I DO NOT RUN OUT OF STORAGE. And no, this is not because I just buy everything with 10TB of storage. It’s because I know how to handle all my files so that they’re gone when I’m done with them. So I thought that maybe I should teach you how to handle them too. In this guide, I’ll walk you through taking control of your storage, and the steps you need to take to get some of

So I thought that maybe I should teach you how to handle them too. In this guide, I’ll walk you through taking control of your storage, and the steps you need to take to get some of your iPhone storage under control.

Step 1: Who’s the culprit?

Of course, before you take action, you need to find out what’s causing it. “Doctor! My head hurts real bad!” “Well, we’re going to assume the worst-case scenario that you have brain cancer…” Hey, he could have just had a caffeine withdrawal.

But anyway, we must get on with it. Go to the home screen and open Settings. Scroll down and tap General

IMG_7451 Tap Storage and iCloud IMG_7453

Here, you can see how much storage you’ve used, and how much you’ve got left. To see who the culprits are, tap Manage Storage


As with most people, my main culprit is Photos, clocking up at 10.13 GB. We’ll sort that out first.


First, you need to consider one thing: is your photo storage less than 5GB, and if not are you willing to put some money on the table? If yes, great! You can buy some more iCloud storage (if applicable).

If you want to buy some more iCloud storage (which you might want to do even if your library is less than 5GB, as your photo storage will amass), it’s available in 50GB for $1 a month, 200GB for $3.25 a month, and 2TB for $9.13 a month. Use the following steps to get some:

From the home button, tap settings, and then tap your name. Scroll down until you hit iCloud  Tap Storage at the top. It might not look like you can, but you can.IMG_7458From here, it’s pretty obvious that all you have to do is tap Buy More Storage. IMG_7460After you’ve done this, or if you have less than 5GB of photos in your drive, go back to Settings, and find Photos and Camera.IMG_7462[1].PNGNow flick iCloud Photo Library on. Also, make sure that Optimize iPhone Storage is on because that puts compressed, lower-quality photos on your phone and puts the big ones on the cloud. IMG_7463Also, scroll down and flip Keep Normal Photo.IMG_7464[1]Other treatments for photos include tapping Record Video and turning it down a bit. We’ve only got a 5s here at DoubleGeek, but if you’ve got a 6s or later, that beautiful 4K that it shoots demands a big area compared to normal 1080p HD, and unless you’ve actually got a 4K display it’s not worth it. And if you’ve got a 4K TV, don’t bother, because Apple TV can only play 1080p, even if you’ve got a 4K screen.

To save some more space, open Camera and make sure that HDR and Live Photos are both off.

You may also want to sync all your photos to your computer. If you have a Mac, plug your iPhone in, unlock your iPhone and tap Trust this Computer. The Photos app will open on your Mac, with an Import tab. If you have a Windows computer, download iTunes, and follow the Microsoft Knowledge Base instructions for Windows 10Windows 8, and Windows 7. Note that you can’t do this if iCloud Photo Library is on.


OK, so the photos were really the main area. After Photos, the next most obvious thing to get rid of is Apps. Of course, I can’t tell you how to do your job. They’re your apps, after all. If you don’t know, you delete apps on iPhones by tapping and holding (make sure not to tap to firmly if you have a 6s or later) until they all jiggle


Music is another great way to pull storage. Unless you don’t have a big cellular data cap or data is very expensive where you are, streaming all your music is really no big change. To delete music, open Settings and tap General, and then tap Storage and iCloud Usage.IMG_7452

Tap Manage Storage

IMG_7453Now, tap MusicIMG_7454Tap Edit, in the top-rightIMG_7470[1]Now, just tap All Songs, or just the ones you want to delete. IMG_7471[1]Messages

Finally, if you’re an iMessage user, you can set messages to delete themselves after a time period. To do this, open Settings and tap MessagesIMG_7472[1]Scroll down and tap Keep Messages.IMG_7473[1]Here, you can choose to keep messages for 30 days, one year or forever. I recommend 30 days


So there you have it. All the different ways to reclaim your storage. I hope you enjoyed it!

What tricks do you have? Let me know in the comments!


3 thoughts on “Running out of Storage? How to reclaim the GBs (iPhone edition)

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