How to Manage iCloud Storage to Free up Space [7 Ways Included]

You may wonder how to manage iCloud storage to free up more space if it is full. Then this post provides you several ways on iPhone, PC, and Mac respectively. You could make a choice according to your situation!


By Ellie / Updated on May 31, 2024

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How do I manage iCloud storage?

"My iCloud storage is full. I keep getting an alert saying that there’s not enough iCloud storage. This annoys me a lot. How do I manage iCloud storage?"

-Question from Quora

Why need to manage iCloud storage?

iCloud is a feature that is built into Apple products. Once you register and log into an Apple account, you'll be given 5 GB of free storage, and all of your photos, messages, contacts, notes, and so on will be automatically synced to iCloud, where you can access them whenever and wherever you are if you log into the same Apple account on a PC or other Apple products. 


However, as we mentioned, Apple Inc only offers 5 GB of free storage. Obviously, it’s not enough for most users, especially when we are in such a modern society. And many users claim that they always get the message “iCloud backup failed due to not enough space on iCloud” and it drives them crazy to clear out the data again and again. For this reason, we need to manage iCloud storage to guarantee enough space and the availability of iCloud.

How to manage iCloud Storage

If you discover that your iCloud storage is full, refer to the following 7 options on how to manage iCloud storage on iPhone/iPad or PC/Mac. Option 7 may be the best way to manage iCloud/iCloud Drive data on PC.

Option 1. Expand your iCloud storage

When you find your iCloud storage is full and want a quick solution, the easiest option on how to manage storage on iCloud is to upgrade your it. Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage > Upgrade. Then you can choose your upgrade options. Then you can have 50 GB, 200GB, or 2TB space.

iCloud Upgrade Option

But if you don't want to spend money on iCloud storage, you can choose the following options to clear up iCloud storage for new data.

Option 2. Delete old iCloud backups

The second option on how to manage iCloud storage on iPhone is to delete old iCloud backups from previous devices and only leave the ones you need. This has been tested by many users as useful. Here’s how to delete your old iCloud backups.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

Manage iCloud Backup

Step 2. Delete your old iCloud backups on your iPhone that you don’t need anymore and only leave these you need.

Several iPhone Backups

Option 3. Delete unnecessary data in iCloud

iCloud helps back up information like photos, messages, mails, etc., on your iPhone, but you may not need some of the information. Therefore, you can delete some unnecessary data on iPhone to free up iCloud storage. 

Step 1. Navigate to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage, Click Manage Storage.

Manage iCloud Storage

Step 2. Here you can check the backups information. Choose an item such as Photos that takes up a large space, and choose “Disable & Delete” to release space.

Disable Delete

Option 4. Clear up iCloud Drive

iCloud has the ability to store a large amount of data, some of which you may not have been aware of. If you don't clean up frequently, it will consume your iCloud storage. For instance, in addition to photos, messages, mails, etc., it saves files such as Word documents, PDFs, and so on. Here are the steps on how to manage storage in iCloud Drive.

Step 1. Find and click the Files app on your iPhone or iPad > Click Browse > Select iCloud Drive.

Browse iCloud Drive

Step 2. Tap and hold a file on the above folders that you want to delete, and choose Delete.


Step 3. Then your iCloud storage may be reduced a little.

Option 5. Delete “Recently Deleted” photos 

In fact, the deleted photos will be stored on iCloud for 30 days and the messages will also take up the iCloud storage if you enable these 2 features on iCloud. Thus, it’s kind of necessary to delete those data to free up more storage.

Step 1. Go to the Photos app and then locate it on the Album tab.

Step 2. Scroll down and select Recently Deleted, and you can see deleted photos for 30 days. Select them and delete them.

Recently Deleted

Option 6. Manage iCloud Storage on PC and Mac

In addition, to manage iCloud storage on iPhone or iPad, you could also achieve the goal via PC or Mac, which may let your choice more intuitive. Now follow me to know how to reduce iCloud storage on PC and Mac.

☞ On PC:

Step 1. Log into your Apple ID on your browser and then enter “”.

Sign in iCloud

Step 2. Type in your Apple ID. Then click Allow on your iPhone and enter the verification code on your PC.

Step 3. Now you’ll log into iCloud successfully. Choose one of the options shown in the picture, for example, Photos.

icloud site

Step 4. Now choose some photos you don’t want or some duplicated ones. Delete them.

☞ On Mac:

Step 1. Launch System Preferences on the Mac Dock.

Step 2. Click your Apple ID and sign in if prompted. 

Apple ID

Step 3. Click Manage... in the bottom right corner of the window. And then choose “Backups” in the menu on the left. Choose the backup you want to delete.


Step 4. Click the ”Delete” icon on the bottom left of the pane. And for the pop-up confirmation, select “Delete” again.

Delete Confirmation

Step 5. And you can also delete Photos, and email attachments also in it to manage your iCloud storage space.

Option 7. Use a professional tool to manage iCloud data

If you want to manage iCloud data on PC, FoneTool will the best free way to help you make it.

With its powerful feature, you can easily upload, download or delete iCloud and iCloud Drive data on PC.

For people who need to switch to a new Apple ID, FoneTool allows you to easily move iCloud data from one account to another.

Now you can download it on your Windows PC and follow the instructions below to manage your data.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Go to My iCloud > Log in with your Apple ID > Manage iCloud. (If you need to sync iCloud data to another Apple ID, you can choose iCloud Sync to make it.)

manage iCloud

Step 2. Click each icon to choose the targeted data > Click Upload, Download or Delete to manage it.

manage photos

Bonus tip: Back up iPhone data to computer when iCloud storage is full 

If you feel the 5 GB of iCloud free space given is not enough and you don't want to spend money on it, you can use the professional & free backup and transfer tool FoneTool to backup your iPhone data to your computer if the iCloud storage is full. After this, you are free to delete any data on your iPhone to free up storage on iCloud without any worry.

Step 1. Download and install FoneTool on your PC. Prepare a USB cable and then connect your iPhone to a computer.  Run it on your PC and then tap "Trust" on your iPhone.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Backup All

Step 3. Click the box area to select the data you want to backup. After choosing, click on OK.

Select Files

Step 4. Click the Start Backup button and your backup would be saved to your PC in a few seconds.


Step 5. Now you can delete those data on your iPhone and then your iCloud storage will be managed well. When you need those data, you could restore them selectively.


In this post, we list how to manage iCloud storage on iPhone/iPad or PC/Mac. I guess there should be one of them that suits you perfectly.

On iPad or iCloud, we could reduce iCloud storage by deleting unnecessary data on iPhone, deleting something unimportant in iCloud Drive, backup your data with FoneTool, and then removing them from iCloud... And on PC, we could log in to an iCloud account to delete selectively.

On Mac, we can handle the management on Finder. We do hope these ways are effective for you.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.