(Phone) Storage Wars

The last few days I’ve gotten a few of those annoying messages saying that I was nearing the maximum storage capacity of my iPhone.  Of course, I shrugged and ignored them.  Don’t you just hate getting those little pop-up notices?

And then this morning, my phone froze up and one of my apps crashed.

iphone-manage-storageNeedless to say, this was a cause for more than mild concern and some significant regret that I hadn’t responded to those irritating notices.  In the Great Coronavirus Shutdown of 2020, what the hell would you do if you didn’t have a properly functioning smartphone that you desperately need to successfully work from home?   So I immediately launched into full frenzied phone fix-up mode.  I restarted my phone, then went to settings, navigated to my iPhone storage icon, and found that I was at about 63.6 GB on a phone that can store no more than 64 GB.  That’s obviously cutting it too close.

Mass deletion was called for.  And as I started that process, I discovered things like this:

  • I had messages going back to 2015 that had never been deleted.  These included messages from my periodontist and optometrist reminding me of appointments that have long since occurred and “meet you at the coffee shop of the hotel”-type messages from business trips I had taken years ago.
  • Apps that were taking up significant storage capacity that I had never used, or hadn’t used in years.
  • A bunch of duplicate photos.
  • Lots of music that I haven’t listened to, and don’t really need to have on my phone.

All of this was stuff that was useful and helpful and wanted at one point in time, which is why it was on my phone in the first place.  But my guess is that, when the Coronavirus Crisis occurred, the new texting threads and groups that have been created, and the other increased uses of smartphones in an effort to stay connected despite the stay-at-home edicts, have caused many phones like mine to march inexorably toward their maximum storage capacity.  And what would you rather have access to right now — COVID-19 memes that your friends are sending that give you a chuckle during this difficult period, or that Ticketron app that you downloaded and last used to get some tickets to a concert in 2018?

So, I deleted about 10 GB of random stuff.  It was a productive use of my shutdown time, and I felt better after I cleared out some of the debris.  Now my phone is coronavirus meme-ready again.

If you’re twiddling your thumbs wondering what the hell you might do on day 45 of the shutdown, you might take a look at your storage settings.  And be sure not to ignore those annoying pop-up notices.

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