Managing iCloud storage, or switching, or something
July 24, 2021 7:26 AM   Subscribe

(Preface: I know nothing.) I'm on a mission to track down leaks in my budget and discovered that I'm paying $9.99/mo for 2 TB of iCloud storage but am only using 222 GB. If I can keep it under 200 GB, I can drop down to $2.99. Messages is taking 84.9 GB. What happens if I turn that off? Extra credit: Is there a cheaper, just as good way *within my nonexistent skill set* to do automatic backups?
posted by HotToddy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Maybe I should clarify: If I turn the back up off for messages, what do I see in my phone? How far back will it go?
posted by HotToddy at 7:33 AM on July 24, 2021

For Messages:
* under iOS, go to Settings / Messages / Keep Messages, and you'll see choices of 30 days, 1 year, and Forever. This is an easy way to clear out space (but of course, you'll lose older messages)
* Alternatively, go to Settings, click your name at the top, then click iCloud / Messages / Manage Storage / iCloud Storage and you can see what's taking the most space. Often it's a few large videos that you can delete manually.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 8:28 AM on July 24, 2021

Settings > General > Storage > Review Large Attachments will show your x largest files in your Messages storage. You can export and/or delete from there. If you manually back up the large attachments outside of iCloud every so often, you should be able to store your Messages history effectively forever on the 200GB plan.

I also highly recommend using the free trial of Gemini Photos on iPhone/iPad; it helped me find about 30GB of duplicate and low quality photo and video going back several years.

If you stop storing messages in iCloud you’ll just have whatever happens to be on each device’s local storage at the moment.
posted by michaelh at 10:12 PM on July 24, 2021

Response by poster: Okay, thanks all! I cleared out a bunch of videos, got it under 200, and switched to the cheaper plan. That’s an extra $84 a year for me!
posted by HotToddy at 12:46 PM on July 25, 2021

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