I have to apologize upfront for employing such a well-known clickbait-style headline, but I’m genuinely about to show you how to immediately reclaim a lot of free space on a nearly full Apple iPhone using a weird trick. It’s not an April Fool’s either.
If you have an iPhone that’s close to running out of space, you can use this method to free up a sizable amount of storage. On my iPhone, which was filled to bursting with vacation photos, music and apps I managed to claw back a couple of gigabytes, which is some going.
The trick only works on an iPhone that’s very low on space. What you need to do is note how much storage you have remaining by going to Settings > General > Usage, and then try to rent a movie from iTunes that is larger than the storage you have available. If you have 500MB free, for example, you could try and rent Bridge of Spies, which is a 5.79GB download.
You have to try to rent the film through the iTunes app on your phone, not through iTunes on your PC or Mac. Unless you actually want to watch the film that is.
When you click Rent, a loading symbol will appear but then you’ll receive a message informing you that “there is not enough available storage” to download the film, and you’ll be given the option of managing your storage in Settings.
Tap the Settings button, and — ta-da! — you should see the amount of free storage you now have is much greater than before. Repeating the process will free up even more space.
According to this Reddit post, it seems what the device is doing is deleting unnecessary files from installed apps in an effort to free up the room you need to install the movie.
Don’t worry though, even if you do manage to free up enough space for the film in question, it won’t be installed. Unless you click on Rent again that is…