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How to free up storage space on your iPad

Manage your space to improve performance…


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Managing your iPad’s storage helps it runs smoothly and last longer. When your iPad is cluttered with too much data it can slow down, making it less efficient (and more frustrating) to use.

Freeing up storage space not only improves performance, but also makes it easier for you to keep everything organised and ready for whatever you need to do. Whether it’s for work, school, or entertainment, having a decent amount of free storage space means your iPad can handle everything without lagging or crashing. So, let's dive into how you can free up storage space on your iPad.

Check your iPad storage

First things first, you need to see how much storage you have - and what’s taking up your precious space. Here’s how to check your iPad’s storage:

1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.

2. Tap ‘General’.

3. Select ‘iPad Storage’.

You’ll now see a breakdown of your storage. You’ll see how much space is being used, and how much is available. There’s also a list of apps and content that are using the most storage. This information is essential because it helps you pinpoint what’s eating up your storage - you might find that certain apps or large video files are the main culprits. And if you don’t really use them, you can think about getting rid.

Delete unused apps

One of the easiest ways to free up space is by deleting apps you no longer use. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.

2. Tap ‘General’.

3. Select ‘iPad Storage’.

4. Scroll through the list of apps to see which ones are taking up the most space.

5. Tap on an app you don’t want and select ‘Delete App’.

You can also delete apps directly from the home screen by pressing and holding an app icon until it starts to jiggle, then tapping the ‘X’ in the corner.

Regularly reviewing and removing unused apps can free up serious space - especially as most of us download apps on a whim and then forget about them. By just keeping the apps you actually use, you’ll not only free up storage but also declutter your home screen.

Use cloud services for videos and photos

Photos and videos can take up a huge amount of space on your iPad. Instead of storing them locally, consider using cloud services.

A cloud service not only frees up space on your iPad - it also ensures your memories are safely backed up and accessible from any device. Here’s how to do it:

iCloud Photos

1. Go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Photos’.

2. Turn on iCloud Photos. This will automatically upload and store your entire library in iCloud.

Google Photos

1. Download the Google Photos app from the App Store.

2. Open the app and sign in with your Google account.

3. Follow the instructions to back up your photos and videos.


1. Download the Dropbox app.

2. Open the app and sign in.

3. Upload your photos and videos to your Dropbox account.

Save photos and videos to a physical hard drive

If you prefer to physically backup stuff, you can transfer your media to an external drive or computer. Here’s how:

Using a Lightning to USB adapter

1. Connect the adapter to your iPad.

2. Plug in a USB drive.

3. Open the ‘Files’ app, find your photos and videos, and drag them to the USB drive.

Using AirDrop

1. Open the ‘Photos’ app and select the photos or videos you want to transfer.

2. Tap the ‘Share’ icon and select ‘AirDrop’.

3. Choose your Mac or another Apple device.

Having a physical backup is beneficial for extra security and freeing up space on your iPad. It’s a good idea to regularly transfer your media to an external drive to keep your device running smoothly.

Get more out of your music storage

Music can take up a lot of space, so here are some good housekeeping tips for your tunes.

Stream music instead. Use services like Apple Music or Spotify to stream music instead of downloading it to your device. Streaming music is a great way to enjoy your favourite tunes without taking up valuable storage space.

Remove downloaded songs. If you don’t want a piece of music on your iPad anymore, here’s how to get rid of it:

1. Open the ‘Music’ app.

2. Tap on ‘Library’.

3. Select ‘Downloaded Music’.

4. Swipe left on any songs or albums you no longer need and tap ‘Delete’.

Manage Your messages

Messages, especially those with large attachments, can quickly use up space. By keeping them in check, you can free up a significant amount of storage space. Here’s how to manage and delete them:

Delete old conversations.

1. Open the ‘Messages’ app.

2. Swipe left on conversations you no longer need and tap ‘Delete’.

Set message expiration

1. Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Messages’.

2. Under ‘Message History’, select ‘Keep Messages’ and choose 30 Days or 1 Year.

Delete attachments

1. Open a conversation in the ‘Messages’ app.

2. Tap on the contact’s name at the top and select Info.

3. Scroll to see attachments and delete the ones you don’t need.

Clear your web browser cache

Web browsers store data to speed up browsing, but this cache can take up space over time. Clearing your browser cache regularly not only frees up storage but also improves your browsing performance. Here’s how to have a clear-out:


1. Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Safari’.

2. Tap ‘Clear History’ and ‘Website Data’.


1. Open the ‘Chrome’ app.

2. Tap the three dots in the top-right corner and go to ‘Settings’. Then tap ‘Privacy’ and ‘Clear Browsing Data’.

And that’s all there is to it. Has it all become clear? By regularly checking your storage, deleting unused apps, using cloud services, backing up media to physical drives, optimising music storage, managing messages, and clearing browser cache, you can keep your iPad running smoothly and efficiently.

Need more help?

Looking for more advice for your iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air or iPad Pro?. Here are some of the best iPad tips for beginners. Also, here’s some info on how to delete apps from your iPad, how to rotate your iPad screen, and how to turn private browsing on and off.

If you’re looking for a new iPad, find out which iPad is right for you. And if you want to speak to an expert before you buy, pop in-store and chat to one of our colleagues. They’ll answer all your questions.

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