How do I know what is taking up the space on my iPad?

Here's the scenario: You want to rent and download a movie but there is not enough space on your iPad. Movie files tend to be large, a few Gb in size. Several thousand photos that are stored in your Photos app - in the Camera Roll can take up 3-4 Gb. You will have to delete something and make enough room before you can download the movie to your device.

So what is taking up all the space on your iPad, where can you find this information and how can you get back some space?

Where do you find the Usage setting?

Where do you find the Usage setting?

Go to Settings, General, Usage. Tap Storage.

The Storage setting

The Storage setting

The Storage setting will analyse what apps are taking up the space on your IPad. This will take some time if you have a lot of apps or media. It also lets you know how much space you have left and what is available for storage.

The apps are listed in order from the app taking the most space down to the smallest space.
Tap: Show all Apps to see everything.

In this example, the Videos app is taking up 32.5 gb of space. Here is where you could release more space to add apps. Tap the arrow to see all the individual video titles thast make up that 32.5 gb.

More detail in your usage

More detail in your usage

This is the Videos app expanded. Here you can see what is taking up all that space and decide what you might be able to delete. To delete the TV program: Doctor Who Edited would delete 30.2 gb of video and then release that space back to you for storage. Tap Edit to delete.

Deleting a program

Deleting a program

Tap a red circle, then tap Delete to delete a program, then tap Done. In this example, tapping delete would free up 1.2 gb of space.

Deleting individual episodes

Deleting individual episodes

However, what if you only want to delete one or two episodes?

Tapping the arrow at the overall program summary will reveal all the individual titles in Doctor Who Edited. Delete by tapping an episode and tapping delete.

Deleting the data in an app from the Storage setting

Deleting the data in an app from the Storage setting

Deleting the data in an app is a different story. You cannot delete just the data from the app. The Usage, Storage setting will only delete the whole app. You need to go into the individual app and delete or archive the data from within the app.

In this example, the Kindle app is taking up 619 mb. Naturally, this would be the books loaded onto the iPad. Tap the arrow to disclose more information.

The Kindle app

The Kindle app

To get back that 596 mb of space, you could delete the Kindle app from the Usage, Storage setting. However, that is not generally what you want to do. You might only want to delete some of the books and archive them back to your Amazon Kindle account - leave them in the cloud and download a book only when you are reading it. Once you have finished a book, delete it from the iPad. You can always download it again.

Deleting a book from your Kindle to get more storage space

Deleting a book from your Kindle to get more storage space

Hold down a book and you will be able to remove it from your iPad.
In this example, there are many books on the iPad that are not being accessed and could be archived back to the Cloud.

The Kindle app - more space recovered

The Kindle app - more space recovered

Archiving some books from the Kindle app has recovered 234 mb.

Go though all your apps to see where you have unnecessary data that could be archived to a cloud device or deleted permanently.

Other space hogging culprits: Podcasts. The Downcast app is taking up 342 mb. That would be the podcast episodes. Go into the Downcast app to investigate further and delete any episodes from the app.

Watch for magazines, newspapers, iBooks. All of the content here can be archived in your account in the cloud. Only download what you are going to read and then delete it from the device. It can always be downloaded again. It is archived in the cloud - not deleted permanently.

The Zinio app

The Zinio app

This app allows you to subscribe to magazines. This example shows individual editions of magazine subscriptions in the Zinio app. These are all downloaded onto the iPad. You can delete them from the ipad and when you want to read them again, you can restore them.

Tap the X to remove a magazine.

Games: W.E.L.D.E.R

Games: W.E.L.D.E.R

Games apps hold data on your game, scores, settings. Some of them now allow you to push data into your iCloud account. Check each game that appears to be taking up too much storage space.

Adobe Reader app

Adobe Reader app

Apps like Adobe Reader can quickly accumulate documents. Go through your documents and delete them. If you might still need it, upload it to cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox or Windows Skydrive. See Cloud Services for more information on how to sign up for and install these services.

File Management of the iPad - Goodreader

File Management of the iPad - Goodreader

Use an app like Goodreader to manage your documents. Open documents in Goodreader where you can upload them to your cloud servers. See Managing your files on the iPad.

Archiving Music to restore some space

Archiving Music to restore some space

For music, consider subscribing to iTunes Match. Your music is stored in the cloud and can be streamed rather than downloaded. To delete music from your iPad, Swipe the song and tap Delete or use iTunes to synchronise aonly the music or playlists you need. You could always access the iTunes Store and stream any purchased music you have purchased - from the Purchased tab.

Music in the Cloud - Google Play Music

Music in the Cloud - Google Play Music

Even if you don't have an Android device, you can still access Google Play. You need a Google account, download the Google Music Manager and upload your music to your Google account. You can then access your music directly from the cloud on your iPad. Streaming your music will save the storage space.

Even your purchased music from your iTunes accounrt can be uploaded to your Google Play account.

Download and install the Google Play Music Manager

Download and install the Google Play Music Manager

The Google Play Music Manager is a desktop application that allows you to upload your music to the cloud and download your entire library from the cloud to your computer. Once you’ve uploaded songs to Google Play, you can listen to your music anywhere that you have internet access.

From the Google Play Music Manager, you can:

  • Upload music from your iTunes library, Windows Media Player library, My Music folder, or folders of your choosing to Google Play
  • Choose to upload songs automatically or completely manually
  • Adjust the bandwidth available for uploading songs
  • View the progress of songs you’re uploading
  • Download any of the songs that you previously uploaded to your music library, as well as any song you purchased from the Google Play store.

Windows instructions

  1. Visit play.google.com/music and click 'Upload Music' at the top right of the screen.
  2. Click 'Download the Google Play Music Manager'.
  3. Navigate to your 'Downloads' folder and locate the MusicManager.exe file.
  4. Double-click on the MusicManager.exe file and click 'Run' to begin installation.

MAC instructions

  1. Visit play.google.com/music and click 'Upload Music' at the top right of the screen.
  2. Click 'Download the Google Play Music Manager'.
  3. From the bottom left corner of your browser, click 'Save'.
  4. From the bottom left corner of your browser, double-click the .dmg.
  5. Drag the Google Play Music icon into your Applications folder.
  6. Open the Applications folder.
  7. Open the Google Play Music Manager.

Listening to music online via Google Play

Listening to music online via Google Play

Go to play.google.com/music/listen to listen to your music - streaming it to your iPad.

Use iTunes on your computer to delete and synchronise data

Use iTunes on your computer to delete and synchronise data

Select your device in iTunes. From the Apps tab, scroll down to the bottom of the screen to locate File Sharing. This show you all the apps you have installed on your iPad and what documents and files are stored in them. You can add documents into apps from this screen. However, to delete a document, you need to do that from the app itself.

In this example, The documents in Adobe Reader can be deleted from Adobe Reader.