How to free up iCloud storage by deleting app data you don't need

How to free up iCloud storage by deleting app data you don't need

If you back up multiple devices to iCloud, or you just have a lot of photos and videos, you may run into issues creating backups when you start running out of space. How to free up more space is one of the most common questions I get asked by friends and family on a regular basis. Aside from clearing out old iMessages and dumping photos and videos to your computer, you can also delete data that apps store in iCloud via the Documents & Data section, especially for apps that you may not even use or have installed anymore.

How to gain more iCloud storage space by deleting old app data

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Storage & Backup.
  4. Tap on Manage Storage.
  5. Under Documents & Data, choose an app that you'd like to delete data for.
  6. Tap on Edit at the top.
  7. Tap on the Delete button to the left of the file you'd like to delete.
  8. Tap on the Delete button on the right that appears.
  9. Confirm the deletion.
  10. Alternately, if you want to delete all files for a specific app, scroll all the way down and tap on Delete All.
  11. Confirm the deletion.

That's all there is to it. Sometimes apps can store a lot of data in iCloud, leading to large amounts of storage being taken up. This is especially true if you download and use a lot of apps. If there are old versions you don't need, by all means delete them in order to free up storage. While a few MB here and there may not seem like a lot, it can potentially lead to lots of freed up storage when added up.

Give it a try and then let me know in the comments how much storage you were able to free up!

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to free up iCloud storage by deleting app data you don't need


The best way to clear up icloud data is to delete your icloud backup and then create a new icloud backup. No amount of micromanaging data and documents and apps will help you in the long haul. Icloud seems to magically come up with data to take you close to your limit.

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I use DataVault for my password storage. Is it ok to delete the previous backups and keep just the most recent one without losing any data?

I'm not sure to be honest. I would assume you would lose the recent data and then regain it when you make the backup but that's just a guess.

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