iPhone user says this hack can save you from buying iCloud storage

@hannahkoumakis/TikTok DenPhoto/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘This just CHANGED MY LIFE’: iPhone user says this hack can save you from buying iCloud storage

'Not me paying Apple for storage when I could be doing this.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Apr 6, 2024

Even though smartphones now play a large role in the lives of most Americans, the devices still aren’t fully understood by many who use them. Every day, smartphone users discover a host of new tips and tricks that allow them to get the most out of their phone, such as one TikTok user who discovered a secret button on the iPhone.

One area where smartphone users wish for better support and more options is storage. In 2014, one study found that 45% of iPhone users run out of storage every year, 22% run out at least every month, and “almost 10% run out of space daily.” While the storage capacity of the average smartphone has increased dramatically since then, so too has the average app size, with apps like Facebook now taking up over 330 MB of storage for the app alone (back in 2013, the app required just 32 MB of space).

Now, a user on TikTok has gone viral after sharing her iPhone storage hack. In a video with over 8.5 million views as of Saturday, TikTok user Hannah (@hannahkoumakis) shows how she learned to back up photos on her iPhone without paying for iCloud storage.

“I was today years old when I found out you can plug your hard drive straight into your phone and save photos directly to your hard drive,” she explains.

Throughout the video, she shows herself plugging a hard drive directly into her iPhone using an adapter, then creating a folder on the hard drive using her phone and transfering footage and images.

Commenters were quick to share their surprise about this feature.

“Not me paying Apple for storage when I could be doing this,” a user wrote.

“Me watching with 100k photos and paying 10 dollars a month to Apple,” added another.

Although many are just discovering this feature for the first time, it’s not new. As noted by The Verge, “Every iPhone that can run iOS 17 also supports external storage devices: that’s every iPhone back to 2018, so it includes the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max.”

@hannahkoumakis WHATTT!!!!! This is insane – so perf for my footage from @NZ Wedding Content Creator #todaysyearsold #iphonehack #iphonehacks #fypnz ♬ original sound – Hannah

That said, users in the comments section also said there are a few things one should be aware of before they try this trick.

“Just make sure in your phone settings your photo files save as ‘most compatible’ rather than apple’s default which most computers cannot read,” stated a commenter.

“Just DON’T use a hard drive that you’ve used for another computer or you’ll lose everything on it,” alleged a second. This user appears to be referring to a prompt that requests that one reformat their hard drive before using it with an iPhone; if one is using an iPhone-compatible hard drive, this should not be an issue.

“When you’re removing the hard drive. Make sure you turn your phone off, otherwise it may corrupt the drive when removing,” advised a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Hannah via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Apr 6, 2024, 7:55 am CDT