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How to free up iCloud storage by deleting unwanted files

It is easy to eat away at your 5GB of free iCloud storage, so make the most of it with some careful management

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Being able to back up data and documents to an online storage facility is brilliant and Apple’s iCloud, built in to your iPhone or iPad, works extremely well. But you only get a small amount of data to play with and that 5GB can soon disappear. With photos, documents and email being backed up, it pays to keep on top of things – with a bit of luck, you will never be in a position where you have to pay for extra storage.

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Here we look at how you can do this using the Settings app, which lets you decide which apps will automatically save data to iCloud and which will not. For example, photos can be very data hungry, and it is easy to lose track of the permissions you grant. By following these steps, you can give your iCloud a spring clean and make it run more efficiently.

Step-by-step: Remove data from iCloud

 

1 Storage & Backup

Open the Settings app and tap the option for iCloud. This will show you the main iCloud options. Now scroll and tap on Storage & Backup at the bottom of the screen.

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2 View storage

You will now be able to see how much storage you have in total and how much storage is currently available to you. To free up some space, tap Manage Storage.

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3 Manage storage

The first option lets you view your device’s backups. Certain apps allow data to be saved to iCloud so that, should anything happen to your phone, you won’t lose everything.

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4 Choose data

Select the data that you want to back up by moving the green sliders on or off, choosing only the most essential. If you turn a backup option off, the data will be deleted from iCloud.

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5 Documents & Data

Tap Back. Look under the section Documents & Data. Select an app to manage (tap Show All to see more). A list of documents that have been uploaded will now be displayed.

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6 Delete data

Tap Edit in the top right-hand corner to show a series of red circles next to the documents associated with an app. Tapping the circles allow you to delete data from iCloud.

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In-depth: Cleaning iCloud

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