13 Tips on Clearing Space and Freeing Up Space on iPhone

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has 1TB of storage, but most iPhone users only have either 128GB or 256GB to work with. For many, that’s actually not enough space. At a time when most of our lives are stored on smartphones, we need lots of storage space to keep what we need to keep. Here are 13 tips to clear iPhone space and reclaim valuable space when you are near the limit.

Read more: How to clear RAM on an iPhone


If you want to clear the storage space on your iPhone, you can do some quick fixes like: Such as uninstalling unwanted apps, deleting excess photos, and deleting music, videos, and TV shows. You can also move files to the cloud, as well as clear old iMessages and Safari’s browser cache.

13 tips to clear storage on your iPhone

Here are 13 quick and easy tips to free up a few gigabytes on your iPhone.

Uninstall unused apps

This is the quick fix. How many apps have you downloaded that you either rarely or never use? Some of them might take up a lot of space on your phone. So if you don’t need it, uninstall it.

Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. You’ll see each app with the amount of space it’s taking up and the last time you used it. You can then use this information to make a decision about what should go and what should stay.

Unload unused apps

If you want to delete an app but have a sneaking suspicion you’ll need it later, you can offload it instead. This will delete the app but leave the data and cache intact. If you reinstall it later, you can pick up where you left off.

Obviously the data and cache will continue to take up space on your phone, so swapping is really only an option if you can spare the space. Also note that reinstallation is not possible if the app is later removed from the App Store.

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can tap Enable to have iPhone automatically unload apps for you. It always shows you how much you will save.

Clean up your photo app

This is another quick fix. Taking photos on iPhone is so easy these days that we probably have thousands of them stored in the Photos app. But how many do you really need to keep? Search and delete all duplicate, blurry, screenshots, whatsapp photo attachments and any other junk. Then remember to go to Recently Deleted and delete them from there as well.

Or do you go all out by uploading to cloud storage and then deleting everything in the Photos app? We’ll cover cloud storage options later in this article, but iCloud doesn’t count as cloud storage. It is a file synchronization service. Deleting something from your phone also deletes it from iCloud. People tend to forget that.

Also remember that deleting an iPhone album will not delete any of the photos in it. Unfortunately, this isn’t a quick fix for batch deleting images. Forgiveness.

Check photo apps and scan apps

Many people often overlook this. How many photo editing apps and scanning apps have you installed? Go into each one and see if they store old pictures and documents. If so, delete them.

Scanning apps are the worst culprits here. They’re great to use, but they eat old pictures.

Compress all videos and photos

4K videos and HDR photos are fabulous as the image quality is top-notch. But – and there is always a but – these types of files take up a lot of space. 4K videos can take up several gigabytes per file.

The best way is to get these videos from your phone. If you need to keep photos and videos on your phone, all future ones should be optimized. This keeps slightly lower quality and smaller versions on your iPhone while keeping the originals in iCloud.

Move files to the cloud

Remove downloaded music, videos, and podcasts

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The first thing you need to do is delete old or unwanted music, TV, movies and podcasts from the respective apps. Do you really still need to keep Breaking Bad Season 1 on your phone?

When it comes to music, erase the lot from your phone and sign up for Apple Music or Spotify instead. Why download when you can stream it? If needed, you can still occasionally download music from Apple Music or Spotify if you are somewhere without internet.

Remove any books you don’t need

Same with books – and I’m a big bad guy with over 500 in my Books app. Go through your downloaded books with a fine comb and remove the downloads from those that don’t necessarily have to be on your phone.

This is probably true of most mass-market fiction that you’re likely to read once and then never again. You can also drop War & Peace that you downloaded a few years ago to impress your date.

Delete any notes you don’t need

Next, it’s time to go through the Notes app. Some notes are stored locally on the device itself. So if you have notes like this, now is the time for a big clean.

Delete old iMessages

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Then go through your iMessages and delete any old ones. This does not apply to regular text messages as they do not take up any storage space on your phone – these are stored on the telephone company’s servers. But iMessages reside on your phone and Apple’s servers.

Tap each, then tap the sender’s name. You will see all attachments that the sender has sent you. Delete all the largest attachments for the biggest space gains.

Clear the Safari browser cache

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

You’ve probably figured out by now that all of these tips involve deleting content. So, the next deletion target is your Safari browser cache. Just go to Preferences > Safari and find the option to clear your browser settings. You’ll probably get a nice speed bump too.

Delete emails from the Apple Mail app

Next on the deletion hit list is Apple Mail. If you use it to download your emails to your phone, you’ll have to severely prune any emails that you no longer need. I’m sure all the notifications and pizza delivery confirmations can go as well as all the information you can easily access back online should you need it.

Delete iOS backups

The last thing you should consider to wipe storage is iPhone backup (and iPad backup if you have one). This is generally not advisable because if you need to erase your iPhone or iPad you will need to backup all your data back. So deleting the backup would be a really bad idea.

However, if you are really desperate for storage space, you should take the risk of deleting the backup and create a new one later. To find your backup, tap your name at the bottom of Settings and go to iCloud > iCloud Backup. Scroll down to find your backups.

Read more: How to remove a virus from an iPhone

frequently asked Questions

Is it possible to add an SD card to an iPhone?

No, you cannot add an SD card to an iPhone.

Can you upgrade the storage on an iPhone?

No, this is not possible.