I have purchased a 200 GB iCloud plan. I have a MacBook, an iPad Air and a iPhone 5s.

My phone keeps on popping up "Storage Full" every now and then. What should I do to utilise the purchased iCloud space and free my iPhone of space ?

  • 1
    You can use iCloud Photo Library to free up space from photos, and ensure you don't have any music or videos on your phone that you don't need there (though that's unrelated to iCloud). Otherwise, there is nothing that can be moved to iCloud to save space on the device.
    – tubedogg
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:23
  • tubedogg :- You say i can use i Cloud Photo Library to free up space and then you have added ( That's unrelated to iCloud. Jun 16, 2015 at 18:14
  • tubedogg :- Sorry, but that is confusing me further. Can you elaborate please. Thanks, Jun 16, 2015 at 18:15
  • Music and videos that are stored on your phone are unrelated to iCloud.
    – tubedogg
    Jun 16, 2015 at 18:15
  • @tubedogg but if iCloud Photo Library is activated, full resolution copies will be uploaded to iCloud and smaller resolution images will replace them on the phone, thus making iCloud storage related. Jun 16, 2015 at 21:49

2 Answers 2


It will depend on the root cause of your storage being full, so start by checking on Settings > General > Usage, and select Manage Storage from there to have a detailed view.

ios8.3 manage storage, usage

In my case, pictures are using a lot of space, and podcasts are just behind.

If you click on any of the items on the lists, you get more granular options

music data usage

Here I clicked Music and I'm able to see which albums are using space.

If I slide "All music" to the left I and click Delete I can remove it from my iPhone from here, and recover 1,9 GB of space; of course you have to be cautious and be sure you have that music somewhere else (on your computer, on iTunes Match, or if you purchased it from iTunes Store, you can re download it when you need it).

music storage; slide to delete

If it is full of pictures and videos, you can activate iCloud Photo Library and store full versions on iCloud, keeping low resolution copies on your device; that will free up some space. If it is music, iTunes Match or another streaming service will allow you to delete music and download —or stream— on demand.

Other than that, check Whatsapp and iMessage which are huge space eaters —because of images and videos sent and received with those services; you can delete those images and videos if you have copies of what is worth saving.

iCloud will be very useful for backups and synchronized documents between your Apple devices, but your question indicates you hoped to somehow move some of your data from your device to the cloud, which is called selective syncing on other services (Google Drive, Dropbox); I couldn't find info on that —or similar— feature in iCloud, and I believe it's not possible.

  • Dear Jamie :- You have taken great pains to explain things in vivid detail. Thank you indeed. Today, i have deleted photos and videos, literally one by one, in the belief that i would be freeing up space. iCloud and its usage is confusing me totally and nowadays i feel like a fool having purchased 200 GB of space on iCloud and then not being able to run my i Phone . By the way, i did go to "Manage Storage", but couldn't fathom any further, as to how i push my stuff out of my phone. Any more suggestions please ? Jun 16, 2015 at 18:21
  • @BharatBhandare I added more information and pictures to clarify the Manage Storage option. Jun 16, 2015 at 21:45

I have followed the instructions given by you and have succeeded in freeing up space by moving a lot of my photographs. Also, with a few other minor adjustments, as per your suggestions, my worry seems to be over. I truly appreciate the pains you have taken to explain things so vividly. With utmost respects,Bharat Bhandare.

  • Thanks @Bharat, glad to be of help. This should be a comment though, so I'm flagging it for deletion. Jul 3, 2015 at 22:04

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