For all the benefits of keeping an iPad in your carry bag, one of the downsides is you can’t expand onboard iPad storage. If your iPad starts to complain that it’s full, it’s important to know how to quickly free up space so you can get back to work.
1. Check free space
If your iPad starts complaining that it’s running out of space, or you’d just like to see what’s using up the most storage on your tablet, dip into the General > iPad storage menu.
It’ll take a minute to analyse your device and then tell you how much of the onboard storage you’re using. This will include a colour-coded breakdown with photos (which includes videos in the camera roll), apps, media and messages. You’ll be presented with Recommendations for saving space. Click “See All” to view the full list.
2. Uninstall unused apps
Scroll down past the Recommendations and you’ll see a full list of apps on your iPad. It starts with those using up the most storage. This figure might include files stored within that app, such as documents, voice memos or other multimedia.
You’ll also see the date when you last used each app. This makes it easier to determine which apps you won’t miss if you delete them to save space.
3. Offload apps
Rather than regularly deleting apps, you can set the iPad to do it automatically by selecting Enable Offload Unused Apps from the Recommendations list.
The beauty of the Offload Unused Apps feature is that it doesn’t delete the documents and data stored in those apps. It’s all still there in case you need it. The offloaded apps appear as greyed-out icons on the home screen. You can re-download them with a tap. This puts everything back the way it was rather than starting again with a fresh install.
4. Cull your multimedia and messages libraries
The camera roll is often the biggest storage hog on an iGadget, especially if you shoot videos. Click on the Photos option in the iPhone storage menu for the option to empty the Recently Deleted album. Click Review Personal Videos to see a list of those taking up the most space.
It’s also possible the Messages app might be chewing up a lot of space if you use it regularly to stay in touch with colleagues and exchange multimedia. Click on the Messages option in the iPhone storage menu to see a list of large attachments and automatically delete old conversations.
5. Shift data to the cloud
Enabling the iCloud Photo Library will automatically upload your photos and videos to the cloud to free up space on your iPad. However, keep in mind that Apple only offers 5GB of free storage. You’ll also want to dip into the Settings > Photos > Mobile Data settings to ensure you don’t chew through your monthly mobile data allowance.
You can also limit the number of old emails stored on your iPad, via the Settings > Accounts & Password menu. Old emails are deleted from your tablet but not from the server, so they’re still found when you search through your inbox on your iPad.
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