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How to Free Up Space on an iPhone

So, you’ve already pared down your music and looked through your pictures. What else can you do to free up space on your iPhone?

Don’t Store Texts Forever

Stored texts add up over time. Go to Settings, then Messages. Scroll down until you find Message History. Here, you can tap Keep Messages and change Forever to 30 Days or 1 Year. When your phone asks if you want to delete older messages, select Delete.

Delete Pictures and Videos in Messages

If you send or receive a lot of pictures or videos in your texts, that’s eating up space too. If you’re using iOS 11, go to Settings, then General, then iPhone Storage and scroll down until you see Review Large Attachments. Select it and you’ll see a list of all the attachments in your messages. Select Edit, and you can choose which ones to trash.

Clear Your Browser Cache

Safari stores web history and data, but this too can add up. Go to Settings, then Safari. Scroll down and select Clear History and Website Data. If you use Chrome as your browser, you can open up Chrome and tap the triple dot button at the top right. Then, select History. Scroll to the bottom and select Clear Browsing Data.

Clear Old Podcasts

You probably don’t need to save podcasts once you listen to them. If you manage your podcasts from iTunes, go to the podcast section and click on the settings button at the top left. It looks like a little gear. At the bottom there is a field that says Delete Played Episodes. Switch it to On and old podcasts will be deleted as you listen to them.

Use High Efficiency

If you take a lot of pictures, you should take advantage of High Efficiency, which is available on iPhone 7 and newer or on devices running iOS 11. Basically, it’s a photo format that uses less space than JPEG or HEVC. Go to Settings, then Camera, then Formats. Select High Efficiency.

Offload Unused Apps

When you have Offload Unused Apps selected, your iPhone will delete apps when you’re low on storage. Your data will remain, however. Select Settings, then General, then iPhone Storage. Next to Offload Unused Apps, select Enable.

Review What’s Taking Up Space

If you don’t know what apps and data are taking up all your storage, it’s time for a quick inventory. Select Settings, then General, then iPhone Storage. Here, you can see a list of each app and how much space it’s taking up. The list is arranged from most space to least space. Your phone will also tell you the last time you used each app. If you click on an app from this list, you can see how big the actual app is and the size of the data it’s using. Depending on the app, you may also have the option to delete some of the data. For example, if you select iTunes from this list you can delete individual songs. Finally, from here you can also delete apps. It’s a good idea to look for apps you haven’t used in a long time and delete them.