Manage your iCloud storage

Need more iCloud storage? You can easily make space or upgrade to iCloud+.

When you set up iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of storage. You can use that space for your iCloud backups, to keep your photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos, to keep your documents up to date in iCloud Drive and more. You can always check how much iCloud storage you're using in Settings on your device or on iCloud.com. If you're running low, you can make more space or upgrade to iCloud+ any time.

Not sure about the difference between the storage capacity that comes with your device and iCloud storage? Find out more about device storage and iCloud storage


Make more space available in iCloud

If you run out of iCloud storage, your device won't back up to iCloud, new photos and videos won't upload to iCloud Photos, and iCloud Drive, other iCloud apps and messages won't stay up to date across your devices. And you also won't be able to send or receive emails with your iCloud email address.

You can free up storage in iCloud by deleting content that you're not using:

Before you delete anything, you may want to archive or make copies of the information that you store in iCloud.


Reduce the size of your iCloud Backup

When you back up your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iCloud, the most important information on your device is backed up automatically. Find out more about what iCloud backs up.

Many iOS apps are backed up to iCloud automatically after you install them. You can decrease the size of your iCloud Backup and free up space in iCloud when you stop backing up apps that you don't use or delete old iCloud backups. 

Choose which apps to back up on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
  2. Tap Manage Storage > Backups.
  3. Tap the name of the device you're using.
  4. Turn off any apps that you don't want to back up.
  5. Choose Turn Off & Delete.

When you confirm that you want to Turn Off & Delete an app, it turns off iCloud Backup for that app and removes all of its information from iCloud.

Some apps are always backed up and you can't turn them off.

Delete backups and turn off iCloud Backup for your device

You can delete old iCloud backups for the device you're currently using or older devices you may not use any more. iCloud backups are available for 180 days after you disable or stop using iCloud Backup. Backups that are currently being used to restore a device can't be deleted.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > [your name], then tap iCloud.
  2. Tap Manage Storage > Backups. 
  3. Tap the name of the device whose backup you'd like to delete. 
  4. Tap Delete Backup > Turn Off & Delete.

When you delete a backup, it also turns off iCloud Backup for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can turn iCloud Backup back on in iCloud settings on your device. 

Mac

  1. Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences > Apple ID, then click iCloud.
  2. Click Manage and select Backups.
  3. Select one of the device backups, then click — to delete. If you want to turn off Backup and remove all backups for that device from iCloud, choose Delete when you're asked to confirm.

When you delete a backup, it also turns off iCloud Backup for your device. You can turn iCloud Backup back on in iCloud settings on your device. 

Windows PC

  1. Open iCloud for Windows.
  2. Click Storage.
  3. Select Backup from the items listed.
  4. Select one of the device backups, then click Delete. If you want to turn off Backup and remove all backups for that device from iCloud, choose Delete when you're asked to confirm. 

When you delete a backup, it also turns off iCloud Backup for your device. You can turn iCloud Backup back on in iCloud settings on your device. 


Delete photos in iCloud Photos

iCloud Photos uses your iCloud storage to keep all of your photos and videos up to date across your devices. You can make more space in iCloud when you delete photos and videos that you no longer need from the Photos app on any of your devices.

Before you delete anything, make sure you back up the photos and videos you still want. When you use iCloud Photos and delete a photo or video on one device, it's also deleted on all other devices where you're signed in with the same Apple ID.

Use these steps to delete photos and videos from your iCloud Photos.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

  1. Open the Photos app, then tap Photos at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap Select, and choose one or more photos or videos that you want to delete.
  3. Tap Delete  and then tap Delete Photo.

Mac

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the photos and videos you want to delete.
  3. Press the delete key on your keyboard, control-click or right-click and choose Delete (no.) Photos. Then click Delete to confirm.

iCloud.com

  1. From your iPhone, iPad or computer, sign in to iCloud.com.
  2. Tap the Photos app.
  3. Select the photos or videos you want to delete. 
  4. Tap Delete , then tap Delete.

To select multiple photos or videos, tap Select on iOS or iPadOS, or press and hold Command on a Mac or Control on a PC while you select the items. To select all, press and hold Command-A on macOS or Control-A on Windows, or tap Select All on iOS or iPadOS. 

You can recover photos and videos that you delete from your Recently Deleted album for 30 days. If you want to remove content from your Recently Deleted album sooner, tap Select, then select the items you want to remove. Tap Delete > Delete. If you exceed your iCloud storage limit, your device immediately removes any photos and videos you delete and they won't be available for recovery in your Recently Deleted album.

If you don't use iCloud Photos

If you don't use iCloud Photos, your Camera Roll is part of your iCloud Backup.  To check how much storage it's using in iCloud Backup, follow these steps. 

  1. Go to Settings > [your name], then tap iCloud.
  2. Tap Manage Storage.
  3. Tap Backups.
  4. Tap the name of the device you're using, then look at Photos.  

To reduce the size of your Photos backup, save your photos and videos to your computer, then manually back up your iOS device. If you want to keep your photos and videos on your iOS device, you can turn off Photos in Backup or upgrade to iCloud+ for more storage. If there are any photos that you don't want to keep, you can delete them.

