6 Hacks to Help You Free Up Storage on Your iPhone

Over time an iPhone’s storage can easily get filled up, with years’ worth of messages, images and different apps. To help clear space, we’ve got together with the experts at mobile phone retailer Fonehouse to reveal six tips and tricks that iPhone users may not be aware of….

Your iPhone may be full of things you don’t really need which take up a lot of valuable space. To find out what’s taking up storage:

Go to Settings > Tap General > Tap iPhone Storage. 

At the top, you’ll see a color-coded bar showing how much space you have left, how much is taken up, and what’s taking it up. You will also see a ‘Recommendations’ header with suggestions from Apple on how to clear storage which you can follow.

1. Clear Safari Caches:

If you often use your iPhone to browse the web, your phone may be storing caches and other data that you don’t need. Clearing your browser cache can help to free up some space. To do so on Safari:

Open Settings > Go to Safari > Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data. 

If you use Chrome, follow these steps to clear its cache:

Open the Google Chrome app > Tap the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner > Tap Clear Browsing Data > Choose which browsing data you want to clear > Tap Clear Browsing Data.

2. Clear App Caches:

Unlike browsers, most apps don’t give you access to their cache and any other data they store. In iPhone storage, it will show a list of your apps sorted by how much storage they use. You can tap on each app to see how much storage the app itself uses and how much is taken up by the app’s documents and data. If certain apps are taking up a lot of space, it’s most likely cached data. To clear this:

Open Settings > Go to General > Go to iPhone Storage > Tap an app at the top of the list > Tap Delete App > Go to the App Store and reinstall the app.

3. Delete Attachments in Messages

When texting, pictures, videos, memes or GIFs are often sent. However, all that content is stored on your iPhone even if you didn’t save it. They can quickly add up and be using valuable storage. To clear them: 

Go to Settings > Tap General > Tap iPhone Storage > Scroll down and tap on Messages > You’ll see a list: Top Conversations, Photos, Videos, GIFs and Stickers, and Other. Tap on the category that occupies the most space > Tap Edit > Select all attachments you want to delete > Tap the bin icon.

Keep in mind that in Top Conversations, you’ll be deleting entire message threads, not just the attachments so if you don’t want that, stick to the other content.

4. Stop Storing Messages Forever

By default, your iPhone stores all the messages you send and receive forever. If you’re not bothered about saving your old text messages and to stop your iPhone from saving messages forever, follow these steps:

Go to Settings > Tap Messages > Scroll down to Message History and tap Keep Messages > Change to 1 year or 30 days > You’ll see a pop-up message asking if you want to delete older messages, tap Delete to proceed.

5. Delete Attachments in WhatsApp

As WhatsApp stores all the photos, videos, voice notes and other attachments you’re sent, it can quickly and easily start to take up a lot of storage space. To free up some room:

Open the WhatsApp app > Tap Settings > Tap Storage and Data > Tap Manage Storage > You can then review and delete attachments individually.

Attachments are categorised into ‘Larger than 5 MB’ so you can easily find and delete those. It also orders your chats by size, so you can delete attachments from them individually or all in one go.  

6. Remove Duplicate Photos

It can be a common problem having lots of nearly identical photos on your iPhone which eat away at your storage. However, there is a simple way to delete duplicate images to clear some storage. To do so:

Open the Photos app > Go to Albums > Under the Utilities section, tap Duplicates > Tap Merge next to your chosen photos to delete duplicates.

If you want to delete your duplicates all in one go, instead of the last step, tap the three dots in the top right corner > Tap Select All to merge all of the duplicate photos.

Chris Price