My iCloud Storage is Full-5 Tips for Freeing up iCloud Storage

This article will demonstrate 5 effective methods how to fix "iCloud storage is full". You can follow the guide to delete some iCloud backup with ease, and also it will provide a solution to back up your iPhone to avoid data loss.


By Dylan / Updated on August 18, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit



What to do if my iCloud storage is full?

I have used my iPhone 12 for 3 years. I like to use it to take pictures and have taken many beautiful pictures, but I got a message saying my iCloud is full? What should I do?

- Question from

Why my iCloud is full?

iCloud is a powerful cloud storage device, that enables Apple users to upload their photos, videos, notes, documents, and other data to their iCloud storage. Apart from protecting their important data from loss, users can also access their files from different Apple products with the same Apple account.

However, iCloud only provides 5GB of free space for each user. That is totally not enough for our daily life and you may receive a message saying iCloud backup failed due to not enough space on iCloud. When the storage problem arises, you could do something to fix it, like deleting the repeating pictures, clearing unnecessary applications, or transferring data to a PC to release storage. 5 solutions would be introduced in the following passage.

How to free up iCloud storage when iCloud storage is full with 5 tips

Before we get started, you should know that delete iCloud data will also remove them from other devices enabled iCloud. So you may delete these data completely, please backup your iPhone to a PC to avoid data loss.

📃Manage unnecessary iCloud data Go to Settings > Apple ID banner > iCloud > Manage Storage, you can check iCloud storage.
📂 Delete files on iCloud drive If you often store personal files like words, pdf files on iCloud, you check if there are some files can be deleted from iCloud.
📷Delete redundant photos  iPhone takes great photos, but photos can take a large amount of space on iCloud. Just delete photos on your iCloud.
📥Delete messages If you often use messages/iMessages. The chat history can eat up your iCloud Storage.
📫Delete emails with attachments The email usually contains attachments like photos, videos, and files. Delete them to free up iCloud storage.
🔁Backup iPhone before cleaning If there are some data you don't want to lose, you can backup your iPhone data to PC with FoneTool to avoid data loss.

Solution 1. Manage/delete iCloud data

When you find your iCloud is running out of space, the first thing you can do is to check your storage and manage data on it. Here are the steps of how to check iCloud storage.

Step 1. Go to iPhone “Setting” on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 2. Tap “[Your Name]” banner > “iCloud” > “Manage Storage”.

Manage Icloud Storage

Step 3. Here you can check specific backups information, and you can tap an item that takes up a large space, and choose “Disable & Delete” to release space.

But sometimes, you may notice that your iCloud is still full even though you delete some data. It is probably because iCloud still holds backups of your old iOS devices.

To delete those files, you can tap “Backups” when you enter iCloud storage on Settings. Choose a device name. Then You could see the backup size, the time of the last backup, and so on. Below is the app data that is going to be included in the iCloud backup. You could unselect the unneeded ones to reduce your backup size.

Check Icloud Backup Size

If you don’t want to disable iCloud and delete all data backup, you can follow the solutions below to delete some redundant files as you want.

Solution 2. Delete files on iCloud Drive

Besides syncing the app’s data, iCloud also enables you to upload some files, such as Word documents, PDFs, Audios. You may use this feature a lot and don't have regular cleanup. Your iCloud space could be easily run out. You can remove some files on iCloud Drive.

1. Tap the “Files” app on your iPhone or iPad.

2. Select “iCloud Drive“ under the “Locations”.

3. Tap and hold a file that you want to delete, and choose “Delete“

Delete Files Icloud Drive

Solution 3. Delete redundant photos on iCloud

Photos and videos usually take up the majority of the space, so if your iCloud storage is full, you can delete some redundant photos. With iCloud photos enabled, you can directly delete some pictures to free up iCloud photos if you don’t want to completely turn off iCloud Photos. And the deletion will be synced to the iCloud.

Part 1. Remove Recently Deleted photos

When you delete photos, these photos will be not removed from your device and iCloud but removed to a Recently Delete album. You can delete them by yourself.

Step 1. You can go to the “Photos” app on your iPhone, and find some photos you don’t need anymore, tap them. Then tap the “Trash” icon.

Step 2. Then it will note you “This photo will be deleted from iCloud Photos on all your devices.” Tap “Delete Photo”.

Step 3. The deleted photo actually will be sent to the Recently Deleted album instead of deleted permanently. Then tap the “Albums” tab on the Photos app.

Step 4. Wipe down, and select “Recently Deleted”, you can see deleted photos in the last month. Select them and delete them.

Recently Deleted

Part 2. Delete duplicate and similar photos

When you take photos, you may take the shutter several times to capture the best moment. But you will also get lots of duplicate and similar images on your iCloud. 

If your iCloud and device don't contain many photos,  you can delete them manually. Or you can turn to a professional photos Deduplication tool- FoneTool. With this tool, you can easily find and delete duplicate photos on iPhone/iCloud. 

click photos deduplication


Solution 4. Remove Messages

Message is a common tool helping us communicate with friends. After years of use, you could have several GB of message kept both on your iPhone and iCloud. Here are the steps of deleting messages on the iPhone.

1. Tap the “Messages” app on your iPhone. Then choose “All Messages”.

2. You can slide a message leftward and tap the “Trash” icon to delete a conversation.

Delete Messages

Solution 5. Delete Mails with attachments

We often receive mails with attachments that can occupy lots of storage space of iCloud. Deleting some Mail that contains attachments can be the way to release iCloud storage.

To delete Mail Attach, go to “Mail” > tap “View” > Choose “Sort by Attachments”. Then delete the mail with attachments.

Mail And Attachments

Bonus Tip: Backup iPhone before cleaning iCloud to prevent data loss

It is an effective way to delete some iCloud data when the storage is almost full. However, iCloud usually store lots of important data that we never want to lose, like photos, videos of friends or families. So, before cleaning up iCloud, we strongly suggest you to backup your iPhone data to a PC or an external disk, USB drive.

To perform this operation, FoneTool can also help you. With this tool, you can easily backup your iPhone data, including photos, videos, messages, contacts, and other data from your iPhone to another safe place.

● Easily Backup: You could see all the features clearly on the interface and easily finish backup. It could be used to back up photos, videos, music, messages, and contacts.
Preview Files: Whenever you back up or restore your phone, you could preview and select the files you need to avoid saving useless photos.
Flexible Selection: For example, when you back up photos, you can select just some of them rather than the entire folder and you could also do this when restoring your phone. It allows you to restore files to another Apple device including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Widely Compatible: It supports most iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14 and would be perfectly compatible with the latest iOS 16.

Step 1. Download FoneTool for free. Connect iPhone to a computer with a USB cable and tap "Trust" on it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Phone Backup and go to Selective Backup.

Selective Backup

Step 3. Click an icon to select files in the folder if you need them. If you want to backup iPhone photos,  please click Photos. After selection, click on OK.

Select Files

Step 3. Click Start Backup and your backup would be saved to PC.



1. Please make sure the data is stored on the iPhone or iPad.

2. FoneTool also provides Full Backup to backup the whole iPhone.


There are many solutions when iCloud storage is full. Now you have known how to free up iCloud Storage on iPhone. In conclusion, you can disable an app to use iCloud and delete its data to release space. No matter what methods you are using, please backup your iOS data in a safe place to prevent data loss.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.