How to Free Up Storage on Your Phone

Posted by brainjmedia03 on Friday, February 26, 2016

Stonebridge Mortgage Group_iphone_storage

With all the photos, music, apps, and information we store on our phones, storage space ends up being a very relevant issue for many people and their smartphones. While phones these days have more storage available than ever, many people still have issues with maxing out the storage on their device. Luckily, there are many solutions which can provide additional space on your phone:


Dropbox is probably the most well-known service of all for uploading your photos to the cloud. The Dropbox photo-upload feature is a breeze to use, as well as being lightning fast. But as I’ve said in the past when comparing OneDrive to Dropbox, it’s a huge shame that Dropbox is so expensive, forcing many users to restrict themselves to their free quota.

To enable photo auto-upload on your phone, go to the Options in the Dropbox app. In the iOS version, there is an option that says Camera Upload (fairly self-explanatory!). Turn that on, and on the next screen, you will see some further options.

If you want the photos to more or less upload right away without any input from you, then click Background Uploading. The manual method is just to open the Dropbox app. Immediately the app will synchronize and your photos will appear in your cloud account. Photos uploaded to Dropbox with the desktop application or mobile apps have no file size limit.

Photos are organized by date in your account and accessible on any device. You can also create and share albums.

Google Photos

The big contender is Google Photos, and they are giving everyone a run for their money by offering free unlimited photo storage. With a catch of course. For the photos to be free and unlimited, you must allow Google to reduce them in size. But they still retain excellent quality, and unless you are a photography fanatic who insists on large files, the smaller versions will be more than enough. If you insist on keeping them their regular size, then it will count towards your storage quota.

This benefits from a “set it and forget” function, as well as automatic uploading to Google Drive, removal of geo-location EXIF information, and the best one of all — a Free Up Space button which, when pressed, automatically wipes all photos from your phone which have been backed up to Google.


Microsoft’s answer to cloud storage is a third solid option for storing your photos, but OneDrive’s reputation was severely hit some time back with their decision to reverse their decision on unlimited storage for paid Office 365 subscribers. Free users also got their storage slashed from 15GB to 5GB, with the camera upload bonus scrapped.

Despite that, I like OneDrive as it acts and feels as solid as Dropbox. Its syncing features are very fast, and if you are a frequent user of Office Online, then OneDrive has a shortcut built straight in for easy access. You can sort into albums or by tags, and share your pictures with family, friends, and colleagues.

Amazon Cloud Drive & Prime Photos

Amazon has three options for storing photos in the cloud — Prime Photos (store unlimited photos for free, with a $99 Prime annual membership), Unlimited Photos ($11.99 a month), or Unlimited Anything ($59.99 a year). Use the smartphone app with its auto-save function to upload your photos into the cloud account.

Amazon lags behind its rivals in that it no longer offers a free option. So either pony up or move along, seems to be Amazon’s attitude to the customers. The upside though is that you have peace of mind with Amazon’s solid reputation in the field of cloud computing and storage. And it’s a good reason to invest in the Prime plan.

iCloud Photo Library

This is one which is more or less confined to users of Apple devices, although there is a stripped-down Windows iCloud app which synchronizes the photos folder. Free users get a measly 5GB but if you are willing to pay one whole mighty dollar a month, then your storage allocation will get boosted to a bountiful 50GB! It used to be 20GB and then last year, I was informed that my space had more than doubled for free. Suddenly I am drowning in cloud storage.

iCloud Photo Library automatically synchronizes your photos across all iOS, Mac, and Windows devices. You can share folders, and those who are invited to an album can add their own contributions.

Let’s re-tell two vital points about iCloud:

  • You can automatically store the original high-resolution photos and videos in iCloud while keeping the lightweight versions that are perfectly sized for each device — taking up only as much space as needed.
  • Any edits you make are reversible. You can always go back and recover your original shot in iCloud.

Apple fans will obviously love iCloud Photo Library, and since it is built into Apple devices anyway, what have you got to lose?


Poor Flickr. It used to be THE place to be, for photo viewing, storing, and sharing, but these days, it is a shadow of its former self. When it relaunched under Marissa Mayer, the big selling point was the 1 terabyte free storage limit. But even that has now been eclipsed by Google Photos’ offer of free unlimited storage.

Die-hard Yahoos, people already too heavily invested in Flickr to move, and anyone looking for something which is ABG (Anything But Google) can try out Flickr. Its smartphone app has the auto-upload function which is quite fast and sends it straight to the Flickr servers. But depending on how many photos you take, and the format they are in, you need to keep a close eye on that 1TB limit.

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