At one point in your life, you have probably struggled with trying to figure out how to clear space on your iPhone quickly, and without deleting precious photos/videos/memes from your device. You likely realized your phone was running low on storage because you tried to take a picture and found you couldn't, or you tried to download an app and couldn't. (Or you tried to watch a video and couldn't. Or you tried to take a voice note and couldn't. It goes on and on.) There's really nothing worse than whipping out your phone to snap a quick pic of your dog doing something outrageously adorable, only to be greeted with that pesky "iPhone storage too full" pop-up of death.
Walking around with a phone that has no storage is pretty dangerous when you think about it. Not only does it make it extremely difficult to download important updates for your device, but it prevents your phone from functioning properly as well. It's important to have space on your phone so that you can rely on it for all of its features — especially for safety reasons.
So, here I've put together a list of fool-proof storage-increasing hacks that actually work. Try them all, try one at a time, enjoy being able to rely on your phone more, without jeopardizing too much of the fun stuff.
1. Stop Saving Your Group Chats
I know, you live for your group chats and love being able to scroll back for ages and laugh at all the funny things your friends said. But, I'm sorry to say, your group chat is eating up your storage space. So, delete them — every day if possible, but once a week at the least. Sorry "Homegirls" you're getting the boot.
2. Get Rid Of Your Media-Heavy Text Threads
If you and your bestie send each other hideous and hilarious selfies all day and swap videos of animals doing cute things all night, chances are that your text thread with them is eating up a significant amount of your phone's storage. So go through your text threads and delete the ones that are have big media files. Just click on the "details" of your chat thread to see how much media your phone is saving.
3. Save Videos To The Cloud
Videos take up a ton of space, and they don't need to. Save all of your videos to your iCloud account instead — it won't take up space on your phone, but you can still watch them on your phone when you want to. Win/win.
4. Delete Podcasts After Listening
You probably forget to delete your podcasts after listing to them, but those forgotten media files are chewing up your storage space. I mean, when was the last time you listened to a podcast twice? Delete everything you've listened to and make sure you don't download too many episodes ahead of time.
5. Turn Live Photo Off
I know they look kinda cool, but live photos eat up way more storage than regular photos. So, unless you want to take one, keep it off — otherwise, you're basically giving away storage space for free.
6. Export Your Voice Notes
If you've got some voice notes that you can't part with, Airdrop or email them to yourself so that you can store them on another device.
7. Clear Browser Data
Head to Safari settings and regularly delete your browsing data and history. You can safely get rid of Safari's cache without logging yourself out of all your password protected accounts.
8. Stream Your Music
I know this sounds wild, but if you're really having on-going storage issues, you might want to consider getting rid of your downloaded music on your phone. You can sign up for Apple music which lets you stream without downloading, or you can just listen to the songs you have linked to your iTunes account in the cloud.
9. Get Rid Of Non-Essential Apps
Go through your apps and make sure you're only leaving room for the ones you use on the regular. If you've got a party planning app or a shopping app that you only use one a month, delete it, and then re-download it only when you're ready to use it.
10. Turn Off Your Photo Stream
If you're like me and forgot you even have your photo stream open to receive and transmit, you're going to want to change that asap. Your photo stream doesn't need to be on all the time, so head to photo sharing settings and turn it off.
11. Update Your Apps, And Your iOS
Sometimes, apps get updated to be more efficient and take up less space. So, update all the apps you have on your phone, then make sure you're using the latest operating system available. Head to your settings and check for an update at least once a week.
Do The Movie Trick
You might have heard of this trick before but never tried it because it sounds too complicated — you know, the one where you download a movie from iTunes and then miraculously get a ton of free space? Yeah, that one. Here's how you do it: head to the iTunes Store app and find a really long movie to download, like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers which is 6.83GB. Tap the "Rent" button twice, and then x-out of the "Not enough storage" pop up. You won't actually be renting the movie, but your iPhone will force clear some data to make room for the movie anyway. No one really knows why this happens, but if you check out your storage space before and after attempting to rent a long movie at max storage, you'll notice that the storage number does change.