iOS 8 is out and many folks are rushing to download Apple’s last software release of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It’s caused Apple servers to slow to grind, something which should speed up over time. A number of users are attempting to upgrade to iOS 8, only to be informed that they do not have sufficient storage space to complete the upgrade. When people purchase new iPhones, storage concerns usually revolve around how many apps, how much music, video and documents you plan to carry with you. Last year’s iOS 7 update, which Apple’s CEO Tim Cook proclaimed as the biggest update to iOS since iOS, required 3.3 GB of free space. iOS 8 requires a whopping 5.8GB of free storage space. If you happen to own a 16GB iOS device, you’ll need roughly half of it free, if you want to upgrade using an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to iOS 8. It’s a big problem and one that isn’t likely to go away, considering Apple’s decision to upgrade storage on all iPhone 6 models, save for the one that needs it most – the 16GB entry level model. So what can you do if you need storage space to install iOS 8?
Why does iOS 8 need over 5GB to install?
The actual update itself isn’t more than 1.1GB. However, when you download the package, there are files to uncompress, those needed for the installation process and a backup of the existing operating system.
The Quick Fix
If you upgrade to iOS 8 using iTunes, you bypass the need for the high storage amount needed. Be sure to backup first, as outlined in our guide, and proceed with updating using a tethered connection to your Mac/PC.
How can you fix storage issues and install iOS 8 OTA
Delete unused apps or those which you don’t mind re-installing. Apple lets you sort apps by the amount of storage space used. On your iOS device, select Settings > Usage > Storage Manage Storage. This will provide you with a good idea of what apps are having the most profound impact on your storage.
Press the home button and you’ll be shuffled back to the home screen. Press and hold on any icon until you see the icons start to do dance. Notice the ‘X’ in the right hand corner of each app icon? Tap on that delete an app and free up storage.
One of the biggest challenges facing users with storage space constraints are for those with a big Photos library. Videos in particular can take up a big chunk of your storage space. If you’ve synced your media to your Mac/PC, these are most likely backed up on your computer. I cannot recommend that you start deleting videos and photos, without triple-confirming that you’ve backed these up. While iOS 8 is awesome, no update is worth losing precious memories. If you’re unsure or maybe you are using your iOS device without a computer, you still have options.
There a number of cloud services that have iOS apps. For example, Microsoft’s OneDrive offers 15GB for free. Yes, free. You can sign up here and download the app from the App Store. That should be more than enough to offload videos and photos that are occupying your storage.
Other cloud services include Dropbox, Google Drive among others.
When a new release like iOS 8 drops, there is a palpable excitement and rightly so. iOS users get one big update per year, so you want to take part in the fun and hysteria as soon as it becomes available. Throughout the year, you can expect more in the way of releases from Apple. Without confronting this issue head on, you’re likely to find yourself in this position every few months. Using the tips outlined above, coupled with our guide on how to upgrade to iOS 8, your device will always have a proper backup and you’ll avoid pesky storage space issues.
Need help? Save gas and skip the Genius Bar. Our iOS 8 forums are filled with experts who can offer you free advice and troubleshoot your problems.