erase a bit of data here and there from your iOS device. When combined, they can be added together to give you much-needed space. Do you have any experiences, tips, tricks, or questions related to creating space on an iOS device? Leave them in the comment section below!