How to Delete Large Attachments on iPhone

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delete large attachments on iphone

With the ever-growing digital age, our smartphones, particularly iPhones, have become central storage units for countless files, photos, and attachments. Understanding how to delete large attachments on iPhone is pivotal. Managing these accumulated data effectively is not only about freeing space but also ensuring the optimal performance of the device. This article sheds light on the significance of deleting large files, understanding the accumulation of attachments, and offers practical steps to maintain a clutter-free iPhone.

Why It’s Crucial to Delete Large Files on iPhone

Every iPhone user, including myself, knows the frustration of running out of storage or experiencing lags and glitches. Often, this is due to accumulated large files and attachments, many of which may no longer be needed. Once you’ve delved into this topic, you’ll wonder how my storage was being consumed so quickly. In this article, we dive deep into understanding the importance of managing these files and how they can impact the overall performance of your iPhone.

Understanding Attachments and Their Accumulation

How does one manage their iPhone storage effectively? A big part is understanding attachments. Attachments can be described as any file that gets added to your messages, emails, or apps, be it photos, videos, documents, or audio files. Over time, as we send and receive more content, especially on apps like iMessage, these attachments pile up, sometimes without our knowledge. For instance, when someone sends you a 4K video or a high-resolution image, the size of these attachments can be quite significant. And if not periodically reviewed and deleted, they occupy a large chunk of the iPhone’s storage.

Types of Files That Tend to Be Larger

Type of FileDescription
High-resolution images and photosImages taken in high resolution or downloaded in full quality. They occupy more space than compressed or lower-resolution images.
4K or HD videosVideos captured or downloaded in 4K or HD resolution. These have larger file sizes compared to standard definition videos.
Downloaded movies or series episodesFull-length films or TV show episodes saved for offline viewing can take up a significant amount of storage.
Large applications with extensive cached dataApps that store a lot of user data or cache, such as social media or streaming apps. Their size grows with prolonged use.
Music and podcast filesAudio files, especially if saved in high quality, can accumulate and occupy storage over time.
Offline map dataMaps downloaded for offline use, especially detailed ones, can be quite large in size.

The Need to Manage Large Files

There are several compelling reasons to delete large files on iPhone and keep its storage in check:

  1. Freeing up storage: By periodically checking and removing large attachments and files, you ensure that your phone has enough space for new apps, photos, or updates. It’s always advisable to have some free space on your device for optimal functionality.
  2. Preventing app crashes: A cluttered storage can lead to apps misbehaving or crashing. Some apps require a minimum amount of free space to operate smoothly.
  3. Ensuring swift performance: Having a lot of unnecessary data can slow down your phone, making it sluggish. When you delete big files on iPhone, you’re ensuring that the device runs at its peak performance.
  4. Speedier backups: The more data you have, the longer it takes to back up. By managing and clearing large attachments on iPhone, backups become faster and more efficient, especially if you’re using cloud-based services like iCloud.

It’s crucial for iPhone users to recognize the importance of managing storage and periodically delete large attachments and files. This not only ensures the device’s optimal performance but also prolongs its life and efficiency. So, the next time your iPhone gives you a storage warning, consider taking a few minutes to review and remove large attachments and files, making room for what truly matters.

How to Identify and Delete Large Attachments on iPhone

Maximizing your iPhone’s performance often requires managing storage by identifying and removing hefty attachments. Thankfully, the iPhone provides users with several built-in tools and methods to do just that. Below, we outline the steps to help you efficiently locate and delete large attachments on your device.

Finding Large Attachments in Messages

The Messages app is a common spot where large attachments, such as photos, videos, and GIFs, accumulate over time. Here’s how to tackle them:

  1. Open the ‘Messages’ app.
  2. Tap on any conversation.
  3. Tap on the contact’s name at the top.imessages conversation with attachments
  4. Scroll down to see all the attachments related to that conversation.imessages conversations panel
  5. Press and hold on any attachment you want to delete, then hit the trash can icon to delete.delete attachment in messages

Using iPhone Storage Recommendations

iOS offers storage recommendations to help users manage their storage efficiently. Here’s how to access these recommendations:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ and tap on ‘General’.
  2. Select ‘iPhone Storage’.select 'iphone storage'
  3. Scroll down to find the ‘Review Large Attachments’ recommendation. 
  4. Tap on ‘Review Large Attachments’.iPhone storage recomendations
  5. You’ll be presented with a list of large attachments, which can include photos, videos, and other media files sent or received through the Messages app.list of large attachments
  6. Review the attachments. You can tap ‘Edit’ in the top right corner and select multiple attachments to delete at multiple attachments to delete
  7. Confirm any deletions to free up storage space on your device.

