Loading apps and collecting photos, videos, and other files can quickly exhaust an iPad’s storage space. Here’s how to free up space without a third-party app.
While iPads — from mini models to full-fledged 12.9-inch versions — are transformational computers that provide powerful, highly mobile tools that change the way people work, they still suffer from a traditional failure: the more programs, videos, photos, and other files, the faster the device runs out of storage space.
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With some current iPad models with only 64 GB of storage, the speed at which the free space is being filled can be alarming. Here’s how to check the storage status of an iPad and the steps to take to free up the space you need when the storage space is running low.
Free up iPad storage for new apps and files
Check an iPad’s storage by tapping Settings and selecting iPad Storage, as shown in Image A.
The iPad will then display a color-coded bar at the top of the iPad storage menu, as shown in Figure B. Please note that the iPad processor takes a few seconds to calculate and display the storage bar.
In addition to displaying the progress bar that shows how much space apps, photos, iPadOS itself, messages, and media are taking up, the iPad also provides recommendations for managing storage. One recommendation option is to offload unused apps; another is to resolve large attachments.
iPadOS lets you automatically uninstall applications you don’t use. In my experience, users routinely install applications that they think they will use, but end up not needing and forgetting.
Tap the Enable option for Offload unused apps and iPadOS will uninstall programs when storage space gets tight. The documents and data you created with the app will be left behind and if you need the app later, you can always download the program again.
To manually remove unnecessary applications, tap and hold an application until the iPad displays a pop-up menu with the Remove App option and select that action. Confirm the deletion, and iPad will then delete the app, freeing up its space.
iPadOS also makes it possible to identify particularly large attachments stored in the Messages app. These attachments can take up a surprising amount of space. To find out how much space these attachments take up, tap the View large attachments option. The iPad displays a list of large attachments and notes the size of each item.
To delete a large attachment, slide the item to the left and tap the red Delete button that appears. You can also tap Edit in the top right corner and select multiple attachments which you can then delete by tapping the trash can icon that appears in the top right corner.
The iPad Storage menu also lists, in order of size, applications that are taking up space, as shown in Figure C. iPadOS lists not only the apps, but also the space each program occupies and sometimes the individual files associated with each app.
Tapping individual items often also gives you additional options, as shown in Figure D. Actions can include Offload App and Delete App and the occasional ability to delete specific files associated with an application. The options that appear for each item vary depending on the program.
With iPadOS iPad Storage Settings, you can quickly check if there is still free space. Perhaps more importantly, you can use iPad storage to easily check which elements are taking up the most space, delete unnecessary files and apps, and even automatically delete unused apps when space is low so you can keep creating, edit, message and work with Apple’s popular tablet.