How Much Storage Do I Need On My iPhone or iPad?

We’ve all probably experienced it at some point: that dreaded “Storage Almost Full” message. The worst part of it is trying to figure out what apps, photos, and videos to keep, and which ones we’re okay with deleting. It doesn’t need to be like this, though. Make the wise choice and get the storage you both need and can afford.

So how much storage do you need? That really depends on how you plan to use your device. Are you an occasional phone or tablet user? A photographer? Do you frequently use a lot of apps? These are all things you’ll need to think about.



What Storage Options Are Available?

Depending on the model, current iPhones come in 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256GB capacities. iPads have similar size options, again varying by the model you select.

How Much Storage Do I Need? 

To make things simple we’ll talk about the common storage options, and who we think they’re best suited for.


To be honest, there are very few situations where a 16GB device works these days. You’re going to frequently find yourself deleting things to free up space, and only a few large apps can eat up a large portion of your storage. Honestly, if you can afford it, choose a 32GB or 64GB model instead. But those who primarily use their phone as a phone with some web browsing and a few apps and photos, you might be able to make it work.


This is the minimum size we recommend for light smartphone users. You’ll have much more free space at 32GB to take photos and videos, store music, and have most if not all the apps you’d need. This storage option is a perfect one for those on a budget, but you may still run out of space at some point. 


This size is perfect for frequent phone users. You’ll have more than enough space for photos and even long videos, and every app you could likely ever want. Storage of downloaded video content (movies, TV shows) becomes possible without affecting your personal content. It’s for this reason 64GB is our minimum recommended size for iPads. 


If you’re not a big fan of the cloud, you’ll need a 128GB iPhone. Amateur photographers and videographers will want to select this size as well. At this storage capacity, you’d be able to store nearly five hours of 4K video on the device, enough for a day’s worth of shooting. You’ll also be able to store your photos all locally versus using the iCloud Photo Library. On an iPad, multiple movies could be stored, making it a great road trip companion. Most people’s entire downloaded music collection could be stored on this size device.


256GB is like the holy grail of iDevices. Most will not need a device this large, but serious shutterbugs will never run out of space for their photos and videos at this size. Not only will you fit your entire music collection on here, but all your content, movies (and several of them), and all the latest TV episodes of your favorite shows. Mobile gamers will love this device because they’ll be able to dozens of games at once, which sometimes can be extremely large in size – on the order of several gigabytes. And if you’re all of these, we think you’ll still be hard pressed to run out of space at this capacity.

Refurbished iPhones and iPads Get You More Storage For Your Money

The best thing about buying a refurbished iPhone or iPad is the savings. A refurbished higher capacity previous generation device typically costs less than current iPhone’s lower capacity device. To illustrate this, consider a new iPhone 32GB device: that phone costs around $650 new. You can get the previous generation here on JemJem in 128GB for $560 new. That’s a huge difference.

And if you need the capability to make payments on your device, we also offer monthly payment options through Affirm. The best thing about buying and making payments through Affirm is you own the device: technically, with your carrier you’re only leasing it.

Check out our current stock of iPhones and iPads, and get the storage space you really need!

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