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For many people, iPhone has become a storage hub for everything from photo libraries to music collections, books, games and more. But that also means you can easily run out of space. Although Apple increased iPhone default storage from 64GB to 128GB with iPhone 13this may not be enough for everyone.

The best way to save on local storage is to invest in cloud storage service such as Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, Box or Dropbox to offload some of your files. But there are also certain settings you can change to make sure you’re making the most of your iPhone’s storage capacity. When iOS 16 launches, your iPhone will also be able to detect duplicate photos, which should make it easier to keep your image library lean and organized.

See below to learn more about how to free up storage space on your iPhone.

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First, see what’s taking up the most space on your iPhone

To maximize your iPhone storage, you need to know what it’s taking up your device on first place. Take a look at what’s eating up your storage so you know where to start. Start Settingstouch General and scroll down to iPhone storage. Select this option to see a breakdown of the types of files and media that are taking up space on your iPhone. An apple may also make some recommendations on how to free up space, such as viewing videos stored on your device, as shown below.

Take a look at what’s eating up your iPhone’s storage in the settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

Make sure your iPhone optimizes photo storage

Pictures are among the biggest offenders when it comes to eating up space on your iPhone. But on iPhone settings menu has an option that allows your device to save smaller photo files locally if your device is low on space instead of the original versions. Instead, these full-resolution photos and videos are stored in the iCloud, and you can download them if needed. To make sure this feature is turned on, start by opening the Settings app. Then scroll down to Pictures and make sure there is a blue check next to it Optimize iPhone storage option.

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Make sure your iPhone is as efficient as possible when it comes to saving media files.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

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Save photos and videos to a cloud service instead of your device

The best way to free up space on your iPhone is to remove files you don’t need to keep on your device. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut back on your photo library. Instead, try storing them in third party cloud storage service like Google Photos, not on your device. It’s a quick way to free up a lot of storage space without having to part with old memories.

But before you delete anything, make sure the photos you want to keep are backed up or transferred Google Photos. If your photos and videos are not backed up to another service, such as Google Photos, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive, before they are deleted, they will be permanently deleted. This guide walks you through how to copy your entire iCloud photo library to Google Photos, but just keep in mind that the unlimited free storage option is no longer available.

You might be wondering why you need to use a separate cloud service if your photos are already stored in iCloud. This is because deleting your photos from your iPhone also deletes them from iCloud, so you’ll want to use another service if you plan to delete images from your device.

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You can try saving photos to a cloud storage app like Google Photos.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Delete apps you no longer use

Another great way to clean up your iPhone is to get rid of applications you no longer use. If you don’t know where to start, see which apps you haven’t used in a long time. Open your iPhone Settings menu, tap General and go to iPhone storage. You’ll see a list of your apps along with how much space each app takes up and the last time you used it. Scroll through the list and try deleting apps you haven’t used in a long time.

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Get rid of apps you haven’t used in a long time. You can see the last time you used a particular app in the iPhone settings menu.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

Unload apps you don’t use all the time

If you don’t want to completely delete an application, you can unload it instead. Unloading it allows you to keep the documents and data associated with that application so that you can reinstall it at any time and quickly pick up where you left off. Navigate back to the list mentioned above by opening Settingspressing General and choosing iPhone storage. Tap any app in the list and select Unloading application. You can also set your own iPhone to do this automatically by opening Settingstouching App Store option and make sure that Unload unused applications the switch is on.

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You can offload the apps you don’t use very often instead of deleting them.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

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Automatic deletion of old messages

It’s not simple pictures, videos, and apps that may be clogging up your iPhone’s storage. Getting rid of old ones text messages may also be useful. You can set your iPhone to automatically delete yours message story by opening Settingschoosing Messages and touch on Save the messages option under Message history. From there, choose whether you want your iPhone to store text messages for 30 days, one year, or forever.

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Stop saving text messages indefinitely by changing this setting on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

Delete videos and music from apps

You probably have videos and music stored offline in multiple apps on your phone, and luckily there’s an easy way to find these files and delete them. Start Settingschoose General and select iPhone storage. Look for an app that you’ve downloaded offline content from, like Netflix. You will then see information about the app’s storage, such as its size and buttons to delete or unload.

If you downloaded offline video clips, you’ll also see a section for this content under the Delete App button. Place your finger on a downloaded video and drag it to the left side of the screen to delete it.

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There’s an easy way to delete videos and music files you’ve saved in the app to free up space on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

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Clear your web browser cache

You can always try cleaning yours web browser cache if you’re really looking for space, although deleting apps and media will make a much bigger difference. But it can give you iPhone a small speed boost when browsing the web, so it’s worth a try if you’re low on storage and experiencing slow browser performance. But remember, it will log you out of the websites you’re signed in to.

Open up Settingschoose Safari and touch Clear history and website data.

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Clear Safari’s cache to see a performance boost and save some space.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

If you use google chrome, tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen, select History and touch Clear browsing data. You should see up to three categories ticked: Browsing history, Cookies, site data and Cached images and files. If you want to delete browsing data only for a certain period of time, tap Time interval option at the top of the screen before you tap Clear browsing data on the bottom.

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You can also easily clear Google Chrome cache in the app.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicico/CNET

Looking for more iPhone tips? See our guide to the best new features coming to iOS 16. plus, here’s how to wipe cache on your iPhone.

How to get more out of your iPhone storage without spending a dime – Digital Tech Blog

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