How to buy more storage on iPhone
Digital clutter and organization are right up there with junk drawers and overflowing closets — out of sight, out of mind. Until the day comes when you run out of storage space. For the tangible clutter, you have to decide whether to move to a bigger house or clean out the closets.
The same is true for iPhone storage. When you start running low on space, you have to decide whether to clear out the digital clutter, upgrade to an iPhone with a larger capacity, or buy more storage with a cloud-based service.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can get more storage on iPhone. And for those of you who don’t want to pay to store countless cat videos, we’ll also talk about downsizing your digital footprint.
How to get more iPhone storage
The first thing that you should know is that once you buy an iPhone with a certain amount of storage capacity, the only way you can get more physical storage on your iPhone is to buy a new one with more capacity. All of the other options we’ll be discussing will involve offloading or deleting files from your phone so that you can reclaim space.
Before you continue, think about how much space you actually need. Are you a content creator who spends all day taking photos and videos? Do you use your iPhone for both business and pleasure? How fast do you gobble up storage space?
Buy an iPhone with a large storage capacity
If you take a lot of photos and videos and go through storage space quickly, you should think about purchasing a new iPhone with as much storage capacity as you can afford. iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with up to 1 TB of storage space — that’s space for a lot of cat videos! Of course, all that storage comes with a premium price tag, and only you can decide if it’s worth the investment.
Use iCloud+ to store your files
iCloud is the most convenient way to store large files. All iPhones come with 5 GB of free storage space, but as I’m sure you know, that gets used up pretty quickly. For a fee, you can upgrade to iCloud+, which expands your storage to up to 12 TB.
The nice thing about iCloud+ is that it allows you to access all of your files, photos, and videos from any device connected to your account. That means you can view your files on your iPhone, your iPad, or your computer. iCloud also backs up your devices, so if you lose one, you don’t lose all your data.
Here’s how to buy more storage on iPhone through iCloud:
- Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.
- Tap your name to open up your Apple account.
- Tap ‘iCloud.’
- Scroll down and tap ‘Manage Your Plan.’
- Choose a plan from the Upgrade Options based on what you need for storage.
- Tap ‘Buy’ and confirm your purchase.
- Apple will charge the credit card you have on file for your Apple account.
Use a third-party storage provider
iCloud is just one of many cloud-based services that you can use to store your files. You can also use the free or upgraded plans of Google Drive, Dropbox, Creative Cloud, or OneDrive to manage files.
If you decide to use one of these cloud-based solutions, you’ll have to download the app from the App Store and sign in. Unlike iCloud, which automatically syncs your iPhone data, the other services require you to upload photos to the cloud before deleting them from your iPhone.
Transfer photos and videos to your computer using a cable
If you don’t want to store your files in the cloud, you can transfer them to your computer. Here’s how to import photos and videos directly to your Mac with a USB cable.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB or USB-C cable, depending on the model of your iPhone and Mac.
- Open the Photos app on your Mac.
- The import screen should open automatically, but if it doesn’t, just click the name of your iPhone from the sidebar.
- You may also need to unlock your iPhone using your passcode and click ‘Trust’ if you haven’t connected for a while.
- Click the drop-down menu next to ‘Import to,’ and choose an album where you want to save your photos and videos.
- Select the photos you want to import and click ‘Import Selected.’ You can also choose to ‘Import All New Items.’
Buy a flash drive to store your photos and videos
If you find yourself constantly upgrading your cloud service so you can fit more and more photos and videos, you may want to buy a dedicated flash drive to store your files before deleting them from your iPhone.
This SanDisk 128GB iXpand Flash Drive Luxe for iPhone is great for storing all those cat videos. The only danger is that flash drives are easy to misplace, and if you haven’t stored your files in the cloud, then a physical loss is a permanent loss.
Clean up your photo library with Gemini Photos
There’s a good chance that photos and videos are taking up the most space on your iPhone. If you take lots of photos and videos with your phone but never delete the ones you don’t want, you may have hundreds of gigabytes of files that you can delete — this will save you space and money.
Gemini Photos categorizes your videos and files so you can quickly find similar and duplicate images, as well as large videos that are taking up space. Here’s how to use Gemini Photos to delete photos and videos you don’t need:
- Download Gemini Photos and open it on your iPhone.
- Give permission for the app to access your photos and videos.
- Your photos and videos will be sorted so you can easily see duplicates, notes, and similar images, as well as your videos.
- Tap ‘Videos.’ Your videos will be sorted with the largest files on top.
- Tap on a video and press play to view it.
- Swipe up to keep your video or swipe down to delete it.
- Optionally, empty the trash at the end to maximize your space savings.
- Go back to the home screen and choose ‘Similar.’
- Pick a month with a lot of photos.
- Scroll through the photos. Gemini Photos will suggest the best photos of several similar images. You can delete the rest with a single tap.
Finally, offload apps to free up space
Another way to reclaim space on your iPhone quickly is to offload apps, especially the really large apps or the ones you rarely use. Here’s how to offload apps on your iPhone.
- Open Settings.
- Tap ‘General.’
- Tap ‘iPhone Storage.’
- Tap on the app you want to offload.
- Tap ‘Offload App.’ If you want to use the app, simply tap on it, and as long as you have Wi-Fi, the app will update and download so you can use it. All of your data will remain intact.
Managing storage on your iPhone will likely include a strategy that includes removing clutter, which takes time, and increasing storage, which costs money. How you choose to handle your iPhone storage will depend on which of these two things you value more.