How to save space — and money! — by controlling which iOS 7 apps can store their data in iCloud

How to change what iOS apps can store their data in iCloud

iCloud storage space can be a precious commodity, especially if you don't want to pay anything beyond the initial 5GB Apple offers for free. One way to make sure you're maximizing space and saving it for important things, like backups, is to make sure apps you don't care about aren't storing stuff you don't care about. Fortunately, there's an easy way to control just exactly which apps get to store what data in iCloud, and you can do it right from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad?

How to customize which iPhone and iPad apps can store data in iCloud

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on iCloud.
  3. Now scroll down once again and tap on Documents & Data.
  4. Here you can see what apps are using iCloud to store data. Tick off ones you don't need, or turn off the feature altogether if you'd like.

That's it! Be sure to check your apps and let me know if you find any major space-eating offenders!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 17 comments. Add yours.

Iamanonymous62 says:

Also, you can check how much space is being used by Documents and Data by clicking "Storage and Backup" in iCloud settings.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Pretty sure it's different. Will do that too.

Sent from the iMore App

Iamanonymous62 says:

Yes it's different, you can specify which Documents you want to backup, instead of all or nothing.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Well it also shows different things. In that section you can also see Mac apps i believe. Haven't looked yet but i'm pretty sure that's what saves in your backup as opposed to what's saving independent of a backup? I could be wrong. have to do some more digging to be sure.

asuperstarr says:

This is great! I discovered this when I was looking at my iCloud data. Thanks again for another valuable tip!

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Spaz888 says:

Personally, one should always back up their iOS device to their PC and backup their iTunes regularly. However, if you have very little to backup in terms of data and apps, then by all means, use the iCloud. For me, I and most people I know have a lot of gigabytes of info so it only makes sense to backup to my PC with the exception of my contacts.

ReedMA says:

Can you post an article on how to delete iMessage data that is stored on your phone. I have 1.1Gb of wasted space and I know there are others with much more data. I've done research and there isn't a lot of information out there on what to do and from what I hear it's a very common problem. I've seen articles about downloading a program that let's you delete part of your backup and then restore from backup (I'm worried about doing this) and another option was to uncheck iMessage from spotlight search and reboot your phone (didn't work for me). Or is there just nothing that I can do without starting from scratch on a new iPhone setup? If I buy a new iPhone 6 and restore from backup, will that 1.1 Gb still be there on a new phone? I'm weary of trusting the internet, but iMore has always been a great help in the past, especially you Allyson

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Becjr says:

I periodically review my iMessage list & delete them [left swipe].
That keeps my iMessage space gobbling at bay.

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ReedMA says:

It's not deleting your current iMessages. It was a big apparently in iOS 6 that kept imessage data. Text, pictures and videos that was sent to you via iMessage. For some reason it stayed on your phone and cannot be deleted. Forgive me if my explanation is not 100% correct. But on a 16GB iphone, this saved imessage data is a big deal. And it doesn't seem like there is any easy way to get rid if it.

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zdn1042 says:

Thanks for the tip!
I wish Apple would increase the free storage they provide to their customers. 5gb nowadays is not that big anymore. Well, maybe in a year or two, they will.

oscaramzz says:

Thanks for the article! Random question: are those vertical lines in the green part of a new 7.1 bet? Just curious.

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Becjr says:

It's a visual cue for visually impaired users. It's available in the Accessibility Settings - "On/Off Labels".

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Allyson Kazmucha says:

You can enabled them in settings with On/Off labels, I don't have 7.1 loaded.

Becjr says:

Being fanatical about managing storage space on our iOS devices, this is one if the 1st things setup.
If only Apple would allow us to clear cached "D&D" for all apps - especially weather & news app, apps that store ads data, and even apps like Apple's own Remote & Trailers apps.
iMore was kind enough to offer this feature in the latest update & I love you guys for it!! [hugs all around]

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Home-forever says:

I have gone through all the posts, Apple web site and just about every web page I can find but have not found the way to delete messages off my iPhone 4S. I have already updated to the latest iOS. It says I have 7.5 GB saved. Not true. Have not saved any messages and only have one conversation active in message now. Any help?

Iamanonymous62 says:

You do it by tapping and holding down on a message, then press "more" on the pop up.