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How To Clean Out Your Phone And Free Up Space

how to clean out iphone storage

There are two types of cleaning. Removing dirt and grime is one, but removing clutter and tidying up is another. Last month we talked about cleaning the dirt and grime off of your devices, but what if you’re running out of storage space?

By now, most of us are a little too familiar with the “Out of storage” pop-up message on our iPhones or iPads. Partially this is due to Apple’s ever expanding operating system size, but there are definitely ways to clean up free space on your device without hiring a professional janitorial service (or buying a new phone).

how to find out what is using space

Check Your Settings

The first thing to do is to actually follow the suggestion in that pop up warning. Head over to the settings app, then click on General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. This will tell you which of your apps are taking up the most space. It would be nice if you could actually manage your storage from here but unfortunately you usually can’t. But it is still the best way to get an idea of what is taking up all of your space. Usually the biggest culprits are your photos/videos and your messages app. But if there are any apps that you don’t use very often taking up a lot of space, you may want to consider deleting them. Some apps like Facebook and Messenger can take up more and more space over time. It can sometimes be a good idea to delete and reinstall them to get rid of the old junk files.

how to clean out photosPhotos and Videos

The biggest culprit is almost always the Photos & Camera app. But the good news is that Google has a great free app that will backup your photos online and clear up free space. Google Photos links to your Google account and gives you unlimited photo and video storage online. It does limit the size of each file but unless you are uploading professional images or something that you plan on blowing up to the size of a billboard it is more than enough to view on even large retina monitors. Once all of your photos are backed up online, you can go and double check on If everything is there, then go back to the app, go into the settings, and click “Free Up Space.” This will delete the photos and videos on your phone that have already been backed up, cleaning up a significant amount of space on your phone or tablet!

saving message space


Another typical space hogging offender is the Messages app. This is usually a little counterintuitive since you would think text messages would take up very little space. However, people send and receive a lot of pictures and videos and those add up over time. So the best way to clean up your messages is to prevent the giant files from accruing in the first place. To do this go to the settings app. Then scroll down and click on “Messages” then scroll way down to “Low Quality Image Mode” and enable that. This will greatly reduce the file size of your messages AND help to clean up your iCloud as well since your messages are synced in there. Additionally in the Messages section of your Settings app, you can tap “Keep Messages” and change it to 30 days or 1 year. 

The Secret Trick That Might Not Work

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still running out of space, there is one trick that seems to work pretty regularly for a lot of people but not quite all of the time, so your mileage may vary. The basic premise behind it is that a lot of the junk cluttering up your phone is literally just junk in your phone’s cache. iPhones don’t have a way of manually deleting that like Androids do so this method is a way to attempt trick your iPhone into deleting those junk files itself. All you have to do is go to the app store and find a free app or game that is larger than the amount of free space you have left on your phone. Here is a great one. This app is over 2GB and if you have less than 1GB on your phone it is one that won’t cost you anything if it doesn’t work. As the large app is downloading, typically your phone will clean out the junk files to make room for it. Once it is done downloading you can delete it. This works best if your space is taken up by junk files and not actually useful files. If that is the case, it just won’t let you download the app. If you try to download it and it doesn’t let you, try downloading a slightly smaller app.
Hopefully these tips will help you keep your iPhone clean and roomy to fill up with lots of great pictures, or enough space to at least call Environmental Cleaning Services who can keep your office or workplace professionally clean. No tricks, just professionals who are the best in the Dallas Fort Worth area at keeping your workplace spotless and ready for business. Contact us today for a free quote!

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