The first iPhone launched with just 8GB of memory. These days 16GB is the starting point and you can go all the way up to 64GB on an iPhone, or even 128GB on an iPad.

But at the same time there are now more apps, and they are bigger and more complex in size. Alongside fantastic music and video offerings, it’s easy to quickly start running out of space on an iPhone. This guide to managing your iPhone Storage space more effectively will help free up some storage.

See: iPhone review

iPhone low disk warning

The first sign you’ll get that you’re running a little low on space will be when you get this Low Disk Warning on the iPhone. While the iPhone will keep on working when it’s low on space, you may find it impossible to add new apps, music, videos and take photographs.

This is your cue to start managing your storage a little better. The iPhone suggests deleting Photos and Video (both of which we’ll look at). But there are a wealth of other things you can also look at.

See: Freeing up space on an iOS device

iPhone Low Disk Warning

Take a look at Usage

First take a look at Settings > General Usage. This will show you all the Apps that are using Storage on the iPhone, and how much storage each one is using (and the total amount being used). The key culprits will be Photos & Camera and Camera, Videos and Music. The 10 apps using the most storage will be listed, but you can tap Show All Apps to see more space-taking apps.

Use this list to make a note of the apps that are using space, and think about what you don’t use and can get rid of.

See: iPhone 6 spotted in app usage logs

iOS Usage

Free up space  by removing iOS Apps or data

Some apps, especially games, can be real storage hogs. You’ll see which ones are taking up the most space on the Usage menu. Tap on the App and you’ll see an App Size and Documents & Data information. Click Delete App to remove it from this window (or go back to the Home Screen and hold down an App Icon to enter edit mode and delete them in the usual way).  

If you just want to get rid of the data in an app tap the Edit button and the red Remove (‘-’) icon then Delete.

See: How to remove or delete any app

iOS Delete App

Remove videos from your iPhone to free up storage

Getting rid of videos is another good first start for freeing up space. Videos can be deleted from the Videos app inside the Usage window (the same as other data described above). Or you can head the Videos app and delete them in the usual way

Import photos to iPhoto and get them off of you iPhone

While individual photos rarely take up much space the cummulitive effect can be disastrious. The best way to get rid of photos is to hook your iPhone up to a Mac and use either Image Capture or iPhoto to import the photos. Click Import then click Delete Photos in the dialog window.

Delete Photos

Use iTunes Match for music instead of sync

If you like to have a lot of music on your iPhone then it might be worth investing in iTunes Match. This cloud service from Apple (£21.99 per year) allows you to stream all the music registered on your Mac to the iPhone, and frequently played tracks are stored locally. It’s a great way to be able to access a lot of music on the iPhone without having to take up all that space.

See: How to transfer music from an iPhone to a Mac

Do a detailed iTunes Sync to free up lots of iPhone space

If you really want to get serious about looking at your storage then a good technique is to connect the iPhone to your Mac and open iTunes. Use the Apps, Music, Films, TV Programmes, Podcasts, iTunes U, Books and Photos settings along with the storage slider at the bottom. Remember that you can organise Apps by Size in the app installation list.

iOS iTunes Sync