How to Check Available Storage on an iPhone or iPad

Displaying the storage distribution graph

There's never enough storage space on your iPhone or iPad, especially when you need it most. Before going on a trip or recording a long video, it is best to check the available storage space on your iOS device.

How to check how much space you have left

To find free storage space on your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app. Tap "General" and then select "iPhone Storage" (or "iPad Storage" if that's what you use).

Select the iPhone storage option under General in the Settings application

At the top of the screen, you see the space used on your iPhone or iPad. To find the available space, subtract the used space from the total storage capacity. For screen capture below, this corresponds to 64 GB minus 22 GB, which corresponds to 42 GB of available storage space.

The graph gives a visual overview of how the storage space is used.

Displaying the storage distribution graph

How to free up storage space

Do you lack space on your iPhone or iPad? You can free up storage space in several ways. You may be familiar with the usual suggestions: delete photos and apps.

But if you've already done so (or if you do not want to limit your photo library), try some of the options below.

Enable iCloud photos

iCloud Photos downloads all photos and videos to iCloud and automatically deletes old media from local storage. This process only takes place when you run out of storage space and you can re-download content from iCloud at any time.

To enable this feature, open the Settings application, go to the "Photos" section, then enable the "iCloud Photos" option (for iOS 12 and later, "iCloud Photo Library" will be played). Then, make sure that the option "Optimize storage of the iPhone" is checked (this will delete old media if necessary).

Enable the iCloud Photo Library feature from the iPhone settings

For an iPhone or iPad user with basic storage option, simply enable iCloud Photos (iCloud Photo Library) will take care of most storage space issues (as long as you have enough storage space in iCloud Drive).

Automatically unload unused apps

If you are using iOS 12 or later, an option titled "Unloading Unused Apps" will appear right below the storage space graph on the iPhone / iPad Storage screen.

Enable the automatic unload feature of unused apps

Once activated, iOS will automatically delete old apps that you have not used for a long time. This will only delete the application and will not affect the data of the application. In the future, when you download the application, your data will be available again.

Delete application or application data

Below the storage space graph, you will find a list of the applications that occupy the most storage space (sorted by the largest applications at the top). Tap an app to see the distribution of storage space between the application and the application data.

From there, you can press "Unload application" to unload only the particular application (and not touch the application data). You can also press "Delete application" to delete the entire application, as well as its data.

Remove the iPhone storage screen application

There will be times when the application data take up a lot more space than the application itself. This is most common for podcast apps, music apps, and audiobook apps. In this case, you must open the application and delete the downloaded data to free up space.

Optimize the iCloud Music Library

If the Music app appears at the top of the list of apps in the Storage section, see the topic Storage optimization function for the iCloud music library. It will limit offline downloads from Apple Music to a few gigabytes.

To set it up, open the Settings app and go to the "Music" section. Here, check that "iCloud Music Library" is enabled and scroll to search for the "Optimize Storage" option. Tap and switch the feature from the next page.

In the Minimal Storage section, select the amount of music you want to keep on your iPhone or iPad at any time. If you choose "None," Apple will delete all music if you run out of space and other features require it (for example, if you record a 4K video). Apart from that, you can also choose the option 4, 8, 16 or 32 GB.

Select Minimal Storage in Optimize Storage for Apple Music.

Keep checking your storage space every month. If you find that you still run out of storage, turn on iCloud Photo Library, Optimize Storage for Apple Music, and Unload Unused Applications to automate the storage cleanup process.

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