If you’ve been using your iPhone or iPad for a considerable period, there’s a high probability that you’ve accumulated several apps, contacts, and settings that may no longer be useful to you. This guide aims to assist you in freeing up your device’s storage space and optimizing your notifications.

Delete Unused Apps

It’s likely unnecessary for me to remind you to remove unused apps to free up storage on your iPhone, but you may not be aware of iOS’s built-in feature designed to simplify this task. By opening the Settings app and selecting “General,” followed by “iPhone Storage/iPad Storage”, you can access this tool. The interface may take a moment to load, but once it does, it will present you with a convenient visual breakdown of how apps, documents, photos, and other files are consuming much space on your device. Additionally, you’ll find a comprehensive list of all installed apps, along with the amount of storage and the last time it was used. Armed with this valuable information, you can make informed decisions about which apps to remove.

When you tap on an app in iOS, you will typically be presented with at least two options. The first is to delete the app and the second is to “offload” it. If you choose to second, iOS will remove it from your iPhone/iPad but preserve your data. This means that if you decide to reinstall the app later, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. To simplify the process further, you can configure your iPhone/iPad to automatically offload unused apps when low on storage.

Don’t Forget Music & Messages

If you’re a frequent user of Apple Messages and Music, it’s worth tapping on them in the iPhone Storage menu as they provide additional options for managing their storage usage. Within the interface for Apple Music, you’ll find a comprehensive list of music downloaded on your iPhone/iPad sorted by album and artist. This makes it much easier to remove items from your library.

Messages offer some convenient storage management options. Towards the bottom of the iPhone Storage interface for Messages, you’ll see a breakdown of all the different attachments you’ve received in your conversations with friends and family. This can be eye-opening as you can see how much storage those old photos, videos, and GIFs are taking up. IOS may prompt you to review large attachments, which is a great place to start as the interface highlights the largest space takers right at the top.

Additionally, you can configure your device to delete messages & attachments automatically that are old by more than a year. However, I would caution against enabling this feature unless space is at premium on your iPhone/iPad, as it may inadvertently delete a photo or video with sentimental value to you.

Trim Contact List

If you’ve been using an iPhone for some time, your contacts list could likely benefit from some editing. It’s not necessary to keep contacts that you no longer communicate with, so why not delete them? Your iPhone can help by identifying suspected duplicate contacts, giving you a head start in the process. Beyond that, it’s a matter of going through each contact and verifying that the information is current and accurate.

Review Notification Settings

It’s important to periodically review your notification settings to optimize your device’s battery life and avoid being distracted by unnecessary alerts. To do this, open the Settings app on your device and select “Notifications.” If you haven’t already, consider using the scheduled summary feature introduced in iOS 15. Most notifications don’t require immediate attention, and it’s better to address them in batches rather than being interrupted constantly. With the schedule feature, you can set specific times throughout the day when your device will display notifications in a summary format. You can stay informed without feeling overwhelmed by constant interruptions using this helpful method.

Using the scheduled summary feature can help make notifications more manageable for most people. However, if you want to further customize your notification settings, you can adjust them on an app-by-app basis. For particularly distracting apps like Instagram and Twitter, it may be worthwhile to delve into their in-app settings and limit or disable the notifications they send. This can help you stay focused on important tasks and reduce unnecessary distractions.

Focus Modes

Apple’s Focus feature is another useful tool to manage your notifications. It allows you to create customized Do Not Disturb settings for different activities, such as work or exercise. Your device comes with a few preconfigured Focus modes, but it’s a good idea to review and customize them to suit your specific needs.

To create a new custom Focus Mode, you can access the “Focus” feature in the same subcategory as notifications in the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Alternatively, you can create a new Focus mode directly from your device’s Control Center by long-pressing on the “Do Not Disturb” icon and selecting “New Focus.”

Lastly, I would like to discuss the options for customizing your Home Screen for different Focus modes. This feature is useful for minimizing distractions since it limits the apps that you can easily access.