With all the great apps and other uses for the iPad, it’s very easy to fill up limited storage space. Often, it’s a bunch of little things that end up filling up the storage, rather than a chunky thing like a 1GB game. But, there are things you can do to regain more storage.
Here are 7 ways to save storage space on your iPad.
Delete Unused Apps
If you are running low on space, one of the best ways to free up extra storage is to delete apps you’re not using. You don’t have to worry about losing them because anytime you download an app or game from the Apple Store, it’s yours forever. You always have the option to download any previously-purchased app, as long as you use the same Apple ID. This means that you can download it to multiple devices and, more importantly, you can delete them, knowing that you can always download them again.
Check to see which apps are taking up the most space on your iPad under general settings.
Turn Off Photo Stream
Your storage problems may be a photo issue. “My Photo Stream” is a very handy feature, but it can also take up a lot of space. A copy of every photo you take on your iPad or iPhone is sent to your iPad.
The iCloud Photo Library makes My Photo Stream redundant. It offers a slightly different way of synchronizing photos between devices, but in most respects, the iCloud Photo Library is a better option. It downloads photos to your iPad and the optimization feature, which is on by default, downloads a lower resolution picture to your iPad rather than the highest resolution, i.e., the biggest photo size.
You can also use iCloud Photo Sharing, rather than iCloud Photo Library. It’s a great way for getting a subset of your pictures. You can still see the photos in your shared folders but your iPad won’t download every single one.
Turn Off Automatic Downloads
Automatic downloads sounds like a big time-saver, but it can also be a big storage waster. This feature automatically downloads new apps, music and books purchased on the same iTunes account. This means that your iPad can automatically download the app just bought on your iPhone. Sounds good until you run out of space on your iPad because of a bunch of apps you only use on your iPhone. To prevent this, go to the iPad settings and turn off automatic downloads.
Use Dropbox for Photos and Documents
Dropbox offers up to 2 GB of free storage and it’s a great way to have access to your photos without having them take up space on your iPad. Keeping photos and other documents on the cloud is also a great way to transfer files from your iPad to your PC.
Home Sharing for Music and Movies
Home Sharing allows you to share music and movies from your iTunes library to your iPad, essentially turning your PC into external storage for your iPad. The only requirement is that your PC must be turned on with iTunes running and you must stream over Wi-Fi.
Because we mostly use our iPads at home, Home Sharing is a great way to save a ton of space on the iPad. Your entire movie and music collection can be accessed without taking up space on the iPad. If you want to watch a movie while on vacation or listen to music on the go, load an assortment of your collection onto your iPad.
Stream Music and Movies
While Home Sharing is a cool feature, you may be find streaming music from Pandora or another streaming app is just fine. If you have a subscription to Apple Music, you can stream any time you want and even download a hand-picked playlist for those time when you don’t have internet access.
It works the same way for movies. Any TV show or movie bought through iTunes is available to stream. Stream movies and shows from Amazon through the Amazon Instant Video app. Combined with other streaming options for movies and TV, like Netflix and Hulu Plus, there should be no need to store videos on your iPad at all.
Buy an External Hard Drive
You can also access your music, movies and photos without taking up storage space on your iPad by buying an external hard drive. The main thing here is to buy an external hard drive that has either Wi-Fi or can be connected to your router. That way you can get access to your media and documents via Wi-Fi.
Before you buy an external hard drive, make sure that it’s compatible with your iPad. Not all hard drives have an iPad app that will give you access to it.