  1. Open Photos. 
  2. Select the item that you want to delete. 
  3. Tap Delete  and then tap Delete Photo.

Delete folders or files in iCloud Drive

You can manage and delete folders or files you store in iCloud Drive from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. If you're a participant in someone else's shared folder, it does not count towards your iCloud storage. Find out more about folder sharing in iCloud Drive.

With iOS 11 or later, files that you delete from iCloud Drive remain in Recently Deleted for 30 days before they're removed from your device.

iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Go to the Files app and tap Browse.
  2. Under Locations, tap iCloud Drive.
  3. Tap the More button , then tap Select.
  4. Choose the folders or files that you want to delete, then tap Delete .
  5. Go to Locations > Recently Deleted.
  6. Tap the More button , then tap Select.
  7. Choose the files that you want to delete.
  8. Tap Delete. Then tap Delete to confirm. 

Mac

  1. Open the Finder and go to the iCloud Drive folder.
  2. Drag an item to Bin or move it to a different folder on your Mac.
  3. Open Bin, then right-click the files you want to delete.
  4. Select Delete Immediately. Then click Delete to confirm. 

Windows

On a PC with Windows 7 or later, you can manage your iCloud Drive files using Windows Explorer. Use these steps to add an iCloud Drive folder to Windows Explorer:

  1. Download and install iCloud for Windows.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Turn on iCloud Drive.
  4. Go to the iCloud Drive folder.
  5. Select the folders or files you want to delete.
  6. Click Delete.

iCloud.com

  1. From your iPad or computer, sign in to iCloud.com.
  2. Tap the iCloud Drive app.
  3. Select the files that you want to delete, then tap Delete .
  4. Open the iCloud Drive folder and tap Recently Deleted.
  5. Select the folders or files you want to delete.
  6. Tap Delete.

Delete texts and attachments in Messages

When you use Messages in iCloud, all of your text messages and the attachments you send and receive use your iCloud storage. You can make more space available when you delete texts and attachments – such as photos, videos and files – that you don't need any more. 

iPhone or iPad

To delete a message or attachment, follow these steps:

  1. In a message conversation, touch and hold the message bubble or attachment that you want to delete.
  2. Tap More.
  3. Tap Delete , then tap Delete Message. If you want to delete all messages in the thread, tap Delete All in the top left-hand corner. Then tap Delete Conversation.

To delete multiple attachments from a contact or conversation, follow these steps:

  1. In a message conversation, tap the contact's name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Info .
  3. In the Photos section, tap See All. 
  4. Tap Select, tap the images you'd like to delete.
  5. Tap Delete, then tap Delete Attachment to confirm. 

To delete an entire conversation, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe left over the conversation you want to delete.
  2. Tap Delete.
  3. Tap Delete again to confirm. 

Mac

To delete a message or attachment, follow these steps:

  1. Open a message conversation.
  2. Control-click the blank area of a message bubble that you want to delete.
  3. Choose Delete.
  4. Click Delete.

To delete multiple attachments from a contact or conversation, follow these steps:

  1. Open a message conversation.
  2. Click the Info button .
  3. Scroll to the Photos section.
  4. Click on an attachment and then hold the Command key to select multiple attachments. 
  5. Control-click or right-click, then choose Delete.
  6. Click Delete Attachment to confirm. 

To delete an entire conversation, follow these steps:

  1. Control-click a conversation.
  2. Choose Delete Conversation.
  3. Click Delete.

Delete messages and manage Mail

You can free up iCloud space when you delete email messages from your iCloud email account. You can also move email messages from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your Mac or PC, where they no longer count towards your iCloud storage.

Use the steps below to delete messages from your account. Remember that messages with large attachments take up more space than simple text emails.

iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

If your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is set up to access iCloud email, you can delete messages from any mailbox, then empty the Bin to free up space:

  1. Swipe left across any message to delete it.
  2. Go to your Mailboxes and choose your Bin folder. 
  3. To delete messages one at a time, swipe left on each message. To delete everything, tap Edit, tap Select All and then tap Delete. Tap Delete All to confirm.  

Mac or Windows PC

If you use iCloud Mail with a desktop email app, such as Mail on your Mac or Microsoft Outlook on your PC, use these steps:

  • Mail on your Mac: Delete the messages that you no longer want, then choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items and select your iCloud email account from the menu. Then click Erase to confirm.
  • Microsoft Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2016 (Windows): Delete the messages that you no longer want. Outlook will permanently delete your messages the next time you close and restart the app.

iCloud.com

  1. Sign in to iCloud.com.
  2. Select Mail and choose your Bin folder.
  3. To delete messages one at a time, select the message you want to delete, then select the Delete button . To delete multiple messages, select the messages you want to delete and then select Delete.  

Delete voice memos

With Voice Memos in iCloud, your voice recordings are stored in iCloud. You can easily delete them if you need more space.

iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  1. Tap Delete , then open Recently Deleted.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap Delete All or select voice memos and then tap Delete.

Mac

  1. Select the voice memos you want to delete. 
  2. Click Delete .
  3. Open Recently Deleted and then click Delete.
  4. Click Delete Forever. 

Find out more about iCloud storage

Learn how iCloud operates in China mainland.

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