iCloud Storage Full? How to Free up & Get More iCloud Storage without Paying

iCloud Storage Full?

You will be given 5GB of storage for free when you first set up iCloud. You can use the 5GB for iCloud backups, to store your photos & videos, documents, and app data. But as time goes on, you may find that iCloud storage is almost full. It will cause a lot of issues: Your device cannot make new iCloud backups, your photos & videos cannot be uploaded to iCloud Photos, and your documents won’t be kept up to date in iCloud Drive.

If you want to increase iCloud storage for your iPhone or iPad, it is a simple way to purchase for more space. But some Apple users may wonder if there is any way to get more iCloud storage without buying it. The answer is “Yes”. Actually, to free up iCloud storage is the only option to increase iCloud storage for free.

How to Check iCloud Storage on Your iPhone/iPad

When your device says iCloud storage is full, you need to check the iCloud storage there first. It will list every use of your iCloud space.

How to Check iCloud Storage on Your iPhone/iPad

How to Free Up iCloud Storage When It Is Full

1. Manage iCloud Backup Settings

The primary role of iCloud space is for backups, which means iCloud backups may eat up a mass of space resulting in iCloud storage full. To free up iCloud Storage, the most direct way to clear iCloud storage is to delete backups in iCloud, and stop iCloud from automatically backing up everything. Follow steps below to manage iCloud backup settings.

Delete backups and turn off iCloud Backup on the iPhone

Delete backups and turn off iCloud Backup on the iPhone

Select which apps not to back up

Select which apps not to back up

After that, iCloud won’t back up that app, and all its backup data will be deleted from iCloud.

2. Turn Off iCloud Photos & My Photo Stream

Photos and videos may take up too much space when your iCloud storage is full. If you turn on the iCloud Photos, all your photos and videos will be automatically uploaded and stored in iCloud so that you can browse, search, and share them from any of your Apple devices. iCloud Photos brings great convenience but also uses a chunk of storage on iCloud. To clear out iCloud storage, you can turn off iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream.

Turn Off iCloud Photos & My Photo Stream

When you turn off iCloud Photos, you can try a third-party cloud service like Google Photos, which offers unlimited storage space for free. You can also choose other alternative cloud services like Yahoo’s Flickr app, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and Amazon Cloud Drive. These cloud services will automatically back up your photos just like iCloud.

3. Delete Files in iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive helps keep any of your documents up to date across your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Windows PC. You can increase the iCloud storage by removing files stored in iCloud Drive. Here’s how to manage it.

4. Delete Email Messages and Text Messages

When you are using Apple’s iCloud Mail, you can free up iCloud storage by deleting email messages from your iCloud Email Account.

If you have the Mail app enabled for iCloud access, you can delete email messages in the Mail app directly.

If you have not enabled the Mail app in iCloud, you can go to iCloud.com, open the Mail app online, and delete messages within it.

Similarly, when you are using Messages in iCloud, you can remove text messages and attachments to clear iCloud storage.

If you want to delete a conversation in a text message, you can tap into that text message, long press the conversation you want to delete until you see a small window, tap on the More option, and then flick the trash icon and Delete Message.

5. Remove App Data from iCloud

Most of the apps installed on the iPhone, including Voice Memos, Notes, and WhatsApp sync the data to iCloud. You can see which apps are using iCloud in the iCloud interface. To free up space on iCloud storage, you can disable the apps you don’t want to sync to iCloud and delete the data of those apps.

Remove App Data from iCloud

Besides removing app data from iCloud, you can also delete some apps that you won’t open.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Mistakenly Deleted Data on iPhone

It could happen that you permanently deleted some vital data which you still need on iPhone by accident when clear storage on the iPhone, including photos, contacts, iMessages, voice memo, and many more. You can, of course, recover them from your iPhone backups. But what if you have no backup or the backups are corrupted? Don’t worry; you can resort to a third-party recovery tool like Gihosoft iPhone Data Recovery. It is a professional data recovery tool which can help you get back up to 16 types of data from your iPhone.

WindowsFree DownloadWin Version MacFree DownloadMac Version

How to Recover Mistakenly Deleted Data on iPhone

In virtue of this tool, you can also preview and selectively recover data from your iTunes backup or iCloud backup.


If your iCloud storage is full, it is not wise to blindly buy more space for iCloud. You can try to manage and free up iCloud storage via tips mentioned in this article. Be careful when you delete items from iCloud and iPhone in case you lose some vital data. But don’t worry if that accident happens, you can use Gihosoft iPhone data recovery to recover lost data from your iPhone directly. If you have any queries or suggestions, please sound off in the comment section.

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