You can use Apple’s iCloud to stash away your device backups and media content, including photos, videos, documents, and more. Apple offers 5B of free iCloud space, but you’ll run out of space sooner than you‘d think because the free 5GB space is per Apple ID, and per Apple device. When you manage multiple Apple devices through your ID, you’d run up against the free space quickly. However, you do have an option to purchase additional space from Apple, there are multiple ways to manage the space before shelling out some bucks from your pocket.

Check your Usage

To view how much space you’ve used, open the settings app from your iPhone or iPad, tap iCloud, and then Storage & Backup.

Manage Backups

Each app you’ve installed on your Apple devices backups the app data automatically to your iCloud account based on the settings. Usually, it happens every time when it is connected to Wi-Fi, so it ensures no data is lost. When you change your device or reset your old device, you can import the back from your iCloud account. Backups take most of your space, so if you no longer need backups from your old device, you can go ahead and delete those. Simply go to Manage Backups, scroll to the bottom and tap Delete Backup to delete the entire backup. Also, you can delete individual app backup too.

Apparently, you may also be backing up the data that you don’t need to be saved in your iCloud. To ensure less space for backups, just walk through the apps in the list and choose which apps data you would like to save to iCloud.

Go for alternate photo storage

Photos will eat up most of your space, so manage settings accordingly and delete photos from your backups. To free up space, you can disable Photo Stream from the iCloud Settings screen. Tap the Photos option on the iCloud settings page and disable My Photo Stream.

Instead, you may use third-party photo apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, Microsoft One Drive or Amazon Cloud Drive, which offers more space than Apple. You can disable Camera Roll backups as your photos are backed up to another service anyway.

Clear unwanted documents and emails

You may also be saving unwanted documents that iCloud sync between all your devices. Head to Manage Storage, then tap Documents & Data to view the files that eat up your space. Just delete the files that you don’t care, but be careful, as there are chances for deleting important files that you want to keep.

When you’re using Apple’s iCloud Mail, make sure to delete unwanted emails, especially emails with large attachments. You can delete emails using the Mail app.