I have an update iOS 7.1.2 waiting which I cannot install since it tells me that I don't have enough free space. The update is 28.8 MB and I have 1.1 GB free. But the update apparently requires 1.5 GB free to install, which is absolutely ridiculous. I realize that the update itself will not use the 1.5 GB afterwards, but this just reeks of bad design. This means that on my 16 GB iPad (where I already have to economize the space) I have to waste 10% of the disk in order to be able to install updates.

So, is there a way around this issue other than deleting additional apps or data? I have already deleted more than I cared for.

2 Answers 2


Updating through iTunes rather than OTA has a smaller storage space requirement on the device. I believe it's much closer to 1 GB, but I don't have an actual number to provide.

To update through iTunes, connect your device over USB, select it and click Update.

  • I figured that this might be an option (although 1 GB is still a lot). However, since I have never actually used my iPad with iTunes it wants me to sync them and transfer apps from my iPad. I will only do this as an last resort as I honestly think that iTunes is one of the worst peaces of software that has been forced upon us. I simply LOVE OTA updating and iCloud backup, and going back to iTunes (even for a moment) seems like a big step backwards. Anyway, unless there comes a better answer I will still accept this.
    – pajevic
    Aug 11, 2014 at 20:24

This huge hunger for disk space can also be rooted in security copies that have to be made in advance. On Windows, they are stored in the %APPDATA% “Apple Computer” directory under “MobileSync>Backup” and “iTunes>iPhone Software Updates”. Create symbolic links to save the needed directories on another disk drive instead. See the steps at How to change the location where iTunes stores backups of iPhones? and there the answer of @MartinPrikryl

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