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Apple iCloud: Before Buying More Space, Here’s How to Optimize What You Already Use

When Apple introduced its iOS 5 it also included 5GB of free storage on iCloud. If you fill up the allotted 5GB, you’ll receive a message that suggests you buy more space from Apple. Don’t do that right away. First optimize what you’ve got already. Here’s how.

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Before you send money Apple’s way, make sure you’ve managed your backups.

To manage your backup on iCloud from your Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod touch,  tap Settings >> iCloud >> Storage & Backup.

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On the next screen, notice your total storage and how much free space is available. In this example, notice have enough space left on my device. If you don’t, tap Manage Storage.

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Next tap on one of your iOS device that is  backing up data to Apple iCloud.

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Under Backup Options,  you’ll see a list of the apps that are taking up the most space. Usually the culprit is Camera Roll. To drill down to specific apps, tap Show All Apps.

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Now move the slider to the Off position — for apps you no longer want backed up to Apple iCloud. A message displays to verify you want to delete the app data and turn off future backups. Tap Delete.

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I was surprised at how many apps I had backing up to iCloud.

Most of them I don’t need backed up, so I turned them off and deleted the data. You should, too.

As you turn off backups and delete data from your iCloud storage, you’ll see the Next Backup Size decrease. Also, check this out: There’s more space available on iCloud now — visible at the bottom of the screen below.

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This is a great way to manage your iCloud storage space and stay under the free 5GB Apple gives you. Why give Apple more money unless you need to. This process works the same any iOS device — Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

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Don’t worry about the data that’s stored locally on your device. This method just deletes backup data from your Apple iCloud account. That’ll save you money in the long run.

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