With TikTok’s fun short videos, creative effects, and addictive For You page, it’s easy to spend hours scrolling through TikTok.
However, all those videos take up a lot of storage space on your device. If you find your phone storage getting full, here are some tips on how to reduce TikTok’s storage usage.
1. Free Up Storage Space from the TikTok App
The TikTok app itself also provides tools to free up storage space it’s taking up. This enables you to delete cached files and downloads in your TikTok account.
To free up storage space from your TikTok account:
- Open TikTok and tap on your profile icon.
- Go to the menu and choose ‘Settings and privacy’. Scroll down and tap “Free Up Space” under the “Cache & Cellular” tab. Here you’ll see information on how much storage space TikTok and its cache data is occupying.
- TikTok gives you straightforward options to clear “Cache” which removes temporary files, and Clear “Downloads” which permanently erases any downloaded videos you don’t watch anymore. Use these features to do some spring cleaning of the videos and other files on your device.
By actively managing your TikTok storage from within the app, you can better control how much space it takes up. But keep in mind you may have to re-download videos you still want to keep viewing offline.
2. Clear Your TikTok Watch History
Clearing out your TikTok watch history can also help free up storage space. Each video you view in the app is stored in your account’s watch history.
Over time as you browse more TikTok videos, this watch history cache grows and takes up more storage space.
To clear out your watch history on TikTok
- Open your TikTok profile and tap the icon showing three horizontal lines. This opens the side menu.
- Choose ‘Settings and privacy’ then go to ‘Activity Center’.
- Tap on ‘Watch history’ and you will see options to delete your full watch history or just portions of it.
- Tapping ‘Delete all’ will completely clear your history, removing all the videos you’ve previously watched from the app’s storage.
Going forward, your watch history will start fresh and be less burdensome on your phone’s storage capacity. Just keep in mind clearing your watch history also means TikTok loses your watch preferences used for recommending new videos.
Some users have found that clearing the watch history and reinstalling the app afterward resolves the storage space issue on TikTok.
3. Limit Background Data Usage
Another way to cut down on the storage space taken up by TikTok is to restrict its background data usage. Even when you aren’t actively using the app, TikTok can still use data in the background to do things like download new videos and ads.
All of this background activity can gradually fill up your phone’s storage.
To curb this,
- Go to your phone’s settings and find the app data usage controls. Look for TikTok and tap on it.
- Enable ‘Restrict background data’ and ‘Restrict background data usage’.
This will prevent TikTok from endlessly downloading content when you aren’t actually using the app.
With limits on its background data, TikTok won’t be able to quietly stockpile videos and other media on your device when you aren’t looking.
Just note that restricting background data usage may affect some notifications or other functionality when you aren’t in the app. But it’s an easy way to pare down the passive storage usage of TikTok.
4. Enable Data Saver to Reduce Storage Space
Activating TikTok’s ‘Data Saver’ setting is another helpful way to limit how much storage space the app hogs. When Data Saver is turned on, TikTok will reduce video resolutions so they take up less storage when downloaded.
Enable it by opening your TikTok profile, tapping the three dot menu, and choosing ‘Settings and privacy’.
Go to ‘Data Saver’ and toggle on ‘Data Saver’.
Once enabled, TikTok will compress downloaded videos to use less data per video. The tradeoff is video quality will decrease.
But with videos taking up less storage, you can save more space on your device this way. You also have options like ‘WiFi only’ and ‘Cellular data only’ in Data Saver to restrict higher quality downloads to just WiFi if you choose.
Use TikTok’s built-in Data Saver to shrink video file sizes and enjoy more available storage. Just prepare for some decrease in video quality, depending on your Data Saver settings.
5. Disable Auto-Download Over Cellular Data
One way to reduce the amount of storage space TikTok takes up on your phone is to disable auto-downloading videos over cellular data.
TikTok automatically downloads videos to your device so you can watch them even when you don’t have an internet connection. However, this means TikTok can quickly eat up a lot of storage space, especially if you are on a cellular data plan with limited data.
To turn off auto-downloading over cellular data,
- Open the TikTok app and go to your profile page.
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner to open the menu, then choose ‘Settings and privacy’.
- Go to the ‘Data usage’ section and toggle off ‘Auto-download videos on cellular data’.
With this setting disabled, TikTok will only download videos when you are connected to WiFi, helping limit how much space TikTok takes up when you are out and about using cellular data.
Just be aware you may not be able to watch some videos offline with this setting turned off.
6. Remove Downloaded Videos
Videos saved to your device take up the most storage space. Every video you download for offline viewing remains on your phone. Here are some tips for removing those downloaded videos:
Open the profile tab and go to “Media”. This shows all the videos you’ve downloaded. Tap and hold on a video, then tap “Delete” to remove it.
For mass deleting videos, tap “Select” in the top right when viewing media. Select all videos you want to delete, then tap “Delete” at the bottom. This lets you remove multiple videos at once.
7. Turn Off Auto-Save
Go to settings and disable “Auto-save downloaded videos” so TikTok won’t automatically save any more videos to your device storage.
Regularly deleting cached videos is key to freeing up storage space. Make sure auto-save is disabled so no new videos are downloaded without you explicitly choosing to.
8. Reduce Photo & Video Resolution
TikTok lets you capture or upload photos and videos in high resolution, which takes up more space. Here are some tips for tweaking resolution settings:
Lower Photo Resolution
In TikTok camera settings, choose a lower megapixel value for photos, like 3MP instead of 16MP. The difference in quality will be minor, but files will be much smaller.
Lower Video Resolution
Similarly, reduce the video resolution from HD 1080p to something like 720p. In settings go to “Video quality for uploads” and select a lower option.
9. Limit Device Backup
Your phone may automatically back up TikTok data through iCloud or Google Drive. Having backups is good, but can double the storage space used. Here are some backup settings to check:
On an iPhone, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups. Then toggle off App Data backups for TikTok.
On Android, open Drive and tap the 3 lines icon. Go to Settings > Backups and toggle off TikTok.
You can also exclude the TikTok app when doing full device backups. On iPhone, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Manage Storage. Then toggle off TikTok.
For Android device backups, open Settings > System > Backup > App data > Deselect TikTok.
This will prevent duplicating TikTok data in your backups. Important media will still be saved to your camera roll.
10. Use TikTok Lite
TikTok offers a lightweight mobile app called TikTok Lite that takes up much less space:
- Smaller App Size: TikTok Lite is less than 30MB compared to 100+MB for the regular app. First installs will be much quicker.
- Streamlined Experience: Removes some advanced features and effects to focus on core functionality. Less features equals less data usage.
- Designed for Low-End Devices: Works well even with limited storage space and slower processors.
While TikTok Lite lacks some bells and whistles, it provides nearly the full core TikTok experience while consuming way less storage. It’s perfect for freeing up space on budget devices.
11. Delete & Reinstall the App
If all else fails, you can completely delete the TikTok app from your phone and then reinstall a fresh copy:
- On iPhone, hold down the TikTok icon until it starts jiggling, then tap the X to delete. On Android, hold down the icon and drag it to Uninstall.
- Once deleted, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to download a clean install of the latest TikTok version.
- Log back into your account – don’t worry, your profile and favorites will be preserved on TikTok’s servers.
Reinstalling resets the app and removes any corrupted files or cobwebbed data lingering around. It’s the nuclear option but can reclaim a significant amount of space.
Here are a few key tips to remember:
- Clear cached data and disable background usage
- Delete downloaded videos frequently
- Lower resolution for photos/videos
- Limit backups of TikTok
- Use the lightweight TikTok Lite app
- Delete and reinstall as a last resort
Following these TikTok storage tips will help you free up space on your phone and keep endlessly scrolling for hours without filling up your device!
With a few adjustments to settings, resolutions, and cleaning out your saved media, you can enjoy all of TikTok’s offerings in a lighter footprint.