“Cannot Take Photo”: the dreaded message an iPhone user will see when his/her attempt to take a photo is rejected. As with most things, prevention is key. The more space you actively keep open on your smartphone, the better off you’ll be.
You wouldn’t want to miss your chance at capturing a great viral video just because you’re out of room, would you? Here are 5 tips to continuously optimize storage space on your device.
Delete Old Text Conversations
Believe it or not, the app taking up the most space on my phone right now is my messages app. Not my photos, not my music — messages. Why? Because I never think to delete them. There’s no reason for me to keep text conversations I haven’t visited in over a year, and truth be told, I haven’t deleted a single message in the conversation I started with my best friend the day I got my current phone…over 2 years ago. Maybe it’s time to clear that up. And hey, if there’s something particularly special you don’t want to delete, take a screenshot, and call it a day.
Export Photos to Your Computer
Instead of keeping years of photos on your phone, import the photos to your laptop every time you plug it in. Assuming you’re not using a cloud-based solution that automatically streams the photos to your connected devices, save “hard” copies of the photos on your computer, then delete them from your phone. You probably don’t need doubles. And if it turns out you do need a photo you removed from your phone, simply email it to yourself from your laptop.
…Or Save Photos to Google Drive
Google Drive is a godsend. For everything you do on you create on your phone, there is probably a way to store it in Google Drive. There are even ways to do it automatically, so you don’t even have to think about it. You can set up a recipe with a service called IFTTT (If This Then That) that will let you decide how to automatically send photos, notes, etc. directly to Google Drive. Once you know they’re safe in Drive, you can delete them from your phone.
Don’t Save Music on Your Phone
MP3 files are a huge storage suck. The days, there are a bunch of options for streaming music services (like Spotify or Pandora) that will let you free up space on your phone. Get rid of the clutter in your native music app and step into the new age!
It’s worth noting that with apps like Spotify, it can be difficult to listen to music when you don’t have a signal (cell data or wifi). Personally, I prefer tapping into the sharing economy by using Spotify premium ($10/month), so I am able to listen to music while offline. I always keep a few of my playlists synced to “offline mode,” but doing this actually does take up a bit more memory than having just the app and listening to everything with live streaming. Keeping playlists synced to offline mode still takes up far less space than keeping a full library of music directly in my music app.
Delete Apps You Never Use
Lastly, and this may seem like an obvious, practice the art of decluttering. We all download cool new apps from time to time when we hear about them, but then we never use them after the first one or two times. Look at the apps you currently have downloaded. If you haven’t used it in 3 months, chances are you’re not going to use it in the next 3 months. If you decide later that you want it back, you can always return to the App Store and download it again.