8 Ways to Avoid the Message That Every iPhone User Dreads

It’s a moment of panic with which we’re all familiar: we go to download the latest software update, take a photo of the adorable thing our kids are doing, or buy the latest and greatest app, and our iPhone denies us. Our storage is full, and it’s terrible. If you, like us, have found yourself in this situation more times than you’d like to admit, it’s time to check out this list from Good Housekeeping on smart ways to clear up some storage space on our iPhones. Follow all of them, and you’ll always have space, without having to give up the music and apps you love and use most. Read on to see how it’s done.

  1. Check your apps’ storage usage . . .

    Some apps take up a lot more space and use a lot more data than others. Check how much by heading to Settings > General > Usage and checking out the list there. Then . . .
  2. And delete the apps you don’t use.
    Doug Belshaw via Flickr

    Get rid of the most data-and-storage-hungry apps, especially if you don’t use them often. If you’re not using an app at all, delete that one too, even if it doesn’t use a lot storage. Every bit helps!
  3. Delete cookies and your browser history.

    This regular maintenance step applies to your phone as much as it does to your computer. After all, smart phones are basically tiny computers in our hands, are they not?! Clear out cookies and browsing history by heading to Settings > Safari, scroll down, and tap “Clear History and Website Data.” You can also set your phone to block cookies on this screen.
  4. Back everything up.

    Whether it’s to your computer, iCloud, Dropbox, or one of the many other data back-ups out there, be sure to back-up your phone regularly. Once you’ve backed-up documents, videos, and pictures, there should be little to no need to keep them all on your phone anymore— and while we’re on the subject of photos . . .
  5. Optimize your storage.
    Cheon Fong Liew via Flickr

    If you have iCloud set up, this option is a great one to save you space. Just go to Settings > Photos & cameras > Optimize phone storage. Full resolution versions of your photos will hang out in the iCloud, where’s there room, and leave low resolution versions on your phone that take up a lot less space.
  6. Stop doubling up on photo files.

    Photos dominate the use of phones’ storage space, and this default setting is one of the reasons. If, when you take pictures, you use the High Dynamic Range (HDR) option that allows you to blend the best of three exposures, your phone may also be saving the “normal” version as well— i.e. two copies of the same pic! Silly. Make it stop by heading to Settings > Photos & cameras and deselecting Keep Normal Photo.
  7. Don’t save your Instagrams.

    Same idea goes for all those Instagram photos. You don’t need to save copies on your phone—
    that’s what the site’s for, after all! In the Instagram app, head to Options and deselect Save Original Photos.
  8. When in doubt, delete, delete, delete.

    Whether its old text messages, music you don’t listen to anymore, or a podcast way out of date, do a regular purge of the files on your phone. You can also change how long your phone automatically holds onto messages by heading to Setting > Messages and exploring the options under Keep Messages.

Follow any and all of these tips, and you should find yourself with plenty of space on your iPhone for updates, new photos, and the latest apps. Did we miss any? Head on over to Good Housekeeping to see the rest of their tips, and add any of your own in the comments.