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How can I free up storage using iCloud?

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#1 Joan6275


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Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:52 PM

I have 200 gb of iCloud storage but I have a 16 gb iPad mini.

My story:
I went to the Tmobile store near me and I was looking at tablets and I decided to purchase a 16 gb iPad mini wifi + cellular, and I've been enjoying my iPad for a while, but the problem consists that I am now running out of storage and an annoying pop up screen says storage almost full. I want to free up storage using my 200 gb iCloud service. I want to free up storage without permanently deleting stuff. My question is: how can I use iCloud to store photos, apps, and videos? In other words I want to keep my apps, photos and videos without using my local 16 gb. I want to to make the most of iCloud storage. How can I use iCloud? Thanks in advance.

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#2 smax013


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Posted 21 January 2016 - 06:18 PM

You can't really use iCloud to "store" videos or apps...at least not in a way that is useful on an iOS device in the normal sense.


For videos bought through iTunes (aka movies or TV shows or music videos), those can be streamed over an internet connection, so you don't need to have them downloaded to the device.  They will show up in Videos app automatically.


For videos not bought through iTunes, you can use an app like VLC to stream videos from a Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.  For iCloud Drive, it looks like you can download a video file from it to the local VLC Library to watch, but then would need to delete it when you needed more room...it did not look like it offered the option to just stream it...at least that I could tell from a brief trial with a short video.


For apps, you can always download apps you have "bought" (whether free or paid) from the App Store.  So, your best bet is to delete apps from the iPad that you are currently don't need and then download them again when you do.


For Photos, your iCloud account will automatically sync photos to the "cloud" if you have PhotoStream turned on.  This page will give you more information: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201317  Note: there are limitations to PhotoStream...see that page I linked to.


Again, I don't know of a way to directly move/copy photos to the iCloud drive on an iOS device....Apple just does not seem to offer that function yet.  You can save photos to a Dropbox account from the Photos app.


Unfortunately, Apple has not really made extra storage on an iCloud account much useful beyond backing up an iOS device to iCloud.  The other possible useful options is if you are using apps that can save documents to the iCloud Drive (such a Pages, Numbers, and some "third party" apps).  Apple has made it more useful with bringing back the "drive" functionality (aka iCloud Drive), but it seems they still have not really made it easy to use on an iOS device like Dropbox is.


The other unfortunate this is that Apple still sells their "intro" level iOS devices will only 16 GB.  Unfortunately, 16 GB on an iOS device is quite limited, especially since the OS and built-in Apple apps take up so much room (Apple has been sued over that issue...i.e. you don't really get 16 GB to use, but rather what is leftover after iOS and Apple re-installed apps take up space).  Personally, I generally recommend at least 32 GB (if not more space).  In your case, you should be able to survive since you can stream videos at any time since you also have the cellular.  Your biggest issue will apps if you find you want/need a bunch of apps.

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