I have a iPad air 1st gen 16GB (model A1474).

I want to install iOS 12 on it, but I am not sure if 16GB is sufficient storage.

Right now I have iOS 9.3.5, and I can't see how much does the iOS itself takes, but I have enough storage for many apps and music.

Does anyone know how much storage does the iOS 12 takes on the iPad? I am afraid I will not have any storage left for apps and data.

3 Answers 3


After installing iOS 12, and then restoring my device to factory default I see that the iOS take 5.1 GB.

storage after fresh install of iOS 12.4.5 on iPad

  • Well done. This used to be a fun parlor activity and once we get proper tables here, it might be time to update this old chestnut of an answer.
    – bmike
    Oct 17, 2020 at 13:31
  • That's exactly what I see in a clean iPhone 6 with iOS 12.4.9.
    – lhf
    Nov 17, 2020 at 19:12

To me it seems like iOS 12 is consuming up to 7 GB of the disk on a relatively clean install.

Below are my details (same iPad model as original poster with iOS 12.4.8):

After doing a factory reset and importing a very modest iCloud backup: enter image description here

After doing a factory reset and not doing any iCloud backup: enter image description here

A few days after the factory reset while doing practically nothing on the iPad: enter image description here

I also have an iPod with iOS 12 (not a fresh install), this is what it reports:

enter image description here

To me that looks roughly consistent with the numbers for the iPad.

Finally, this is what Apple states for iOS 14:

Available space is less and varies due to many factors. A standard configuration uses approximately 10GB to 13GB of space (including iPadOS and preinstalled apps) depending on the model and settings. Preinstalled apps use about 4GB, and you can delete these apps and restore them. Storage capacity subject to change based on software version and may vary by device.


iOS 12 is around 2-3GB in size, (2.77GB according to CNET), however this isn't something you particularly need to worry about, your iPad will not allow you to update the device if there is not enough free space for the update.

That said you should take a backup first and be prepared for a difference in performance as new versions add new features that require more system resources, but the hardware doesn't change.

So go ahead and upgrade.

  • I am worried because I might find out after installing that the iOS 12 alone takes about 13 GB and then I would only 3 GB left for usage - that would not be enough. I think that once you upgrade an iOS you cannot revert, isn't it so? Feb 10, 2020 at 20:45
  • You are right, you cannot downgrade after the fact. I don't have ane exact figure I am afraid, but it is around 2-3GB (2.77GB according to CNET), you will have plenty of space that isn't the operating system, it may be taken up by applications and files you have though. Feb 10, 2020 at 20:52
  • 1
    In my phone it is 6GB, which is quite a big difference. I also saw some screen shots online of people showing 15 GB. Feb 10, 2020 at 20:55
  • All I can tell you is what I know from reading and my own experiences at the time, I can't answer your specific case or other random internet cases, if you are worried about it then you shouldn't update but realise eventually you have to update because the apps you use will stop working as developers stop supporting iOS 9, I imaging you've already had this issue a fair bit. Feb 10, 2020 at 21:01
  • This is exactly what I am debating about Feb 10, 2020 at 21:04

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