Non-expandable storage on iPhone and iPad has been a pressing problem for a decade. Unless you start actively managing the available storage yourself, you'll sooner or later miss it. That's why Apple has quietly introduced a feature called Unload Unused Applications alongside iOS 11 to combat this problem.
Otherwise called simply "unloading application", this feature is also present on devices running iOS 12, iOS 13 and iPadOS. It is enabled by default and keeps the storage under control to a certain extent. But how exactly does it work? Do you have to continue using it? Let's see this below.
How does the unloading of applications
The unloading of applications offers a brief respite to the enigma of storage on iPhone and iPad. When the Unload unused apps feature is turned on, your iOS or iPadOS device will automatically delete apps that you do not use regularly. This happens whenever your device really starts to run out of storage, although there is no set threshold.
When the Unload unused apps feature is turned on, your iOS or iPadOS device will automatically delete apps that you do not use regularly.
But this is where things get interesting: when unloading applications, your iPhone or iPad does not delete any local data or any document generated by the application. For example, if YouTube is unloaded, the application will only be deleted if the downloaded videos are intact. This means you can re-download the application and seamlessly resume where you left off without any problem. In addition, you do not need to download these videos again.
In addition, an unloaded application will also give the impression that it is actually installed on your device. On the home screen of your device, you can see the application icon with a cloud-shaped symbol next to the file name to indicate its unloaded status.
A simple tapping results in automatic download of the application by the device, which greatly facilitates the reinstallation process. Once this is done, you can open the app by tapping the icon again.
The wrong side
Although the automatic unloading of applications is well implemented on the iPhone and the iPad, it has some disadvantages. For starters, you risk losing access to an app in the worst moments – for example when traveling.
Yes, it is fairly easy to download a downloaded application again, but it's a failure if you do not have a strong Internet connection. Not to mention that some applications can also be quite large and incur additional costs if you choose to download using cellular bandwidth. There is also the case of application applications during the reinstallation, which adds to the problem.
In addition, you will not gain as much space as you expect, especially if the application contains many documents and local data relative to the size of its main application (the Music application, for example). Automatic unloading of such applications does not make much sense and adds to the inconvenience of a new download when you need to access it quickly. Unless you want this little storage.
There is also the risk that an app may be removed from the App Store list. Although this happens quite infrequently, you will not be able to reinstall a previously unloaded application in such a case.
Alternatively, you can decide to unload the applications manually. To do this, go to the iPhone / iPad Settings application, tap General, and then tap iPhone / iPad storage. Select an application in the following screen and you will see the total amount of storage used by the application divided into two parts – Application Size and Documents and Data.
The size of the application indicates the amount of storage occupied by the main application, while Documents & Data details the number of files generated by the application locally. When unloading an application, you will only gain the amount of storage shown next to Application Size.
To unload an application, simply tap Unload application, then tap Unload app again to confirm. You can then reinstall the app at any time by tapping its icon in the home screen.
If you want to completely get rid of the application, tap Remove application instead. This will allow you to achieve maximum storage savings, but you will lose all data. Back up any important files, on iCloud or on a computer, before doing so.
If you disable it?
Activating the unloading function of unused applications obviously makes it possible to automatically release storage space. This is especially true when you have many applications on your iPhone or iPad and storage is still a problem.
But if the number of installed applications does not represent much, manually unloading these applications is much more convenient and should allow you to avoid the inconvenience of automatically unloading applications. In this case, consider disabling the Unload unused applications feature.
To do this, go to iPhone / iPad Settings, tap iTunes and in the app stores, and then turn off the switch next to Unload unused apps.
Whatever it is, letting your iOS or iPadOS device manually unload applications or do it yourself is not the solution to all storage issues. You must also look for other ways to free up storage space.
Then: Save your photos and videos on these five amazing cloud storage services and recover valuable storage space on your iPhone or iPad.