iCloud is full: 7 tips to clear iCloud storage

iCloud storage is full: 7 tips on how to clear iCloud storage

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Apple automatically gives 5Gb of free storage to every iCloud account, which doesn’t seem like enough at first, but if you play it smart, you can easily get by with just those free 5 GB. This article will help you reduce your iCloud storage so you can downgrade your iCloud storage plan and stop paying for iCloud. See our 7 tips on how to use less iCloud space:

How to see what’s taking up space in iCloud

First, you should see what data you have in iCloud and how much space it’s taking up. To do this, navigate to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Manage Storage. The data that typically take up a lot of iCloud storage space are:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • iCloud backups
  • Email messages with attachments
  • WhatsApp Backups

iCLoud storage

Note: Movies, apps, books, and music bought in iTunes will not count towards your iCloud storage.
Photostream and the photos uploaded there don’t take any iCloud space because these images are stored locally on the device.

See what is causing you the most trouble and find a tip on how to deal with it below!

Download and delete photos from iCloud

Photos usually use up a lot of iCloud storage space. To reduce iCloud storage you use on photos, you can exclude them from iCloud backups and download your photos and videos to your PC. This way, your precious memories will always be at hand. You will then be able to delete all the photos and videos from your iCloud.

To help you, we have made a program called CopyTrans Cloudly. It will download all the photos in one go and allow you to settle the score with what’s still in your iCloud. You can download and try it here:

Download CopyTrans Cloudly

After you’ve done that, follow the steps:

  1. Exclude photos from iCloud Backup
  2. To do this, go to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Manage Storage> Photos> Disable and Delete. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to restore your pictures from the iCloud backup later.

    Disable and delete iCloud photos

  3. Back up all iCloud photos to the PC
  4. You can do that in a few clicks with CopyTrans Cloudly. All the photos will be stored on your PC or external hard disk. If you need help, see this guide on how to download all the photos and videos from your iCloud to your PC.

    CopyTrans Cloudly

  5. Delete pictures from iCloud
  6. Now erase all photos from iCloud to create even more iCloud storage space. If you don’t want the new photos to be uploaded to iCloud, you can disable your iCloud Photo Library. If the iCloud Photo Library is still enabled on your iPhone, your new photos will be uploaded to iCloud like before.

  7. BONUS: Transfer the pictures you need from PC to iPhone
  8. If you want to transfer some of the images to your iPhone, use our CopyTrans Photo app to transfer these photos back to your iPhone. By using it in combination with CopyTrans Cloudly, you can truly become the master of your photos! Download and try it here:

    Download CopyTrans Photo

    After you’ve done it, transfer the photos to your PC fast and easily!

Drag drop photos to iPhone

Extract and delete old iCloud backups

To find information about your iCloud backups, go to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Manage Storage> Backup. If your iCloud backups are starting to take too much space – simply extract the important data from them, delete the backups you no longer need and use an alternative backup solution!

  1. Extract the data from iCloud backups

    Take this step if you are not sure what is inside your iCloud backup or it contains some data that you would like to retain. In this case, you can find and extract data from your iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor.

  2. Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

    find iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

    After this, you will be prepared to erase old backups from your iCloud storage.

  3. Delete old iCloud backups
  4. Delete all your old iCloud backups – i.e. backups of the devices that you no longer have. To do this, Select the backup> Delete Backup> Disable & Delete. This way you can free up tons of iCloud storage.

    Delete iCloud backup

  5. Exclude apps from the backup
  6. If you have iCloud backup enabled, every app you install will automatically be backed up. To change this, go to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Manage Storage> Backups and tap the icon of your device. Here you can see which apps are included in your iCloud backup and how much space they take. Please note that if you restore this iCloud backup, the app data of the apps you excluded from the backup will no longer be there.

    Delete apps from iCloud backup

  7. Secure iPhone files locally on the PC
  8. Alternatively, you can create local iPhone backups on the PC with CopyTrans Shelbee. Your contacts, calendars, notes, SMS messages and iMessages, photos and videos, and settings and app documents will be included in the backup. You can also choose to back up to your PC to an external hard drive.

    Download CopyTrans Shelbee

    CopyTrans Shelbee will allow you to make validated backups to your PC which will further be available for full restore or restore of selected components. Also, this is going to be an encrypted backup stored on your PC and not in iCloud. Read our guide on how to backup and restore iPhone without iTunes to learn more.

    CopyTrans Shelbee main menu

Delete files from iCloud Drive

You can also delete the files you have stored in iCloud Drive to free up iCloud storage. Go to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Manage Storage> iCloud Drive. You will see all the files stored in iCloud Drive. Swipe left and tap on the trash icon to delete the file.

Delete files from iCloud drive

To optimize iCloud storage, you can manage your documents, movies, and other data locally by transferring these files between your PC and iPhone, e.g. with CopyTrans Apps.

Download CopyTrans Apps

Clean your mailbox

If you use your iCloud address for your email, emails will also be backed up to your free 5GB of storage. You can delete unnecessary emails with large attachments to quickly get rid of several gigabytes in iCloud.

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Swipe left over an email and tap the trash button.
  3. Go to the Trash folder. Tap Edit, and then click Delete All.

Delete emails and attachments

Save WhatsApp backups to PC

Nearly everyone has long WhatsApp chat histories which often include photos, videos and GIFs. With iCloud backup enabled for WhatsApp, a significant portion of your iCloud storage will be taken. You can, however, enjoy both conversation history safety and free iCloud if you save messages and your WhatsApp chat history on PC. For that purpose, we developed a cpecific app, CopyTrans Contacts. Download and try it here:

Download CopyTrans Contacts

CopyTrans Contacts will allow you to save full chats or chats for a specified period of time in DOC, PDF, TXT, RTF formats. In addition, it can export pictures and attachments to a separate folder on your PC. After you’ve exported what you need, you can exclude WhatsApp from your iCloud backup with peace of mind.

CopyTrans Contacts export WhatsApp

Organize contacts, calendars, notes, reminders

Apple also stores calendars, contacts, and reminders on iCloud servers. These take so little space that Apple does not even show how much space they take.

However, if you do not want to trust your personal information such as contacts and notes to iCloud, use the same trick as with WhatsApp and manage them offline with CopyTrans Contacts.

Download CopyTrans Contacts

After you’ve downloaded, see how to organize your contacts, calendars, notes and reminders. If you are just looking to back up your iPhone contacts, CopyTrans Contatcs will also help.

CopyTrans Contacts

Conclusion

With the tips above, you can easily get by with the free 5GB of iCloud storage. By finding an alternative way to store your photos, videos, and backupsand backing up data locally, you can use iCloud more efficiently and stop worrying about filling up your free iCloud storage.