In the grand year of 2013, “Selfie” officially became a word in the Dictionary. This was probably the same year where your abundance of selfies caused your phone to display a horrific message: Out of memory.

One might look back at the old days of cell phones, before autocorrect and well before group messages and think “How did I live like that?” I fondly recall my first cell phone storing an average of 25 text messages. Each text message, which cost me 5 cents each, was extremely well crafted. After all, why use “L8R” when you could get more bang for your buck (er – cent) with “Later”? We have a lot more freedom with our phones today, but even with our smartphones getting smarter, we’re still all susceptible to abusing the power and running out of space.

Here are a few tips on how to clear out some phone memory. This will be geared more towards an iPhone, since Android phones are all a bit different. (But don’t shy away now, Android users. These tips might give you some inspiration on how to detach from old music and apps!)

The most important first step is to become aware of how much memory your applications are eating up. To get a good idea of how much storage space you’re using on your iPhone, open Settings and navigate to General. Once you click on Usage, you’ll see all of your applications listed from most space-hogging to least, as well as a little summary about your space on top.

Deleting Applications

By clicking on each application from the Usage screen, you have the option to delete it. If you haven’t played it in 9 months, it might be time to say goodbye. (Especially if there’s a good chance it’ll still be available in the future, if you get an itch to play or use it down the road.) Flappy Bird fanatics, rejoice! The game doesn’t use up much memory at all, and has been pulled from the market. Save it!

Deleting Music

Sure, it was fun to have 9 different versions of “Who Let The Dogs Out” at your fingertips as a fun party joke, but now? Now they’re just there, taunting you. Luckily it’s super easy to get rid of music. Start off by opening the Music app, and go to any song list view. Swipe from right to left on any song, and you’ll see the red button that’ll let you delete it.

To delete all of your tunes, go back to the Usage screen that you accessed earlier, and click on “Music”. From there, tap on the “Edit” button at the top right and you’ll see a circle that’ll allow you to get rid of all of it at once.

If you love the idea of having music, but you’re a bit tired of the music you have, consider getting rid of some of the space-hogging duds and downloading the Pandora app, which weighs in at 54 MB. It’s a great way to discover new artists.

Deleting Downloaded Videos

While videos are neat, they kill your memory. To delete videos in the Videos app – which will include videos you’ve downloaded – swipe from right to left on any video. To delete multiple videos at once, tap the Edit button on the top. For videos you’ve taken, check out the steps highlighted below for your camera roll.

Keep in mind, you can use iPhoto on the Mac or Windows’ inbuilt Pictures and Video importer, and you’ll be able to transfer your media to another source. It’ll also give a prompt that’ll allow you to simultaneously delete the memories off of your phone, if you want to save them and start fresh. Which brings us to…

Deleting Pictures

You probably want to back up your pictures on your computer or on the iPhone cloud before you get rid of them on your camera roll. Unless your camera roll is dedicated to pictures of your ex-boyfriend, and you want to trash them all forever.

If you go directly to your camera roll, you can only get rid of one picture or video at a time.

To destroy them all, go back to Usage option under the General section of your Settings, and tap on Photos & Camera. The first item you’ll see is “My Photo Stream”. Swipe from right to left on the green bar, and you’ll see the option to delete all of your photos.

(Since this personally makes me nervous, I might stick to deleting one at a time. Just remember to save the moments that make you laugh or smile, and delete that blurry picture you accidentally took of your couch.)

Deleting Messages

Don’t worry. Nobody in your group chat will notice if you delete the entire (kind of annoying) thread. (Why are there 9 people in this group chat, and do they ever go to sleep?) And yes – you can block people in a group chat with iOS 7!

But, let’s talk about your regular texts. Some messages are amazing and worth saving, and others are from that kid you met twice five years ago, and don’t evoke any human emotion whatsoever. And if you get a lot of texts that contain pictures, they’ll eat up a bunch of your phone memory.

You can delete iMessage threads by opening the Messages app and swiping from right to left. You can also individually delete each message by long tapping on a chat bubble, tapping on “more”, and clicking on “delete”.

If none of these appeal to you, and everything on your phone is important, consider buying an upgraded phone with a higher space capacity.

What’s currently taking up the most space on your phone?

Image Credits: Featured, Screenshots by the Author