free up iPhone space

How to Free Up iPhone Space

If you’re constantly taking photos and downloading new apps on your iPhone, you may quickly run out of space. But did you know there’s a few other culprits on your device that are taking up more space than they should? Before you force yourself to part with apps and photos you would rather keep, take these steps to free up iPhone space.

Step 1: Clear Recently Deleted Photos

In iOS 8 Apple added a “recently deleted” photo album which temporarily saves pictures that you deleted just in case you regret your decision, just like your Recycle Bin on your PC or the Trash on your Mac. The problem is that if you want to free up space immediately, you’ll have to take an extra step before your pictures are actually gone.

Open up Photos, and got to the Recently Deleted album. Tap Select on the top right, and then tap Delete All on the bottom left.

free up iPhone space

Step 2: Delete Old Messages

Messages can take up a massive amount of storage without you realizing it. Every time you send or receive a photo via text or iMessage, that photo is saved as an attachment in your conversation thread. If you don’t delete your old conversations, the sheer amount of messages plus attached photos can quickly add up to a significant chunk of space on your iPhone.

If you want to reclaim this space, open up the messages app and swipe right on the conversation you want to delete. A red delete button should be revealed on the right, allowing you to wipe away that conversation. If you want to tackle a few conversations at a time, instead tap edit on the top left, which will allow you to select and delete multiple conversation threads.

free up iPhone space

Step 3: Clear the Facebook Cache (and Other Apps)

Some apps can be real space hogs – even when they’re not in use. Facebook, for example, can hold hundreds of Megabytes of data in a cache even if you force the app closed. Unfortunately there’s no free, easy way to clear the cache – but deleting and reinstalling the app will do the trick (but you may want to be on Wi-Fi so you don’t waste your mobile data in the process). Try this with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to start.

On my personal iPhone 5, I freed up over 350 megabytes of space just by deleting and reinstalling Facebook. At an average of 2.3 MB per photo, there’s now space to snap at least 150 more! This cache will eventually build up again – a day later with regular use of the app it had built up another 100MB, but in the meantime there is still room to take plenty of photographs or install other apps.


Have any other tips on how to free up iPhone space? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

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