As you take photos with your device or download applications, the amount of information stored on your device increases. Over time, as the amount of information increases, storage problems can arise. Understanding what the “Not enough storage available” notification means is the key to solving the problem.
There are generally two reasons why your iPhone or iPad may display a “Not enough storage space available” notification: either the internal device’s storage capacity is almost full or the iCloud storage limit has been reached. . Any of these situations can occur when there is a lot of data stored on your device.
IPhone or iPad storage capacity
When using an iPhone or iPad, most people typically install apps, take photos and videos, download music or books, surf the Internet, and check their email. Over time, as more and more information is downloaded and saved to the device, the amount of available storage space on the device will decrease.
To think about this in another way, let’s compare your iPhone to a large cardboard box and an app to a much smaller cardboard box. When you download an application, a certain amount of iPhone storage space is required to store the application. Similarly, when you put the small box in the large box, it takes up a certain amount of space in the large box. As you continue to put small boxes in the big box, eventually the big box will fill up and no more small boxes can be stored in the big box. Every app, photo, video, song, book, or document stored on your iPhone is the equivalent of a small box, and eventually your iPhone can fill up.
Depending on the size of your device (16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB) and the type of data that is normally stored on the device, it generally takes a long time to reach the storage capacity of your device. Many people will never use the full storage capacity of their device. However, if you record a lot of videos or store movies on your device, you may have seen a Not enough storage available notification on your device. If the internal storage of the device is full, you will not be able to take additional photos or download new applications until you delete some data from the device.
Not enough storage available on the device
To check if the device’s internal storage is full, go to Settings -> General -> Usage and check the amount that is listed as Available in the Storage section at the top of the window. If the number is reduced to a few megabytes (MB) available, your device storage is basically full.
There is also an application list that indicates the amount of storage used for each application. The apps that use the most storage are listed at the top. This can be useful in determining what data can be removed from the device. For example, if the Messages app is near the top of the list. Deleting old messages will free up storage space. Also, if Photos & Camera is near the top of the list, you’ve probably taken a lot of photos or videos. To free up space, you may need to move some of the photos and videos from your device to your computer. If there are tons of apps on your device, you may need to delete some apps that you no longer use. If you downloaded a movie to your device, this will also use up a lot of storage.
If you connect your device to iTunes on your computer and select the Summary page for the device, the graph at the bottom of the page will show its memory usage. You can use this to help find what is using a lot of your device’s storage capacity.
Not enough storage available for iCloud Backup
You have two options when it comes to backing up your iPhone or iPad:
Make a backup to your computer using iTunes, or
Backup to iCloud.
Apple provides each iCloud user with 5GB of free storage space to back up their devices. As you accumulate more and more data on your device, the amount of storage space required for backup also increases. Over time, it is possible to exceed the 5GB iCloud storage limit and your device will display a Not Enough Storage Available notification. This indicates that your device cannot back up to iCloud.
If the message indicates that there is no more iCloud storage available, you will need to reduce the amount of data that is backed up to iCloud or turn off iCloud backup completely. If you decide to disable iCloud backup, go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup and set the iCloud Backup slider to the off position. In the future, any backups will need to be done with iTunes on your computer.
Alternatively, if you want to continue using iCloud for backups without deleting any backup data, you will need to purchase a storage plan from Apple by going to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup -> Change Storage Plan. You will see a list of all available iCloud storage plans.