By Demi / Last update September 7, 2022

Storage full

My iPhone storage is full because of photos. But I’m saving my pictures in the iCloud. 35 GB of my iPhone storage is from Photos. Can someone help me solve the problem? Because I only have 4000 pictures on my phone.

- Question from Apple Community

It’s so frustrating for all of us that when we used the current iPhone for a long time, we will get a message saying that iPhone storage full. After you receive the message, you will find your iPhone cannot operate as smoothly as before. What’s worse, you are not allowed to take photos sometimes or restore iPhone because not enough space.

Iphone Storage Full

This passage will give you two kinds of methods to help you get rid of the issue. One is to delete the files on your iPhone directly after backing up your iPhone, the other is to reduce iPhone space used by apps. So, let’s get started.

Part 1. General tips to save iPhone storage with backup

Although backing up your iPhone cannot free all the space on your iPhone, you can delete some less important files from your iPhone, which can optimize the storage space to some degree.

Method 1. Free iPhone storage with iTunes

iTunes is used to purchase and manage media files, but now more and more iPhone users backup their iPhone to iTunes. 

The steps to make iTunes backup is pretty easy.

Step 1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes > Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.

Step 2. Click the phone-shape icon in the upper-left corner > Click Back Up Now in Summary. 


Then iTunes starts backing up your iPhone data and settings to computer. Keep your iPhone connected until the backup process is finished. 

Method 2. Backup specific files with FoneTool

FoneTool provides you a professional and easy way to backup important files on iPhone, in which you can freely preview and select files as your need. 

Download FoneTool, and let’s take back up music from iPhone to computer as an example.

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

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to the computer > Tap Trust This Computer.

Step 2. On the Home screen, click Phone Backup. Find Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 3. Click Music icon > Preview and select the songs you’d like to backup to the computer > Click OK.

Select Songs

Step 4. Click Start Backup to start the backup task.

⁕If you want to backup photos, videos, contacts, and messages, repeat step 3 to backup all the files you want at a time.
⁕It’s easy for you to check the backup files on the Backup History screen. You can locate, browse and delete the backup files here.

If it is not enough for you to save iPhone storage with backup, you can try some specific ways in Part 2 to reduce the space used by default apps.

  Part 2. Specific solutions to reduce space used by apps

Reducing space used by apps is another effective way to avoid iPhone saying storage full. After all, the documents and data of an app’s storage always account for the largest amount of data. For default apps, there are some specific solutions to free up storage.

Reduce space used by Photo Library

Solution 1. Free iPhone storage by iCloud syncing

iCloud will sync the photos with full-resolution versions, while lower-resolution versions will still available to browse on your iPhone. 

Follow the steps below to free iPhone storage by iCloud syncing.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Tap [your name]

Step 2. Enter iCloud > Select Photo

Step 3. Switch on iCloud Photos to make it.

Turn On Icloud Photos

⁕You won’t be able to access the full resolution photos offline, and when you’re online, it takes a little time to download them before you can view them.
⁕You can also repeat the steps to backup other types of data. When it is finished, you can delete the less important files to free iPhone storage.

Solution 2. Empty your deleted photo folder

It’s the easiest way to free up the storage space in your Photo Library. When you delete a photo, it will actually be moved to a folder named Recently Deleted, and it will continually take up storage in your iPhone for 40 days. Thus, it’s necessary to empty the deleted photo folder to reduce space.

Go to Photos > Scroll down to Recently Deleted > Make sure you don’t need these photos anymore, then click Select > Click Delete All to make it.

Empty Deleted Photos

Solution 3. Enable High Efficiency when storing files

Make sure you’ve enabled files to be stored as High Efficiency if your iPhone 7 or later versions of iPhone storage full. Since iPhone 7, iPhone users can store images as HEIF files and videos as HEVC files by default, which can reduce a large amount of space.

To make sure this function is enabled on your iPhone, go to Settings > Scroll down to Camera > Select Formats > Tap High Efficiency.

High Efficiency Images

Solution 4. Disable live photos

Compared with regular images, live photos can record a short video rather than a static image. Therefore, live photos also take up more space on your iPhone than regular images. You can disable it to save storage space.

To disable this function, open your Camera > Tap the second icon from the left at the top of the screen until LIVE OFF appears.

Disable Live Photos

Reduce space used by Messages

The messages, especially images, GIFs, or Memojis you send and receive will take up the largest amount of space in your Messages. You can clear any attachment from your messages that you don’t need.

To delete the attachment, go to Messages and click on a chat with lots of attachments > Tap on the recipient’s name in the top center and tap info > Scroll down and select See all Photos > Tap Select to select photos you want to delete, tap Delete to make it.

Delete Imessage Attachments


That’s all about how to fix iPhone storage full problem. You can make a phone backup before deleting some unnecessary files on your iPhone to optimize the storage space. For default apps, it’s needed to delete useless files regularly to reduce the space used by them. You can also delete and reinstall apps, clear the browser cache, etc. to free up more space on your iPhone. Hope this passage can help you.

FoneTool Runs Perfectly on

iOS Versions
  • iOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
  • iPadOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
iOS Devices
  • iPhone 14/14 Pro (Max), 13/13 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 12/12 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max)
  • iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st, 2nd, 3rd generations)
  • iPod touch 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
  • All models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPad