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Mind-blowing iPhone trick can actually make 16GB bearable

Published Mar 31st, 2016 12:57PM EDT

The worst thing about the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE is the 16GB storage tier. In today’s mobile world, 16GB of memory simply doesn’t cut it anymore, and many buyers who opted for this storage tier because of price end up regretting that decision. There are plenty of things to do to make the 16GB iPhone more bearable, but a newly revealed trick seems to be exactly what you need to get some storage back.

DON’T MISS: Did you know Amazon had a special store just for cool new tech you’ve never heard of?

This mind-blowing trick involves trying to buy content that’s too large to fit the remaining free storage on your iPhone, CNET reveals. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a good choice as it comes in at 6.83GB in size, and you likely don’t have that much free memory, seeing as you’re searching for ways to free up iPhone storage space.

Now from iTunes on the phone, simply try to download any movie that exceeds your available storage space. Obviously, the iPhone won’t download anything, and you’ll get a prompt telling you there’s a problem.

Once you dismiss the message, go to Settings, navigate to General and then About, and you should see a couple of hundred megabytes of additional storage appearing from nowhere. Rinse and repeat and you might free up even more storage.

Testing it on an iPhone 5c, CNET managed to obtain 400MB of extra storage on top of the 4GB of free memory it had before this procedure. Recovering as little as a few hundred megabytes of data might be enough to prevent you from having to delete stuff from your iPhone.

A Reddit thread on the matter shows that some users recouped gigabytes of storage using the trick. It’s not exactly clear what goes on in the background, but it’s likely the iPhone is clearing caches as it attempts to free up the necessary storage needed to download a large file. If that’s the case, then this might be an iOS 9 bug that Apple investigates in the future.

And if you’re looking for a more permanent solution to your iPhone storage woes, today’s post on Amazon’s best daily deals includes a huge 200GB wireless flash drive that can add expandable memory to any iPhone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.