If you receive a message saying your Apple device is out of storage capacity, try these steps:
What is using storage on the device, sorted most to least
Tap Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Storage (section): Manage Storage
Select any app to see how much space it uses, and tap Delete App to remove it. Some apps, such as Music and Videos, let you delete parts of their documents and data.
Example of freeing up space used by the Messages app
Tap Settings > Messages > Keep Messages > 30 Days
Photos taking up the majority of space
When it comes to photos you have a few options:
- Erase them (usually not what most people want to do)
- Pay for more iCloud storage (this is very cheap - $12/year)
- Use Google Photos app (this is free)
I personally use both options 2 & 3, and I'll explain why.
Paying for iCloud storage isn't fun, but thankfully it's cheap and the easiest solution, since it's baked into the operating system of the device. But just in case I decide to cancel iCloud, or if someone hacks my account, I also back up my photos to Google. Google Photos is a free app, and backups are cost nothing, so long as you leave it to the default setting of back up as high resolution.
Both methods back up photos and videos over Wi-Fi, keep thumbnail versions instead, and free up storage on your device.
Below are the settings to check for each:
Settings > Photos & Camera > iCloud Photo Library: On
Settings > Photos & Camera > iCloud Photo Library > Optimize iPhone Storage: On
Google Photos > Settings > Manage device storage > FREE UP SPACE
This removes photos & videos from your device that are already backed up.
*Only use this feature if you are NOT using iCloud, as removing pictures from a device also removes them from iCloud.