Give Me My Space (Part II)

Part II - Your iPhone

We're back with Part II about freeing up space on your Apple devices. This time, it's the iPhone's turn. "Storage Almost Full" - the phrase that makes you want to skip your phone across the lake.

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I can only pray that this is happening less and less, as the volume of storage capacity for the iPhone gets ridiculously high, but with that, people are still running into problems with running out of storage. When you run out of storage, many different things start happening, The first is that you have to delete a photo to take a photo, you can't update your phone because there isn't enough room, or the phone will randomly shut off or other strange anomalies. 

The best way to resolve this, first of all, is know the capacity of your iPhone. Always, iPhones aren't can't actually hold as much of your stuff as you think. Let's say an iPhone is 16GB in size, which is rare nowadays but I digress. Four or five gigabytes of space is going to be taken up by the small iOS that your phone carries (iOS meaning iPhone Operating System). What is somewhat unfortunate, is that currently, the iPhone operating system is getting larger with each release. Let me put it this way - we are currently on iOS 11, iOS 10 was smaller in size than iOS 11, iOS 9 smaller than iOS 10, etc, etc. 

So what are ways to cut back on your on-board current storage? First is to know where your storage is currently residing. To find your operating system, go to Settings > General > About. If you're on iOS 11, navigate to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. On iOS 10 or earlier, go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Storage > Manage Storage. 

Once you are in your storage, you can see the breakdown of EVERYTHING. I would recommend first browsing through and finding applications that you aren't using anymore and delete them. Boom! Instant space!

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Also, while you're perusing through applications, you may notice that apps like Instagram are taking up a fair amount of space. Instagram is actually pretty bad at maintaining its own storage, as it keeps a small file of each photo you have in your Instagram. What I had to do was go back to my earliest pictures and simply delete some. This freed up a surprising amount of space on my iPhone when the capacity of my on-board storage was 16GB. This also includes Facebook, but the fix for that is much easier. Delete Facebook from your iPhone and reinstall it. Facebook saves a lot of information in its cache, and deleting Facebook will delete the cache, and you won't lose any of your Facebook data. The other application that can take up space is Safari, again, because it holds data in its cache. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear Cache and Data. It will remove some useless Safari data that you don't need.

The other two big perpetrators are Photos/Videos and Music. Music is the easiest to resolve - just remove some music from your phone. You don't listen to the terrible Taylor Swift song anyway, so just remove it from your phone. You can usually do it directly from your Music application by swiping left and pressing Delete.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...PHOTOS AND VIDEOS (cue the Space Jam theme song. I put it to the right for your enjoyment...). 

The biggest threat to your storage is your Photos and Videos. For starters, get rid of some of them, you picture hoarder. How about the four minute video from the concert your went to three years ago? Get rid of it. And if you want to keep a copy of it, plug your phone into your computer and save your video. OR, use iCloud Photo Library. This uploads ALL of your Photos and Videos to iCloud. I do know, however, that some people don't like iCloud and are afraid of it and it's security. Don't be. As quickly as I could hack your iCloud, I could hack your computer. Honest. That's the second way to save space, use iCloud, please! And if you still don't want to use iCloud, you can use an application like Dropbox or Google Photos, which will back up all of your photos to an online server which you can access with a username and password. So move some photos and videos off of your phone, put them on your external hard drive that you should be using to back up your computer, or put them on a thumb drive, on iCloud, or simply move them ANYWHERE. Remove some of your blurry photos or the duplicates. It will free up space surprisingly quick. 

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Also, make sure that you are utilizing the "Optimize Storage" option with your photos and videos by going to Settings >Photos & Camera. There are two options, "Download and Keep Originals" or "Optimize iPhone Storage."

Utilizing these steps should allow you to finally free up some space on your iPhone. The other thing about iPhones, make sure you are constantly checking the App Store for application updates and keeping your iPhone up to date by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Over time, applications and your iPhone in general will find better ways to optimize their storage and will push those out in updates. 

I hope this helps relieve some of the stress of not-enough-space on your iPhone.

Please let me know if you have any questions. You can email me at stuart@crashsecurity.com or reach out to me via call or text and 541.714.5880.

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In other news, my @crash_security Twitter was recently blocked by MacKeeper. I'm actually very proud of it. It is garbage software, and I have been bashing it for years. I have arrived!

Cheers!

Stuart