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19 ways to make space on an iPhone: Save storage space

Karen Haslam | July 7, 2016
Follow these tips to make the most of your iPhone's storage capacity

Tip 1 of 19: How to make space on your iPhone

We love our iPhone, but one of the challenges we encounter every day is making the most of the 16GB of space available on it. The fact that we manage this feat is all the more astonishing given that we had 64GB of space on our old iPhone. 

So, how did we manage to slim down our iPhone in order to manage with just 16GB of space for storing apps, photos, music and more? And how do we keep from filling the phone up to capacity?

In this article we share our top tips for managing the space available on your iPhone and for getting the most out of every last MB of storage space available when necessary.

Step 2 of 19: Delete apps you don't need

This is an obvious and (mostly) straightforward place to start. There are bound to be apps you downloaded and only used once, or have replaced with something better. Ditch them. The benefit of deleting a few apps is that you could free up as much as 500MB with very little effort.

To delete an app from the Home screen, tap and hold on its icon and wait for it (and the other icons too) to start jiggling about - this means you're in Edit Mode. Then tap on the X in the left corner to delete the app. (Edit Mode also allows you to drag app icons into new positions on the screen.)

Step 3 of 19: Stocks, Game Center and other hard-to-delete apps

There are some apps that aren't so easy to delete because Apple ships the phone with them pre-installed - this includes Stocks, Game Center, Notes, Calendar and various more default apps. In the past, Apple has prevented iPhone and iPad owners from deleting these apps from their devices.

The good news is that iOS 10, which was unveiled at WWDC 2016 and will have its official public launch some time in autumn 2016, will let you delete preinstalled apps - sort of. Technically you'll only be deleting the user data associated with the app (and hiding the app icon), rather than deleting the entire app, which means the space savings you'll make are likely to be small. And not all apps are included in this feature. Stocks, Tips, Maps, Watch and Weather can be removed, for example; Safari, Phone and Messages cannot.

If you're very keen to try out this new capability, it's possible to download and install iOS 10 ahead of the full launch (although you'll need a developer account). If you'd rather not do this, there are some techniques and workaround that will allow you to remove or hide Apple's preinstalled apps in iOS 9 and earlier. Some of them involve jailbreaking.


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