Street Team: Managing Space on your iOS 7 Device

Since the release of iOS7, we’ve seen many users encountering issues with free space on their iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The upgrade, if done directly on the device, requires several gigabytes of free space on its own.


Over time, smartphones, tablets and other portable devices can quickly become filled with music, video, picture and application files. This is especially true for Apple devices, given the size of the iTunes App Store and the ease of syncing content to the devices.


If you’re having issues with free space on your device, there are a few easy steps you can take to both figure out why you’re using up so much space, and address the problem.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to take a look at the built-in storage management that iOS comes with. Tap settings, then general and then finally tap usage and it should take you to a screen that gives you a description of how much space each application is taking up.

You may find that graphics-intensive games will take up a good bit of space, as will videos and oftentimes pictures. If you see an application you’d like to delete to free up some space, you can simply tap on it and then tap “Delete App” to immediately free the space.


If you don’t see any applications that are taking up exorbitant amounts of space, then the most likely culprit is media content. When it comes to music and videos, it may be best not to store the files on the iOS device at all, and instead opt to use streaming services for music such as Spotify, Google Play Music, Netflix, etc. Otherwise, music and video files can very quickly end up filling a 8GB or 16GB iOS device to capacity.

If photos and emails are your main culprit, there’s an (likely) easier solution. With iOS 6, Apple released a new feature called the iCloud. This essentially allows you to access your files (music,  contacts, photos, emails, etc.) on your device from anywhere, as long as it has a data—3G, 4G or WiFi—connection. In order to enable this feature, you simply enter the settings menu and tap iCloud. From there, you can select all the items you want to store on the iCloud. Apple offers 5GB of space free for all users, so while this can be useful for photos, mail, contacts and calendars, you must be a little careful with how much you decide to store.

If you follow all of the above steps and your iOS device still doesn’t seem to have any space available, the final step is to plug the phone into your computer and open iTunes to check the storage usage. Once iTunes is open, select your device in the top right hand corner of the library. Immediately at the bottom you should see a breakdown of what types of content are using data on your device. If music or videos is the problem, then you simply need to remove some of that media content via iTunes to free up space.

If you see a large yellow bar with “Other” taking up a ton of your space, then freeing space is a bit more tricky. This is a common issue with iOS devices, although much less common since the release of iOS 7, and it results in large amounts of storage being used up by temporary files or files that are no longer in use. Bringing your device into Science Center 129 is recommended in this case, because it can often be a bit demanding to figure out how to clear out the space occupied by files designated as “Other” by iTunes.

As always, if you have any other issues with your iOS device or questions about keeping free space on it, stop by the TSC in Science Center 129 for assistance!