Take control of your iPhone storage space

By: , CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.

Video Transcript

Julissa: …Hence more.

Ryan: [crosstalk] It’s Ken really, isn’t it? 

Julissa: Right! Yes, yes, yes.

Ryan: Yeah, he’s not in the studio right now, we’ll blame him!

Julissa: See, you guys make fun of me but then yet you all ask me and my tips, you end up using them as well, right T?

Ryan: It’s true.

Female: But you use your phone more than anybody here. You use your phone the most.

Julissa: You’re right. Okay, I know you’ve all had issues with this, though. We’re talking storage this morning. Ryan with us this morning.

Ryan: The good news is that the new iPhone 7’s gonna have up to 250GB of storage.

Julissa: If that’s not enough storage for you, you’re crazy.

Ryan: But if you’re stuck with the 16GB or 32GB model that’s kind of limping around. Here’s some cool tips! So first of all, the first thing you want to do is get in your phone and set to optimize and manage your storage. So what you want to do is you want to go to General, go to Manage Storage and take a look at the apps that you have in here. The interesting things about the apps is sometimes they hide extra storage. So like Spotify you have some music downloader, you have Audible, you’ve got some books downloaded or if you’ve got a game with a lot of like updates and things like that, that can take up extra storage. So, just look at your list and delete things you don’t want. Now here’s the interesting thing. Facebook, for example, is a major hog!

Julissa: Yes.

Ryan: Major hog. So if you are really limited on your storage, delete the Facebook app and go directly to safari and just go to Facebook on your browser. It’s so much easier. Okay, so go to your iPhone and set your iCloud library to optimize phone storage. Rather than saving all the photos directly to your phone, it’ll save it to your phone for a little white and then send it to the cloud.

Julissa: So you still have access to it?

Ryan: Yeah. Let’s go, this is another cool one and we were just talking about this. So my wife and I, we send a lot of photos of our kids back and forth and videos. Well, there’s nowhere on your phone that really says, “Hey, you’ve got a bunch of videos and stuff stuck in your messages app.” So what you do is you can go in set your messages to automatically expire. Right now, by default, they’re set to forever, but you can set it to 30 days and it will automatically delete anything that’s more than 30 days old. Or you can do your cool little trick…

Julissa: Yes, right and that is to edit, right? So let’s go to a picture here. If you do more, right, and you can actually, see the little bubbles that pop up? You can actually check any little part of the conversation or picture that you’d like to delete. Yes!

Ryan: That way you can remove the videos and pictures, the stuff that’s big, but save all the messages so you can go, “You said what on what day?” Because you don’t want to lose that. So let’s say you want to go outside the iPhone and you just want to add some storage. SanDisk makes this really cool case that adds storage to your phone. How cool is that? And it doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can get 128 or 64, 32GB and you can get those on Amazon. They are not really that expensive. You know for less than a hundred dollars you can really expand the storage on your phone way beyond than what the manufacturer expected it to do.

Julissa: And that’s cheaper than maybe buying the new phone?

Ryan: Yeah. Well, because Apple charges an extra hundred dollars for every tier of service. So if you just wanted to get like a 64 GB, then you know spending 20-30 bucks and get more storage. Here’s another cool thing! This is called the SanDisk Wireless Connect Stick. We’ve showed this on the show before. Cool part about this is that it’s got a wireless connection on it so you don’t even have to have it. You can leave it in your purse and you can send all your photos and videos directly to it and there’s a little iOS app that allows you to send things to it. It’s so cool! Up to 200 GB with one of these. And last, this is kind of a trick that we showed on our iPhone hack segment that we did a few weeks ago. Now Julian, who works here in the studio, he came to me and he’s like “Oh, I tried this little app, and it works!” So this is cool! So let’s say you have less than 4 GB of storage left on your phone. You go to the iTunes store and you try to rent a movie and when it tried to load that movie onto your phone, it won’t be able to do it. It’ll say, “Hey, your storage is full.” Well, what it does is that it removes all of this excess storage that’s stuck on your phone for things that are half downloaded and things like that. It removes all that so it can make space for the movie.

Julissa: Because it wants you to do that. 

Ryan: Because if you have less than 4 gigs, you’re not going to be able to get the movie anyway because most of the high definition movies, like if you get a 4k video or Lord of The Rings, it’s going to be like 6 GB. So it removes all the extra storage and boom, you get 3 gigs. Julissa, I think we got 2 extra gigs on this phone just by doing this little trick.

Julissa: Wow! Nice! There you go.

Ryan: It’s super cool!

Julissa: Some easy ways to free up a little space for more pictures. Ryan, we appreciate you. I especially appreciate you being here because I always have questions for you.

Ryan: Hey, you’re welcome. 

Julissa: As you all now know. All right, we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. Back over to you. 

Running out of space on your iPhone is a common problem. Everyone knows at least one person who has been infuriated from those little pop ups saying you can’t take a photo due to lack of space.

Well have no fear, we are going to share some tips that you can use to clear up some space or conveniently add more storage with some neat accessories!

First of all, check which apps are using the most space. You can do this by tapping Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage.

You can view what apps are taking up the most space and then delete ones you don’t need. Some apps aren’t big themselves, but can store a lot of data. Facebook is a big offender here.

• Click on the app in the list to see app size vs. downloads within it.
• Delete extra songs, books, etc from being stored on your device if you’re short on space.

If you can’t see anything you want to remove, you can always upgrade your iCloud Storage. Apple offer up to 2TB of cloud space, for a fee!

You can change your settings to store photos, videos, and music just in the iCloud. This can be achieved by tapping on: Settings – iCloud – Photos – “Optimize iPhone Storage”


A neat trick is to remove the Facebook app and use Safari or Chrome to access Facebook.

Another thing you could do is set your messages to automatically expire. To do this again tap on Settings, then go to Messages and the option which say Keep Messages can be changed from “Forever” to 30 days or 1 year. This will let you get rid of all those space-hogging video clips and GIFs that you send to your friends and loved ones.

Thanks to companies like SanDisk, you can actually add storage space to your iPhone fairly easily.

SanDisk make the iXpand Memory Case for just $60 for 32GB up to $130 for 128GB.

You can set it to automatically backup your camera roll, move videos, music, files and photos to case, which will free up room to take more videos and photos. You can control the case via app and best of all you can seamlessly charge case and phone simultaneously. It does have an optional battery pack available should you need to keep charged out on the go.

Add storage to your iPhone via its case!

Also from SanDisk is the Sandisk Wireless Connect for just $25 for 32GB, $34 for 64GB and storage options go up to 200GB!

You can use app to wirelessly transfer videos, music, files and photos. This creates its own WiFi network, so you don’t have to use your data allowance to backup. It will let you configure a way to automatically copy photos and videos from camera roll between drives when the stick is connected. There is an option to configure settings so you can access cellular data while transferring files: so you can cruise Facebook while you backup!

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.