26 Nov 2017
4 min read
My 16GB iPhone says it's low on storage all the time. What are some steps I can take to clear storage?
-- Sandeep Pyakhurel
There's nothing worse than getting that dreaded 'Storage almost full' message pop up every single time you're trying to take a picture. Here are a few tips to free up space on your iPhone without deleting all your memories. You should start by assessing which apps and what data are hogging so much of your storage. Go to Settings > General > Storage. There you can see how much room each app is taking up, and prioritise. On the same section of the Settings app, you can find a bar graph showing which kind of data is using how much storage; keep that info in mind as that info will come in handy later.
More often than not, the 'Photos' bar is probably the biggest since photos and videos take up the most storage. There are a few ways to manage them. Best way to go about this is to go through your Photos app once and delete all the old pictures that you don't need. While this process does clear out a lot of storage, it's very tedious work, and more importantly, it's not the fastest, nor the smartest method. The fastest method would be to offload all your pictures to another medium--your computer, iCloud, Google Photos, etc--and then delete the pictures from your phone. But even then you're not done yet; photos you 'delete' are still saved in the 'Recently Deleted' album; be sure to empty that out to maximise space. Now, once you've deleted the unnecessary pictures and/or offloaded everything to another storage space, there are a few steps you can take so that you don't have to do this every week. First up, turn off Live Photos. Sure, Live Photos seems fun, but it also eats up your storage pretty quickly, so it's best to turn it off completely. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Preserve Settings > Live Photos. Or, just tap the 'Live' icon when you're on the camera app to turn it off and back on when needed. Similarly, while the HDR feature is pretty useful as it takes arguably better photos than when turned off, it saves one high-quality photo and one low-quality one, i.e. two photos every time you click the shutter. If you're low on storage, it's better to turn it off and manually turn it back on only when needed.
This step is easy: Simply go through your home screen and delete all the apps that you don't use regularly. We all have that app or game that you only downloaded because your friend didn't shut up about, only to open it three times before it was forgotten. But what about the apps that you actually use every hour? Social media apps tend to take up a lot of storage space for some reason, so just uninstall and re-download them and that gets rid of all the data. Then just log in again and you're back in business, with more storage than ever.