iCloud is the most secure platform to let you store photos, videos and important files. Apple offers free storage up to 5GB. If you want to store more data, you can easily buy more storage (Setting → iCloud → Storage → Buy More Storage)

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When your iCloud storage runs out of basic limit, your device will not be able to back up to iCloud. Besides, new photos and videos won’t upload to iCloud Photo Library. iCloud Drive and other iCloud apps won’t be able to update across your devices. Furthermore, you won’t be able to send or receive messages with your iCloud email address.

How to Clear iCloud Storage on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows PC

If you don’t want to buy more storage and looking for ways to get rid of the unwanted files, follow these handy tips to retrieve storage on your iPhone, Mac and Windows. Let’s find out!

How to Free up iCloud Storage on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows

Manage your iCloud storage

There are two ways to manage your iCloud storage:

Check How Much iCloud Storage You Have

In order to check storage on your iPhone, iPad running iOS 9 or later, go to Settings → iCloud → Storage.

(To check storage on your iPhone running iOS 8, go to Settings → iCloud → Storage → Manage Storage.

On earlier version of iOS, tap Settings → iCloud → Storage & Backup.)

To check iCloud storage on your Mac, go to Apple menu → System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Manage.

On your PC running Windows 10, choose Start menu → All apps → iCloud → manage.

Once you have checked how much storage you have, you can delete the redundant files, apps, and photos. But before going ahead with the process, make sure to back up the data if you don’t want to get rid of it for good.

Use these steps to manage how much storage you use.

Select which iOS apps to backup on iPhone or iPad

Many apps automatically back up to iCloud after you install them. You can change which apps back up to iCloud and remove existing backups from your storage.

Step #1. Launch Settings app on your iOS device.

Launch Settings app on your iOS device

Step #2. Next, you need to scroll down and tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud

Step #3. Tap on Storage.

Tap on Storage

Step #4. Now, tap on Manage Storage.

Tap on Manage Storage

Step #5. Next, tap the name of your iOS device.

Tap the name of your iOS device

Step #6. Under Backup Options, you can turn off any apps which you no longer want to back up.

Turn off any apps which you no longer want to back up

When asked to confirm, select Turn Off & Delete to turn off Backup for that app and remove all of its data from iCloud.

Select Turn Off & Delete to turn off Backup

Delete backups and turn off Backup for your device

On your iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Open Settings → General.

Tap on General

Step #2. Tap on Storage & iCloud Usage.

Tap on Storage & iCloud Usage

Step #3. Under iCloud, you need to tap on Manage Storage.

Tap Manage Storage

Step #4. Tap the name of your device.

Tap the name of your device

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Step #5. Tap Delete Backup → Turn Off & Delete.

Tap Delete Backup, then Turn Off & Delete

On your Mac

Step #1. Open Apple menu → System Preferences → iCloud.

Step #2. Click Manage and select Backups.

Choose one of the device backups, then click Delete.

If you wish to turn off Backup and clean up all backups for that device from iCloud, you need to click on Delete when asked to confirm.

When you delete a backup, it will disable backup of your device.

On your PC Running Windows 10

Step #1. Choose Start menu → All apps → iCloud → Click Storage.

Step #2. Now, you need to choose Backup from the items listed.

Next, select one of the device backups, then click Delete.

To turn off Backup and clean up all backups for that device from iCloud, select Delete when asked to confirm.

When you delete a backup, the backup of your device will also be turned off.

iCloud backups will be available for 180 days even after you turn off or stop using iCloud.

Reduce the size of your iCloud Photo Library

With the use of iCloud storage, iCloud Photo Library ensures your photos and videos are up to date across your devices.

Remove the photos which don’t want any more to retrieve more space in iCloud.

There is also an option to save space on your device when you turn on Optimize device Storage in Settings.

With Optimize Storage enabled, Photos will automatically free up space by replacing original photos as well as videos with device-sized versions.

Just in case you accidentally delete any photos, you have the option to recover them from your Recently Deleted album for 30 days.

