iOS 8 “Update Cannot be Installed Because it Requires GB of Storage”? Here’s How To Install It Anyway
Excited to install iOS 8? Of course you are! But many of those who are trying to install the iOS 8 update have discovered they’re unable to do so because there’s not enough freely available storage on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Oh brother.
Just how much space is required to install iOS 8? For the iPhone and iPod touch, you’ll need nearly 5GB of space available, and for the iPad, you’ll need basically 7GB of space available… no, those are not small numbers, particularly if you have a 16GB device that is almost always full (like so many of us do).
So you have a few different options to get the installer to go and skip the “This update cannot be installed because it requires at least 50 GB of storage. You can make more storage available by deleting items in Usage Settings” error message. We’ll cover two methods, the best approach which is to use iTunes and install the update anyway, or the less-good approach which is to just start trashing a bunch of stuff until you have the capacity free. Use whatever method you want, but we recommend the iTunes update.
Option 1: Avoid the Storage Problem by Updating to iOS 8 with iTunes
This is preferable to the preferred method to install iOS 8 when a device has no available storage because you probably won’t need to delete anything to do it. Instead, you just backup your iPhone or iPad as usual, and install the update as usual. This works with iTunes in Mac OS X or Windows, here’s what you’ll want to do if you go this route:
- Update iTunes to the latest version through Software Update
- Relaunch iTunes and connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the computer through a USB connection
- Choose the iOS device and under the summary tab click “Update”
- Select “Download & Install” to begin the updating process
The reason this works to get around the device storage limitation is because the iOS 8 download is going to the computer rather than the device, preventing the need for the iPhone or iPad from having a huge cache available to store the download, install it properly, and reboot.
A variation of the iTunes approach is to download and use the iOS 8 ISPW files, which may be advantageous if you intend on installing iOS 8 on multiple devices that are the same, for example a family of iPads or iPhones that are the same model. That way you won’t need to download the firmware files again and again to perform the update.
Option 2: Delete a Bunch of Stuff to Free Up Space
This is the less desirable approach because, well, you’re deleting a bunch of stuff just to free up space to install the iOS 8 update. That likely means uninstalling apps that you like or use, trashing movies, deleting pictures, and just doing whatever it takes to free up a whopping 5GB of capacity. If you go that route, do copy your pictures from the iPhone, iPad, iPod to a computer first, otherwise they’ll be gone for good if you start trashing them.
Honestly, this is not the way to go unless you absolutely have to do it, and you’re much better off going with iTunes so you don’t have to remove a million and one things – unless you want to clean up your device anyway. If you go this route, you can follow our guide on tips to free up a lot of storage in iOS, just remember that to install iOS 8, it’s 5GB to 7GB that need to be freed up.