If you've run out of space on your iPhone, or you're trying to update iOS, you may want to free up some storage. Clearing out files and apps that you don't use anymore can keep your device performing well and give you plenty of room for fun new apps and new memories. Whether you want to remove old apps, delete pictures, or get rid of old music, you can get more free space in just a few minutes.
From Settings App
- 1Open the Settings app.
- 2Tap the "General" option.
- 3Select the "Usage" menu.
- 4Tap "Manage Storage" in the "Storage" section.
- 5Tap an app to view details. Each app in the list will display how much storage space it is taking.
- 6Tap "Delete App" to uninstall the app. Tap "Delete App" again to confirm.
On Device's App Screen
- Hold down each app you need to delete and release when you notice the apps on the screen start jiggling.
- Tap the X button on the left corner of the app you'd like to delete.
- Tap the "Delete" button to confirm the deletion.
- 1Open the Photos app.
- See this guide for details on backing up and deleting all of your pictures at once.
- 2Navigate to the pictures you want to delete.
- 3Tap the "Select" button.
- 4Tap each picture that you want to delete.
- 5Tap the Trashcan icon in the lower-right corner.
- 6Confirm that you want to delete the photos. All deleted photos will be removed from your Photo Stream as well.
- 1Open your Music app.
- See this guide for details on changing your iTunes sync settings, allowing you to quickly remove all the music of your choice.
- 2Find the songs you want to delete.
- 3Swipe the song from right to left.
- 4Tap the "Delete" button. Repeat for all the songs you want to delete.
- 5Open your Settings app.
- 6Tap the "Music" option.
- 7Toggle "Show All Music" off.
- 8Return to the Music app. All of your purchased but undownloaded songs should disappear from the list. It may take a little while for the changes to take effect.
Installing Updates with iTunes
- 1Plug your iPhone into your computer. If you are trying to update your iPhone and the update is too big, you can avoid deleting stuff by using iTunes to update.
- 2Open iTunes. It usually opens automatically after the iPhone is plugged in.
- If this is the first time plugging your iPhone into a Windows PC, you will need to tap the "Trust" button on your iPhone's screen.
- 3Select your iPhone. You can find it in the Devices menu on the left side of the window. If the sidebar is not visible, click View → Show Sidebar.
- 4Backup your iPhone. Select "Back up to this computer" in the Summary tab. ClickBack Up Now. The backup process may take a few minutes, but will come in handy if anything goes wrong during the update.
- 5Download the update files onto your computer. Click Update orCheck for Update. To start the update process, click Download and Update. The files will be downloaded to your computer, and then iTunes will begin updating your iPhone's system software.
- This method does not require any free space on your iPhone.
- 6Wait for the update process to complete. The update may take 20-30 minutes to complete. Your iPhone will reset multiple times during the update.
- 7Setup the iPhone. Your iPhone will guide you through the initial setup for your new version of iOS. Logging in with your Apple ID will restore all of your settings.
Clearing Out other Space-Taking Items
- Check and clear out as much of the Virtual Voicemail items that are contained on the device. Even when they have been deleted but not permanently deleted, they are still taking up space on the device. Clear that out so they don't show. If you have never checked Virtual Voicemail (which almost every iPhone has), it's the bottom right tab on the Phone app. (Preview the message) and on the same line that's open, tap "Delete" to those you won't need anymore.
- Clear out as much of the phone log (from the Recents list) as possible. Being all calls will show up in some form on your cellphone bill, a secondary copy generally isn't feasible. Open up the Recents tab from the Phone app and tap the Edit button followed by Clear or delete single items by swiping each entry to the left and tap the "Delete" button on the entries you don't need.
- Clear out unneeded documents (such as audiobooks that are saved on the device from other apps or other things (downloaded books from the Kindle or Nook apps) that can later be retrieved from the cloud on other devices elsewhere).
- Clear out most or some of your text message and iMessages from the Messages app on the device. Although not a big burden on the device to let them sit, they can take up a little bit of room and allow for a tiny bit more storage on the device.
- Make sure you review audio and visual messages (on iOS 8 and higher) too and try to clear them out rather quickly as these can take up space rapidly on the device
- Clean out your Notification Center area for all the alerts that are sitting around being unattended. Tap the X in the app grouping you'd like to clear out all in one shot, or tap an item from the list to view the item (however, watch out because tapping one item might clear out the entire app group altogether (such as in the case of the Twitter, Facebook and various other apps (but not Pinterest) in Notification Center)).
- Clean out some of your unneeded passes that could be now invalid from Passbook. However, be aware of which ones are being cleared to ensure whether or not they are or are not needed anymore. Stick to the fact of whether the account has been closed or changed or (for airline passes) whether the flight has been taken in the past or you need to act on it to ensure the differences are attended to soon.
- Listen to and clear out as many podcasts from the Podcasts app as possible (assuming you use that app or are downloading podcasts to the device or through the Apple Cloud).
- Clean out some of the saved website password and form data you have stored on the device. This can be found in your settings app.
- Clean out your web browsers history, cache and cookie data and other downloaded data. While Safari browser has this data stored in the Safari app under the Safari option, other browsers will have this data stored in their own app under the options triple beam bar area of most browser apps.
- Clear out some of your unneeded website tabs you no longer need our use from Safari and any and all website apps you own and use everyday. Not only will cleaning this up improve storage space, it will also improve performance. However, the process will depend on the app itself.