Here’s What To Do If You’re Running Out Of Storage Space On iPhone

Christmas is here, but many iPhone fans won’t get their dream iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max. Unless they ordered one before Nov. 10, they’ll likely be stuck with an older model iPhone instead of Apple’s hottest new handsets. Using an older iPhone also means storage issues. The older the handset, the greater the storage issues, especially if you bought an entry-level 64GB iPhone years ago.

The good news is that there are various tricks to free up storage space before upgrading your iPhone, whether you are waiting for the latest model or not.

The biggest iPhone storage problem

If you’re having storage issues on iPhone, remember these words: photos and videos. That’s what’s clogging your memory. It’s not just the photos and clips you’ve saved in the Pictures app on your handset. You’ve probably also shared countless photos and videos in messaging apps, such as iMessage and WhatsApp. They will take up tons of space next to all the photos and videos you have saved in the Photos app.

Other apps can also take up a lot of storage, especially if you have games on your iPhone. But the Photos app is where you need to start cleaning up.

This may sound tedious, but it’s actually quite easy to do once you get the hang of it. Before deleting photos and videos, you need to backup iPhone to save everything. This way you won’t lose anything. You can back up iPhone via iCloud or locally on a Mac or Windows.

You must sync your photos with the Mac’s Photos app if you choose the Mac route.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro notch
Apple iPhone 12 Pro on a table. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

What to remove first from the Photos app

But you don’t need backups to free up storage space on your iPhone. Instead of scrolling through your Photos app looking for large files, tap the Albums menu. Scroll to Media Types section, which automatically categorizes file types on the iPhone.

You’ll want to press the Videos menu first. Clips take up a lot of storage space, especially long videos that you may have recorded a long time ago. You probably won’t need all of these videos.

Then you will need to search Live Photos and Panoramas, which can also occupy more storage space. If you take a lot Burst pictures and in slow motion videos, these will also take up a good chunk of storage space.

Screenshot it could be another folder in your Photos app that fills up quickly. You’ll want to delete most of them, because you probably don’t need them. Screenshots usually have a short lifespan, but we don’t delete them after using them.

As for BELIEVED pictures, these will eat many of storage. If you shoot in RAW, you already have a decent amount of storage on your relatively new iPhone. But even then, you’ll have to do some cleanups.

The Media Types section of the Photo Album menu can help you easily free up storage space on your iPhone.
The Media Types section of the Photo Album menu can help you easily free up storage space on your iPhone. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Get help to speed up cleaning up iPhone storage

The really tedious job is to delete individual photos from the past. But even there, you can start with multiple images of the same subject that you might have taken for a specific purpose. Just press the To select to choose photos you don’t need when scrolling through photos.

Keep choosing images until you have reached the other end of the library. Press the Waste icon to remove everything from the app.

There is one more thing to do here. Head to the Recently Deleted folder and press the To select options, but do not select anything. Just look for the Delete all options that appear at the bottom of the screen. That’s all you need to do to delete all those photos and videos you don’t need for good. If you do not perform this last task, the deleted items will remain stored for another 30 days.

If all that manual work seems tedious and boring, consider getting an app for it. Reverse recommends Cleanup, an app that might be useful. It will detect duplicates and similar photos and help you eliminate them.

Folder of deleted photos on iPhone.
Folder of deleted photos on iPhone. Image source: Apple

Don’t Forget Chat Apps

Now head to your chat apps and think about conversations where you share photos, videos, and other storage-intensive content. It is likely that your favorite contacts send you as much media. You will want to manually delete items from these conversations to free up additional storage space on the iPhone.

Once you’re done with those photo and video chores, you can look at the apps that take up a lot of storage that you might not need. You should know by now, but come on Settings, Generaland iPhone Storage will tell you exactly how much storage you have left and what is consuming your data. This is where you will also find the app sizes, and you can decide what to remove.

These tips apply to any iOS device, whether it’s a very old iPhone 6s or the newest iPhone 14 Pro Max. Even if you don’t experience iPhone storage issues this Christmas, you should still consider cleaning the handset once in a while. The fewer junk files, the easier it is to back up and transfer to a new device.

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