How to make room on your iPhone for the iOS 8 update

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Every time Apple releases a new version of iOS, the chorus of complaints about the update’s huge file size flows like a river of First World Problems. This was the scene on Wednesday afternoon following the release of iOS 8.

While this ritual digital purging might seem stressful at first, it’s better to look at it as a periodic housecleaning exercise. Here are some of the things you should delete first when you’re preparing your phone for iOS 8.


Do you really need fifteen photos of yourself holding a forkful of that delicious pie up to your mouth?

Offline app storage

Whether it’s months of old emails, archived digital issues of the New York Times, or gigabytes of Spotify tracks, your iPhone amasses quite the pile of offline material if you don’t regularly clean out your apps. If you’re chooing between updating to iOS 8 and preserving your ability to listen to “Rude” wherever you go, is it really a choice?


Why are you still playing FarmVille anyway? Stop that.

Screenshots of news articles

You’ve already tweeted that really hot take from the New Yorker. You don’t need a picture of your cursor selecting the killer paragraph anymore.

Religious books?

How can any just god blame you for doing this?

Duplicate apps

Every little bit of space counts. You have seven different messaging apps, none of your friends even use Telegram or WhatsApp, and you only downloaded them to test them out. (OK, you probably have that one friend who insists on actually using WhatsApp. But you can still text her. She’s not disabling text messages. She’s not crazy.) Take this opportunity to delete apps that you find redundant.

Once you’re done deleting everything on your phone, install iOS 8 and bask in the feeling of the fresh start that Apple just forced you to make.

Photo via Jeff Turner/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Eric Geller

Eric Geller

Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.