6 ways to free iCloud storage on your iPhone

Everyone has to deal with it sooner or later: a full iCloud storage. Buying extra storage space would be preferable, so you want to free up some iCloud storage space. But how do you do that? In this workshop, we will present you with a step-by-step plan on how to handle this conveniently.

free iCloud storage space

When your iCloud storage is full, backups are no longer made. Also, your captured photos and videos will no longer end up in iCloud. It is the time to free up some space. This can be done in the following ways:

1. Remove iCloud backup [i96500] iCloud storage space full ” width=”192″ height=”380″ />

Probably the iCloud backups are largely responsible for your limited iCloud storage. These are the backups of your iPhone and iPad. It is important to have one because that way you avoid losing all your photos, documents, and other files if you lose your iPhone or iPad.

However, there may still be backups in iCloud of old devices like your iPhone 5s that you have already sold. You can safely remove them. Go to Settings and tap on top of your name. Choose ‘iCloud> Manage storage> Backup copies’. Here you can find the different backups that are in iCloud. To delete a backup, tap the device and press the “Remove backup” button. The device you use is the text “This iPhone” or “This iPad” – you can keep it better.


2. Determine which apps are backed up

 iCloud backup file

In the previous tip we referred to ‘Settings> Your name> iCloud> Manage storage> storage> Backup’. If you tap the name of the device you’re using, you’ll find a list of apps and services that take up a lot of space in your backup. Some may not think it important to keep them in iCloud. iMovie for example, or WhatsApp. Then tap the switch behind it and choose ‘Switch off and remove’. The iCloud backup will then be disabled for the app and the saved iCloud data will be deleted.

3. Delete files in iCloud Drive


Have you checked iCloud Drive yet? There can still be all kinds of empty files floating around. On your iPhone or iPad you can access iCloud Drive by opening the Files app. Select the files you want to delete and tap the Trash icon. They are not yet definitive from iCloud, because they are kept for 30 days in ‘Recent removal’. To also clear them here, tap the ‘Browse’ section and choose ‘Recently Deleted’. By erasing them here as well, the files are instantly erased on all your iCloud devices – you can not undo this.

On your Mac, go to the iCloud Drive folder in Finder. Here you move the files to the trash. Open the trash folder if you want to permanently delete the files and choose ‘Remove immediately’

4. Move your iCloud photos to your Mac


If you use iCloud photos, it probably takes up the most space. You prefer to leave all photos and videos in iCloud forever, but sometimes it is inevitable to erase a part and keep them on your Mac, or an external hard drive. You can do this as follows:

  • Open the Photos app on your Mac. If you click on ‘Photos’ in the panel on the left, you will see all the images stored in iCloud.
  • Scroll all the way up and make a selection of the photos and videos that you want to keep on your Mac only. If you want to make a large selection at once, it is useful to first select the first photo, scroll down, hold the Shift button and click on the last photo or video.
  • Select in the menu top for ‘Archive’ and choose ‘Export> Export … photos. Click on ‘Export’ and choose a folder where you want to save the images
  • Control-click on the selection and click on ‘Delete … photos’. With a click on ‘Delete’, the iCloud photos are deleted on all your devices.

5. Create an extra Apple ID

It does not seem usefull, but if you have gone through all previous steps, your iCloud is still full and you do not want to spend a penny on extra storage space, making an extra Apple ID might be the last way out. With every Apple ID, you get 5 GB free. You can, for example, create these for an iPad that you rarely use. Keep in mind that your purchased apps, films and books can not be used on your iPad.

6. Expand your storage


Ideally, you would like to extend this option for as long as possible, but there will be a time when you do not have enough of the 5 GB of free iCloud storage you get. In that case it’s time to expand your storage space and for a euro a month you have at least 50 GB of iCloud storage space, which you probably have more than enough.

You do this via ‘Settings> You name> iCloud> Manage storage> Change storage subscription. For € 2.99 per month, you upgrade the storage to 200 GB, and then you can also share the storage with your family. For a € 9.99 per month, you expand it to 2TB (2000GB).