Optimize Photos for iPhone

Taking pictures is easy with Apple iPhone or an iPad. The ability to keep snapping away with little thought to what’s happening behind the scenes is exactly how Apple intended it. You don’t need to worry about how photos are being managed. Apple does this for you for the most part. Still, here’s a few tips to help keep you out of trouble:

Be aware of your storage capacity

By default the free plan Apple provides is 5 GB of iCloud storage space. If you take a lot of pictures, this space can fill up quickly, forcing you to upgrade to a larger storage plan and a monthly subscription fee. Sure, the dollar amount is nominal in the big scheme of things. To find out how much iCloud storage you have (free) or paid, on your Apple device go to: Settings>Your Name>iCloud. You may not care about actively managing your storage on iCloud, but you should at least know where to find it and how much you are signed up for. This is usually the first thing my Apple clients want to know. You can get control of this if you know what to do and look for.

Take More Photos | Optimize Your iPhone for Photos

What’s your camera input quality set at?

Your phone is synced to iCloud Photos Library and everything is going great. You’re taking pictures like crazy and all of a sudden your iPhone pops up a message that your storage is running out. What’s going on? Well, you’re running out of storage space on your iPhone and there a few factors to address:

The first thing to check is the Camera Capture setting on your iPhone. Go to Settings>Camera>Formats. You should have 2 options: High Efficiency or Most Compatible. If you want to reduce your photo file size at the capture step, then make sure you have High Efficiency selected. Your photos will be captured using the HEIF/HEVC file format and the file sizes will be smaller. This is a proprietary format that has smaller file sizes without a reduction in quality. If you aren’t sure about HEIF/HEVC format, stay on Most Compatible and images will be captured using JPG file format but they may be slightly larger files. Larger file sizes take up more storage space. For screen viewing, especially small screen viewing like iPhones, you will probably see little quality differences between the two photo formats but the choice might start to impact your iPhone storage.

Optimize Phone Storage | Get More Space

On your iPhone you can choose which resolution of photo you want to store on your device. Go to: Settings>Your Name>iCloud>Photos>Optimize iPhone Storage (a low res version of the photo will be sent down from iCloud to your phone so that it takes up less space. If you choose “Download and Keep Originals” (the high resolution original version of the photo will remain on your phone taking up lots of valuable storage space. Keeping high res original photos on your iPhone may pop up the dreaded “running out of storage message” again.

If you have a MacBook or an Apple iMac with lots of storage space, you may want to keep the high resolution originals from iCloud Photo Library on your computer instead or better yet on an external hard drive. Set up your iPhone and iPad to maximize device storage by only keeping the low res versions on them by selecting “Optimize Phone Storage.” This way you shouldn’t ever see the dreaded message that your storage is running out on your phone again because of big high res photo files taking up all the storage space.


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