Tips & more

A newbie’s guide to manage storage space on the iPad and iPhone

How to better manage storage space on the iPhone and iPad - a quick guide
Delete or offload apps, remove content from inside the apps, enable cloud storage, and more

A few easy tips to clean your iOS device from unused apps and better manage the storage space.

One of the reasons your iPad or iPhone gets slower and slower over time is that there is less and less space left on it.

Remember? When you buy the new iPad or iPhone, you spend the first few months playing with the apps. You were testing how your favorite apps perform on the new device or trying new apps.

It’s been a year or more since you were intensively exploring your new iPad, and some of these apps were not opened since then.

It’s a good habit to clean the iPad or iPhone from unused apps or poor photos. In this simple guide, you will quickly learn how to refresh your device without too much effort.

How to manage storage on the iPad and iPhone

The first thing you can do is check out how much space is left on your iPad – how much is taken by apps, and how much by photos and videos.

You can quickly check out how much space is left by going to Settings app, and then selecting “iPad Storage” (“iPhone Storage”).

How to quickly check out how much storage space is left on the iPhone and iPad
A storage bar graph will show you how much space is taken by apps, photos, media, and system

Too much space is taken by the apps you don’t use? Too many videos shot, and your iPhone can barely open an app? It’s time to make some space.

1. Delete some apps

You most probably know how to do it, so here is just a quick recap.

To delete the iOS app, go the Home screen on your iPad or iPhone:

  1. Tap and hold the app’s icon gently until it starts to jiggle.
  2. Tap the small “Close” icon in the top left corner of the app.
  3. Press Home button to close app management mode.
How to delete an iOS app easily

2. Offload some apps

Offloading the app is a great way to free up space, and you should use it (rather than deleting the app completely) if you think you will use the app some time soon.

The best thing is that after you offload the app, it remains on the Home screen. There is a small cloud icon next to the app’s name.

When you want the app back, simply tap its icon and the download will start immediately. There is no need to go to the App Store, find the app and download it as new.

The app will open with the exactly the same settings as before. There is no need to customize it or sign in again.

How to offload an iOS app on your iPad or iPhone?

  1. Open Settings app, then tap “General,” then “iPhone Storage.”
  2. Scroll down – you will see a list of apps, together with space they take. Tap the app you want to offload, and then tap “Offload App.”
How to offload an iOS app easily and why it is a better way to free up space on your iPad or iPhone

3. Remove downloaded content from the apps

Removing or offloading some apps may not be the solution if you are using these apps daily.

What can we do, then? Let’s remove unused content directly from these apps.

Many apps, such as Apple Music, Netflix, Kindle, or Audible, let users download content for offline use.

The thing is that you don’t need your entire music on the iPhone if you are going to jog for 30 minutes – you just need music for 30 minutes. You don’t need all your Audible audiobooks on your iPad for a 6-hour flight with Air Mode on – you just need one or two audiobooks.

All you have to do is to manage in-app content more often and leave only the songs, movies, or books you are truly going to use in the next few days.

Each app has a different way to remove the downloaded content. For instance, in the Netflix app, you can remove all downloaded movies and tv shows in the Settings, or one by one in the Download tab.

In the Kindle app, you can do it right in the Library view by tapping and holding the book and selecting “Remove from Device” in the dialog box.

Archive books in the Kindle app for iPad or iPhone to free up some space

4. Empty Camera Roll trash

Deleting a photo from Camera Roll doesn’t automatically free up disc space. The photos are still there – they are stored for the next 30 days in the Camera Roll trash.

There are two ways to empty Recently Deleted photos and videos.

First option

  1. Go to Settings app, tap “General,” then “iPhone Storage” (or “iPad Storage”).
  2. Tap “Empty” that’s next to “Recently Deleted Album.”
How to empty Recently Deleted Album on the iPad or iPhone

Second option

  1. Open Photos app, tap “Albums” on the bottom navigation bar, and scroll down to see “Recently Deleted.”
  2. Open the album, and tap “Select” in the top right corner. Then tap “Delete All” in the bottom left.
Remove trashed photos from iOS Camera roll

5. Enable cloud storage

Cloud storage is a great way to both back up photos and videos and better manage storage on the iPad or iPhone.

The easiest way to enable cloud storage is to use the Apple’s built in solution – via iCloud.

  1. Open Settings app, tap “General,” then “iPhone Storage.”
  2. Tap “Enable” next to “iCloud Photos.”
Easily enable cloud storage on the iPad or iPhone using the Settings app

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