What Happens When iPhone Storage is Full- How to Manage Files and Free Up More Space

October 12, 2023Louisa White

Although smartphones nowadays have as large storage space as 1TB, they will eventually be filled up with all sorts of files, photos, data, updates, etc. So, what will you do when your iPhone storage is full? Whether you have an old or new iPhone, it will get full storage when you keep large photos and videos or download many files. One solution for this inevitable event is to upgrade your iPhone and buy a new one with more storage or subscribe to the iCloud service for more cloud storage, but it will save you more money when you clean up your device. While deciding, you can read this post and see solutions that will benefit you.

iPhone Memory Full

Part 1. What Happens When iPhone Storage is Full

If you disregard the “low storage space” notification, there is a chance your device will be reactive with full storage. You can visit the App Store and download an app, but your device will not install it at all. The iCloud Photo Library will also struggle to sync incoming files. Furthermore, your device’s performance is noticeably slow when opening the apps or browsing online due to the cluttered space.

Meanwhile, iOS will keep reminding you of your almost full iPhone storage, and it is hard to get rid of it until you start to clean it up. Under such circumstances, Here are some warnings that are common for full storage on iPhones:

Part 2. Why is iPhone Storage Full When I Have iCloud

iCloud is the extended storage space of an iPhone for photos, contacts, messages, videos, and more. But why is the phone still full even with a cloud service? The major reason is that iCloud backs up phone data, such as images, videos, and app data, but it won’t directly delete these local files on your iPhone. Other files it stores can be system files and cached data, which take up much space on your phone. So, the iCloud service works like an external storage for your iPhone but doesn’t naturally affect your internal storage.

Some iOS users suggest using optimization features, but even with these, the result is almost the same as having low enough space. This is because your device might not be up for more data, or in other term, it lacks on-device storage. Also, remember that iCloud is meant to back up all files on your phone and is not made to offload content from your iPhone to free up more space. So, you can delete unused apps and other files to keep the storage space in good condition. Check out the following part for various solutions.

Part 3. What to Do When iPhone Storage is Full

After you have determined why your iPhone storage is full, the next thing you will do is declutter the storage to free up more space. See the three practical solutions with easy steps to follow.

The Default Way to Clean iPhone Storage Space

When you find a low storage space, your first reaction is to delete files. It takes time to erase all unwanted content from your phone, but you can start by using the steps below to delete files you don’t need.

Step 1:
The first thing to do is uninstall unused apps. Go to settings and open the General menu. Press the iPhone Storage to see the app list. Scroll down and choose the app to delete. Choose the Offload App option to uninstall the app while keeping its data, or choose the Delete App option to delete everything with it.
iPhone Settings General iPhone Storage Full
Step 2:
Next, optimize pictures to reduce the file sizes. From the Settings app, go to the Camera menu. Tap the Formats option, then select the High Efficiency button. Note that the pictures taken on your iPhone will remain of the best quality but take less space.
iPhone Camera Settings High Efficiency
Step 3:
Music is also another factor why your iPhone storage is full. To delete some audio files, go to settings and tap the iPhone Storage menu. Find the Music app and swipe left on the artist to delete them from the list. Optionally, you can delete specific albums, multiple songs, etc.
Step 4:
Clear the browser cache from the Safari menu on the Settings app. Just tap the Clear History and Website Data button, then confirm the choice when a prompt appears on your screen. This action will erase the browsing history, cache, and data on Safari.
iPhone Safari Clear History Cache Data
Step 5:
Lastly, delete messages with images attached. Visit the Messages menu on your phone’s settings and locate the Keep Messages option. Choose either 30 Days or 1 Year to delete all accumulated messages. Tap the Delete button to confirm.

Use Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner for a Quicker Phone Declutter

Whether you want to free up space or boost the device’s performance, Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner is the best solution. The cross-platform tool is designed to clean junk files on any iOS version, removing temporary data, app data, documents, and more. It estimates the space to free up while the user is allowed to manage the files to eliminate. On the other hand, it offers more built-in features, such as a photo compressor that reduces file sizes without quality loss. With Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner, you can:

iPhone Cleaner


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  • Quickly scan the iPhone storage full and delete useless files.
  • Fully back up and restore data for iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
  • Remove duplicates or merge contacts to free up space.
  • Use the Erase All Data feature to clean the iOS device in one click.
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Step 1:
Download the iPhone Cleaner software on Mac or Windows. Once you have finished setting it up, launch Aiseesoft on your computer and connect the iPhone with a lightning cable. Don’t forget to iTunes latest version and tap the Trust button once prompted.
Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner Download Connect iPhone
Step 2:
When the device is connected, check the description from the software’s interface. You can see more by navigating to the More Info menu. Click the Quick Scan button to check the files that make your iPhone storage full.
Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner Quick Scan
Step 3:
Click the Erase button for the Erase Junk Files option to expand the list. You can check images cache, iTunes cache, invalid files, and other scanned files. Then, click the Erase button to remove them from your iPhone.
Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner Erase Junk Files
Step 4:
Do the same for Uninstall Applications, Delete Large Files, and Clean Up Photos. Once you are done deleting files, check other Aiseesoft tools from the Recommendation menu or use the Erase All Data to wipe data from your device.
Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner Delete Large Files iPhone Storage Full

Upgrade iPhone Storage

If you don’t want to risk any file when deleting data, another option you can take is to upgrade to a premium subscription and back up the iPhone to iCloud. With this, you will not bother deleting any file, and you can even get more features like iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, etc. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1:
Go to the Settings app and tap your name. From the iCloud menu, tap the Manage Account Storage or Manage Storage button.
iCloud Upgrade More Storage
Step 2:
Scroll down until you see the Upgrade to iCloud+. Tap on it and choose a plan. Follow the instructions until you are subscribed.

Part 4. Tips: How to Check iPhone Storage

By the time you free up space on your device, you will think about how to manage it to keep from getting a low storage space. The first place to look for storage information is through the Settings app. There, it will show the iPhone’s full capacity and used space by photos, system, messages, and so on. See how to get to the iPhone Storage.

Step 1:
Open the Settings app and tap the General menu. Tap the iPhone Storage button to open the onscreen information about the storage capacity.
Step 2:
With the parameter shown above, it shows how much space is used by a specific feature. Always check the Recommendation section to see which app is not much of a use, and then you can delete it. Moreover, the section will show other options, such as enabling the Auto Delete Old Conversations setting.
Check iPhone Storage

Part 5. FAQs about iPhone Storage Full

Why is my iPhone stuck on the Apple logo?

If your iPhone storage is full, this will likely happen. Your phone needs constant updates and can fail to download the needed software if you are low in space. You can force restart the device to see if it will work out.

What takes up the most storage on the iPhone?

It depends on the user. The first thing that will likely take up more space on your phone is photos if you love taking pictures. Another possible answer is apps that have a lot of app data. Surprisingly, your browser can gobble more space if cache, cookies, and browsing history are not regularly deleted.

What should I delete when my phone storage is full?

Assess the iPhone storage first before jumping to deletion. The parameter that shows the storage capacity will be your guide to which files you have to delete. Then, add app data, browsing history, and messages to your list of deleting files.

How to increase iPhone storage?

Delete files that are not needed, such as apps, temporary files, and large video files. You can also purchase a plan on iCloud to expand your phone storage.


You have read what you can do when your iPhone storage is full. While you can subscribe to iCloud+ to expand the storage space or delete files manually, you can download Aiseesoft iPhone Cleaner to clean your phone thoroughly. Click the Download button to try now!

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