How to Check Available Storage on an iPhone or iPad.
There’s never enough storage space on your iPhone or iPad, especially when you need it most. Before you go on a trip or shoot a long video, it’s best to check the available storage space on your iOS device.
How to check how much space you have left
To find out the 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’re using).
At the top of the screen, you will see the used space on your iPhone or iPad. To find out the available space, subtract the used space from the total storage capacity. For the screenshot below, that would be 64 GB minus 22 GB, which is 42 GB of available storage space.
The chart provides a visual description of how storage space is being used.
How to free up storage space
Running out of space on your iPhone or iPad? There are a couple of ways to free up storage space. You might be familiar with the usual suggestions: delete photos and apps.
But if you’ve already done that (or if you’re not about to limit your photo library), try some of the options below.
Enable iCloud Photos
iCloud Photos uploads all photos and videos to iCloud and automatically removes old media from local storage. This process only happens when you’re running low on storage space, and you can redownload content from iCloud at any time.
To enable this feature, open the Settings app, go to the “Photos” section, and turn on the “iCloud Photos” option (for iOS 12 and earlier, it will read “iCloud Photo Library”). Next, make sure “Optimize iPhone storage” is checked (this will remove old media when necessary).
For an iPhone or iPad user with the entry-level storage option, simply enabling iCloud Photos (iCloud Photo Library) will take care of most storage space issues (as long as you have enough iCloud storage space Drive).
Automatically download unused apps
If you are using iOS 12 and above, you will see an option called “Unload unused apps” just below the storage space graph on the iPhone/iPad storage screen.
Once enabled, iOS will automatically remove older apps that you haven’t used for a while. It will only delete the app and won’t touch the app data. In the future, when you download the app, your data will be available again.
Delete app or app data
Below the storage space graph, you’ll find a list of apps that take up the most storage space (ordered by largest apps on top). Touch an app to see the breakdown of storage space between the app and app data.
From here, you can tap “Download App” to only download the particular app (and not touch the app data). You can also tap on “Delete App” to delete the entire app, along with the app data.
There will be times when the app data takes up much more space than the app itself. This is most common for podcast apps, music apps, and audiobook apps. In that case, you need to open the app and delete the downloaded data to free up space.
Optimize iCloud Music Library
If the Music app appears at the top of the list of apps in the Storage section, take a look at Optimize storage for iCloud Music Library. It will limit offline downloads of Apple Music to a couple of gigabytes.
To set it up, open the Settings app and go to the “Music” section. Here, confirm that “iCloud Music Library” is enabled and scroll down to find the “Optimize Storage” option. Touch it and change the function of the next page.
In the Minimum Storage section, select how much music you’d like to have on your iPhone or iPad at all times. If you choose “None,” Apple will remove all music if it’s running out of space and other features need it (for example, if you’re recording 4K video). Apart from that, you can also choose the 4, 8, 16 or 32 GB option.
Keep checking your storage space about every month. If you find that you’re always running low on storage, turn on iCloud Photo Library, Optimize Storage for Apple Music, and Download Unused Apps to automate the process of cleaning up your storage space.