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Running out of iPhone storage space? Here are some tips to help you free up some space

Are you constantly running out of space on your iPhone? Don't have space for that photo you want to take or that app you want to install? Here are some tips to help you. (Updated for iOS 12)
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Introduction

Unless you go for a super-high-capacity iPhone, as soon as you start to add apps and content, it invariably starts to feel small and poky. It's at this point that people start to regret not spending the extra money on a higher-capacity device.

But with a little bit of thought, planning, and a sprinkling of care, you can make it so no matter what storage capacity iPhone you bought, you can make it work for you..

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Rely on stock apps

Get used to using built-in apps such as Mail, Calendar, Safari and such. These are already on your device, and deleting them doesn't free up much in the way of storage space, so you might as well make use of them.

Anything else you download is just going to consume precious megabytes.

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Cloud storage is your best friend

Whether that be iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive or whatever else takes your fancy, every megabyte of data you can move to the cloud is a megabyte saved on your device.

Find a service -- free or paid for -- that works for you, and integrate it into your workflow.

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Stream, don't store

If you have the bandwidth to handle streaming music, video, and the like, then this is another great way to save on storage. The flipside is that if you don't have unlimited internet access, streaming over broadband or cellular can get expensive.

Head over to Settings > iTunes & App Stores and disable Automatic Downloads for the various media options.

You have to choose -- spend money on bandwidth or on storage. It's your choice.

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Get your photos under control

A simple way to free up a lot of storage space is to put your photos on iCloud. If you have a lot of photos then you'll have to pay for more than the free 5GB of iCloud storage everyone gets, but it's cheaper than buying a new iPhone or iPad (50GB of iCloud storage is $0.99).

Go to Settings > Photos and enable iCloud Photo Library. While you're there, enabling Optimize iPhone Storage can also help free up storage.

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Tame your video

Unless you're Steven Spielberg, you don't need to be recording high-quality video.

Go to Settings > Camera, tap the Record Video option and switch to 1080p/30fps or even 720p.

This page also gives you information on how much space each of the video resolutions consumes. And when you get into 4K territory, even a minute eats up a lot of storage.

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Delete unnecessary apps

Get rid of any apps that you don't use. If there's something you only use occasionally then remember that you can always redownload it from the Apple App Store.

To delete an app, press and hold on the icon on the Home screen until an X appears above the icons, then tap it to delete the app.

iOS 11 and iOS 12 has the ability to save you space by automatically deleting unused apps when you're low on storage while keeping any data they contain safe. To enable this feature go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and enable Offload Unused Apps.

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Use external storage

Did you know that you can extend your iPhone or iPad storage without having to resort to a screwdriver? The simplest option is an external flash drive, such as the Naztech Xtra Drive Mini which allows you to turn the Lightning port on you iPhone or iPad into a microSD card slot, allowing you to offload photos, videos and other documents onto cheap microSD cards.

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Audit your storage

Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see what's eating your storage.

You might find some real surprises here (for example, innocuous things such as stored iMessage messages can eat up a crazy amount of space). Other times, you'll find an app that you don't use that much that consumes a huge chunk of space.

Here you have two options. The nuclear option of deleting the app and the data completely, or the more restrained option called Offload App, which allows you to delete the app but keep the data, so when you later download it, you have all that untouched.

Set messages to auto-delete
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Set messages to auto-delete

Messages can really consume your storage space. Fortunately, iOS offers a way to cull older messages.

Tap Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and choose an option that works for you.

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