Yesterday I was doing some routine testing of iTunes sync and I happened to glance down at the storage bar – and see that my constant accumulation of iPad apps had reached a crazy level. To the tune of more than 42GB of storage space being used by apps, and only 6GB of free space left on my 64GB iPad.
A quick look at Settings > About on the iPad confirmed that there was just 6GB of available space and I had 267 apps installed. To say I had some apps housekeeping to do would be a big understatement.
I started by taking a look at the Usage section of Settings (Settings > General > Usage) to identify which apps were chewing up the most space on the iPad.
I found that the two apps using up the most space were The New Yorker and Wired magazines which I subscribe to, at 3.1GB and 1.9GB respectively – followed by a number of other apps that were taking up 1GB and more (14 of them).
So I started by going into the two magazine apps and archiving all the back issues in each. Archiving removes those issues from the iPad but they can be downloaded again in future if needed. This reduced the amount of space taken up by each to under 1GB. Having gone through that exercise, I have one little suggestion for Newsstand / the App Store – an ‘Archive All Back Issues’ button would be very handy.
Next I went through all my home screens and folders and deleted a good number of apps that have not been getting frequent use. Once I was done, I had reduced the number of installed apps from 267 to 231 – with quite a few more due for review and possible removal soon. The iPad now has over 17GB of free space – considerably more than is available on the entry-level iPad model, so I’m satisfied for now.
Keeping up with installed apps and trimming those that aren’t used enough is a regular activity for me, and I don’t usually let it get to where there’s anything like only 6GB free.
Mark me down for the 128GB model in next year’s new iPad line at the Apple store please. :)