Note: This recommendation may not be available to all users; it appears when iOS detects sizable attachments that can be reviewed for deletion.

Utilizing Third-Party Apps

While the built-in tools are effective, sometimes a third-party app can offer a more detailed breakdown of storage usage. Several reputable apps on the App Store can assist in managing storage. Here are a few trusted ones:

  • Cleaner Pro: Known for its easy-to-use interface, Cleaner Pro allows users to quickly identify and delete duplicate contacts, review large files, and manage storage with ease.
  • Magic Cleaner: This app focuses on locating and deleting large, unnecessary files. It also provides a visual representation of your storage, making it easier to identify what’s consuming the most space.
  • Gemini Photos: If you have a plethora of photos, Gemini Photos identifies duplicates and blurry shots, helping you free up significant space by only keeping the best versions of your images.

Before opting for any third-party application, always ensure to read reviews, understand its permissions, and make sure it suits your specific needs. Using these apps in conjunction with the iPhone’s built-in storage management tools can help you clear large attachments on iPhone more effectively.

Taking proactive measures to identify and delete big files on iPhone can significantly enhance its performance and usability. Adopting a routine checkup of your storage can make your iPhone experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Best Practices to Avoid Accumulating Large Attachments

While we’ve discussed how to identify and delete large files on your iPhone, an equally valuable approach is adopting habits to prevent the accumulation of these hefty attachments in the first place. By being proactive in your storage management, you can enjoy a smoother iPhone experience without constantly battling storage warnings.

Proactive Measures for Efficient iPhone Storage Management

  • 💬 Regularly Clear Chat Threads: Messages, especially group chats, can quickly amass a large number of media files. By periodically clearing old conversations or media-rich threads, you can ensure that these don’t sit forgotten, occupying unnecessary space.
  • 📧 Review Email Attachments Monthly: Emails are often accompanied by attachments, be they images, documents, or other file types. Make it a monthly habit to sift through and delete large attachments on iPhone from your email app.
  • 📅 Set Reminders to Clear Downloaded Files: The convenience of downloading files on-the-go means that our iPhones often become a repository for various downloaded attachments and media. Schedule a monthly reminder to review and delete big files on iPhone that you no longer need.
  • ☁️ Use Cloud Storage for Large Files: Services like iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox offer the advantage of accessing files without storing them directly on your device. Whenever possible, save larger files directly to the cloud. This not only frees up storage but also provides the security of cloud backups.

In conclusion, by adopting these practices, you can significantly reduce the chances of large file accumulation on your iPhone. Remember, efficient storage management not only ensures optimal device performance but also results in a more streamlined and hassle-free user experience.


In today’s digital era, the iPhone stands out as an epitome of technological advancement, yet its storage is finite. As we’ve explored, attachments and large files can quickly consume valuable space, affecting the device’s performance. Regularly reviewing and managing these files is not just about freeing up space; it’s about ensuring a seamless and efficient user experience. By being proactive and implementing the tips discussed, iPhone users can take full advantage of their device’s capabilities without the hindrance of storage issues. Remember, a decluttered iPhone is a happy iPhone!


Jeff Cochin
168 posts
About author
Jeff Cochin has been immersed in the Apple ecosystem for most of his professional career, relying on his trusted MacBook and iPhone when deploying SaaS solutions and troubleshooting server issues. Now, he’s covering the latest Mac news and writing in-depth reviews and data recovery guides for the readers of AppleNApps. His detailed articles and guides on Mac and iPhone have been spotlighted in several renowned publications, such as Macgasm, OnMac, LAWeekly, and others.