Yikes – Time for Some Storage Space Management on my iPad

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iPad Usage Before

I was doing a quick (I thought) WiFi sync on my iPad 2 this morning, just to get a new iBook I’d downloaded on the Mac onto it. The sync went quite slowly and during it I caught a glimpse of the Capacity status bar in iTunes – and noticed that free space on the iPad 2 was down to around 7GB free. That’s a terribly low amount, given that it’s a 64GB model.

A closer look showed me that around 12GB was being taken up by Music, and a whopping 32GB by apps. Yikes. Time for some trimming in both areas, was my immediate reaction. Music is easy – I changed from syncing the entire music library to just selected playlists, which is no big deal as I have my whole library on my iPhone 4S and rarely use the iPad 2 for playing iTunes music. That reduced the space taken by Music from 12GB down to just 3GB.

Reducing the space taken up by apps required a little more thought and attention. Luckily in iOS 5 on the iPad it’s easy to determine how much space is being used by each one of your installed apps. As you can see in the screenshot shown above, after Music the Usage list is topped by two big iPad games – Animal Planet Trivia Challenge HD and Real Racing 2 HD. These are two large games that get good use, so there’s not a lot to do about them.

Next on the list were Instacast HD – the superb podcast manager app – and The New Yorker iPad edition. Both of these presented opportunities for some trimming. I archived a few older issues of The New Yorker (which can be re-downloaded later for free if they’re ever needed) and reduced its space usage from 1.1GB to around 600MB. With Instacast I unsubscribed from a few podcasts I had rarely listened to – and got its space usage down below 1GB as well.

The New Yorker Archive Items

Then I deleted some apps that were not getting frequent use, and some others that are apps my daughter uses a lot but that are also already installed on her iPad. 

With these few changes I’ve gone from around 7GB of free space on the iPad 2 to over 24GB free.

I still have 254 apps installed on the iPad 2 – I’ll look at some further trimming of those sometime soon and some will be removed once I’ve assessed them for review or reviewed them.

I also need to take a better look at Instacast HD and how I can get rid of some older episodes and trim its space usage a little further. For now though, my iPad 2 is back to having a healthy amount of free space.

iPad Usage After

How are you doing on apps accumulation and free space available on your iPads?

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Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

10 thoughts on “Yikes – Time for Some Storage Space Management on my iPad

  1. What heck are you going to do with 254 apps on your ipad?! First thing I would do is look at each page on the iPad, each icon on each page and make an immediate determination of “keep/trash”. Don’t second guess it – just keep/trash and move on to the next icon.

    Damned app hoarders. :)

    • 50 or so are apps that are either soon to be reviewed or are being assessed for review, so there’s that. Also, I use the iPad heavily, nearly as much as my MacBook Pro – so there are a lot of productivity and reference apps that get very regular use. Then there are games and family apps and newspapers and magazines, as I now do most of my reading on the iPad as well.

      As I said above though, I need to do some further trimming – it’s been a while since I did a good cull.

  2. Dude, my iPad2 is only 16GB so I have to be real careful about what I have on it. You just have to be ruthless and just keep what you need and regularly use. 24GB free? Quit griping!!! Lol (“,)

    • Yup, 16GB makes it a totally different sort of scenario. I’ve never had any temptation to go below 64GB because I know I end up using the majority of it.

      • I’ve been happy with 32 GB – for my use it’s pretty much the sweet spot for size. The 16 GB was admittedly too small. You definitely end up cutting out some movies or music on a trip!

  3. Maybe stupid question, but you may remember I’m new to all this fantastic stuff…does having so many apps on there, slow it down at all?

    • When you get FULL – then it affects performance, but being nearly full as Patrick is should should have little effect on performance.

  4. I have a 32 gig iPad 2 that is currently showing around 6 gig free. I download a lot and I do culling all the time when space gets tight. I also turn off apps that I don’t use a lot and turn them back on if I do need them. Currently I have very little music, that’s on either my iPod or iMac or on disc. I do have a couple gig in videos but the rest is apps, most for me but some for the grand kids. Most of mine are reference and right now I have a lot of the notes stuff on there as I try and find one that I really like.

    I have not seen it slow down much if any depending on what I have on it. I do make sure programs are shut though, I have a couple that don’t play well with others and that causes a few weird things to happen.

  5. I’m confused. My iPad storage shows that 16gb of usage is being taken up by audio. I only have about 10 songs in my music folder and a small handful of about a half dozen podcasts (less than an hour each). What the heck is taking up all the other ‘audio’ space? I’m trying to clean things up and delete the unneeded, but can’t seem to figure out what is taking up the extra audio space. Any ideas or input? Thanks!!