Is your iCloud storage full? 5 tips on how to free up space
Is your iCloud storage full? Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. Even if you’ve recently purchased an Apple device, the free 5GB that comes with your Apple ID isn’t sufficient for storing a large number of images, files, and iPhone backups. While buying more iCloud storage space or upgrading to a higher plan is the ideal solution, you can free up a significant amount of space by decluttering your iCloud account. In this guide, we’ll provide five easy tips to help you free up space in iCloud.
First, it’s a good idea to determine what’s consuming the most space in your iCloud. Navigate to the iCloud section in your device’s settings app and select Manage Storage. You’ll see a bar chart displaying the types of files taking up your iCloud space. Backups, photos, and messages are usually the main culprits. Scroll down for a detailed list of installed apps and the amount of iCloud storage they use. This information will help you identify the areas where you can make the most significant changes to free up space.
Backups of your devices are often responsible for a full iCloud storage. If you had your old iPhone set to automatically upload backups to the cloud, those files might still be taking up storage space, even if you no longer need them. To delete unnecessary backups, open iCloud from the Settings app on iOS or the System Preferences app on MacOS. Click or tap Manage Backups to view all the backups saved in your iCloud account. Delete the ones you no longer require to free up storage space. Additionally, check which individual apps are backing up to your iCloud account and disable backups for apps that don’t require it.
Another way to save space is by managing your messages. Over time, text messages and iChat threads can accumulate and occupy a significant amount of storage, especially if you send a lot of photos or emojis. To reclaim space, open the Messages app and delete individual messages or entire conversations. Remember that deleting messages on one device will remove them from all your Apple devices. Alternatively, you can choose to delete message attachments, which often consume a disproportionate amount of space. Tap the contact’s name within a conversation, click the info button, select See All Photos, and delete the attachments you no longer need.
Email attachments can also consume a considerable amount of iCloud storage. If your iCloud account has stored years’ worth of emails, attachments may be taking up a significant portion of your space. Instead of deleting all your emails, iCloud Mail provides a convenient way to view emails with attachments sorted by size. Open iCloud Mail and select View, then Sort by Attachments. This allows you to delete emails with attachments quickly. Alternatively, you can set a specific size threshold and remove emails with attachments larger than that size.
Your photo library is likely to be the largest occupant of storage space within your iCloud account. Apple devices capture high-resolution photos and videos, leading to substantial storage consumption. Managing your photo library can help you reclaim significant space. Unfortunately, there’s no automatic way to identify unwanted photos in your iCloud library, so it’s up to you to review your albums and delete unnecessary photos. Additionally, crop videos to keep only the parts you want to keep and delete any outtakes. Deleting photos doesn’t immediately free up storage because they are moved to the Recently Deleted album. To reclaim the space, navigate to the Recently Deleted album and remove all the files from it. Going forward, it’s a good practice to delete unwanted photos immediately and consider moving older albums offline if you don’t require immediate access across devices.
iCloud Drive stores copies of various files, including documents, PDFs, and application files. Over time, your iCloud Drive can become cluttered, similar to messages, mail, and photo libraries. The easiest way to clean iCloud Drive is through
a computer, but it can also be done on an iPhone or iPad. On a Mac, open the iCloud Drive folder in Finder and sort files by size, type, or creation date. Delete any files you no longer need.
In summary, with files from the entire Apple ecosystem syncing to iCloud, it’s easy for your storage to fill up quickly. Regularly dedicating a few minutes to clean your storage space can free up space, help you stay organized, and prevent the need to purchase additional storage. By following these five tips, you can address the most common causes of a full iCloud account. If you continue to experience space issues, consider exploring additional resources on how to optimize storage on your Apple devices.