I'm trying to track a problem with my wife's iPhone Photos app taking about 7GB despite "Optimize storage" being enabled. I want to compare her phone to mine since I suspect that it's storage full res versions.


Open the Photos app. In the bottom-right corner, tap Albums, then the top-left album named All Photos.

At the bottom of that album, you will see the exact number of photos and videos in your photo library, including any Hidden photos.

Optimize Storage doesn't mean that photos are never downloaded from iCloud. iOS will download higher-resolution versions of your photos and videos as they are viewed/zoomed/edited/shared. These higher-resolution photos will not be purged until space is needed.

It is normal for the amount of storage taken up by the Photos app to grow over time. On my 128 GB iPhone, I have 60 GB of storage taken up by photos and videos (out of a 140 GB library), even with Optimize Storage selected. But since I also have 30 GB free, there is no need for iOS to delete anything yet.

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    Thanks! My wife's 16Gb phone has 7Gb of photos and 1mb free, while my 64Gb phone has 4Gb of photos and 3Gb free. I have slightly less photos, but twice the videos. Her phone is constantly reaching 0kb free and freezes up. Feels like Photos app isn't correctly clearing out full res images. – Nic Cottrell Jun 2 '17 at 19:19
  • That part is certainly not normal, though I've seen others complain about it before. Beyond the usual reboot, I might advise plugging in her iPhone and leaving it locked with the app in the foreground, see if that kicks in the housekeeping process. Otherwise there's always the nuclear option of disabling iCloud Photo Library, giving everything enough time to clear out, then enabling it back. – user11633 Jun 2 '17 at 19:53
  • Thanks Phong - was thinking the same. Will do a full backup of the phone via iTunes and then turn iCloud syncing off and on again. – Nic Cottrell Jun 6 '17 at 18:42

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