View Full Version : How to save space on iOS by storing your photos and videos without iCloud Sync

Rod Sprague
02-05-2017, 10:00 PM
This issue of storing as opposed to syncing has come up befor and mostly in regard to freeing up space on portable devices.
Apple's iCloud has three options for photos; iCloud photo Library, My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing. These are all "syncing" services so if you delete items from your device they will eventually be removed from iCloud.

Many people have thought that to free up space they could have a iCloud Photo Library and simply delete the items from their iOS devices but that's not how it works.
If you are merely trying to free up space and want to keep your deleted photos a syncing service is not what you want, you want "storage".

This is where iCloud Drive comes in. For AU$1.49/month (US$1.00/month) you can upgrade from the free 5Gb to 50Gb of iCloud storage, more than enough for the average user especially if you review and delete unwanted photos.

To do this you can login to iCloud on a computer or iOS device and after opening iCloud Drive create a new folder for your Photos.
For those who do not have a Mac computer you can create a new folder in iCloud Drive on your iOS device by tapping Select on the iCloud Drive window and bottom left you will see the "New Folder" option.

Now when you are reviewing the photos on your portable device you can select the ones you want to keep and use the "Share" button to access the share options. On the bottom line scroll till you find, "Add to iCloud Drive" now your device will open the iCloud Drive window for you to select a folder in the drive, select your new Photo folder and your pics will upload.

You can access them on the iCloud Drive app on your iOS device or in the iCloud Drive Folder on your computer. You can if you wish then load those photos into the macOS Photos app.

Bear in mind that iCloud Drive is not the only cloud storage service on offer. The two other most popular services are Google Drive and Microsoft's Onedrive. Both offer generous free storage and will work in exactly the same way as the method above for iCloud.

02-06-2017, 05:15 AM
An excellent summary and discussion, Rod. What you mentioned is a recurring problem.

As a corollary to that, may I mention how you can mass-delete photos from an iOS device once you've saved them elsewhere? You can delete them one by one, but that's a pain and the solution is not intuitive.

Connect the iOS Device to your Mac > Open Image Capture (found in Applications) > your photos will appear on the right > Select All (or just those you want to delete) > then Right Click on them > choose Delete

A detailed account of how to do this with pictures and how to handle any snags can be found here: http://www.kirkville.com/how-to-mass-delete-phones-on-an-ios-device/


02-06-2017, 07:54 AM
So is my back up on an external drive 'storage' or not as this is what I rely on to preserve my photos.