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How to add extra storage to your iPhone

Sick of coming up against the dreaded message on your iPhone telling you that you can’t download something because your storage is full? Whether you’re hot on taking selfies or have more games than you can shake a dongle at, here’s how to add extra storage to your iPhone.

This problem faces many iPhone users, especially those unfortunate enough to still be sporting 32GB storage – but, thankfully, there’s a number of solutions.

While Apple offers its own iCloud cloud storage option, it isn’t the only game in town and, if you prefer to branch out from the iOS choice, then there’s both other cloud solutions and drive options you can plug into your iPhone. Let’s dive in.

How to add extra storage to your iPhone – iCloud

Unsurprisingly, the simplest solution for expanding your iPhone storage is to utilise iCloud. Apple gives you some iCloud space for free, so make sure you utilise that first before shelling out any more dosh.

If you do want to take Apple up on its cloud offering, here’s how:

  • Head over to Settings on your iPhone
  • Then click [Your Name]
  • Select Manage Storage or Change Storage
  • Click Buy More Storage or Change Storage Plan
  • Pick the plan you fancy
  • Select Buy and follow the rest of the instructions to complete the purchase

This is great for storing snaps, but not so good for installing extra games. 

How to add extra storage to your iPhone – Google Drive

If you aren’t up for shelling out more money then Google Drive could be an option, albeit a limited one, at 15GB of free storage. 

Google Drive is a great free option if it’s photos or videos that are clogging up your device. You can move them off your iPhone and onto Google Drive, where you can then access from anywhere you can get the Google Drive app – including iOS. With Google Drive, you aren’t limited to media content either, documents can also be uploaded and accessed from anywhere as well.

Google Drive also allows you to carry out backups. While this won’t free up space on your device, if you already have iCloud and it’s conducting backups, then this is a way to free up space to let you utilise the free storage Apple gives you for other things.

For a simpler experience, you can also choose to use the Google Photos app instead of Photos on iOS. This limits storage to photos and videos but acts in much the same way.

If you are a fan of Google but need more than 15GB, the company recently ramped up its Apple iCloud rival – Google One. With Google One, you can get 100GB for £15.99 per year as well as some other larger and pricier options, if needed.

How to add extra storage to your iPhone – External drives

If cloud just isn’t your thing and you want something more conventional and potentially more secure, using physical drives is still an option.

First, there are lightning-compatible flash drives like the SanDisk iXpand to consider. Working much in the same way as a traditional USB stick, these can be plugged directly into the bottom of your phone. You can then place all your clutter on the drive for when you need them – greatly freeing up space on your iPhone. 

If you like the idea of accessing your files from anywhere in the home without having to plug something into your iPhone but aren’t too keen on the cloud folk holding onto your stuff then wireless drives are a decent middle ground.

These wireless drives are physical hard drives that you can place somewhere in your home and connect to via Wi-Fi – keeping you in control of your files but offering the flexibility of accessing them in your bedroom, home office or, even, garden. The drives come in a couple of varieties – there’s larger standalone wireless drives like the LaCie Fuel and also smaller USB-size drives like the SanDisk Connect. The latter is a tad less wireless as it does need to be plugged into a USB for files to then be transferred over WiFi.