If you're limited on iCloud storage space, you can manually decide what app data you want, and what you don't.

If you're on a free iCloud storage plan, you are probably already aware that you only get 5GB to store your information. That isn't a lot of space, especially if you own multiple iOS devices. One way you can free up some additional storage to use elsewhere is by manually choosing what app data gets stored, and what won't.

Turning off app data doesn't mean that apps will not return to your device during an iCloud restore, it just means the app's data will not return. Typically the camera roll and document-centric apps are the most storage hungry. If you decide to turn these off, just make sure you're okay with losing the data within them in the event of a restore.

We'd suggest saving any documents or photos to your computer frequently to free up storage space. Or you can of course upgrade your iCloud storage plan if you want to store all your things, all the time.

How to choose what app data gets backed up to iCloud for iPhone and iPad.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap the switches next to the apps you'd like to turn off.
  4. Decide what to do with the existing app data.

    • Tap Keep on My iPhone to keep the data.
    • Tap Delete from My iPhone to get rid of it.

      Tap iCloud, tap the switches to turn apps off, tap Keep on My iPhone or Delete

Now you can be more selective when deciding what gets backed up to iCloud, so that nothing unnecessary is taking up valuable storage space.

Which iCloud storage plan is right for you?

Instead of just being able to house your contacts, calendars, Photo Stream, and backups, iCloud Drive can act as a central repository for lots of different kinds of files.

You can then access these files through various different kinds of apps. iCloud Drive can also help take some of the strain off of your physical storage constraints if you need it to.

You'll need to pick a monthly subscription plan that dictates how much iCloud Drive storage space you get to share and access on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac or PC.

Which storage plan is right for your needs? Read our complete guide!

How to buy more or downgrade your iCloud storage

If you find yourself needing more iCloud storage, you can add it at any time right from your device. Likewise, if you find you've added too much, you can also downgrade to a lower tier any time, and the change will be reflected in your next billing cycle.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Tap Storage.

    Changing iCloud storage plan on iPhone

  4. Tap Buy More Storage, Change Storage Plan, or Downgrade Options, depending on which storage plan you have..
    1. Choose the storage plan that best suits your needs by tapping on it.
  5. Tap Buy in the upper right hand corner.
  6. You will be prompted to sign in with your iCloud account in order to finish the purchase.

    Changing iCloud storage plan on iPhone

How to delete old iCloud backups on iPhone or iPad

Deleting old backups from time to time is a great way to free up some extra space for other things. In my experience, a lot of folks don't realize there are old backups stored in iCloud they may not need. This typically happens if you upgrade from one device to another. Since iCloud stores backups based on device ID, you may end up with a duplicate backup. Luckily, managing and deleting iCloud backups is super simple!

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Storage.
  4. Tap Manage Storage.

    Tap iCloud, Storage, Manage Storage

  5. Tap on the backup you'd like to delete.

  6. Tap on Delete Backup.
  7. Tap on Turn Off & Delete in the popup menu.

    Tap the backup, tap Delete Backup, Turn off and Delete

Now you'll be able to expunge old backups so that your iCloud storage isn't cluttered with stuff that you don't need anymore.