Images and videos eating up all the storage on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac?
With iCloud Photo Library you never have to worry about running out of space again. Thanks to “optimized storage”, Apple can intelligently keep track of and manage your free space, ensuring your recent, favorite, and frequently accessed images and videos are immediately available on your device, while your older, less frequently accessed one are kept safely off your device and up on Apple’s servers, just a download away. It’s not magic, but if you’re tight on space, it’ll absolutely feel that way.
Best of all, “optimize storage” is really “set it and forget it”. Once you turn it on, you can turn off that part of your brain that worried about how many photos and videos you kept on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The part that constantly stressed you’d run out, or need to delete older content to make way for new.
From now on it’ll just work, so all you have to do is just shoot!
How to turn on optimize storage on your iPhone or iPad
For most people, most of the time, turning on “optimize storage” for iCloud Photo Library is an excellent way to both save space on your iPhone or iPad, and keep a backup of your images and videos on Apple’s servers.
Once that’s done, iCloud Photo Library will start managing the images and videos on your iPhone or iPad. To make sure you save space, it’ll move original, full-quality media to Apple’s servers and only keep screen-sized versions of recent, favorite, and frequently accessed photos, and thumbnails of older, seldom-accessed photos on your device.
- Launch Settings from your Home screen.
- Scroll down and tap on Photos.
- Make sure iCloud Photo Library is toggled On.
- Tap on Optimize iPhone/iPad Storage (you’ll see a check mark appear to its right).
How to turn on optimize storage on your Mac
If you only have one Mac and it has a ton of storage, you may not need to worry about “optimize storage”. If you have a MacBook you use for travel, or don’t have a lot of storage, you’ll also want to consider turning on “optimize storage” to save space and keep an online backup.
- Launch Photos for OS X on your Mac
- Go to the Photos > Preferences menu (or type Command + ,)
- Click on the iCloud tab
- Click on Optimize Mac Storage