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Here’s the fastest way to declutter your iPhone and free up gigabytes of space

MacPaw's CleanMyPhone


ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • MacPaw’s CleanMyPhone is available from the Apple App Store and the Setapp store.
  • The quickest, easiest, and safest way to wipe the detritus from your iPhone or iPad, and it even comes with a three-day trial.
  • Still demands that you keep an eye on what’s deleted, just in case.

Besides damage or the desire for an upgrade, the top reason people cite for purchasing a new phone is the need for more storage space. This is unsurprising, as digital clutter begins to accumulate from the first day of use, consuming valuable storage space until it spirals out of control and makes it seem impossible to manage. 

Also: How I purged over 175GB of files from my Mac in under a minute (and you can too)

This is where CleanMyPhone comes into play. Developed by MacPaw, the creators of the highly regarded CleanMyMac utility, this new AI-powered tool is designed to quickly, carefully, and safely free up storage space on your iPhone and iPad. 

It’s very easy to use — pick the module you want to use, tap a button and you’re guided through the process. 

View at Apple

These are the three modules it offers: 

  • Declutter: This module conducts a comprehensive scan of your Camera Roll, identifying and categorizing unwanted or redundant items. It targets duplicate images, blurred photos, screenshots and screen recordings, TikTok videos, and other miscellaneous digital detritus. The aim is to streamline your photo library by removing unnecessary files, freeing up precious (not to mention expensive) storage space in the process.
  • Organize: Utilizing AI technology, the Organize module performs an in-depth analysis of your photos. It intelligently sorts them into designated folders based on visual themes or subjects, such as travel, pets, food, portraits, and text documents. This feature simplifies photo management, making it easier for users to navigate through their collections and find specific images quickly.
  • Network: This module is designed to evaluate your device’s network connection speeds. By testing the performance of your internet connection, it helps identify potential issues or confirm the network’s reliability for streaming, downloading, and other online activities.
CleanMyPhone showing me the junk on my iPhone.

CleanMyPhone showing me the junk on my iPhone.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Those of you who are diligent about managing your iPhone’s storage space might be familiar with Gemini Photos, another MacPaw product launched in 2018. As a gallery cleaner, I found Gemini Photos provided valuable assistance in decluttering storage by identifying and removing superfluous files. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

Building upon the successes of Gemini Photos, CleanMyPhone introduces additional features and leverages AI technology to further refine the process of identifying expendable data.  

CleanMyPhone runs on iPhone and iPad.

CleanMyPhone runs on iPhone and iPad.


“CleanMyPhone goes beyond cleaning; we created it to enhance the way people manage and organize storage on their iOS and iPadOS devices,” says Rostislav Bogdanov, product manager of CleanMyPhone at MacPaw. “Emerged from the legacy of Gemini Photos, it’s an advanced tool backed by our own AI algorithm helping to clean and organize digital space efficiently with a vision to become an ultimate all-in-one iOS/iPadOS care app in the future.” 

Also: How to use ChatGPT’s file analysis capability (and what it can do for you)

I’ve had the opportunity to use a pre-release version of this app for several weeks, and I’m extremely satisfied with its capabilities. Even though I’ve been diligent about regularly deleting unnecessary items from my photo library, this tool has successfully uncovered a significant amount of content that had been previously missed. It has shown remarkable proficiency in detecting blurred photos, unearthing hidden “gems” that I hadn’t noticed.

I'm a photographer and I took this awful, blurry photo of a cat, which CleanMyPhone suggested for deletion!

I’m a photographer and I took this awful, blurry photo of a cat, which CleanMyPhone suggested for deletion!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET’s buying advice

CleanMyPhone requires an iPhone with iOS 16.0 or later, or an iPad with iPadOS 16.0 or later, and it is available on the Apple App Store for $25 per year in the U.K. (prices will vary depending on the region), and there is a free three-day trial that will allow you to try out the app before committing. The app is also available via MacPaw’s Setapp software service. 

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