How to make space on your iPhone to avoid buying one again

THE MORNING LIST</p>Impossible to capture a single photo when your smartphone's memory is full

How to make space on your iPhone to avoid buying one again


Impossible to capture a single photo when your smartphone's memory is full. A problem that is particularly acute for owners of Apple smartphones because the models with the most memory are sold at a high price: there is a difference of 130 euros between the iPhone 15 models with 128 gigabytes (GB) and 256 GB of memory.

According to Le Monde's findings, the price of an additional gigabyte has not fallen for seven years: it is still around 1 euro when "the price of the memory used in iPhones has been divided by six on the wholesale market." , observes Jim Handy, memory analyst at Objective Analysis, interviewed by Le Monde. And it's impossible to expand this memory by slipping a micro-SD card into your smartphone. Even Android mobile manufacturers are “increasingly rare to offer this possibility”, regrets Jim Handy, for whom “they are following the example of Apple”.

To top it all off, iPhone memory is difficult to empty: photos can only be extracted to a PC with great difficulty. So how do we get out of this impasse? By doing a deep cleaning to give yourself some respite – before the next memory overload alert.

Over the months, some applications gain weight. To identify them, open the iPhone's "settings" menu, press "general" then "iPhone storage": they will appear there in descending order of greed. The usual suspects are messaging, podcasts, and video-on-demand apps. As well as the “photo” gallery, so delicious that we will come back to it.

These applications can be lightened by deleting all or part of the information they contain: series, conversations, radio shows and others. For those published by Apple, no need to exit the “storage” menu: a cleaning tool is generally available there. This is the case, for example, with iMessages: by clicking on the application, you can delete conversations or videos one by one. The tool classifies them in descending order of size.

For many other applications, you must first close the iPhone's "settings" and open the corresponding app, then find the menu where you can delete these items. Unfortunately, this is not the same from one application to another.

If that's not enough, one last trick will free up a few gigabytes of memory: "offloading" rarely used applications. These programs will be erased, but not the information they contain. We can therefore wake them up whenever we want and find them identically, by simply clicking on them. They will then re-download, provided a Wi-Fi connection is available. To do this, tap “settings”, then “general” and “iPhone storage”. Tap “enable” next to “offload unused apps”.

This requires more work, but it's especially effective if you make a lot of videos. Open “iPhone settings”, tap “general” then “iPhone storage”, “photos” and finally “review your videos”. The heaviest sequences are displayed first. To quickly judge their quality, watch them in fast forward: place your finger on their playing track and drag it slowly to the left. Delete videos that don't say anything interesting or convey emotion.

You can also delete photos, but you'll have to delete hundreds of them to really free up space. To do this, go to the “photos” application. At the bottom of the screen, tap “photo library” then “all photos”. At the top, press "select" and press each failed, blurry, ugly or uninteresting image then click on the trash can icon. It will take you a long time to get to the end of your photo library. If you stop cleaning before it's finished, write down a small memo of the date you stopped so you can resume cleaning later.

To have peace of mind for a long time, you will have to delete even more photos and videos. Including good images, but not without making a copy so as not to lose them. The first thing is therefore to choose a storage solution to save them outside the mobile. First option: copying on the Internet, in the “cloud”. It is automatic and much less painful than saving by hand.

Which cloud to choose? If you are wary of the digital giants, find out about pCloud or IDrive, two particularly credible competitors, even if their storage services are more expensive and less convenient than those of Apple and Google. We also do not recommend Apple iCloud: it is incompatible with Android and could lock you permanently into the brand's world. In addition, it is an inconvenient solution for what we want to do: when we delete a photo on the iPhone, it also disappears from iCloud.

This is not the case with Google One: when you delete a photo from the iPhone, it remains stored in this space on the Internet. However, once you have transferred your photos, do you have to delete them all from the mobile? We advise instead to keep a small part, the very best: double storage is the rule to reduce the risk of loss of sensitive information.

Additionally, images stored in the cloud are usually compressed, which reduces their quality. And while full quality is possible at Google, storage space quickly saturates, requiring you to take out a more expensive subscription. On the subscription side, Google One is free up to 5 GB, which is insufficient for many users. You will probably have to subscribe to a paid plan – the 2 euros per month plan is often enough when you accept image compression. Please note: Google states that “your photos are in no way (…) used to serve targeted ads.”

How to proceed ? Start by installing Google Photos. It is in this application that you can, if necessary, subscribe to a paid subscription to Google One. Connect to Wi-Fi then authorize the application to save your images, which will take between several tens of minutes and a few hours. Once your photos are backed up, you can delete the ones you want from your iPhone memory directly from the “photos” application, as detailed above.

Sorting it out may take you at least an hour. Due to lack of time, you might prefer to delete them all at once after storing them on Google One. To do this, open Google Photos, click on your account at the top right, then “X items to remove from this device”.