I have an iPhone 5C.

This is a complicated problem, ish, so I'll use bullet points:

-My iPhone says that it has a hard storage limit of 5 gigs, roughly. It's actually like 4.98 and it says I have zero KB left available for whatever reason, but that's a small discrepancy. When I plug my iPhone into my desktop and boot up iTunes, for whatever reason, iTunes also says 4.84 whatever, but my phone is tagged elsewhere consistently as being an 8 gig phone. I have no idea which it actually is, because of this. But let's benefit of the doubt for now. 5 gigs.

-So at one point, I had almost 2,000 photos, and my phone wouldn't let me take photos anymore because of this. "Your storage is full." I was surprised, because I don't have a lot of other apps on my phone. I have maybe three third party apps that I use consistently, being GroupMe, Snapchat, and a tuner. I'd repeat this process, getting to 2,000, deleting some, going back. Etc. So if 2,000 is the limit, and a picture is 3MB roughly...that's 6000MB. SIX gigs. As I only have a five gigabyte phone, I have no idea how that even works. I had to rework the math in my head just now because that obviously is impossible if I only have a five gig phone.

-So then I said "I wonder if I can just take a photo with snapchat instead, and save it to my camera roll from there?" I did just that. For 2,000 more photos. Sue me, it worked, and my phone clearly wasn't at actual capacity, because it was letting me do it. To bolster that argument, there were a few times that SC actually wouldn't let me save photos anymore because IT said my storage was full, at which point I deleted. So I don't think I was somehow pushing the phone past capacity, which shouldn't even be possible.

-So now with 4,000 photos and a phone that continually tells me my storage is full at any opportunity, I decided, hey, I want to actually put songs on my phone again. So I painstakingly (because Apple apparently does not include a way to "select all" from the "All Photos" album) deleted every single photo I had. Zero photos. None. I was like, cool, great. I backed them all up to a folder on my laptop, so no sweat.

-Except then, I wait a bit to put music on. I screenshot some stuff, download some stuff, and I have 28 photos. And my phone says it's full again. My phone. Says. It is full. That my storage is full. When I literally just deleted every single photo I had. And I know for a fact that TWENTY-EIGHT is not the storage limit for photos.

-THE CURRENT PROBLEM is that I've gone on iTunes to put songs on multiple times, where it says: I need 1MB more of storage to even SYNC my phone to iTunes. This is coming from the same computer that says I have about 500MB free space. I'm sorry, you need 501MB to SYNC my phone? My phone synced FINE when I had thousands of photos! It says that to put a song on my phone, I need 6.1MB more storage. But then it registers that I put (1) song on, which I tried to, in half the locations I can check it. It says it when I go to the sync page/phone storage page, but not when I go to the music tab, where it says I have 0 songs.

I cannot download any app updates for my phone (an apparent solution I found on here) because it says I don't have enough space. Even after deleting 4,000 photos, it thinks my storage is full. When I check the storage on my phone, it STILL SAYS I HAVE 600MB of photos. 28 photos does not take up 600MB.

On iTunes, it used to say that a good chunk of my storage was my photos, and some of it was my Documents and Data, and then a gig or so was Other.

After deleting all my photos, Documents and Data is about the size that it and Photos COMBINED were, and Other has DOUBLED in size. Granted, it does say that I have 500MBish free, like I said, but that...doesn't excuse anything else, really. If anything, it's another sign that nothing is working properly.

"Recently deleted" is clean. I permanently deleted those photos. How has my storage space gotten WORSE by deleting so much data.

I'm at a loss for words with how backwards this problem is. I understand it exactly 0% and I've decided I'm getting an android.

But until I do, is there ANY way to fix this? How do I make my iPhone work. And iTunes for that matter. No matter what I do, it seems like, my storage is continually full. It's like it's ADAPTING to show me full storage every time I try deleting something.

I would prefer not to do a factory reset, but if that's the only option, I guess it's worth a shot.

Also, I'm installing iOS 11.something right now. It let me do that. That requires space.

I continue to not understand literally anything.

Thanks for helping.


Restart your phone and then leave it for a while. It takes a while for the system to see space that has been freed up.

Part of 8GB is taken by iOS leaving roughly 5GB remaining. You really can't do much with an 8GB phone. A larger capacity phone would make your life so much easier.

Photos does have a way to pick multiple items. It's the Select button.

Each app has the ability to set aside storage, which is why you could take photos using other apps.

Because of this "full" isn't really full, it's more of a "safe amount of free" to prevent problems like you're seeing. Since you used the loophole of taking photos inside apps you were actually way above "full".

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