How to Delete iCloud Storage from iPhone and Mac

How to Delete iCloud Storage from iPhone and Mac

Today, every operating system includes built-in cloud storage to back up device settings, app data, photos, and files. The iPhone and Mac have iCloud, Windows PCs have OneDrive, and Android uses Google Drive. Managing this cloud storage can be a chore.

How to Delete iCloud Storage from iPhone and Mac

Both Apple and Microsoft provide the least amount of storage by default. Apple worsens the situation by using 5 GB of storage to back up iPhone apps, settings, and files, all of which are turned on by default. Consequently, you may fill up space faster than expected.

As a new user, you may find constant prompts about full iCloud storage irritating. Additionally, there are multiple reasons to avoid using iCloud and choose alternatives such as OneDrive and Google Drive, which offer more features for the price.

In this post, we will discuss various ways to remove iCloud storage from iOS and macOS, allowing you to avoid paying for additional storage and escaping those bothersome pop-ups.

1. Turn off iCloud Photo Backup

By default, iOS and macOS backup all photos and videos to iCloud, using up storage space. To stop syncing, go to Settings > User Profile > iCloud > Photos and turn off backup. This will prevent future photo uploads. If you also want to delete uploaded photos, go to iCloud > Manage storage. Here, you can disable and delete them.

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2. Delete Apps Backup

You may not know, but third-party iOS apps use iCloud as their backup solution. And they also take up a significant amount of storage on iCloud. It’s surprising how much storage these apps actually occupy.

To delete them, go to Settings > Profile > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > Choose Device and toggle off backups for apps that you rarely use.

However, I don’t recommend deleting backups from essential apps like WhatsApp because you won’t be able to restore them when setting up the same account on a new device.


An app may have created new folders in iCloud Drive. You can delete the irrelevant ones to save space.

To do this, go to Settings > Profile > iCloud > iCloud Drive and check the added folders. Tap on a folder to see its size and select “Delete Documents and Data.” However, this process can be lengthy and confusing.

Luckily, there is another way to remove iCloud folders. You can use the Files app.

4. Delete from Files App

Apple’s Files app is a basic but effective solution for file management on iOS. It is preinstalled on all iOS devices and provides easy access to iCloud folders. To delete a folder, simply swipe left on it – no need for complicated steps in the Settings menu.

How to Delete iCloud Storage from iPhone and Mac

You can manage device folders and third-party cloud storage apps like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. The Files app integrates all the options in one place.

The step above also applies to macOS. However, Macs do not have a Files app. macOS integrates iCloud directly with default file management. On a Mac, you can open iCloud by pressing command + space and using the search menu. From there, simply drag and drop any irrelevant folders or files into the trash can located on the bottom-right corner.

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How to Delete iCloud Storage from iPhone and Mac

If you explore system preferences, you will find a pattern similar to iOS. Default Mac apps back up user data using iCloud. You can also disable this, but I don’t recommend it. Mac apps typically use less space, making the restoration process on a new Mac less problematic.

Make Some Space in iCloud

Apple enables every option for iCloud backup by default, tricking users into filling up their base storage and upgrading to paid plans. iCloud is an excellent cloud storage tool for Apple users, but if you don’t fall into that category, delete unwanted files and keep only default app data. Alternatively, you can purchase extra storage from Apple on an annual basis.

Next, let’s discuss Google Photos as a capable alternative to iCloud Drive. Read the post below for a detailed comparison between iCloud Drive and Google Photos for storing all your images and videos.

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