I’ve been dealing with a problem for the past few months. I’ve had to manage deleting apps, photos and videos from my iPhone or else I would get a message saying I could not take any new photos or videos until I freed up some space. And this, of course, would always happen at the most inopportune times.
I have a 64GB iPhone 5s, but I like to keep a good amount of music and games available. And I love using my camera, especially the slick slow motion video or new Hyperlapse videos. But dagnabbit, all those things eat up space fast!
For my next phone, I will no doubt upgrade to the next available storage size, but my iPhone 5s is still in great shape – protected in a KX Case of course – and serving me well. No need to rush into an iPhone 6. Maybe I could even hold off another year – but not with the headache of juggling my data.
Then I saw this blog entry on John Moltz’s website about how he and his wife gained 3GB and 6GB of space respectively on their iPhones just by doing a simple restore from backup in iTunes.
It’s so easy to do, it was worth a shot. Tip: Make sure you select “Encrypt iPhone Backup” so your passwords, etc. will all be retained after you restore.
So, how did I fare?
Yes, I gained more than 5 gigabytes of space back!
Where did all of the free space go?
- Audio: Before restore: 19.76GB; After restore: 19.73GB
- Photos: Before restore: 7.1GB; After restore: 7.11GB
- Apps: Before restore: 21.94GB; After restore: 19.77GB
- Docs & Data: Before restore: 2.92GB; After restore: 2.72GB
- Other: Before restore: 3.63GB; After restore: 1.59GB
As you can see from iTunes’ storage breakdown, most of the free space was recovered from the mysterious “Other” category, which might all be iOS housecleaning, with the next biggest contributor being “Apps”. I have noticed that a few apps might have needed to re-download some cached resources after the restore, but I have not noticed any apps that did not keep my settings, logins, high scores, etc.
My iPhone, for the most part, feels like the exact same iPhone it did before the restore, but 5 GB leaner on storage! I shared my success with OWC Larry, and he tried it the same night and sent me the following iMessage: “Hey – Did your restore trick – got back about 3.8GBs! Thanks!”
As always, your mileage may vary on recovered space, but if you are hitting your iDevice’s upper limit you should consider giving this a shot.
iOS 8 download tip: The iOS 8 update is going to require at least 1.4 GB of space to download and run. So if you are running low on space this might be even more effective for you to run before considering the iOS update.