In order to remove content from your Recently Deleted album faster, tap Select, then select the items you want to remove. Tap Delete → Delete.

If iCloud storage exceeds the limit, your device will get rid of any photos you delete and they won’t be available for recovery in your Recently Deleted album.

Follow these steps to delete photo and videos from your iCloud Photo Library.

On your iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Open the Photos app → tap on Photos at the bottom of the screen.

Open the Photos app, then tap on Photos

Step #2. Tap on Select.

Tap on Select

Step #3. Now, choose the photos you want to delete. Tap on Delete → Delete Photo.

Choose the photos you want to delete. Tap on Delete

On Mac

Step #1. Open the Photos app. Choose the photos you wish to delete.

Step #2. Select Image and click on Delete Photos.

iCloud.com

Step #1. Go to icloud.com on your computer and log in with your Apple ID and passwords.

Step #2. Click the Photos app → Select Photos.

Step #3. Choose the photos you want to delete. Click delete button → Delete to confirm.

Reduce the size of your Photo Library on iPhone and iPad

In case of iCloud Photo Library is not enabled on your device, Camera Roll would be the part of the iCloud backup.

Step #1. In order to check the size of the backup on your device, open Settings → iCloud → Storage → Manage Storage.

Step #2. Tap the name of your iOS device.

Remove the photos which you don’t want to keep anymore. To do so, open Photos and select the item you wish to delete. Then tap on delete button → Delete Photo.

iCloud Drive

It’s easy to manage which files you store in iCloud Drive from your iPhone, Mac, or Windows PC.

On iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Open Settings → iCloud → Storage → Manage Storage.

Step #2. Tap the name of the app which is using iCloud Drive.

Step #3. Tap on the individual files. Now, swipe left or click the Edit button to remove files.

On your Mac

Step #1. Go to Apple menu → System Preferences → iCloud.

Step #2. Sign in with your Apple ID.

Turn on iCloud Drive.

Now, choose the apps or folders for the files you wish to manage.

Step #3. Next, open Finder → iCloud Drive folder.

Now, drag an item to the Trash, or move it to a different folder on your Mac.

On Windows PC

On your PC running Windows 7 or later, you can manage your iCloud Drive files using Windows Explorer. Follow these steps to add an iCloud Drive folder to Windows Explorer:

Step #1. Download and install iCloud for Windows.

Step #2. Sign in with your Apple ID.

Step #3. Turn on iCloud Drive.

iCloud.com

There is also a way to manage your files from the iCloud Drive app at iCloud.com. Sign into iCloud.com, click the iCloud Drive app, select the files that you wish to delete, then click the delete button.

Mail

By deleting email messages from your iCloud email account, you will be able to free up iCloud storage space.

On your iPhone and iPad

If your iOS device is set up to access iCloud email, you will be able to delete messages from any mailbox, then empty the Trash to free up space.

Swipe left across any message to delete it. Then tap your Trash folder.

You can delete messages one at a time. To delete all the messages at one go, tap on Edit → Delete All.

On Your Mac or Windows PC

Using iCloud Mail with a desktop email app like Mail on your Mac or Microsoft Outlook on your PC, follow these steps to delete the messages.

Open Mail on your Mac: Delete the messages that you don’t want any more. Select Mailbox → Erase Deleted Items and choose your iCloud email account from the menu.

Microsoft Outlook 2010-2016 (Windows): Delete the messages that you don’t want to keep anymore.

(Open Microsoft Outlook 2007 (Windows): Delete the messages that you don’t want to use any more. Click on Edit → Select your Apple ID from the menu.)

iCloud.com

Step #1. Go to icloud.com. Click Mail.

Delete the messages that you don’t want any more, then click the gear icon. Click on Empty Trash.

Also Read:
How to Transfer iCloud Calendar to Android Phone
How to Transfer iCloud Drive Files to Google Drive
How to Create and Edit iWork Documents in iCloud Drive in iOS 10 on iPhone/iPad

That’s all!

Assuming these tips have been able to retrieve a lot of iCloud storage on your iPhone, Mac, and Windows PC. It would be interesting to have your feedback in the comments.