Internet, Networking, & Security Cloud Services 43 43 people found this article helpful How to Clear iCloud Storage What to do when that 5 GB of free storage disappears by Simon Chandler Writer Simon Chandler is a former Lifewire writer who covered cryptocurrency, social media, AI and other topics. His work has appeared in Wired, TechCrunch, and The Verge. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Simon Chandler Updated on November 25, 2019 Cloud Services Browsers Cloud Services Error Messages Family Tech Home Networking 5G Antivirus VPN Web Development Around the Web View More Tweet Share Email Apple offers only 5 GB of free iCloud storage to back up photos, contacts, calendars, text messages, and more data. Given that 5 GB isn't much, this guide outlines the steps to free up space on iCloud. You can use a number of methods, including clearing backed up data directly and choosing not to back up certain apps. Instructions in this article apply to devices running iOS 10.3 or later. Clear iCloud Backups on iPhone or iPad The most effective method to clear iCloud Storage is to delete your backups. Here's how you do it on your iPhone or iPad. Open Settings, tap your name, then tap iCloud. Tap Manage Storage, then tap Backups. The Info screen shows the devices for which iCloud is storing backups and how much space the backups take up. Tap a device to open a page with more information. Tap Delete Backup to remove the data from your iCloud account. Deleting a backup stops that device from backing up again to iCloud. Turn the feature on manually to automatically back up the device. After a moment, the backup is deleted. Clearing backups is one way to clear iCloud space, and it's a quick method to save room. To delete and turn off backups for others app you use with iCloud, open Settings, tap your name, tap iCloud, then choose an app from the list. Clear iCloud Storage on Mac You can also clear iCloud storage on Mac using the System Preferences. Open System Preferences, then click iCloud. Click Manage. Click Backups. In the list of backups that are saved to iCloud, select a backup, then click Delete to remove it. Click Delete again to confirm. Repeat this process for any backed up data you want to delete by selecting a different heading on the Manage screen. Manage Your Backup Options per Device Another way to clear iCloud storage is to reduce the number of apps you back up and to not back up apps that aren't important to you. Open Settings, tap your name, then tap iCloud. Tap Manage Storage, then select Backups. Tap the name of the device. In the Choose Data to Back Up section, select Show All Apps, if it's available. Turn off the toggle switches for the apps you don't want to back up. Turn these switches back on whenever you want. Manage Global Backup Options If you back up multiple devices to iCloud, follow these steps to turn off app backups for all your devices without having to go into their pages in storage. Open Settings, tap your Apple ID, then tap iCloud. In the Apps Using iCloud section, turn off the toggle switch of the app that you want to stop backing up. Then, confirm that you want to delete the existing backups. The existing backups must be deleted to stop backing up an app. Delete Your Photos The simplest way to manage iCloud storage is to delete photos, or at least the photos you no longer need. Doing this results in backups that occupy less storage space. If the iCloud Photo Library is turned on, deleting a photo on one of your Apple devices will also delete it on the other devices. Manage iCloud Storage by Visiting iCloud.com One final method to clear iCloud storage space involves navigating to iCloud.com and erasing your backed up photos and files there. Go to iCloud.com and sign in to your iCloud account. Click Photos. Select the photos you want to delete, then click the Trashcan icon. Confirm that you want to delete the photos.