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Running out of space on my iPhone...  How can I save my photos and not have to delete them anymore?

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Kyle Santos
Customer Relations for Experts Exchange, LLC. Please see my Full Biography for more information.
Is your phone running out of space to hold pictures?  This article will show you quick tips on how to solve this problem.

I was talking to a buddy the other day and I told him I would show him some tips on how to stop having this problem.  He replied "Apple 101."  I laughed because he knows I'm a 'tech guy' and this kind of stuff he just wants to know what the answer is to the problem.  I promised I would oblige him.


First off, your iPhone is most likely storing hundreds, if not thousands of pictures.  If you're like my buddy and the phone dies and there was never a backup made, you're basically S.O.L.  But if you want to put in preventative measures that will ensure you never lose a photo from data loss again, then I recommend you do the following...and the cost is negligible if your photos are priceless to you.


Go to your iPhone

Settings

Click your name (Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes, etc)

iCloud

Storage

Change Storage Plan

Select 50GB for $0.99 a month.

Confirm the changes.


Then go back to Settings

Photos & Camera

iCloud Photo Library > Toggle ON

Check Optimize iPhone Storage

Upload My Photo Stream > Toggle OFF

iCloud Photo Sharing > Toggle ON


What did you just do?


Well, you bought iCloud storage from Apple.  Basically, each new photo you take will eventually be uploaded to the cloud.  This happens usually when you get home and are connected to WiFi.  It knows to do this automatically for you.


Why is this better?


The phone itself will not be used as a photo storage device anymore.  You will be able to still view, share, and manage your photos as normal.  Deleting a photo is essentially the same thing because now you're going to be deleting it from the cloud instead of your phone.  But having 50GB of cloud space shouldn't run out of space too soon...unless you have grandchildren, am I right?


Additionally, if you have a Mac, you can save physical copies of the photos on there.  You don't need iTunes.  Just open Photos on your Mac

Go to Preferences

iCloud

iCloud Photo Libary > Check this box

Download Originals to this Mac

My Photo Stream > turn this off

iCloud Photo Sharing > Check this box


What did you just do here?


If you're a person who likes that peace of mind by having the physical copies of the photo saved somewhere, then the best place to do that is on your Mac, where there shouldn't be space issues because Macs nowadays have more space than an iPhone.


Anything else?


Nope, not really.  You will see a bill for $0.99 a month, so don't be alarmed that your kid or you inadvertently bought some recurring subscription you didn't know about.  If you have any questions or additional information please leave me a comment below.  Endorsing this article shows others this is good content.  Thanks for reading!


 

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Author:Kyle Santos
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5 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Sina May
"The phone itself will not be used as a photo storage device anymore.  You will be able to still view, share, and manage your photos as normal."

This makes it sound like the phone is only temporary storage until the photo is in iCloud. Does this mean anytime I'm opening my photos app that I'll be using data? I could see that getting expensive if I'm not on Wi-Fi.
0
 
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
Does this mean anytime I'm opening my photos app that I'll be using data?
Yes, if you are going through photos that are already up in the cloud.  Viewing an image is basically downloading an image so you can view it on your device.  Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat do this as well.

Should you be concerned?  This depends on your situation.  For example, I've used almost 400mb of cellular data with Photos this month.  I take a photo or two about every day.  I also use High Dynamic Range on my camera, but I don't keep the Normal Photo as well.  This saves space because I don't need a duplicate of a less quality photo.  So, if you don't use HDR photos and only use Normal, then this is a good way to cut down on data usage when viewing photos that are already in the cloud.  You might even say using Google Photos free version is a way to go if you are not keen on HDR photos.  In my case though, the usage of data is negligible even with HDR photos enabled, compared to other apps I'm using, for example, Facebook has used 706mb, Chrome has used 1.2gb, Mail 514mb, and Instagram 948mb.  This is month to date and my cycle started on March 7th.  I recently switched to unlimited data with my carrier so I don't have to micromanage my family's data plan anymore.  I'm very glad I did this.
 
If you're concerned with exceeding cellular data usage you have some options.  I believe all carriers now offer unlimited data.  See your carrier for more details.  Or if unlimited data is not an option with your carrier, you can manage your data usage on the iPhone by disabling use of cellular data when using Photos.
Go to Settings
Cellular
Photos > Toggle OFF

Its not an ideal solution, but if avoiding the headache of an additional charge of going over your data plan through your carrier is something to be worried about, then micromanaging cellular data is possible on the iPhone for most apps.
1
 
LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Kyle Santos
One of our members had this brilliant recommendation I thought should be seen here as well.


I'm headed to Alaska tomorrow to embark on a bucket list adventure - to see the Northern Lights.  Like most people who use their smartphone as their primary camera, I'm paranoid that something might happen and I'll lose my phone or the phone dies - with no backup evidence of this epic adventure.  And since I'll be in the middle of nowhere and my iPhone can't back up to the iCloud, I found this super cool device to offload my photos - making the Camera Roll less of an endless task.

https://www.sandisk.com/home/mobile-device-storage/ixpand
0
 
LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Rob
HDR photos are the same size as a normal photo, they're just enhanced so they shouldn't affect storage unless you keep the original as well.

Even selecting optimized photo roll will use space on your phone.  It's just that the phone will modify the size of the cache according to how much space there is available on your device.  e.g. on my Android, Google Photos has a 500mb cache.
1
 

Expert Comment

by:L C
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/30930/Whastapp-Backup-Iphone-Google.html

Iphone. Whatsapp backup. Google. Free and unlimited media storage.
By installing Google Photos on your iphone, you will be able to backup all your iphones media, including your Whatsapp Folder/Album (Photos, Videos, Voicenotes, GIF's).  

You wont need to buy extra storage for Google Drive, becuase Google Photos has an option for unlimited storage, so this does count against your default Google Drive space.

If you choose to backup your Whatsapp media (Photos, Videos, Voicenotes, GIF's) this way, you can still backup your chat database to icloud, in your whatsapp settings, you can choose to backup chats without videos, so you wont use up your up your icloud storage space, by duplicating videos already backed up with Google Photos.

Google Photos also has an assitant to help you remove media on your device that has already been backed up, this is optional, but helpfull if you need to recover storage space on your device. You will need a data connection or wifi access to access your media files, or just choose for offline access for selected media files.
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