How To Free Up iCloud Storage On Your iPhone

Setting up a new iPhone is surprisingly simple. However, maintaining enough storage space across iCloud can be a difficult task. And if you’re a habitual user, you’ve most likely been presented with the ominous factory message claiming your iPhone cannot be backed up because there is no more iCloud storage space available. Now, at this juncture, Apple will present you with a few options to help remedy the issue. All of which, though, include an additional monthly charge tacked onto your bill.

Why does this even matter, you may ask? Well, if preserving the likes of your contacts, photos, notes, and emails not only on your iPhone but across all Apple devices is of the utmost importance, then sufficient iCloud storage is a must. Luckily, there are some tips and workaround tricks to get you some of that valuable iCloud storage back without dropping a dime on additional space. You get 5GB of free storage, so you might as well make the most of it. Here’s how.

First Things First

How Much Storage Do You Have?

Before we even dive into a more detailed step-by-step process, it’s imperative to know how much of your 5GB of free iCloud storage is still available and/or used up by expendable data. Meaning, old text messages, unused contacts, and old photos/videos taking up way too much valuable space. Deleting said content will be explained a bit further in our additional sections but in order to have an idea regarding their “weight” on iCloud, you must access your data storage.

Accessing Your Available Storage

Accessing your data is actually quite simple. No need for fuss or travel to the nearest Apple Store to consult the Geniuses. Here’s how to quickly learn more about how much iCloud storage you have:

If You’re Using iOS 10.3 Or Later:
1. Go to Settings
2. Tap [your name]
3. Tap iCloud
4. Tap Storage

If You’re Using iOS 10.2 Or Earlier:
1. Go to Settings
2. Tap iCloud
3. Tap Storage

From here, you can free up storage by deleting content. This includes old iCloud Backups, videos, photos, files, mail, and text messages. You’ll also see how much of your 5GB of space is taken up by the types of content and even manage which applications work to automatically backup their data on iCloud.

Manage Your iCloud Backup

Only Save What's Necessary

This brings us to the next topic at hand — mitigation. Here, once access has been granted to the iPhone’s Storage, you can actually decrease the size of the Backup and free up some space in iCloud by turning off Backups or deleting iCloud Backups for apps you’re not using. This is beneficial because the majority of iPhone Backups (including documents, photos, and videos) are automated. So, it only makes sense that preventing non-essential applications from garnering key Backup memory serves to reserve more space for your essential information and content.

Managing Your Valuable Storage

Option 1: Choosing Which Apps To Backup (for iOS 10.3 or later):
1. Head to Settings, [your name], then iCloud
2. Tap iCloud Storage, then Manage Storage
3. Tap the name of the device
4. Now, under Choose Data to Backup, turn off any and all apps you don’t wish to backup
5. Choose Turn Off & Delete

Option 2: Deleting Backups And Turning Off iCloud Backup Altogether (for iOS 10.3 or later):
1. Head to Settings, [your name], then iCloud
2. Tap iCloud Storage, then Manage Storage
3. Tap the name of the device
4. Tap Delete Backup, then Turn Off & Delete

Either of these two options will work to free up additional space in iCloud as well as mitigate any unwanted data from reserving space within the 5GB window while a blind eye is turned. Also, keep in mind that it’s just as easy to turn on iCloud Backup for newly desired apps along with alternating between which apps make the most sense to backup at specific moments in time.

Time To Tidy Up

6 Easy Steps

Circling back to content management within the iPhone, there’s still plenty you can do to ensure enough space remains within the 5GB threshold without deleting or roadblocking applications from automatic backups. Let’s chalk this up to simple housekeeping, equivalent to a diligent spring cleaning to rid your iPhone of unwanted files, messages, photos, videos, and voice memos. Because believe it or not, while an individual file might not take up a ton of space, several hundred of these left to accumulate unsupervised can lead to a storage headache. Here’s a six-step process to help clean things up.

  1. Reduce Size Of Your iCloud Photos:
    1. Open the Photos app and tap Photos at the bottom of the screen
    2. Tap select and choose the photos you’re hoping to delete
    3. Tap [trashcan icon] and then tap Delete Photo

  2. Reduce Size Of Your Photo Library:
    1. Discover how much storage is consumed by the photo library ( see above)
    2. Delete any and all photos you no longer want or need
    3. Save photo library to Mac and turn off Photos in the Backup settings

  3. Delete Files In iCloud Drive:
    1. Go to the iCloud Drive app and tap Select
    2. Choose the files that you want to delete
    3. Tap Delete then delete from iCloud Drive

  4. Delete Messages And Manage Email:
    1. Swipe left across any message to delete it
    2. Tap your Trash folder
    3. Tap Edit then Delete All to get rid of all trashed emails

  5. Delete Messages And Manage Email:
    1. Swipe left over the conversation you want to delete
    2. Tap Delete twice to confirm you want to remove the conversation and all shared attachments

  6. Delete Voice Memos:
    1. Open Voice Memos and delete the recording you’d like to remove
    2. Opened your Recently Deleted folder
    3. Select all recordings and tap Delete to permanently delete them

And that about does it. Pretty simple stuff we know. It’s mostly just understanding the Apple ecosystem and remaining diligent in how often you perform a “clean sweep” within the phone’s settings and management features. However, keep in mind there’s no such thing as an unlimited memory — unless you’re paying for it — so if cheaper is preferred (in our opinion nothing beats free) then these basic know-hows are the best way to make the most out of the modest amount of iCloud storage made available with each iPhone purchase.

The 8 Best AirPod Accessories

Now that your iPhone has room for more music streaming apps, why not make the most of your listening experience with some AirPod accessories? If you need protection for your charging case or some additional security while crushing your workout at the gym, getting your hands on the best AirPod accessories would be a great place to start.

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