Problem: iPad storage full
If you have been using your iPad for a long time, chances are that the iPad space has been filled up with all kinds of data. When iPad storage is full, it will run slowly and you will not able to install new apps. When you see the iPad storage full notification, it’s time to take some action to free up space.
Here in this guide, I’ll show you all the ways that can help you clear storage space on your iPad. In case you have important data on your iPad, I’ll also show you the way to backup iPad to iCloud, computer or external hard drive. Let’s get it on.
How to Fix iPad storage full issue
Let’s start to see how to fix iPad storage full issue. First of all, you should figure out what is taking up the storage space of your iPad.
Check iPad’s storage
If you see the iPad storage almost full message, you can go to Settings > General > iPad Storage to figure out how much storage space is being used.
On this page, you can see how much free space remains, a list of suggestions for optimizing your device storage and a list of your apps sorted by size. It gives you a quick way to see what apps you can delete to free up more storage space.
Backup important data on your iPad
Before you delete anything, make sure you have backed up your important data to a safe place. Usually, you can choose to backup iPad to iCloud or iTunes. However, they can only help you back up everything on your iPad, which not only takes up a lot of storage space but also a lot of time.
If you just want to backup some important data like photos on iPad, you can rely on FoneTool to backup iPad to computer, external hard drive or USB flash drive. FoneTool is one easy-to-use iPhone/iPad data management tool for Windows users, which supports data backup and data transfer.
It will list your files by data type so you can quickly find the data you need to back up. Click the download button to get FoneTool and backup the important data on iPad.
You can go to Phone Backup to backup everything or selected files.
You can go to Phone Transfer to transfer data from iPad to computer as a backup.
After you have backed up your important data, you can delete non-essential data to make more storage space.
Tip 1. Check the recommendations
When iPad storage is full, a quick way to free up space is to follow the recommendations. On the iPad Storage screen, you'll see a list of suggestions given by Apple. You can tap Enable button to run the cleanup process.
Tip 2. Delete unwanted apps
Applications are probably the ones that take up the most space. If you always install new applications and never clean up the old ones, then one day you will see the iPad storage full notification.
On the iPad Storage screen, choose one app you do not need > tap the Offload App option to remove the app from iPad or tap Delete App to remove the app and all related data. Before deleting, you can check the space used by the app itself and the size of the data generated by the app.
Or you can delete apps from the Home screen. Tap and hold the app you want to delete > Choose Remove App > Select Delete app to confirm. It will delete the app and all related data.
Deleting apps is also a way to clear System Data on iPad.
Tip 3. Remove media files inside of apps
You may often download some videos or podcasts for offline viewing and listening. However, over time, they can grow to several GB of data. When iPad storage is full, go to check if there are any downloaded media files that you no longer need.
On the iPad Storage screen, you can tap any app and delete the downloaded media files.
Tip 4. Delete photos
Besides apps, photos and videos probably take up the most space. You can go to Photos app to delete some ones to free up space. Tap the Select button to choose all the photos and videos you do not need > Tap the Trash icon > Go to Recently Deleted album to delete these pictures completely.
Or you can choose to delete duplicate photos when iPad storage is full. You can go to Duplicates album to delete duplicate photos in iOS 16/iPadOS 16. If your iPad is not upgraded, you can rely on third-party tools like FoneTool to help you find and delete duplicate photos on iPad.
If it says iPad storage full but can’t delete photos. You can rely on FoneTool to delete duplicate photos or export photos to computer.
Tip 5. Clear Safari cache on your iPad
Almost all web browsers save data to improve the user experience. So don’t forget to clear Safari cache when you see the iPad storage full notification. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data > Confirm on the pop-up message. It’s also a way to clear System Data on iPad.
This Clear cache on iPhone guide has more details. It also tells you how to clear cache in Chrome and Firefox.
Tip 6. Optimize Music storage
You can also delete some old songs on iPad to free up space. Or you can go to Settings > Music to turn on Optimize Storage. In this way, it will automatically delete music that you haven’t played in a while.
Tip 7. Delete old iMessages
If you have turned on Message sync, then all the messages and attachments on the iPhone will be sent to the iPad. When you find iPad storage is full, you can delete some old messages. To make it delete the messages automatically, you can go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and choose 30 Days.
FAQs about iPad storage full
Here are some frequently asked questions about iPad storage full.
iPad storage full system data
When you check iPad storage, you may find that the System Data takes up a lot of space.
What is System Data? Well, the System Data includes non-removable things, such as fonts, Siri voices, offline translation languages, local keychain data, cache, etc. In addition, the temporary data can be written to the storage as System Data and deleted when it is no longer needed by iOS.
What can you do clear System Data on iPad? You can clear cache on iPad to cut down the amount of System Data being used. Clear Safari history and website data; delete apps to remove app cache; restart iPad; restore your iPad as new.
iPad storage full can’t delete photos
Your iPad says storage is full but won’t let you delete photos, apps, songs? Well, chances are that it does not have enough space to perform the deletions. In this case, you have two options: restart your iPad or export photos to computer to free up space.
The FoneTool mentioned above can help you transfer photos from iPad to computer. In addition, its Photo Deduplication tool can help you delete duplicate photos from iPad.
Why is my iPad storage full when I have iCloud?
iPad storage and iCloud storage are separate. Device storage is the available space on your iPad while iCloud storage is used to store the data you upload to the cloud. iCloud storage has nothing to do with the storage on your phone.
That’s to say, iCloud storage will not increase the physical memory on your iPad. So, even if you have iCloud, your iPad storage will be full. When iPad storage is full, you need to delete files from iPad to free up space.
iPad says storage is full but it isn't
Your iPad says your storage is full, but when you check the storage, it shows that there is still space left. Well, although it may appear that there is available storage space, this may not actually be the case.
Take one 32GB iPad as an example. At the beginning, it has 30 GB of free space. Minus 6-7GBs for iPadOS, then left 23-24GBs. iPadiOS requires 2-3GBs to run smoothly, so the actual storage space left is between 21-22GB. If it shows that you have already used 21GB, then it is actually beyond full.
That’s all about how to fix iPad storage full issue. Usually, you can choose to offload or delete unused apps, clear cache, delete large videos and songs or remove old message attachments to make more storage available. But before deleting, don’t forget to back up important data on your iPad.
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