6 Tips to Free Up Tons of Storage Space on iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch
Are you feeling the pinch of the limited storage capacity on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch? If you are running low on space, check out these tricks to greatly ease any potential storage squeeze you may be experiencing with your iOS gear.
1: Regularly Remove Photos & Video
If you use iCloud and have Photo Stream enabled, every picture and video taken on an iPhone is going to sync to the iPad automatically, and vice versa. These pictures can easily be 2MB each, and videos quickly approach hundreds of MB, and with several hundred (or thousand) of photos, you’ll quickly eat up storage space. The best thing to do is to regularly transfer photos from the iOS device to a computer and use the computer as a primary backup, and then delete the pictures from the iPad. Signing up for a paid iCloud account will also help ease the local storage burden.
2: Delete All Music
Keeping Music on the iPhone and iPad in particular is unnecessary, so do yourself a favor and remove all the music and then take the time to set up and use iTunes Home Sharing to play music from a computer while at home or the office. Consider signing up for a service like iTunes Match when on the go, which lets you play music from your iTunes library from anywhere thanks to iCloud. Also, apps like Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify, Rdio, and others are great ways to stream music to the iPad and iPhone without actually taking up precious storage space on the device. I always store a few albums on my iPhone just in case I’m out of cell range, but my iPad has no local music storage because I exclusively stream on the device.
3: Find Where Storage is Being Used and Clean Up
It’s easy to check how much storage is available in iOS, and the same screen tells you which apps are taking up the most space. If you find a particularly hefty source, consider removing it. This leads us into the next few tips…
4: Delete Completed Games & Unused Apps
Some apps are enormous, the popular game Rage HD for example takes up 2GB of space. If you already beat the game and no longer play it, why bother storing it on your iPad or iPhone? Delete old finished games and unused apps to free up a the space for the new. Remember, every app you own is free to redownload again in the future, so deleting the app from the iOS device does not mean it’s gone forever.
5: Remove Watched Videos
HD video content takes up enormous amounts of space, each file can range from 500MB to several GB! Don’t forget to delete a movie, TV show, or video podcast after you’ve finished watching it. You can always download or stream it again if you want to view it later.
6: Prefer Standard Definition Videos
Along the lines of the previous tip, if you have an iPhone or non-retina iPad you can prefer standard definition videos over HD and save a lot of storage space. Most people won’t notice the difference on the smaller screen resolutions and non-retina displays anyway. This is a setting found in iTunes when connected to a computer, under “Options” just check the box next to “Prefer standard definition videos” and SD content will be preferred over HD. Even still, don’t forget to delete the videos when done with them.
All done? You can quickly check your available storage situation in iOS Settings, it’ll look something like this:
You should have some space available now, if not quite a bit of available capacity.
Realistically, you should never run out of space on an iPhone or iPad, though you could argue that an iPod touch with tons of music is pretty easy to max out. Hopefully all future iOS devices will include a minimum of 32GB or greater of storage, but thanks to iCloud, streaming, and some simple app management practices, it’s very easy to get by on 16GB or less of space. In fact, most of our friends and families devices never even come close to approaching their storage limits, which is why we continue to recommend the 16GB iPad for new buyers.
Do you have any space saving tips for iOS? Do you do anything special to manage capacity on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad? Let us know in the comments!