How Do You Use On Device Storage Space?

I have a new iPhone Pro Max arriving any day. It has 256GB of storage. I currently have an XS with 256GB of storage, of which I am using 26GB. That’s a lot of empty space.

I felt rather forced into 256GB on the new phone. With the only lower choice of 64GB, it seems like Apple kind of nudges you to 256. Imagine that…

My question is this: Am I missing something by not finding a use of the available on-phone storage? My wife & I share 200GB of iCloud storage, which at $3.00 a month is cheap. So everything I store goes into iCloud. Therefore, I’ve never really understood what that on-phone storage should be used for, if anything. Obviously, I know the operating system and apps take up space…

I don’t really play games on my phone, or watch anything that isn’t streaming. I am retired, so I have no work product that might take up any space. I just feel like I’m wasting that space. It seems crazy to spend the money for it, but with apps growing in size, I was just worried about getting the 64GB phone.

Anyway, I was wondering how others use, or don’t use, the available storage space on their phones.

I keep a selection of movies handy for when I’m on a plane and their entertainment system is busted (which happens far too often), but most of my iPhone’s local storage is used up with photos and videos of my son. Yes, it gets backed up to iCloud (and eventually I get a local copy on my Mac too), but I have A LOT of photos and video. :slight_smile:

…but it sounds like 64Gb might have been fine for you. My parents hardly use any apps and only use their local storage for photos and videos of their grandkids (and their bunnies), so I always recommend they get the iPhone with the least storage and they have never come close to filling it. (They do fill their iCloud storage all the time thanks to iPhone and iPad backups.)


A question about your answer. You indicated your photos upload to iCloud, but is also using local storage on the phone. Is that from lots of optimized thumbnails, or do you keep the originals on your phone as well as using iCloud Photos?

If you are not moving them from your phone to a computer, then maybe you should also keep a local copy (on the phone). Just relying on 1 copy, even if it is in the cloud, is not the best idea, IMHO.

I keep a copy of all my music on my phone. I save photos to Google Photos and I also move them to a computer. Plus, I also do another backup on a USB hard drive. Photos of my son, I also save on I-Drive.

My photos go to iCloud, with optimized thumbnails on my phone, then automatically to my Mac through iCloud, and to Google Photos, Amazon Photos, and when I think about it, to One Drive. I also have Time Machine on the Mac.

Yeah, I guess if you have lots of music that would take up plenty of the local phone storage, as well as movies per PDelahanty.


The original photos and videos are local on the phone. iCloud has copies too.

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Honestly never thought of it. I just checked, I’m at 28GB used of 64GB total on the device. Most of my used space is from installed applications. I don’t take many photos with my device, I can imagine storage could become an issue for a more mainstream user that takes more photos.