How to Update to iOS 8 Without Deleting Your Files

iPhone and iPad users installing the iOS 8 update Over-the-Air will need more than 4GB of free space to initial the download process. While Apple suggests deleting files to install the iOS 8 update, that’s not necessary. Here, we tell you how to update to iOS 8 without deleting your music, apps, photos, messages and more.

Every year, Apple releases a new iOS update. And every year, iOS storage issues strike those trying to download the software without iTunes. Installing iOS updates Over-the-Air require users to have a certain amount of storage space available for the download process to begin. The issue is especially troublesome for iPhone and iPad owners with only 16GB of storage as iOS updates typically require several GB of free space to download and install.



The iOS 8 update is abnormally large. While last year’s iOS 7 update required about 3GB of free space, this year’s iOS 8 update requires anywhere from 4.6GB to 6.9GB of free space to install Over-the-Air. We’re hearing a ton of complaints about needing 5.8GB or more to install though it appears that some users are confused about what to do.

Apple’s iOS 8 update prompt recommends checking usage so that users can delete unnecessary files to free up space. That’s obviously not ideal, especially for those with only 16GB of storage space for apps, photos and more. Fortunately, Apple’s method isn’t the only way to install iOS 8. There are ways to update to iOS 8, today, without deleting your files.

Instead of installing Over-the-Air, iPhone and iPad users with limited storage space will need to install via iTunes. iTunes doesn’t require users to have free space to download. Installing iOS 8 over iTunes is far less convenient but it’s the only way you’re going to be able to install iOS 8 without deleting apps, music, and other files.


To install the iOS 8 with iTunes, plug the iPhone or iPad into the proper computer and sync. Users will be prompted to make a backup, something that is key before installing a large update like iOS 8, and users will also be required to enter the passcode if one is active. Once those are taken care of, the installation process will begin. The iOS 8 download can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes though it’s extremely unpredictable.

One thing that we should also point out is that iPhone and iPad owners don’t lose that storage space. That is to say that the iOS 8 file does not occupy the 5.8GB of storage that it requires to download. Once the process is complete, users will be left with around the same amount of storage that they had before installing the iOS 8 update.


iOS 8 is not as ambitious as last year’s iOS 7 update but it’s a large update nonetheless. Apple’s new software for iPhone and iPad comes with a number of new features including improvements to Photos, iMessaging, FaceTime Audio and more. The update is free and it’s available to iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch fifth-gen users.

The update is not going to be available to users on the iPhone 4 who must remain on the company’s iOS 7.1 update from earlier this year.