13 super simple ways to free up more space on your iPhone

You've got 99 problems but after reading this, a cluttered iPhone won’t be one

Your iPhone has filled up unexpectedly fast with all the photos and videos you and your friends exchange, the countless apps you download, and all the songs you have sitting in your phone.

As a result, you have to delete something every time you want to download something else, because iPhone storage is non-expandable.

It doesn’t have to be this way, you can change the way you live. Just clean your iPhone out with these steps and you’ll be back to enjoying the sweet liberty of unabashedly downloading stuff with absolutely no restraint at all. Freedom!

Check it

First of all, you need to understand the root of the problem. And in iOS 9, Apple has given you the sleuthing know-how to nail down the suspects. You get a list of which apps are taking up how much memory, with the guiltiest space-hogger right at the top.

Do this: Go to Settings, then General, Storage & iCloud Usage, and finally Manage Storage. You can then decide to delete the offending app altogether, especially if you hardly use it anymore, or go into the individual apps to to see if you can clear them out. 

The apps range in size - some might just be around 50MB an app, or be as big as 700MB, but whatever it is, they add up to make a load of space - you’ll marvel at how nice and uncluttered your phone feels after the Great DisAPPearance.


Rent a movie from iTunes

If you have very very little storage space left on your iPhone, we’re talking MB instead of GB, this trick’s for you. All you have to do is download a movie. We know it sounds counterproductive, but don’t freak out just yet. You don’t even have to delete anything to make more space.

Do this: First, check how much available storage you have left by going into Settings, General, then Storage and iCloud Usage. Take note of the size and head into iTunes Store to rent a movie that’s bigger than the available storage you have on your iPhone. Any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy should serve you well; The Two Towers is 6.35GB for the HD version.

Tap Rent (you’re not actually renting so don’t worry about having to cough up any money) and you should be hit with the Cannot Download message. Go back into your storage settings and you’ll see that space has been freed up. We went from 202MB to 1GB.

The trick is to always find a movie that takes up more storage than what you have available, the iPhone does the rest of the hard work. It only worked for us once, but we’ve heard reports of users doing this multiple times to free up space.

Convert Live Photos into stills

If you’ve gotten a brand new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, and have been exploring the Live Photos feature a little too zealously (by that we mean taking only Live Photos), this one’s for you. As you should know, a Live Photo is about twice the size of a normal photo, as it records 1.5 seconds of video before and after a still is taken.

Taking them sparingly at the right moments might not make a lot of difference to your storage space, but take too many and you might find yourself running out of space, especially if your iPhone is all of 16GB. Lucky for you, you don’t have to delete all your Live Photos; there’s a compromise. 

Do this: If you love the moment, you can keep it as a still. All you have to do is go to your Photos app, tap on the Live Photo you want to keep, and hit Edit. You will see the Live Photos concentric circle icon in blue, tap on it to turn it white, and hit Done. The new still will take up half the space it did as a Live Photo.

Be warned though, once you’ve changed a Live Photo into a still image, there’s no going back. The process is not reversible.