How to get more space on your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus


The entry-level iPhone 7 and 7 Plus may not have 16GB of storage any more, but they’re still easy enough to fill up. Here are our tips on freeing space and adding more on your new iPhone!

Be storage-efficient

First of all, you should look to save space by disabling features that you rarely (if ever) use. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are set up by default to use a lot of space, particularly when taking photos and videos. Here are three features you can remove to conserve space.

Turn off the Live Photos feature

Live Photos are short videos that are recorded a second or so before and after a photo is taken. They’re pretty fun, but they’re also very costly when it comes to storage space. You can turn off the Live Photos feature by tapping the yellow icon in the top centre of the camera app (when holding your iPhone in portrait). The concentric circles icon will turn white when the feature is turned off.

Turn off HDR backup photos

By default, whenever you shoot in HDR mode, your iPhone will keep two photos: the original photo, and the HDR’d version. Oftentimes the HDR version is the only one you need, so you’re doubling your storage requirements for basically no reason. This offers less of a space saving, but still adds up to many wasted megabytes over the life of your iPhone. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera and deselect Keep Normal Photo.

Don’t shoot in 4K

You can shoot in 4K with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea! After all, 4K video stores four times as much information as 1080p at the same frame rate, making it take up way more space on your phone. You can change the option in Settings > Photos & Camera > Record Video. I recommend 1080p / 60fps, which should be more than sufficient for all non-professional video production purposes!

Free up some space


Remove unused apps

This is an obvious one, but given its efficacy it would be foolish to not include it. You should regularly go through Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage and remove apps that you haven’t used recently. Particularly if you’re often in areas with fast mobile internet or Wi-Fi, it doesn’t make sense to store an app or game on your phone when you can remove it, save the space and be able to re-download it in a few seconds anyway.

Use cloud storage

Cloud storage is an efficient alternative to local storage, allowing you to access a massive online library of songs, photos and videos instead of being limited to what you can keep on your iPhone.

Instead of keeping music on your phone, you can use use services like Spotify or Google Music. You can upload your photos to iCloud or Dropbox, removing them from your iPhone after they’ve been uploaded. And of course, you can get your video fix from YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video instead of copying them from iTunes. The less photos, videos and music you keep on your iPhone, the more space you’ll have left over!

Move media off your iPhone

If you have downloads, music, movies or photos on your iPhone that you don’t need, you can easily copy them to a Mac or PC using our Connecting your iPhone to a computer guide. There are also some cool gadgets to make that task just that extra bit easier.

Use the Leef iBridge or iAccess

The Leef iBridge is a USB drive with a Lightning plug, making it super easy to move photos and videos off your new iPhone without needing to directly connect to a PC — brilliant if you’re on the go!

Just plug it into your iPhone 7, select and move your media using the iBridge app, and then move the media to your PC, tablet or Android device. You can also use the iBridge to copy files between iPhones and iPads, which can be handy in a pinch. You can also watch videos directly from the device, so you can watch downloaded TV or films without copying it to your iPhone and taking up its limited space. You can also use the Leef iAccess, a similar device that gives your iPhone Micro SD storage.

Back up to a USB drive

Of course, you can use other gadgets to plug in USB drives. This Connection Kit is one option, complete with a USB port for connecting flash drives and portable hard drives, and SD card slots of various sizes to let you copy across photos. If you can remember to keep taking photos off your iPhone and putting them on your PC, you might be able to stave off the dreaded ‘Cannot take photo’ message indefinitely!

Signing off

We hope our tips helped. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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