I am constantly running out of space on my iPhone. I used to have 50+ updates waiting to be installed because every time I tried to install them, I got the “insufficient space available” message. I did the obvious things like deleting photos and videos, removing them from the “Recently Deleted” album, and deleting any apps I don’t really use (most are really small though). I cleared cache within Safari (which I never purposely open, I use Chrome), I closed all tabs in both Safari and Chrome. I was really reaching. I even went as far as deleting the iTunes app (don’t do that, we need it later), the Apple Maps* and the Watch app. No mercy!
This didn’t get me very far. I did notice that Messages was taking up the most space, so I started going into group chats and removing the pictures and giphys that I didn’t need anymore. This had a fairly significant impact, at least the first time I did it. I don’t use iCloud so I like to keep some threads alive, but I definitely didn’t need all the stupid giphys that were in them.
This still wasn’t enough. At this point I even restarted my phone thinking that it would clear out some temporary files or something. No change.
After some Googling and visiting a few shady looking sites, I found the answer. And I didn’t believe it when I did it, and you are just going to have to trust me. Here are the steps –
- First, let’s check how much free space you have now -> Settings, General, & Storage iCloud Usage and look at “Available”
- Open the iTunes Store on your phone (I had to reinstall it after deleting it to try to conserve space!)
- Search for ‘war and peace’
- Open the War and Peace movie
- Tap on ‘$3.99 RENT’
- iTunes will try to rent it, then fail because there isn’t enough space. YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED. This is where the trust comes in. Trust me, I have done this 20 times already.
- Now go back to Settings and check your Available space
- Bask in the glory of all your free space!
Why this works – First, the most important thing, to avoid the $3.99 charge, you must is to find something that has no chance in hell fitting on your phone. The HD version of War and Peace weighs in at 8.8GB. My phone is only 16GB so I’m safe here. If you have a 64GB phone this may actually fit, in which case you will get charged $3.99. You’ve been warned!
The internet seems to think that this method works because this forces iOS to clean out any temporary files and empty some caches that you, as a lowly user and owner of your phone, are not allowed to do.
So, you might be thinking “If thousands of people start using this trick, will there be an investigation as to why War and Peace is so popular?” Yep, that’s probably true. Their conversion rate of “clicks on rent button” to “charged $3.99” will absolutely suck and someone will be up in arms!
* One annoying thing about deleting the Apple Maps app is that you can no longer open an address from another app, like Calendar. This is annoying because I have both Waze and Google Maps. This is a vendor lock-in that will eventually get enough attention, but for now it’s not that big a deal to me.