So, you just got a notification from iCloud that your storage is almost gone. Or, you check your storage and realize it’s much higher than you think. Although Apple gives you 5GB of free iCloud storage, this is far from enough to store photos and messages for even a few months, let alone years.
In this post, we will guide you through everything you can to reduce your iCloud storage.
Step 1: See What’s Taking Your Storage
First things first, you need to know what is consuming your iCloud storage. Luckily, it’s easy enough to check all of your Apple devices.
From a Mac, open System Preferences, click the Apple ID at the top right of the application, and click Manage … at the bottom of this window next to the colorful bar that displays iCloud storage that is used and not used. Clicking on all applications in the left pane will give you instructions on how to manage the iCloud usage of that application.
From an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings application, tap your name at the top of the application, tap iCloud, then tap Manage Storage under the colored bar that shows your used and not used storage. This will give you the option to delete the storage for all the applications that you see listed, or it will tell you how to free up storage for that application / service.
Again, the goal here is only to see what uses your storage. You may have several applications using iCloud storage that you are not aware of and do not want to use. We will fix this in Step 2.
Step 2: Turn off the Application You Don’t Want to Use iCloud
Going forward, we will only discuss the iOS side of various things, even though the process is basically the same on Mac.
A word of warning
In the Manage Storage section of your iCloud settings, you have the option to delete files that have been created and stored by various applications on your iPhone.
These files are generally used to synchronize with your other devices. This will mostly be games and social media applications. If you only have one Apple device and don’t have the intention to buy a secondary device, then these files might be useless.
Another reason an application can use iCloud storage is to back up important information, usually done on an application where you create files, such as a budget application or video editing. If you think this is the reason why an application uses your iCloud storage, please double-check the application before deleting these files, because you might unknowingly delete something of value.
Reduce iCloud Storage Used By Applications
There are two ways to reduce iCloud storage used by applications. First, you can delete these files, and second, you can prevent the application from creating new iCloud files. Doing both will completely eliminate the problem; only doing the first means more files will eventually be created, and only doing the second means that no new files will be added, but the old files will not go anywhere.
To delete files, open the Manage Storage section of your iCloud settings, find the application / service you want to delete, tap, and tap Delete Data.
To prevent the application from adding new files to your iCloud storage, return to the iCloud section of your iCloud settings and tap the green button next to the application that you don’t want to upload data to iCloud; This will turn off application access to iCloud.
Step 3: Replace iCloud Photos with Google Photos
A free alternative to storing your photos on iCloud is Google Photos. Google Photos automatically backs up all your photos and makes it easy to delete them from your phone after it’s backed up. In essence, you are trading the Apple Photos application for the Google Photos application, which serves as a free alternative. For most people, this is an easy decision with few consequences.
Remember that you will depend on Google Photos. You need to download this application to all your devices to view your backed up photos, and moving your photos from Google and back to iCloud is much more difficult than vice versa. If you have more than 15GB of photos on iOS, this might be a permanent step. Additionally, Google Photos does not store your photos in the highest quality, so there will be less degradation.
Step 4: Delete Old Files
Now we move to an area that makes most people uncomfortable, and delete old files. Not just a few megabytes used by mobile games, but old photos, videos, songs, documents, etc., that you store in iCloud.
There aren’t many tutorials here; You know what is important to you and what is not. Simply open the File application on your iPhone or iPad and start erasing.
We have a few tips. If you delete photos in the Photos application, also make sure you delete them from Recently Deleted. Without deleting it here, they will need 30 days to completely delete it, which means they will still be taking storage for another month.
Also make sure the file that you delete is actually in iCloud. The last thing you want is to delete all your photos, only to realize that you don’t even have your photos in iCloud. You can check whether the application saves files in iCloud by referring to Steps 1 & 2.
Step 5: Move Your iCloud File to Physical Storage
If you have an iPad or Mac, you should be able to easily move lots of iCloud files to physical storage. If your Mac or iPad has enough storage, you can save your files directly on this device. Or, you can buy a flash drive or hard drive and move your files there.
Remember that you must follow the drive where you saved the file. Be sure to back up this drive to another drive (you can do this easily with Time Machine for Mac), because all flash and hard drives have a fixed life span of about 7 years, assuming they were not damaged before that.
Step 6: Worst Case Scenario
If you have done everything to date and still need to reduce your storage, there are some worst case scenario solutions. You can immediately bite the bullet and delete everything, choosing to save your storage for new files. You can also delete your iCloud backup, which is generally not recommended, but if you are not too attached to the data on your cell phone, this will free up a few gigabytes.
And finally, if nothing works, if you’ve deleted everything, you’re willing to split up and still need more space, then maybe it’s time to increase your iCloud storage.
And that, friends, is everything you can do to delete your iCloud storage. We hope this helps!
Question and answer
How much does iCloud storage cost?
ICloud storage charges a monthly fee. You get 5GB of storage for free when you create an iCloud account, then $ 0.99 / month for 50GB, $ 2.99 / month for 200GB, and $ 9.99 / month for 2TB.
Why does the “x” application use iCloud storage?
Most applications using iCloud storage do it for synchronization. Synchronization means that you can use the same application on two different Apple devices with all the same files, progress, and settings in place. Some applications also use iCloud storage to back up your data in that application. This is usually done in applications where data loss will be a big disappointment, such as video editing applications or long mobile games.