Some simple tips and tricks for freeing up storage space on your iPhone.

free iphone space

It’s not just homes and offices that get cluttered and need more space. Often space of the digital variety is also at a premium.


A common complaint among iPhone users is a lack of storage space, usually attributed to large apps or too many photos. Unfortunately, space on your iPhone is not expandable, so you have to work wisely with what you have if you don’t want to upgrade the entire phone.


Here are some tips on how best to free up some of the storage space on your iPhone.


Change your message storing defaults

By default, your iPhone is set to store your text messages forever. Changing this setting to either 30 days or a year, depending on your needs, will help free storage by clearing out older messages.


message storage default iphone


To do this, go to Settings – Messages and, in the Keep Messages section, choose the required option.


Clear your browser cache

Whether you use the default Safari browser or an alternative such as Chrome, it’s important to clear your cache periodically.


clear history safari iphone



If you’re using Safari, go to Settings – Safari and choose the Clear History and Website Data option.


clear history chrome app iphone


For Chrome, open the app and go to your history, using the phone and desktop icon on the bottom right. Select Show Full History and you’ll see a red Clear Browsing Data option. This will give you the option to clear your history, cookies, site data and cached files.


Manage your storage

If you know which apps are taking up the most space on your phone, you can delete the worst offenders.


manage storage iphone


To find out, go to Settings and under General, choose the Storage and iCloud Usage option.


Then choose the option Manage Storage. An ordered list shows which apps are taking up the most space, and you can decide which ones you no longer need. 


Clear your app data

Over time and with use, an app accumulates data.


manage app data iphone


You can choose Manage Storage and then tap an individual app to find out the app size and its data cache size.


The proper way to clear app data is to uninstall the app and reinstall it. However, there is a trick for forcing an iPhone to clear unnecessary data without your having to do this.


download movie itunes iphone clear space


Open the iTunes app and search for a movie that’s larger than the space you have available on your phone. We used The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition, at just under 9 GB. 


Tap the Rent button twice (don’t worry, you’re not actually going to rent it) and a warning will pop up, telling you there isn’t enough space for you to download the movie. Now go to Settings and you should see that a good chunk of space has been freed up. The phone we tested this on went from 2.21 GB of available space to 4.86 GB.


Don’t double-save photos

Taking photos in HDR mode will automatically save two versions of every photo you take – one HDR and the other normal. Luckily, if you like to shoot in HDR, you can change this setting to keep only the HDR version.


hdr photos normal off iphone


Go to Settings and then Photos & Camera. At the bottom, toggle the Keep Normal Photo option to off. Alternatively, you can choose to shoot with HDR mode off.


Use the cloud for storage

You don’t need to delete all your favourite photos and videos to free up space. Simply activate your iCloud storage or backup so that you won’t need to keep quite as many photos and videos on your phone.


icloud storage photos iphone


To enable iCloud storage for your photos, go to Settings and Photos & Camera. Enable the iCloud Photo Library option at the top. This will sync all your photos and videos to cloud storage.


Restore your iPhone

When your phone is plugged into iTunes, you may have noticed a section of your storage that’s labelled Other (the yellow section of the graph). This is an accumulation of various bits of data from your history of using the device. Backing up your iPhone and restoring it to its factory settings will get rid of this data.


restore iphone itunes


While your iPhone is plugged into the computer it’s synced with, go to iTunes and then to the Summary page for your phone. Click the Back Up Now option and then Restore iPhone.


Once the phone is reset, click Restore Backup to put everything back where it was. Be sure you have some time to spare, however, because this can take a while.


Expand your storage with an accessory

If you’re still struggling with space after all these tricks, consider an accessory such as a phone cover, which expands your storage – and sometimes battery life as well.


Mophie makes a cover which provides up to 64 GB of extra storage as well as 100% extra battery. Also consider the Kunercase, which is a battery case with a MicroSD card slot.


Storage at XtraSpace

At XtraSpace, we can’t help you with space of the digital variety. Instead, we offer clean, affordable self-storage units in a wide range of sizes, suitable for storing just about any personal or business items. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.


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