Even more useful iCloud storage tips

You’ll get more out of Apple’s paltry 5GB iCloud storage if you make use of these simple tips.

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You’ll get more out of Apple’s paltry 5GB iCloud storage if you make use of these simple tips, particularly if you use these in conjunction with those listed here.

More useful iCloud storage tips

There are some obvious ways to take control of iCloud storage, and managing your photos and videos is one of the most effective methods.

You should find that judicious pruning of the images and videos you keep in Photos will make a generous contribution to reclaiming some of that lost space, though do make sure to delete items from your Recently Deleted folder once pruning is complete.

It’s also worth pruning your email, WhatsApp and Messages backups; seeking out and deleting emails and using of Apple’s Messages tool (Settings>Messages>Keep Messages to 30-days) to delete older communications. On a Mac, you’ll find a handy set of storage management tools in About This Mac>Storage>Manage.

You’ll find more useful tips here.

App management

Deleted apps often leave some data stashed inside your iCloud account.

This may not amount to much, but you can review what data deleted apps may have left in System Preferences (Mac)/Settings (iOS)>iCloud>Manage Storage.

Stored apps will appear in a list and you can choose to delete files belonging to any apps you no longer use, or backups you’ve never installed on your current device.

You should also check out your Backups folder – you may find some that relate to older devices you no longer own.

More about apps

Do you use the Twitter or Facebook apps? Both accumulate lots of data when you use them.

Over time, both apps become bloated, eating up rather a lot of your valuable storage space: Facebook consumes around half a GB of storage on my device, for example.

The thing is, social networks live online, so you can spring clean their data hungry ways by deleting and reinstalling them to your device. They will work in the same way, but you will regain some space (and a little more privacy).

Apple doesn’t keep third-party apps in the same section as iCloud-stored apps – this data lives only on your device – which means it also lives inside device backups, and those backups are stored in iCloud.

You can review how much space each app on your device consumes in Settings>General>iPhone Storage. Here you will see each app you have installed upon your iPhone listed by the quantity of data they keep. Tap any of these and you can offload the apps (which means you keep the data for next time you use the app); or delete the app to reclaim all the space.

Clean your iCloud Drive

Because I tend to use many Macs and iOS devices, I make a lot of use of iCloud Drive because it makes it so much easier to move between systems. The side effect is that the quantity of data stored inside iCloud Drive grows quite fast.

There are three ways to manage your iCloud Drive data:

On a Mac: Open System Preferences>iCloud>Documents and review the apps that store documents and data in iCloud. You may come across some you don’t need to sync across all your devices.

Most iCloud Drive users will have Desktop & Documents Folders enabled, so it makes sense to review items you have stored inside your Desktop and Documents folders from time-to-time: Can any items be deleted, or archived to another mode of storage such as an external drive or third-party online storage service?

On iOS: You can also review and delete files from iCloud on your iOS device. Just open Files and review these items, swipe right to left to delete any item you no longer require.

Another Mac method: Your iCloud Drive files are downloaded to your Mac if you have sufficient space, while items that are not downloaded are listed and marked with the download button. You can find these files in iCloud Drive, but you’ll also find them in your Mobile Data file.

To get to this, open the Finder’s Go menu, press Option, select Library and then choose Mobile Documents. You’ll be able to review all your iCloud Drive files here, though some hidden files (often left by now deleted apps) may remain. You can check these files using apps such as Path Finder, but there’s little point in doing so as it is impossible to delete junk and orphaned items at this time.

Learn more about iCloud:

Hopefully this short report has helped you reclaim a little space on your device and iCloud account.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

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