Understanding iCloud Storage

iCloud Storage Overview
iCloud Storage Overview

Instead of going straight to the recommendations of what to delete to get more iCloud storage, this section will first give a brief introduction to iCloud storage.

iCloud provides users with a certain amount of free storage space (5 GB by default) to store various types of data, such as photos, videos, documents, app data, and backups. Additional storage can be purchased if needed and the iCloud storage plans are:

Plan Storage Price/month
iCloud+ with 50GB storage 50GB $0.99
iCloud+ with 200GB storage 200GB $2.99
iCloud+ with 2TB storage 2TB $9.99

Why is My iCloud Storage Full after Deleting Photos?

There could be a few reasons why your iCloud storage is still full after deleting photos:

  • Deleted Photos are in the Recently Deleted Folder: When you delete photos from your iCloud, they are initially moved to the "Recently Deleted" folder, so the photos might still be occupying storage until the 30-day period is over.
  • Other Files Taking up Space: Apart from photos, your iCloud storage is used to store other types of files such as documents, videos, app data, and more. It's possible that these other files are using up the majority of your storage space.
  • iCloud Photo Library is Still Enabled: If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, the photos you delete from your devices may still be stored in iCloud. To ensure that the deleted photos are completely removed from iCloud, you need to disable iCloud Photo Library and then delete the photos from your devices.
  • Synchronization Delay: Sometimes, there can be a delay in the synchronization process between your devices and iCloud. Even though you have deleted photos, it may take some time for iCloud to recognize the changes and update the storage usage accordingly.

What to Delete to Get More iCloud Storage [5 Choices]

Now let's get to the heart of the matter—what should I delete to get more iCloud storage? Here this section recommends you 5 choices.

Choice 1: Photos and Videos

Photos and videos are often the biggest space takers on iCloud. If you have your iPhone or iPad set to automatically back up your photos and videos to iCloud, they can quickly eat up your available storage. Consider the following options to manage your media files:

  1. Disable iCloud Photo Library: If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, your entire photo and video library is stored in iCloud. Turning off iCloud Photos Library will prevent new photos and videos from being uploaded to iCloud.
    Disable iCloud Photo Library
    Disable iCloud Photo Library
  2. Delete Unnecessary Photos and Videos: Take the time to review and delete any unnecessary or duplicate photos or videos from your iCloud account. You can use the Photos app on your device or the iCloud website to manage your media files effectively.

Choice 2: Documents and Files

If you use iCloud Drive to store your documents and files, it's worth reviewing and organizing them to free up iCloud storage space. You can:

  1. Delete Unneeded Files: Go through your iCloud Drive and delete any files that are no longer necessary. This could include old documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or files you've already backed up elsewhere.
  2. Offload Files to Local Storage: If you have files that you rarely access, you can download them to your device and remove them from iCloud Drive. This way, you can still access them when needed but free up space in the cloud.
    Download File from iCloud
    Download File from iCloud

Choice 3: App Data and Backups

App data and backups can also consume a significant amount of iCloud storage. You can do the following things to manage them:

  1. Manage App Data: Some apps, especially those that deal with documents or media files, can store a substantial amount of data in your iCloud account. Check the settings of individual apps and consider deleting unnecessary data or files associated with them.
  2. Review Device Backups: iCloud automatically backs up your iOS devices, including app data, settings, and device preferences. However, these backups can quickly fill up your iCloud storage. Review your backups and delete any that are no longer needed or that you have already backed up locally or on other cloud services.

Choice 4: Email Attachments

Email attachments can take up a significant amount of iCloud storage, especially those with large file sizes. You can manage the emails to free up storage space in the following ways:

  1. Delete Old Emails: Go through your email accounts and delete any old emails with attachments that are no longer needed. This can help free up space both on your device and in your iCloud storage.
  2. Save Attachments Locally: If you need to retain certain email attachments, consider saving them to your device or another cloud storage service instead of saving these email attachments to iCloud Drive.

Choice 5: Messages and Attachments

Messages and their attachments can also consume iCloud storage space. Consider the following options to manage them:

  1. Delete Old Messages: Review your message threads and delete any old or unnecessary conversations. This can help free up both device storage and iCloud storage.
  2. Limit Attachments: In your device settings, you can configure your Messages app to automatically remove attachments after a certain period. This can help prevent attachments from piling up and consuming unnecessary storage.

Bonus Tip: Backup iCloud Drive to Another Cloud via MultCloud

Before you delete the above files from iCloud to clean storage, you’d better backup them somewhere else first in case you want them on another day. If you are considering backup files from iCloud to Google Drive, OneDrive, or other cloud drives, MultCloud is recommended to you.

MultCloud is a free cloud management service and it has a function called Cloud Backup. Cloud Backup is specially designed for backing up files from one cloud to another. Now, let’s see how easy can the backup realize from iCloud Drive to Google Drive via MultCloud.

Step 1: Click “Sign Up for Free” to get a new MultCloud account after entering its web.


Step 2: Tap “Add Cloud” and choose the iCloud Drive icon. Then go through the two-factor authentication to accept MultCloud’s access.

Add iCloud Drive
Add iCloud Drive

Step 3: Tap “Add Cloud” again and choose the Google Drive icon. Then log in to your Google Drive account.

Add Google Drive
Add Google Drive

Step 4: Select “Cloud Backup” in the left bar and choose iCloud Drive in the FROM box and Google Drive in the TO box. The last operation is clicking on the “Backup Now” button to initiate the process.

Backup iCloud Drive to Google Drive
Backup iCloud Drive to Google Drive


  • If you have many big-size files that need to be backed up, the 5 GB of free traffic per month may not meet your need. So, you can upgrade your plan to get more traffic.
  • If you only want the backup to be regular, you can use the Schedule feature to set a frequency for the iCloud Drive to Google Drive backing-up process.


You must know what to delete to get more iCloud storage after reading this post. Just go ahead and follow the 5 recommendations! But don’t forget to backup the files to other places before deleting them, so that you can still access the files which may be mistakenly deleted. In this regard, you can try MultCloud and see how convenient it is.

Besides, there are more wonderful functions of MultCloud that may be helpful for you. For example, you can use Cloud Transfer to copy photos from iCloud Photos to Google Photos. It can even help you delete the photos automatically after the transfer was completed.

You May Also Like

If you are seeking methods to sync iCloud to OneDrive, you can follow the solutions in this article, which shows you 2 free and useful ways. By the way, this is a bonus tip for you to sync OneDrive with other cloud storage services. Now, read to learn more details.

What’s the difference between iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos? You may be confused about the differences between these two Apple services. But don’t worry, this full guide will give you clear comparisons between iCloud Photos and iCloud Drive.

Wondering how to sync iCloud to an external hard drive? Don’t miss this post. It provides the 4 simplest ways for you. Whether you are a macOS user or a Windows user, you can find the solution. Besides, the post will give the best way to sync iCloud to other clouds by MultCloud which is free and secure.

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