Storage on iPhone or iPad has always been a problem. These options come at a high price. Take the example of the iPhone 14 Pro. If the 128 GB version is offered at €1,329, you have to pay no less than €1,459 for the 256 GB version and €1,719 for the 512 GB version. As for the 1 TB model, it is offered at €1,979. The finding is even more bitter on the tablet side.
The iPad 10, which we were able to test, is offered in its basic 64 GB version. The risk of feeling cramped very quickly is significant. Even more for lovers of big games, videos or even photos in ProRAW.
However, by applying a few tips, it is perfectly possible to free up a lot of space.
Get an overview of your iPhone or iPad’s storage status
Before you start tampering with your phone or tablet, you will already have to start by identifying the source of your ailments. Is your iPhone or iPad running out of storage? Ok, but what’s taking up space?
The good news is that you won’t have to rack your brains. iOS has been integrating a dashboard entirely dedicated to this use for several versions.
Go to your device settings, then to the “General” menu, and then to the “iPhone Storage” or “iPad Storage” submenu. Pay your attention to the frieze located at the very top. It symbolizes the storage of your phone or tablet, with a set of different colors.
These colors, as the legend indicates, correspond to certain types of data. Applications, photos, system files or cache. And inevitably, the more space the colored part takes up, the more the associated data weighs heavily on the storage of your device.
Delete Unused Apps on iPhone or iPad
The first thing to do to free up space on your iPhone or iPad is, of course, to get rid of all those apps that you don’t use and that are polluting your device. To do this, you will have to go back to the “General” menu, then to the sub-menu entitled “iPhone Storage” or “iPad Storage”. And this time, we are not going to focus on the frieze.
iOS actually displays all the applications installed on your terminal at the bottom. They are listed in order, with the heaviest at the top of the list. Just tap on the application of your choice to access a slightly more complete sheet, a sheet which will indicate in particular the size of the application and the space occupied by the documents and data.
From there, you have two choices: you can download the application Where delete it. In the first case, it will delete the application, but not the associated data. In the second, you will delete the entire application and its data. Including the documents you created in it.
So what to do? Well, that will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If you don’t care about the app and what you created with it, delete everything. On the other hand, if you want to keep your documents for later, stick to the first option.
Enable automatic offloading of unused apps
Which brings us to this new trick, a trick that will save you some precious time. iOS 16 offers an option to automatically offload unused apps.
To access it, go back to the settings and to the “General” menu, then tap again on the “iPhone Storage” or “iPad Storage” submenu. There, if you haven’t done so yet, you will see a small box appear above the list of applications. An insert titled “Unused Apps” and containing a link soberly called “Activate”.
If you tap on this link, then your iPhone or iPad will automatically offload apps you don’t use when storage space runs out. So you won’t have to do it manually.
Delete documents from apps on your iPhone or iPad
Have you deleted or offloaded most of your unused apps, but want to go even further? Well why not intervene directly on the files and documents of the remaining tools?
The best example is still that of Filmic Pro. This application is really great when it comes to video, but it has its own way of storing videos shot through it. Basically, therefore, these are stored in the application, and they remain there even if you decide to transfer them to the photo gallery of the iPhone or iPad. After a while, you end up with duplicates. And that can be very heavy in the end.
To erase documents from an application, return to the storage menu. Then tap on the application that interests you and go down a little in the page. Documents stored in the application appear on the screen. Simply tap on the “edit” button to enter edit mode.
From there, all you have to do is hit the red button for each document you want to get rid of, and continue by hitting the delete button. It’s a bit long, I grant you, but it will allow you to free up a lot of space.
On the other hand, and even if it makes sense, it is imperative only delete the documents you no longer need.
Delete photos, videos and GIFs sent by Messages
Messages also tends to weigh heavily on an iPhone or iPad’s storage. And this for a rather obvious reason: all the photos, videos and animated GIFs that you send or receive are stored on your device.
But then again, if you need to clean up, it’s not complicated. Go back to the menu dedicated to your device’s storage and then go to Messages. iOS will show you the weight of conversations, but also that of Photos and GIFs. If you tap on “photos”, for example, then you will see all the photos sent and received on your device. All you have to do is tap on “edit” at the top right to delete the images you no longer need. And then you can do the exact same thing with GIFs.
And as much to warn you, if you have never done this cleaning, then you risk having some big surprises. The procedure may be a bit long, of course, but the results will be worth your efforts.
Delete photos, videos and GIFs sent by WhatsApp
However, it is possible that you are not using Messages, but another solution such as WhatsApp for example. And there, unfortunately, the procedure changes a little since everything will be done directly from the application.
After launching WhatsApp, you will need to go to the chats tab and tap on the one that interests you. Then, you will have to tap on its header to see the screen of its options. And it is by going to the “Media, links and documents” menu that you will see the list of all the media associated with these exchanges. You will then have to tap on the “select” button at the top right to switch to edit mode and delete the media you no longer need. Just note that you will also find three tabs at the top to restrict the display to media, links or documents.
And as long as you do, I also recommend that you go to WhatsApp settings to disable saving media to the iPhone camera roll. The option is located in the “discussions” menu, for those who do not know it.
Clean up in Photos
If you tend to shoot all the way, then perhaps most of the space taken up comes from Photos. And that also means that we will have to take matters into our own hands and clean up the application.
Start by going to the settings and in the menu dedicated to Photos. Make sure that the “optimize iPhone or iPad storage” option is activated. If not, tap on it to tell Photos to replace the originals of your photos and videos with smaller versions when storage runs out.
For the second step, you will have to open the application. Since iOS 16, Photos is indeed able to spot duplicates and it’s always a good way to save some space. Simply tap on the “Albums” tab. Then scroll down and tap on “Duplicates”. There, you just have to tap on the “merge” button of the photos of your choice. And if you want to go faster, you can tap on the “Select” button at the very top and continue by tapping on the “Select All” button that will appear at the top left. All you have to do then is tap on the “merge” button at the very bottom to merge all your images. However, consider checking before to start the operation.
But it is not finished. Go back to view all albums. Then go to the “Media Types” section. It will allow you to filter the contents according to their type. For example, you can display all videos, all Live Photos, all panoramas, all cinematic videos or even all RAW. And clean up at the same time, getting rid of the types of photos you no longer need.
Typical example, the RAW. The format is really great, but the photos shot in ProRAW weigh heavily. And if you imported them to your Mac or iPad to develop them, you don’t necessarily need to keep a copy on your iPhone. And vice versa. Same thing for videos, or even for screenshots.
By using these filters, you will therefore be able to quickly delete a large volume of files, and free up a lot of storage.
On the other hand, once the cleaning is finished, remember to open the “recently deleted” directory to permanently delete all the files that you have put in the trash. If you don’t, they will stay on your iPhone or iPad and they will continue to take up space.
Clear your browser cache
This is not necessarily the trick that will free up the most storage, but it is still important to know. Indeed, when you use a browser and visit sites, the application automatically stores data locally to allow you to view all the pages visited faster in the future. But now, this data can accumulate and take up space. It may therefore be interesting to delete them.
For Safari, for example, go to the settings and scroll down the page. After which, tap on the app name. Scroll down again and tap on “clear history, site data”.
Chrome works a little differently. You will have to open the application and tap on the three small dots on the far right. Then you will have to go down the list and tap on “clear browsing data”. Finally, the browser will show you a screen where you have to check the items to be deleted. Focus on cached files and just tap on “clear browsing data” at the very bottom.
And of course, you will have to repeat the operation for all your browsers.