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How to Add More Storage to Your iPad



It always seems like you never have enough space on your iPad, but here’s how you can add more storage to your iPad with ease.

While Apple offers a 16GB iPad model, 16GB of storage on an iPad isn’t much at all. In fact, many would say that it’s nearly impossible for an iPad user, since the device is great for all sorts of games and movies, which can fill up the storage fairly quickly.

We’ve discussed many times in the past about how you just shouldn’t get a 16GB iPhone or iPad, both for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5s, as well as the iPad mini and the new iPad Air 2. 16GB usually isn’t enough for a lot of users, and since iOS itself takes up a few gigabytes of space, you’re left with even less storage that you can work with.

Storage size can ultimately be the toughest decision when buying an iPad, especially because of the price difference between the multiple storage tiers, but you also never know exactly how much space you’ll end up using, and the longer you own the device, the more apps and games that you’ll pile on over time. However, many users still opt for the 16GB option due to cost, as it’s priced way less than the next highest storage tier, which is $100 more.

If your budget doesn’t allow for anything better than a 16GB iPad, the decision is pretty easy as far as what storage size to get, but ultimately not the best, and we certainly don’t blame you, as you’ll pay $100 more for the next storage tier up.

However, if you want to add more storage to your iPad, there are several ways to go about it.

Wireless Hard Drive

Perhaps the easiest way to add a ton of storage to your iPad is by using a wireless hard drive, which connects to your iPad wireless without the need for any kind of internet connection.


The Seagate Wireless portable hard drive is one option, and it’s a 500GB mobile storage device that can give you more storage than what Apple would ever provide in their iPads.

The Seagate Wireless is a $129 wireless hard drive, meaning that it has an internal battery that can power the hard drive without the need for a USB or outlet connection. It also has its own WiFi network, which is how you connect it to your iPhone or iPad (from there, you can connect to your home WiFi or other network to get internet). Apple doesn’t support connecting external drives directly to your iPad using the Lightning connector, so this is the next best option.

Trading Up

Another way to add more storage to your iPad isn’t by necessarily adding more storage to your current iPad, but by simply “trading up,” which means buying an iPad that comes with more storage and then selling your old one.


This might not be the best option for everyone, but if you want more built-in storage without dealing with a wireless hard drive and other external accessories, this is the best way to go.

You might even be able to find someone who will trade you their higher-capacity iPad for your lower-capacity model plus some cash. A great place to look is on Reddit’s /r/AppleSwap.

Use the Cloud

If there’s one thing that the iPad is good at, it’s for viewing movies, watching TV shows, and listening to music. Music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, photos, etc. usually take up the most storage on your iPad, depending on how much you have stored on your device. However, you don’t have to store any of that on your iPad if you take advantage of the cloud.

I’m not talking about Apple’s iCloud specifically, but rather different services that let you stream content or store content in the cloud, such as Netflix, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.


For music, instead of storing all it on your iPad, consider using Spotify or Rdio to stream your music. If you want to watch a movie or TV show, use Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video. As long as you have an internet connection, you have a ton of music and video content at your fingertips that you don’t even have to store on your iPad.

For photos, consider storing them in Dropbox, Google Drive, or even use Google’s new Photos app that lets you back up your photos and videos for free, and when you need to access them, just fire up the apps and view away. You can even save some for offline viewing.

Again, you’ll need an internet connection to take advantage of apps like these, which is the main drawback for using the cloud in general, but most of the time you can get a WiFi signal almost anymore. It’s usually the small instances where you can’t get a WiFi signal that’s the hardest to deal with, so think about if using the cloud is really something that you could use.

Free Up Storage Space

Perhaps the best way to add more storage space to your iPad is by freeing some of it up. Too many users have apps, games, etc. on their iPad that they never end up using, which is precious storage space going to waste.


Apps themselves don’t take up a lot of space at all — usually under 300MB a piece for most of them, but additional data such as cache, history, temporary files, etc. can add more space onto that. Plus, if you intend on having a ton of apps, the storage required can really add up over time. There are also bigger apps like GarageBand, which can take up almost a gigabyte by itself.

Obviously, the more apps you have, the more storage space is being taken up by these apps as a whole, and I’m sure we’ve all been there before: You download a handful of apps, but never actually end up using them except for maybe a couple of times per year. It’s something we all experience to say the least.

These are the apps that you should just get rid of. Every now and then, go through your apps and delete any of them that you haven’t used in a long time, as you’ll most likely never need them again. Doing this every now and then can free up space on your iPad with very little effort.



  1. Wendy jager

    12/13/2015 at 2:47 am

    Thanks for info I will have to try and remember it

  2. Brisue

    04/01/2016 at 2:32 pm

    Pardon my ignorance, but if I use an external wireless hard disc, can apps like BBC News be used just as if the app is on my iPad3 Retina ?

  3. jasmine

    05/07/2016 at 7:27 am

    Hey, this is much easier to add storage to iPhone with the wireless storage device.

  4. Rajesh khatik

    02/20/2017 at 11:57 pm

    Truthfully really helpful in such a device. N now i’m thinking to buy 16 gb only.

  5. Daniel Godfrey

    04/06/2017 at 11:16 pm

    my ipad mini 2 is a sixteen gb and how much is a wirerless usb anyway

  6. Helene

    10/14/2017 at 9:05 am

    Title misleading. There is NO way to add space on an iPad. Ur stuck, sucker!
    Just say that at the beginning. Here are some things to do to rectify that h.u.g.e. shortcoming, would be a great segue to then add rest of article.

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