How to Find What iPhone Apps Take Up Most Storage

Find Out What iPhone Apps Take Up Most Storage

by | Apr 28, 2024 | iPhone and iPad

You need space for photos, videos, and games while your iPhone’s storage appears to shrink before your very eyes? Find out here how to find out what apps take up the most storage space on an iPhone (and what you can do about the worst offenders).

First, a Ship Takes Onboard 12.5 Miles of Piano Wire

in December 1872 and leaves Portsmouth with a destination of “the oceans.”

HMS Challenger embarked on what many consider the first true journey of marine science. The 20 km of piano wire served to collect samples from the seabed. To their surprise, the explorers pulled up thousands of species from what everybody had thought was an inhospitable environment.

Are you surprised how much data your iPhone’s apps have accumulated (or, well, produced)? Let us embark on an exploratory journey of our own—and see what we can pull up:

How to Find Out What Apps Take Up the Most Storage Space on an iPhone

Time needed: 2 minutes

To find out which iOS apps consume (or waste) the most disk space on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Go to the General category.

  3. Now select iPhone Storage.

    Note: On an iPad, select iPad Storage instead.
    Select "iPhone Storage"

  4. Find your apps sorted by size under iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage).

    Note: It may take your iPhone a while to calculate storage use and fill the list.
    Find your apps sorted by size and find out what uses most space on iPhone

  5. Tap an app to find out more and, optionally, act right away to reduce the space an app takes up on your iPhone:

    App Size: the size of the application code itself.
    Documents & Data: the size of data created with or used by the app; this can include messages for an email or messaging app, photos for a creative camera, downloads for a media app and more.
    Offload App: delete the app, but keep its data (what is listed under Documents & Data). (See below for details.)
    Delete App: delete the app with all of its data from your iPhone; this is the same action as long-tapping an app and choosing .
    Tap an app to find out more about its storage use on iPhone

How to Find the iPhone Apps That Take Up the Most Storage Space: FAQ

What does offloading an app do on iPhone?

When you offload an app, iOS deletes the application code (what appears under App Size on the iPhone Storage screen) but keeps all data on the iPhone or iPad.

The app will appear with a download icon on the iPhone Home screen. Tapping that will download and re-install the app from the App store (provided it is still available). After that, it should work as originally—with all the original data intact.

Depending on whether the app itself or the data used take up more space, this can be greatly beneficial or not much help at all.

Offload an app or delete its data, what should I do?

You can make your decision based on how the data used is divided between the app itself and its data:

Lots of app dataLittle app data
Big app sizefirst, delete data in the app itself
then offload the app
offload the app
Small app sizetry to delete data in the app itself
(empty caches, delete downloaded videos or remove old conversations, for instance)
offload the app (with low priority)

Does iPhone offload apps automatically?

Yes, with an option enabled, iPhone will delete applications you have not used in a long while automatically but keep their data untouched when space is at a premium.

To enable automatic offloading of apps on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the App Store (or iTunes & App Store in older versions of iOS) category.
  3. Make sure to disable Offload Unused Apps.
    Prevent iPhone from offloading apps automatically
    Note: To turn on automatic offloading, do enable it.

(How to find the apps that take up the most storage on iPhone tested with iOS 11–17; first published May 2018, last updated April 2024)

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