Prevent downloaded music from taking up too much storage on iPhone

By

Optimize music storage iPhone
Don't let songs take up all your space.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you like to store music locally on your iPhone so you don’t need a data connection to listen to your favorite tracks while you’re on the go, you may find that, over time, your music takes up too much space.

You can prevent that from happening by optimizing music storage on your device so the songs you don’t listen to anymore are automatically deleted to make room for other content. We’ll show you how.

Why download music to your iPhone?

Downloading music to your iPhone is a great way to ensure you always have something to listen to — even when you’re trying to conserve your data allowance or you’re in an area with bad connectivity.

And with Apple getting slightly more generous with iPhone storage in recent years, it’s now possible to carry thousands of tracks in your pocket without having to worry too much about storage space.

But, if you’ve been downloading music for some time, you’ll likely start to notice that it ends up hogging more storage than is ideal. And chances are you no longer listen to many of the tracks you’ve saved.

Rather than trawling through your entire music library and manually deleting those tracks, iPhone can do it for you automatically. Here’s how to optimize your music storage in iOS.

How to optimize music storage on iPhone

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Music.
  2. Tap Optimize Storage.
  3. Tap the toggle to enable the Optimize Storage feature.
Prevent downloaded music from taking up too much storage on iPhone
Set a minimum storage limit to prevent too many tracks being deleted.
Screenshots: Cult of Mac

Your iPhone will now begin automatically removing tracks that you haven’t listened to in a while when it starts to get low on storage space. It will not delete anything while you have ample storage available.

To prevent your device from deleting too many tracks, you can specify a minimum storage amount for music. This will ensure that a certain number of tracks — up to 12,800 — are always saved locally.

iOS gives you five options for song storage: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. You can choose one of them after enabling Optimize Storage if you want to use this feature. The same setting works on iPad if you need it.