How to Save Space in iOS 11 With New Storage Features

iOS 11 introduces design changes and new features, but it also includes several under-the-hood optimizations that are designed to free up space on your device. Some of those features, like new HEVC and HEIF formats for smaller video and photo file sizes, are implemented automatically when you upgrade, while others can be manually enabled when you're low on space.

The new iOS update is designed to make suggestions on how you can save space, and you can find these suggestions in the Settings app.

Toggling on Space Saving Suggestions



  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap on "General."

  3. Choose "iPhone Storage."

  4. Tap "Enable" on any of the suggestions Apple provides to turn them on.

Offload Unused Apps


One of Apple's suggestions is to automatically delete unused apps when the storage space on your device is low, and this is a feature new to iOS 11. If you enable this feature, Apple will delete apps you don't use often, while saving the documents and data so you can download them again and pick right back up where you were if necessary.


You can also offload individual apps by selecting them from the list of apps located just below all of Apple's suggestions.

Auto Delete Old Conversations


With "Auto Delete Old Conversations" enabled, Apple will automatically delete all messages and attachments that were sent over a year ago. This can save significant space, but be aware that once gone, there's no getting those messages back.

Review Large Attachments


The "Review Large Attachments" feature lets you see a list of the largest files on your device, located in Photos, Mail, and Messages. A tap will let you view a file up close, and a swipe to the left on an item in the file list will bring up an option to delete it. You can mass delete files by tapping on the "Edit" button in the upper right corner of the device.


Along with these three options for storing space, the Storage section of the Settings app also displays all of the apps you have installed, with the app using the most storage space at the top. It also lets you know how long ago the app was last used, making it easy to cull items that aren't used often.

Depending on what's installed on your device, you may or may not see all of these storage options, but if you're getting low on space, they should appear.

Related Roundup: iOS 11


Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
Offloading your apps sounds risky to me. It ends with "if the app is still available in the App Store" - not sure about you guys, but when MacRumors tells me something will likely be remove from the App Store, I jump on it.

IE, I have Floppy Cloud on my iPhone, the app that has a secret NES emulator in it - just put an NES ROM in Dropbox and the app will load up and run the game. I also have a "flashlight app" on my iPhone that actually enables tethering without paying your carrier.
Rating: 3 Votes
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8 months ago
Is there any way to 'select all' rather than tapping each large attachment?
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 months ago
Welcome features. Thanks for the tips!
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 months ago
While I was in the public beta, I saw the "Recommendations" section under Settings->General->Iphone Storage. But now that I have the final version of iOS 11, I don't - and my wife (who was never in the beta) doesn't see it either?!

Anyway, both of us have 16gb iPhone 6 and our category picture never looks like all these web sites swooning over the new chart - ours is mostly "Other" - our "System" category takes up 8.5gb!! And none of the web sites detailing how to 'free up space like a pro' says a peep about how to reduce that 'System' category. I know for a fact that base iOS 11 doesn't take up 8.5gb - there must be caches, logs, whatever that could be cleared. Anyone have any ideas on what we could try (short of factory reset)?

A couple things I already do:
- Disable "iCloud Photo Library" for a few minutes and then enable it again - that sometimes frees up a lot of storage (I'm guessing because some caches get cleared and, obviously, some low-grade images are no longer kept on the phone).
- Prune all old conversations in iMessage (especially those with photos). One of the storage recommendations allowed you to do pruning there (including deleting attachments) but like I said, we don't see the recommendations anymore.

Are there any other ways to affect the "System" category?

Any suggestions are much appreciated,
Tom
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 months ago
It's also worth noting that iMessages in the cloud will be coming back (beta feature) with an update to iOS 11 at some point. Though I'd be fine with an option to keep messages for three months. One month is too short in case I need to reference something my wife sent me in search, but a year is too long.

Offloading your apps sounds risky to me. It ends with "if the app is still available in the App Store" - not sure about you guys, but when MacRumors tells me something will likely be remove from the App Store, I jump on it.

IE, I have Floppy Cloud on my iPhone, the app that has a secret NES emulator in it - just put an NES ROM in Dropbox and the app will load up and run the game. I also have a "flashlight app" on my iPhone that actually enables tethering without paying your carrier.


You can make copies of these apps in iTunes. I think. Though didn't they recently remove the App Store from iTunes? I just realized I haven't synced my iPhone to iTunes in years so I have no idea how it works any more, lol.

Apple doesn't force the removal from your phone if the app is banned?


The concern is that once the app is "removed" from your device using this feature (not using the app in a long time), it won't automatically come back if you tap on it because it's not in the app store.
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 months ago
Would be better if we could delete the apps cache
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 months ago
I don't understand why my System says 6GB while some friends report just 1GB. What's going on?
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 months ago

Should this only delete the attachment in the message, and not from the photo library?

Yes, this is only to clear up space associated with each app, so getting rid of the image/video/pdf attachments in Messages will not remove them from the photo library.
Rating: 1 Votes
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