I was going to delete all my pictures and start over — then I found iMazing

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iMazing saved all of my data, and made me comfortable managing it.
iMazing saved all my iPhone data, and made me comfortable managing it.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

By Mike Wilson

I enjoy my iPhone, and I’ve used one for quite a long time. I like taking pictures with it and downloading music to it, and up until about a year ago, that was always an easy and stress-free process. But around that time, I started getting frequent notifications and messages on my phone about my storage being full. I’m sure you can relate. There were always upsells for cloud storage, this, that and the other, but I couldn’t make sense of any of them.

My favorite place to take pictures was on long hikes, and it was there that I’d listen to the latest album I downloaded. As these problems with storage persisted, my hikes began to lose their magic. So I decided to finally do something about it.

A simple iPhone user with a complex issue

While I’ve used an iPhone for a while, I still feel like a novice. I think part of that is because I’m an older person. I’m in my 60s, so I still feel my long-built foundation in curly corded house telephones and data stored in filing cabinets. I’m not one of those grumpy baby boomers who denounces technology at every bug and error, but I do honestly feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable when things on the screen get too complex.

The simplicity with which I’ve long approached my iPhone probably explains why I mainly just use it for taking photos and downloading music. Yes, I also have applications, and some of them are really helpful, like my banking app and the few weather applications I’ve downloaded. But beyond that, I’m really lost. So, when I started running into storage issues, I went to ask an expert at my local computer repair shop.

Too many solutions, only one answer

The young woman at the shop was really intelligent and knowledgeable, but unfortunately, not very helpful. When I told her about the problems I was having, she gave me more solutions than I’d ever know what to do with. First, she mentioned that I’d want to get an external hard drive, which her store happened to sell for a lot of money.

It all seemed a bit expensive and high tech for what I was looking for. I mentioned this to her, and her eyes lit up and she asked me if I’d ever heard of jailbreaking a device. I told her I hadn’t, and that it sounded dangerous and illegal. She said she wasn’t sure about the legality, but that it could open up all of this storage and all of these functions in my iPhone that were locked away at the moment. I asked her, “If I’m paying full price for this phone and its service, why are there features locked away?”

She shrugged, uncertain. So, I asked around. Most people don’t know why features and storage can be difficult to access or figure out on a device. But, there are other approaches that don’t require jailbreaking or expensive hard drives. And a woman who worked at the second phone repair shop I visited had a suggestion that ended up being my answer: iMazing, a Mac (and Windows) app designed to help iPhone and iPad users manage their mobile data more easily. And as it turns out, that’s exactly what I needed.

Clearing up space with iMazing iOS manager

After downloading this program, I was able to easily navigate and manage everything on my phone. I found that old text messages were taking up an exorbitant amount of space, and I didn’t need them there. I either deleted these large, bulky messages weighing down my phone with video attachments and GIFs from my children and grandchildren, or I printed them out to save and reread for my own pleasure later — a capability included in iMazing’s suite of features.

It also let me see how my music and photos lived between my iPhone, my iPad and my computer. I got set up with iCloud finally, and was easily able to move older photos and videos there to free up space on my phone. This let me get back to my hikes with the peace and clarity that I missed.

iMazing helps organize your life

Since downloading iMazing, which is on sale for just $14.99 (regularly $34), my hikes have been filled with new pictures and stress-free photography. The iMazing app also helped out in some unexpected ways. With its iBooks functionality, I’ve started downloading e-books to take on my walks with me. I sorted through my contacts and deleted unused or old entries, organized more files between my devices, and actually, finally backed it all up.

I never placed much stock in storage and backups, which is ironic considering how much data I was accumulating. Now I feel like I’ve wrapped my head around it all, built my own system with iMazing, and found a way to function and operate with more clarity, comfort and ease.

Prices subject to change.