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Buy a 16GB iPhone 6s? Here’s how to save space

by Todd Haselton | September 26, 2015September 26, 2015 7:00 am PST

OK, I get it. In the heat of the moment you decided to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. Stock had dwindled, so you settled for a 16GB model instead of one with 64GB or 128GB of storage. I told you not to do this, but that’s OK. I’ve made the same mistake in the heat of the moment. At least you’re one of the first people on your block with 3D Touch, Live Photos and more.

Still, you’re going to be very tight on space, especially given that apps will likely continue to increase in size as games and other apps take advantage of the new A9 processor. So what can you do to make sure you’re saving as much space as possible?

Follow these tips, and you’ll be in better shape.

Delete all of Apple’s junkware

junk

You can’t delete everything, but a lot of it needs to go. Apple will automatically download apps like Numbers, Slides, Pages, Garage Band, iMovie and iTunes U. You don’t need any of it, so just get rid of it. On the new iPhones, a light tap and hold will bring up the option to delete apps on the home screen.

Record video in 1080p

video

OK, I know you’re excited that the new iPhone shoots in 4K, but you should probably just leave it off most of the time. Thankfully, the iPhone defaults to 1080p video, so just be sure to keep it that way. 4K will eat up your storage faster than I can eat a plate of hot wings. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever use it — just be sure to do so sparingly.

3. Don’t use Live Photos

live-photo-wallpaper-how-to-1

Sorry, but here’s another sacrifice you’ll need to make to save space. Turn off the Live Photos feature, which is in the camera option.Live Photos record action before and after a shot, you just want the photo. While reports suggest it’s on by default, mine wasn’t, so maybe yours won’t be either. The icon looks like a small target symbol and it’s on the left-side of the camera UI, or up top if you shoot in portrait.

Use iCloud Photo

icloud

Now that you’re shooting 12MP photos, they’re going to be larger than the old 8MP shots from your old iPhone. Back up your photos to iCloud Photo, and make sure that you have the iCloud Photo Library Active in addition to the option to “Optimize iPhone Storage.” This will make sure that full-res photos are backed up and replaced by optimized versions that provide as much space on your phone as possible.

Consider the return window

Apple provides a 14-day return window for iPhones. That gives you plenty of time to figure out if the 16GB iPhone you just bought actually provides enough storage for your usage. If it doesn’t, consider taking it back and exchanging it for one with more storage. A lot of the pointers above for saving space actually remove some of the highlight features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, so keep that in mind if you actually want to take advantage of your new phone. Don’t beat yourself up, though. You still have a really awesome phone.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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