Are you nearing the end of your iPhone’s storage capacity? You might find it impossible to take a new photo or install an additional app. But do you really know what’s filling up your phone’s memory? Here are some tips to increase the storage capacity of your iPhone or iPad without spending a dime.
Efficiently Manage Your iPhone’s Memory
Unlike many of its competitors, Apple’s iPhone doesn’t come with a slot for a removable memory card. This means you can’t expand your phone’s memory with a microSD card as you can with an Android phone.
If you’re a photography enthusiast or a video game fan, you may quickly feel restricted. Especially if your iPhone’s storage capacity is limited to 16GB or 32GB. In such cases, every megabyte counts.
Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize and maximize your smartphone’s memory. This may be a tedious task but necessary to avoid problems and ensure smooth operation of your device. Luckily, there are tricks to extend your iPhone’s memory and free up space without having to delete everything.
Find Unused Apps
To start with, you absolutely need to conduct a comprehensive audit of your iPhone’s memory. This involves checking the total available space and identifying the most sizeable files. With a good search, you’ll likely find unused content such as videos, photos, apps, or music.
- Click on the gear-shaped icon to open the iPhone’s Settings
- Scroll down the window and click on General
- Select the iPhone Storage option or Storage Use, depending on your iOS version
- The new window will display a list of applications and files sorted by size
Next, clean up your apps and delete those that you don’t use anymore or only very rarely. Take the time to evaluate the usefulness of each app. If in doubt, don’t forget to offload the app.
- Press the name of the app you want to disable
- Click the blue button that reads Offload the App
This operation frees up the storage space used by the app while preserving the data and files related to that tool. This is very useful, especially for apps that you use occasionally but still want to keep on your device.
If you have a significant number of apps, you’ll be happy to learn that iOS has a feature that can automate this task. It will prompt you to activate this setting for each app.
- Go back to the iPhone’s Settings home page
- Click on the App Store category
- Press the Offload Unused Apps switch
Your iPhone will then take care of deleting unused apps while preserving associated data (documents, personalized settings, etc.). Note that reinstallation of the app can only happen if it is still available on the App Store.
Reduce Photo Quality
Among the solutions proposed by Apple to free up storage space, photo optimization is one. You’re likely aware that images taken with your iPhone occupy a large amount of storage space.
It is therefore essential to implement several strategies to manage your photo library effectively. Start by deleting duplicate photos and blurry images. There are numerous apps on the App Store specialized in this type of tasks.
In addition to this action, you can also reduce the size of the images taken by the iPhone. This will allow you to save storage space while preserving the visual quality of your photos.
- Open the iPhone’s Settings
- Scroll down the window and click on the Camera category
- Find the Formats section and click on it
- Make sure the High Efficiency box is checked
The photos will then be saved in the HEIC format, which consumes less storage space than the traditional JPEG format. The downside is that this image format is supported by a limited number of devices. You can find some tips here for converting iPhone HEIC photos to the JPG format.
Extend Your iPhone’s Memory with External Storage
As we’ve seen, there are numerous tricks to optimize your iPhone’s storage space. However, each of these methods has its limits. Don’t expect miracles. Beyond a certain threshold, you’ll have to consider more drastic methods.
Several manufacturers offer accessories to extend the iPhone’s memory. For instance, SanDisk sells a handy little USB key, the iXpand (up to 256GB of additional memory), which connects directly to the iPhone’s Lightning port.
Note that the iXpand key can easily connect to a computer via its USB port. This option is particularly useful for exchanging files and documents between different devices.
We only regret that the accessory requires a physical connection. Its size, though compact, hampers user comfort. It’s never pleasant to see a small piece of plastic protruding from your phone.
Wireless External Hard Drive for iPhone
While the USB key is one of the best devices for storing and transferring files from an iPhone, it also has some drawbacks. Its small size, for example, makes it easy to misplace.
For those who want to benefit from a larger storage capacity while avoiding the flaws of a USB key, know that there are Wi-Fi hard drives compatible with the iPhone. You can thus enjoy several gigabytes of additional space to store your photos and videos.
The problem is that the enclosures of these wireless hard drives are quite bulky. It’s then difficult to always have them with you. This can be particularly frustrating, especially for those who like to travel with their entire photo or music library.