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How to check storage on your iPhone

The iPhone is a marvellous piece of kit but however well designed it is, there will always be some problems there’s no getting away from. One of the most common issues is that of storage. All those cute photos and addictive games have got to live somewhere haven’t they?

Sensible iPhone owners will always spend some time doing a bit of housekeeping when they’ve got a free moment. After all, if you want to download and install the latest ingenious app or a new version of iOS then you’re going to need that extra space.

Read our guide how to check and manage storage on your iPhone. And don’t forget, with such a vital device you really need some insurance for an iPhone too.


How your iPhone optimises storage

When your iPhone gets low on storage and you want to make a download or install a new app, it will automatically try to free up space. It does this by removing items such as video or music, unused parts of apps and files in your iCloud Drive. Clearing the cache and removing temporary files are also ways your iPhone makes space.

But if you’re worried your device might delete something important, then don’t be. It’s smart and only removes items you either don’t need or can be downloaded again.

If your iPhone can’t free up space it will send you a ‘Storage Almost Full’ alert. If this happens then check the storage recommendations it gives you.

Just as with finding iPhone insurance it’s better to pre-empt a problem before it’s too late. You don’t want to be sorting storage problems when you’re in a hurry and need that iOS update installed urgently!


How to check storage on your iPhone

While your iPhone monitors the amount of storage available and how much each app is using you sometimes need to do it yourself.

Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. At the top of the Storage section you’ll find recommendations to optimise storage. Click ‘Show All’ to see every recommendation. Here you can read more about each one and review the contents it will delete. You can then choose whether to enable the recommendations given.

Below the recommendations you’ll find a list of installed apps and how much storage each is using. Here you’ll find just how much your love of Spotify is affecting your storage!

If you tap on an app it will give you more information about its storage. Cached data and temporary files may not always be counted. If your device needs more space, then it will automatically delete these files so you don’t have to.

The content stored on your device is divided into the following types:

  • Apps: Installed apps and their content. This can include content stored in the 'On My iPhone touch' directory in the Files app, and Safari downloads.
  • Photos: Photos and videos stored in the Photos app.
  • Media: Music, videos, podcasts, ringtones, artwork and voice memos.
  • Mail: Emails and attachments.
  • Apple Books: Books and PDFs in the Books app.
  • Messages: Messages and attachments.
  • iCloud Drive: Content downloaded locally from iCloud Drive to your iPhone.
  • Other: Non-removable content like Siri voices, fonts, dictionaries, non-removable logs and caches, Spotlight index, and system data.
  • System: Space taken up by iOS.


How to check storage using Finder or iTunes

Rather than using your device to check storage you might want to use your Mac or PC. To do this follow these instructions:

  1. Open Finder or iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  3. Select your iPhone in Finder or in iTunes. A bar will appear to show how much storage your content uses. This is divided by content type.
  4. Move the cursor over the bar to see how much storage each is using.


How to delete or offload an app

Once you’ve discovered the culprits of your storage woes, you’ll need to act by either deleting or offloading content or apps. Not only will this free up space but it’ll also leave your home screen a lot less cluttered! After all, you can always download the app again if you change your mind.

By deleting an app, both the app and its data will be removed from your iPhone. If you just want to remove the app, but keep its data, you need to offload the app instead. Here’s how to delete and to offload.



In terms of deleting the app and its content there are two routes.

The first is to go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Scroll through the list, select the app you want to remove and tap the ‘Delete App’ option. You will then need to confirm the deletion.

The second is to tap and hold the app icon on the home screen until the icons start to wobble. If you’re using iOS 13 then you need to long-press on the app icon you want to delete. When the context menu appears, tap the 'Rearrange Apps' button. The icons will then start to wobble.

Once the icons are wobbling tap the ‘X’ that appears next to the unwanted app. Then tap ‘Delete’ in the confirmation window.



To offload an app go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. You can either choose to automatically offload unused apps by enabling the recommendation or you can offload an individual app.

To offload an individual app, tap the app on the list. On the app’s page, tap the ‘Offload App’ option, and then confirm your choice.


Check out iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover

Finding insurance for your iPhone and keeping up on your iPhone housekeeping duties is all part and parcel of modern life. Our team of insurance specialists at Gadget Cover are here to find you cover.

With your iPhone so important to both business and pleasure a smart owner will always protect their beloved gadget from harm.

Whatever the model you’ve invested in, policies arranged through Gadget Cover can include protection from accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage.

Cover also includes accessories (up to £150) lost, stolen or damaged with your iPhone.

Get a quick quote for iPhone insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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