iOS 17: How to Free Up iCloud Storage on Your iPhone and iPad

How to free up iCloud Storage on your iPhone or iPad

Running low on iCloud storage? You’re not alone. Millions of iPhone users grapple with this issue daily. But don’t sweat it; we’ve got some easy fixes. In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to free up iCloud storage, so you can hang onto all your important data and files.

After updating your iPhone to the latest iOS 17, you may still have old iOS 16 backups lingering in your iCloud storage. These outdated backups can take up a significant amount of space and are generally unnecessary if you’re running smoothly on the new beta or stable update. By deleting these older backups, you can easily free up iCloud storage.

What is iCloud?

iCloud is Apple’s cloud service that lets you securely stash and access data like documents, photos, and music across multiple Apple devices. Every shiny new Apple gadget comes with 5GB of complimentary iCloud storage. Plus, you can upgrade it up to as much as 2TB with monthly subscriptions.

iCloud Storage

Checking Storage Consumption

First things first: to see what’s hogging your iCloud storage, head over to Settings > Your Profile > iCloud > Manage Account Storage. This will display a list of all apps and data using iCloud space and how much they’re gobbling up.

Check iCloud Storage on iPhone

How To Free Up iCloud Storage on Your iPhone and iPad

1. Delete Old Backup on iCloud

Many iPhone users don’t know how to get rid of old backups on iCloud, which can be real storage hogs. The first thing to do is to delete any old device backups that you no longer need.

  • Navigate to Settings > Your Profile > iCloud.
  • Spot any outdated backups.
  • Tap the backup to view its details.
  • Pick the backup you wanna remove.
  • Hit “Delete & Turn Off Backup” and confirm to free up some space.
Delete old device backups to Clear iCloud Storage

2. Clean Out Your Photo Roll

One more quick win is to sift through and delete any redundant files, snapshots, and vids from your iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library.

  • Go to Settings > Your Profile > iCloud.
  • If iCloud Photos is on, tap “Photos” under the Manage Storage list.
  • Pick “Optimize iPhone Storage” to keep downsized versions on your device, while the high-res ones stay in iCloud.
  • To clean out your photo from the cloud, tap “Turn Off & Delete from iCloud.”
Clear up photos and videos to Clear iCloud Storage

3. Manage app data

Check out the roster of apps using iCloud storage. Tap an app to see its stored data. If you want to trash it, tap “Delete Documents & Data” and confirm.

Manage app data for iCloud

Note: This will nuke the data for good, so be sure.

4. Turn off iCloud Sync for Specific Apps

Don’t want an app to eat up your cloud space? Easy. Just flip the switch next to the app’s name in the main iCloud backup screen to disable iCloud sync.

Turn off iCloud storage for specific apps

5. Upgrade Your iCloud Storage Plan

If you’ve got more data than cloud space, you might wanna think about upgrading. Tap “Manage Your Plan” and then “Change Storage Plan” to check out your options. Once you find a plan that works for you, tap “Buy” to lock it in.

Upgrade your iCloud storage plan

Apple offers a variety of plans that suit different needs:

  • United States (USD): $0.99 for 50GB, $2.99 for 200GB, $9.99 for 2TB
  • United Kingdom (GBP): £0.79 for 50GB, £2.49 for 200GB, £6.99 for 2TB
  • Australia (AUD): $1.49 for 50GB, $4.49 for 200GB, $14.99 for 2TB
  • Canada (CAD): $1.29 for 50GB, $3.99 for 200GB, $12.99 for 2TB

You can freely switch plans as your storage needs evolve.

Wrapping It Up

By following these steps, you can free up iCloud storage on your iPhone. Don’t forget to regularly audit your storage use and chuck anything you don’t need to make the most out of iCloud.


How do I access iCloud photos?

To find and clear iCloud storage photos, navigate to Settings > Your Profile > iCloud > Manage Account Storage > Photos.

How do get more iCloud storage for free?

Unfortunately, Apple only gifts you 5GB for free. To get more, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan.

Which is the default iCloud storage plan?

The go-to iCloud plan starts you off with a free 5GB. You can also go for 50GB per month, 200GB if you’re a power user, or 2TB if you’re a content creator.