How to Organize Your iPhone and Save Storage Space

Jan 6, 2017

You awake in a cold sweat – it’s that nightmare again. You glance at your phone only to realize, no, it was no nightmare. Your iPhone storage is almost full.

What do you do? Try to go back to sleep and hope it goes away by the morning?

No. You’re tough. You’re ready. You know what to do.

Check Your Storage

1. Check Your Storage

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, “Where did all my storage go?!”

And the fastest way to answer that question is to go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage and hit “Manage Storage”. Your apps should be listed by how much space they take up. This check, in and of itself, may tell you what the problem is. Sometimes clearing up space is as simple as getting rid of one or two big space hogs. On that note…

Your Apps Must Die

2. Purge Your Apps

Get rid of unused and storage-gobbling apps. Some games are big. Real big. If you’re not using your Words with Friends anymore, let it die. You can always download it again later when you want to reconnect with that one cousin who’s always playing you on Words with Friends. You should also get rid of any apps, even much smaller ones, if you don’t often use. Be honest with yourself and be ruthless with your phone. You didn’t click on this article to not clear out space!

Pre-Loaded Apps

3. Got iOS10? Purge Your Pre-Loaded Apps

Did you know you can now delete some of those pesky pre-loaded Apple apps like Tips? Well, you can once you’re running iOS10! This can help free up storage space and lift a weight off your spirit. I don’t even own an Apple Watch, why must you taunt me so, phone?

Just don’t delete Compass! You never know when you might need it…

Fix Your Photos

4. Clean Up Your Photo-Video Situation

Let’s be honest. For most of us that have storage issues, this is one of the major culprits. There are so, so many things you can do to reduce the amount of space being taken up by photos on your device – and you don’t even have to delete all those accidental, blurry shots of your feet and unsanctioned selfies of your scroll-face (though you should).

The best solution is to upload your media to cloud storage, an external device or similar. Google Photos is a very popular, free option and doesn’t limit your storage.

You should also turn off the Burst and Keep Normal Photo functions in your camera settings so you’re not taking extra photos every time you snap.

Turn off your Photo Stream and anyone else’s Photo Streams you might be on.

Get rid of photos in your “Recently Deleted” album (yeah, that’s a thing).

And delete all those dumb photos of nothing that you accidentally took!

Reload Your Apps

5. Delete And Re-Download Apps

The longer you have an app and the more you use it, the more your cache fills up. Sometimes deleting and re-downloading apps can help clear some space by clearing out those caches. This would be especially true of those heftier apps like Instagram, Facebook, or Spotify.

Too Many Selfies

6. Drop The Extra Data Weight

This requires a little more attention to detail, but another way to clear space and make your iPhone feel a little more feng shui is to get rid of any excess data – songs, photos, podcasts, videos, etc. that are no longer in use. This is less ‘delete a folder’ and more ‘look inside of it first’, so it might not be the quickest fix, but you’ll feel great once it’s done (I assume). The same goes for notes, books, old text messages, and saved photos from messages and messaging apps.

Phone Organization

7. Organize Your Apps

Once you’ve cleared some space, create a system to organize your applications – by type, by color, alphabetically or in folders, whatever suits you – so you can easily find what you need more efficiently going forward. You can also add a monthly reminder to clean out your apps and the material inside them. Cleaning out your iPhone is just like cleaning out your house: it might not be all that fun, but someone’s got to do it, and when you’re done at least everything will smell like lemon.

Make Your Phone Your Own

8. Show Off Your Big Personality

Last but not least, personalize your phone. Taking an interest in what’s in there will help you to see more clearly what’s working and necessary and what’s redundant and underused. If you come to like seeing your phone running smoothly, you’re more likely to make sure it keeps happening.