What to do about iCloud storage

If you are like many of us, you have probably seen the annoying “iCloud storage full” message on your iOS device. But what do you do about it?

What is iCloud? iCloud connects your devices, helps you find your iPhone, and stores data associated with your Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Photos, and more. You are given 5GB of iCloud storage as part of your standard account. Understandably, if you have multiple devices, take a lot of photos, and/or backup your data (which is highly recommended, by the way), it’s quite possible you could run out of storage space.

If this happens, you have two options: clean out some of what’s in your storage or purchase more storage. We’re going to look at each option and then you can decide the right solution for you.

The “storage full” issue is coming up quite often lately for my students — especially those who are using multiple iOS devices (e.g., iPhone and iPad). Students seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to clear data, apps, and photos off their device(s). Cleaning up a device is not a bad idea if the apps are no longer used or photos are no longer wanted; however, it is important to keep what is needed. For example, trying to find data that is no longer necessary and/or deleting important photos can defeat the purpose of using the device to help with memory issues.

Should you spend the time to clean up your device so that you conserve space or should you purchase more storage space? You could start downloading and/or deleting photos and apps to try to gain some space back, but if you think about it, there will always be more pictures you’ll want to take and more apps you’ll want to use.

Before I share the following information, let me say that I don’t work for Apple and I don’t even own Apple stock. Now that you know I’m not gaining anything from this, I’ll tell you that you can quadruple your storage to 20GB for .99/month. You might resent the idea of having to spend money for extra storage or you might have a hard time coming up with $12 a year, but how much time and energy do you have to expend to try to fix the problem by deleting things? People often spend a couple of weeks or longer trying to deal with the “storage full” issue.

To wrap up, you have two options to the iCloud storage problem: clear out your iCloud storage or purchase more storage. If you are using more than one iOS device, take lots of pictures, and/or download lots of apps, you might at least want to consider purchasing more storage in order to save time and energy, and also to reduce the anxiety associated with the dreaded iCloud “storage full” message.