Ready to tackle week three’s task of the data junk drawer challenge?  In this 5 minute purge we’re attacking the space eating Messages, eMails, and Podcasts apps. Raise your hand if you’re a data hoarder? 🙋 Do you have an inbox badge similar to the screenshot above? Yikes! Let’s get to it!

First Up: Messages

iMessage and SMS Text Message threads can take up incredible amounts of space. If you never clear them out and they’ve come over from iPhone to iPhone over the years, you may have Gigabytes of space ready for the taking! Keep in mind the messages we send contain not only text but pictures and video as well. Save only what you want to have and get rid of the rest. Then update your settings to never allow your message threads to eat up your memory space again.  Here we go:

Delete old messages & entire threads:

Open the Messages App and select a thread you wish to clean up.  Hold down on the latest conversation bubble, Select More… Now check the individual texts you would like to delete and trash them. This is also helpful when someone sends sensitive information.

Now, deleting individual texts are great and all but can be time consuming if you have hundreds in a thread.  I’m looking at your promotional codes sent via text message. Here’s how to delete the entire thread:  Open the Messages App and hit Edit in the upper left corner. Check the Thread you wish to delete and hit delete in the bottom right corner. Poof – they’re gone!

Update messages settings:

Once you’ve cleared out your old messages, update your settings to only keep your message history for 30 days. This way it won’t ever get out of control and will be easy to maintain going forward.

Settings > Messages > Message History / Keep Messages > 30 Days

In these settings you may also want to turn on “low quality image mode” if space is at a premium on your iPhone.

Next Up: eMails

Here’s the thing, we get hundreds of emails each day. If you fall out of the habit of deleting them as they come in, it’s easy to be drowning in 24,000+ emails in a few months time. Every email app is different when it comes to managing your inbox. Here’s how to clean up the Mail App installed on an iPhone:

Open The Mail App and select All Inboxes. Now hit Edit, Check the individual emails you wish to delete, Trash in the bottom right corner.  Alternatively you can swipe left across the email to delete or swipe right across the email to mark as read. Having over 24,000 is a lot of swipes and may leave you with a sore thumb!

If you’re interested in a new app to manage your emails I highly suggest Edison Mail. You can use an extremely fast search (by keyword or contact) and easily unsubscribe from annoying newsletters. It also lets you organize your emails into categories. It’s Free and available on iOS and Android.


Finally: Podcasts

Podcast episodes can be streamed directly from the cloud. At times you may have downloaded an episode to your device by mistake or to listen to offline. Your settings might also be downloading episodes as they are published, eating up space without you even realizing it. If any of the above are true podcasts can quickly overtake valuable space on your device. Each Podcast you’re subscribed to has their own unique settings.

Manage podcast settings:

Open the Podcast App > Select My Podcasts > Open a Podcast Channel Listed > Click the Gear Icon > Update your Preferences

Pay close attention to the “On this iPhone Settings.” As you can see above I’ve set mine to “Refresh Every” Day (to conserve battery), I’ve turned off “Limit Episodes” and “Download Episodes,” and turned on “Delete Played Episodes.”  This last settings is entirely personal preference.  By turning this on it will remove the episode from the feed, leaving this off will keep the episode in the feed to stream from the cloud again later.

Delete downloaded podcasts:

Regardless if you’ve listened to the podcasts or not you should delete the episode file from your phone. As previously mentioned, podcasts can (and should) be streamed from the cloud.  Here’s how to wipe them off your iPhone in one clean swipe.

Settings > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage > Podcasts

Now Swipe Left on the listed podcast and DELETE leaving only documents & data. Just like that you have taken back Gigabytes of storage space on your iPhone.


Take 5 minutes this week to clean up these 3 data junk drawer items and your phone will thank you! Begin new habits by keeping unnecessary messages, emails, and podcasts off your device and stay tuned for next week’s challenge task when we wrap up this summer challenge series!

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