How to Upgrade to iOS 8.1 When You Are Out of Space

There are many reason to upgrade to iOS 8 or iOS 8.1 on the iPhone or iPad, but many users are out of space. When you don’t have enough space to upgrade to iOS 8.1 or iOS 8 you’ll lose even more space as the iOS 8 or iOS 8.1 download sits on your iPhone or iPad using up 1GB of storage.

We’ll show you how to upgrade to iOS 8 or iOS 8.1 from iOS 7 even if you don’t have enough space on your iPhone or iPad. This is especially helpful for users with an 8GB or 16GB Apple device.

If you are using an older iPhone 4s or iPad 2, you definitely want to read our iOS 8.1 review coverage to find out if you should install, but for most other device it is an easy decision to upgrade to iOS 8.

Check out five things you need to know about iOS 8.1 and what you can expect from the iOS 8.1.1 update Apple is working on, in case you want to wait a bit longer.

Upgrade to iOS 8.1 even when you see the not enough storage error.
Upgrade to iOS 8.1 even when you see the not enough storage error.

If you are new to iOS 8, updating now will update you directly to iOS 8.1. That’s a good thing, considering this free update fixed many of the iOS 8 problems that frustrated users for the first month after Apple’s iOS 8 release. Most of the problems are fixed or dramatically better and iOS 8.1.1 should bring even more fixes in the near future.

iOS 8 and iOS 8.1 are free updates and are available on the iPhone 4s and newer, iPad mini and iPad 2 and newer and for the iPod touch 5th generation.

The iOS 8 and iOS 8.1 update is over 1GB when you are upgrading from iOS 7.1.2 or earlier. This is a huge file that some devices don’t have room for. Even if you can download the iOS 8.1 update, you may not have 4-5GB of free space on the iPhone or iPad that you want to update.

We’ll show you how to update without deleting files, even when you are out of free space.

How to Upgrade to iOS 8.1 When Out of Space

This short guide will show you how to install IOS 8.1 when you are out of storage space on the iPhone or iPad. You can do this to upgrade from iOS 6 or iOS 7, directly to the newest version of iOS 8. You can not downgrade back to iOS 6 or iOS 7,  so make sure you want to upgrade before you use this guide.

“This update cannot be installed because it requires at least 4.6GB of storage. You can make more storage available by deleting items in the Usage Settings.”

This will help you upgrade to iOS 8.1 even when you see the error above.

What You Need

Upgrade to iOS 8.1 using iTunes even when you don't have storage available.
Upgrade to iOS 8.1 using iTunes even when you don’t have storage available.

You’ll need your iPhone or iPad, charged to at least 50%. You need a computer with iTunes installed. Ideally this is a computer you sync with, but it doesn’t need to be. You also need the charging cable you use to power up your iPhone or iPad (lightning or the wider 30-pin dock connector). You’ll also need at least 15 minutes, but possibly longer depending on the connection speed.

Make sure you back up your iPhone or iPad before you continue. This can be through iCloud or through an iTunes backup when you connect. Things aren’t likely to go wrong, but you definitely want a backup just in case.

Get Started with an iOS 8.1 Update

Here are the short series of steps to take to update to iOS 8.1 when you are out of space on the iPhone or iPad. If the device already downloaded the iOS 8 or iOS 8.1 update this will actually gain some space back for you.

Use this guide to install IOS 8.1 when your phone says there is no storage available.
Use this guide to install IOS 8.1 when your phone says there is no storage available.
  1. Open iTunes, and if needed update to the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Plug the iPhone or iPad in to the computer using your charging cable.
  3. If you are not prompted, click on your iPhone or iPad in the menu area of iTunes.
  4. Next click on Check for Update.
  5. Agree to the download and allow the update to start.
  6. The iPhone will reboot and when the update is complete it will say Hello on the screen.

From here you are running iOS 8.1. You can see the new iOS 8 features in the slide show below. Many of the new features work best with OS X Yosemite, iCloud and the latest version of iCloud for Windows. The process should take 15 to 45 minutes depending on backup times and download times.

What’s New in iOS 8

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

We start our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough with the iPhone home screen, which is where you'll start your iOS 8 experience after an update this fall. 

These screens are incredibly important as you see them anytime you turn on the iPhone or need to choose an app to launch. There is no way around using them, so Apple needs to make sure they work just right. 

As you can see in the iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison above, there is no change between the home screen in the new iPhone software. Apple changed the status bar and some other small visual changes in iOS 7, but there are no updates for iOS 8.  

We could see Apple change the home screen slightly for iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The new iPhone will feature a larger 4.7-inch display with a higher resolution. This is something Apple may use to add more icons to the screen. Or they could stick with the current layout, it's tough to tell.  

One Comment

  1. frances rainey

    08/31/2015 at 9:07 am

    I have an Ipad IOS 8.1–I need more memory? can i buy it?

    Reply

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