iPad Usage: Where Did All My Storage Space Go?

Let's track down the space hogs

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Are you feeling the storage space crunch? While Apple upped the entry-level iPad models from 16 GB to 32 GB of storage, apps are getting larger and larger.  And for the many people with older iPads sporting only 16 GB of storage, it can be even more difficult to manage that storage space.  Add in the better cameras, we are taking more photos and videos and those images are taking up more and more space.

And while deleting a few apps or a game that you never play anymore can be a quick fix, the time will come to do a deep cleaning.

But where to start?

The iPad is capable of telling you what is taking up all of your storage in the usage section of the iPad's settings. This will let you see which apps are the biggest storage hogs, how much storage space is used in the Photos section, how much space your music takes up and how much is being used for video. This allows you to find out if carrying around your entire music collection is the culprit or if it's keeping the entire Infinity Blade series that is taking up too much of your storage space.

How to View What Is Taking Up Storage On Your iPad:

  • Go into your iPad's settings by launching the Settings app.
  • Choose General from the left-side menu.
  • Scroll down until you locate Storage & iCloud Usage. It is just under the Accessibility settings.
  • The Storage section refers to local storage such as apps, photos, music and video. Tap Manage Storage in the top storage section.
  • It may take a few seconds for the iPad to calculate and categorize your storage.
  • Found your space hogs? You can delete apps from this screen by tapping the app to view storage details and then tapping the Delete App button on the details screen.
  • Is the TV app your biggest hog?  This may indicate the movies and TV shows you have downloaded are the real culprits.  Tap the TV app to see what shows are taking up the space.  If you want to delete a movie or TV show, tap the Edit button in the top-right corner of the screen.  A red circle with a minus sign will appear next to every video.  Tap this button to delete the video from your iPad.  A Delete button will reveal itself when you tap the minus button. This acts as a confirmation so that you don't accidentally delete any movies you really want to keep.
  • You can also delete all of your music the same way by going into your Music app.  You can delete all songs, albums, an artist or an individual song.  

Tips on Freeing Up Storage Space

One easy way to free up some storage space is to install Dropbox, Google Drive or another cloud storage service.  You can then move some of your photographs or home videos to the cloud drive. This will let you stream the videos when you want to watch them without taking up space on your iPad.

You can also stream music and movies you've purchased on iTunes from your desktop or laptop PC using home sharing. You will need to enable home sharing on your home PC for this to work.

Or perhaps it is time to go with a streaming music service like Pandora, Apple Music or Spotify?