iPhone users may not have much to complain about, but there is one thing that most of them will point out. Limited storage. Apple’s expensive iPhones may have all the cutting-edge technologies crammed into them, but it has never allowed expanding the storage. You have to make do with whatever’s space there, and it sometimes fills up fast. Blame heavy apps and the data they keep storing over your time of usage. As it happens, you either stop using some apps or never started using one in the first place. But these apps hog a lot of space. Why not clean that up?
Your iPhone lets you clear up space by a nifty trick wherein you do not have to give up on the data you saved for an app. Apple lets you, as it calls it, offload apps from your iPhone. It is not the same as deleting an app. Offloading means that while the app, which you probably have not used in a while, is removed, your data stays safe. The advantage here is that whenever you reinstall that app, the app fetches your data automatically so you can pick up from you left the last time. All that happens at your convenience. I mean you can delete the app since you are not using it without having to worry about your data stored in that app’s library.
Before I tell you how you can offload the app from your iPhone, let me guide you on how you can check your iPhone’s storage. On your iPhone, go to Settings, followed by a tap on General, and then navigate to the About section. One of the parts of this section shows you an option to see the iPhone storage. Tapping on it will show you a classification of your used space. It is generally the apps that take up a lot of space. Now, that important part: How to free up that space.
How to offload apps and free up iPhone space
With iOS 11, Apple has offered iPhone users a way to offload apps. When you delete an app, it is permanently removed from your iPhone but offloading it leaves the app icon and its data as is. The app’s storage is, however, deleted. You can offload an app you want manually, one at a time. But if you do not want the hassle, your iPhone will do it for you.
I will tell you how to offload an app manually first and then how the automatic offloading is done.
Offloading an app manually
In the same iPhone Storage section where you check what app is hogging how much space, you have to dive a little deeper. On iOS 15, the apps are listed in the order of highest to lowest in terms of storage consumption. Each app has the storage it has used up mentioned next to it. If you want to offload an app, tap on it. You will now see “App Size” and “Documents & Data” for an app here. The former is the space your app has hogged, while the latter is your data saved into that app. You also see the “Offload App” option here. Tap that option to offload that app manually.
Remember your data will not be removed when offloading an app. “This will free up storage used by the app, but keep its documents and data. Reinstalling the app will reinstate your data if the app is still available in the App Store,” the description for the Offload App feature reads.
When you offload an app, the app icon remains intact. But you will notice a change. Right before the app’s name, you will see a cloud with an arrow pointing downwards. That is how you tell if an app is offloaded or not. Tapping on this app icon will reinstall the app, given it is still available in the App Store.
Offloading an app automatically
Since you are not sure about what apps you will use the most and what you will not, iPhone can do that for you. It will accordingly offload the unused apps, just so your iPhone never runs out of space for that song you want to download or the video you would want to record during your holidays.
On your iPhone, go to Settings, then General, and then iPhone Storage. It is the same section where you offload apps manually. If you have not turned the option on already, you will see how much space you can right now below Offload Unused Apps under the Recommendations section. Your iPhone estimates the storage based on your usage behaviour. The storage you see is a collective of those covered by apps that you no longer use.
Right next to Offload Unused Apps, you will an option to “Enable” the setting. A green checkmark will appear instead of “Enable”, suggesting the feature is now turned on. Now, sit back and relax. Your iPhone will take care of the storage space by offloading unused apps. When an app will be offloaded, you will not be notified, but you will see the same cloud download icon next to an app’s name if it was offloaded by the system. You can reinstall it anytime and retain your data.
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