iCloud is a storage option for users of iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and other similar gadgets. However, most frequently, iCloud users could find it challenging to maintain a lean iCloud account. If you fall into this category, hold off on purchasing an upgrade until you've tried these advice for managing your free iCloud storage.
Without a doubt, the seamless integration of Apple's hardware, software, and internet services is one of the ecosystem's main selling features. This is also true with iCloud, which gives Apple users the easiest way to connect and backup their Apple devices.
Every Apple device comes with a free iCloud storage but unfortunately the free tier on iCloud offers only 5GB of storage reason why most people often run short of space on iCloud so easily. Well in case you recognize as a victim of this issue, then you have found the right article as I will show you how to free up storage space on iCloud.
How Much Does iCloud Storage Cost?
The majority of Apple users are fortunate since iCloud storage is reasonably priced. Therefore, instead of removing data to free up current capacity, I'll show you below the many options you have if you run out of the free iCloud storage that has been granted to you and you want to upgrade to a higher plan.
- $0.99 per month for 50GB
- $2.99 per month for 200GB
- $9.99 per month for 2TB
So above are the various plans that you have as option, you can see that it is quite affordable. But you are also able to get iCloud storage along with other Apple services at a discounted price by simply Subscribing to Apple One.
How to Free Up iCloud Storage
Checking what is using up your iCloud storage will help you determine what to delete in order to maximize the space if you are running low on space and need to free up some. So, on an iPhone, navigate to settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage.
The steps can be different on a Mac device as you will instead have to open the Apple menu and then go to System Preferences> Apple ID>iCloud and then you click on Manage.
The process above is just a preliminary step that will help tell you what is eating up your space on your iCloud account. In most of the cases, you will discover that it is photos, messages, iCloud backups, iCloud Drive and apps. So now that you know what is eating up your iCloud storage space, I will show you how to clear up iCloud storage.
1. Delete Unwanted iCloud Backups
This feature should be used primarily by users who have had many iOS devices over the years because the likelihood that each of those devices will have a backup stored in your iCloud account is high.
So, if you want to erase backups from previous devices after going through your iCloud storage, just follow the instructions below.
- On your iPhone device, you have to go to Settings>[Your Name]>iCloud>Manage Storage>Backups.
- After that, you will see which devices have been backed up, and from here now you can simply tap on any device name and tap on Delete Backup, Turn Off & Delete- this will delete that backup from iCloud.
- Well, you are also able to tap backup of devices that you are still using and stop certain apps from saving their data in your iCloud account. In order to stop this, you simply have to tap on the device name and choose to Show All Apps. From there, you can manually disable backups for specific apps and then tap Turn off & Delete.
The features above are for those using an iPhone, but in case you are using a Mac, you have to open the Apple menu and move to System preferences>Apple ID>iCloud and then click Manage and select Backups, from where you will be able to choose which back up to delete.
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2. Clear Large Files from iCloud Drive
If you use iCloud Drive on any of your Apple devices, you might want to check it to be sure that there are no junk files taking up a lot of space. On an iOS or iPadOS, simply open the files app and tap iCloud Drive when you can check each folder to see if there is anything you can delete.
If you are on a Mac device, Open Finder and click iCloud Drive in the sidebar to do the same thing.
3. Trim Your Photo Library
Well, I can say that this is the phase that causes the most difficulty for everyone because, for the majority of individuals, their iPhone photo library contains some of their most priceless memories, making it tough to erase photos. But even though it's difficult, this is how you must proceed if you want to free up storage space on iCloud.
To make sure you are not using more iCloud storage than is necessary, I first advise you to verify the camera settings on your iPhone. Choosing whether you can switch to 720p or 1080p videos instead of 4k is one of these settings.
- On your iOS or iPadOS device, go to Settings>Camera>Formats and in order to save space, you can choose High Efficiency. You should have it in your mind that selecting this option will save your photos and videos in the HEIF and HEVC formats respectively and they are not as widely supported as JPG and MP4.
- From there, you have to go back to Camera settings and tap on Record video where you have to select the lowest frame rate and resolution. By doing this, you will not get the smoothest or highest quality videos but you have to make this sacrifices in order to save up some space on your iCloud. On the same page, you have to slow down and enable Auto Low Light FPS to reduce the file size for low light videos.
- Still return the Camera settings and select Record Slo-mo, then select the lowest quality option.
- The last step is not easy to recommend either, but it will save some space. You can disable Live Photos by going to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings. Here you can disable Live Photo.
I believe that the above step has helped you reduce much space that your photos will take from now, let us start clearing unwanted items from your photo library by following the steps below.
I am sure there are not 2 things on device that eat up iCloud storage space like Videos so let us go there first. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and tap Albums> Videos from where you can tap on select on the top right so as to clear all the videos you no longer need.
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In a similar procedure, you can also visit albums for the following items; Long Exposure, Slo-mo, Time - Lapse, Screenshots and screen Recordings. It necessary that you delete stuffs from these as it will help you clear space quickly on iCloud.
Finally, you can through your Photo library manually so as to delete some pictures. You can delete the low quality pictures, duplicate ones and the ones that no longer mean anything to you.
4. Get Rid of Old Messages
In case your messages app east up a lot of space on iCloud, you can quickly free up some space by following these steps.
- Move to Settings>Messages on your iOS or iPadOS device
- After that, you have to scroll down to keep messages and change it from forever to 30 days or 1 year and then tap delete. Setting it to 30 days will automatically delete older than 30 days or a year and will keep on doing it from now. This is actually an easy trick to help you stop your messages from occupying to much space on your iCloud device.
- The next thing that you will have to do is to clear some of the chats that are taking up a lot of space by Going to Settings>[Your Name]>iCloud>Manage Storage>Messages and tap on Top conversations. Doing so will show you which of your chats are taking up a lot of space on iCloud.
- Tap Edit on the top-right and select the chats you want to delete. Then tap the trash icon in the top-right to delete a chat.
- But in case you are not yet ready to delete the whole chat threads at that moment, you can tap on any chat from the list and now tap the name of the contact at the top, tap on info and scroll down to Photos. Once you tap See All, you will be able to manually delete images and videos you do no longer need.
Final Thoughts On How to Manage iCloud Storage
The majority of iCloud's services are more "Sync" services than backup services. This is a little but significant distinction that has a significant impact on how you should handle the service. Let's put it this way: if you delete a photo from your iPhone, it is also deleted from iCloud, even if it is kept there by default for 30 days. If you remove the photo from there, however, you will find that there are few to no chances for you to get it back.
iCloud storage is free but limited and in this article I have outlined the various ways through which you can manage your iCloud storage to the fullest but though this will not stop it from getting full one day. So you can think of getting a higher paid plan so as to benefit more space on iCloud.
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