iOS Spring Cleaning: Free up iPhone, iPad & iPod space with these 5 Tips

It's Spring Time!! That means it's time to clean up and get organized. One of the minor drawbacks with iDevices is the inability to upgrade storage. Have you ever encountered the dreaded “Cannot Take Photo. There is not enough available storage.“? That’s a message you don’t want to see on your iDevice. Especially if there’s a new iOS upgrade, which means you need at least 1 to 3GB of free storage. (i.e. iOS 7.0.6. or new versions like iOS 7.1) Whether you want to or not, it's time to clear up some space, fast! So let’s get spring cleaning started early this year.

Problem: What’s Using Up Most Of Your Storage?

Let's begin by looking at which Apps are using the most space. Go to Settings > General > Usage. Give the Storage section a few seconds to load. Once it's loaded, you’ll see all of the Apps installed on your iOS device, as well as how much storage space each is taking up.

The list sorts in order of most storage used to least. Pay close attention to the ones up top.

1. Delete Apps

Take a look at your installed Apps and ask yourself which ones you don’t really need or use. (Photo editors you never use, games you haven’t played in months, etc.) Now let's delete them by tapping on the App(s) you no longer want and then selecting "Delete App".


2.  Photos & Videos

Do you take a lot of photos? Shoot lots of videos? Snap ten selfies before you found the right one worthy of Instagram?  Videos files are huge and use up a lot of storage space. However, your photos can take up a huge chunk of space too. I'm sure you don’t need all those photos you’ve taken in your back pocket. (You do? Check out Dropbox.) So let's get to it, delete the duplicates (and blurry shots) and back up the rest.

  • Delete multiple photos at a time: Go to your Photo App. Open the images in thumbnail view, tap Select, and choose the photos you want to delete; tap the trashcan icon and then tap Delete Photos. Done!

3.  Music

Keep your music collection stored on your computer. Only keep the songs you really ,really love on your device. Besides, let's face it, do you really NEED 13+ HOURS of Music stored on your phone? (Try Spotify.)

  • Delete songs you haven’t listened to in months (YES, DO IT): Go to the Music App. In any song list view, swipe from right to left on a song, and tap the Remove button to delete the song from the device. (This won’t delete it from your iTunes library!)
  • Switch to iCloud: Think about keeping all your music on the cloud. Just hear me out. You’ll still have access to your music, but it won’t take up any storage on your device. Not bad, right? Word of caution: if you’re in NYC, you won’t have access to those jams underground. (Something to keep in mind.)
  • Use Music-Streaming Apps: Use a service like Pandora or Spotify to stream music. They take up FAR, FAR less space and you get to hear an almost unlimited supply of music without having to download them all. It’s a win-win move.

4. Clear Cache*

Cache stores information on your device daily and is meant to speed things up. It remembers what you’ve searched for, and keeps images from websites you visit so they load faster the next time. But, cache can take up more space than you think, so we need to delete that stuff.

  • Get rid of your cache: Go to Settings > Safari. Tap on Clear Cookies & Data. While you’re here, you might as well clear your history (tap Clear History). To delete data from certain websites go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data. Tap Edit, and select the red bar next to the ones you want to erase. Tap Delete.

*Heads up: clearing your cache will erase your settings from websites you’ve visited. Meaning, websites won’t remember you the next time you visit. You’ll have to enter your usernames and passwords again and you can expect them to load a bit slower.

5. Messages

If you send or receive more than just a handful of texts per day, DELETE some. You should also get rid of conversations with a lot of photo and video attachments. The photos and videos you receive are not saved to your Camera Roll. But, they take up storage space.

  • Delete iMessage threads: Get rid of conversations with lots of photos or videos. Go to Messages, decide which ones you want to delete, swipe from right to left, and tap Delete.
  • Delete individual messages: Don’t want to let go of entire conversations? Get rid of selected messages instead. Go to Messages, select a conversation, tap and hold on a chat bubble; tap More and select the messages you want to delete. Once selected, tap the trashcan icon on the left-hand side. Tap Delete Messages.