How to free up iCloud storage space

It’s time to free up iCloud space when your iPhone won’t back up to iCloud or the message “Insufficient iCloud storage” pops up.

Free iCloud storage

Apple is providing its device users with 5GB of free iCloud storage space that allows iPhone users to get started with automated iCloud backups, iCloud Photos, and other iCloud-related services.

However, the limited iCloud storage available in a free iCloud account can quickly fill up with iPhone backups, photos and app-related data.

In this case, iPhone cannot back up its data to iCloud and you may see pop-ups on your device saying “Insufficient iCloud Storage”.

To fix this problem, you can either buy more iCloud storage or try to free up iCloud storage by following the steps given below.

1. Delete iCloud backups

If you’ve switched iPhones, backups from your previous devices may be taking up space in your iCloud account.

Open settings > Tap yours Apple ID name > iCloud > manage storage > fuse > Select iPhone on the next screen fuse you want to delete.

Old iPhone backup to iCloud

On the next screen, scroll down and tap delete backup Possibility. On the confirmation pop-up, tap Disable and delete confirm.

This will remove your old iPhone’s backup from iCloud and disable future iCloud backups for that device.

2. Clear unwanted app data

You can expect to free up some iCloud storage space by removing data stored in your iCloud account by unwanted apps.

Open settings > Tap yours Apple ID name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > Tap yours iPhone located in the Backups section.

iPhone backup to iCloud storage info screen

Disable on the next screen applications that you don’t want to back up data to iCloud by toggling the switch next to Apps to OUT Position.

Disable apps from storing data in iCloud

On the confirmation pop-up, tap Turn off and delete.

This will erase all app data saved by the app on iCloud and also prevent those apps from saving data on iCloud.

3. Turn OFF iCloud Photos

Turning on iCloud Photos ensures that a copy of all your photos is stored in iCloud. However, this can quickly fill up the available storage space in your iCloud account.

Open settings > Tap yours AppleID > iCloud > photos > disable iCloud Photos by moving the switch to OUT Position.

Disable iCloud Photos on iCloud

Select in the confirmation popup Remove from iPhone.

As mentioned above, these steps only prevent your device from uploading new photos to iCloud. Photos already uploaded to iCloud will not be deleted.

4. Delete iCloud Photos

If you are still suffering from iCloud storage shortage, you can download all photos from iCloud to Mac or Windows computer and delete all photos from your iCloud account.

1. Visit on your computer and sign in to your iCloud account > Once in iCloud click on that photos Tab.

Photos tab in iCloud

2. In the Photos app, click the photos Tab to switch to photo view.

Switch to photo view in iCloud

3. Next press command + A Keys to select All Photos and click download icon to start downloading all photos from iCloud to your Mac.

Download all photos to iCloud

Note: If you are on a Windows PC, press CTRL + A to select All Photos and click Download icon to download photos to your Windows PC.

4. After the photos have downloaded, click recycle bin icon to delete the selected iCloud photos.

Delete all iCloud photos

The deleted photos will still be available in your iCloud account for 30 days, after which they will be automatically deleted.

If you want to free up iCloud storage immediately, you need to remove deleted photos from Recently Deleted folder.

5. Click on Recently deleted tab in the left pane. In the right pane, click Delete everything Option to permanently delete all photos from your iCloud account.

Erase all recently deleted photos from iCloud

5. Get more iCloud storage

If you like storing photos in iCloud, you can consider the possibility of buying more storage space to meet your cloud storage needs.

Go to settings > AppleID > iCloud > Manage Storage > Change storage plan > Select the on the next screen storage plan you want to find and tap on the Buy option.

Refresh iCloud storage on iPhone

As you might agree, iCloud storage is not that expensive and can be used to back up your photos to Apple’s cloud storage services.


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