How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone

Fortunately for iOS fans, Apple releases an updated version of an iPhone every single year. They tend to add some minor changes to the overall appearance of a phone as well introduce some new features and capabilities. As you may know, iOS phones are famous for their amazing cameras. So, every new version of an iPhone gets a camera that’s better than the previous one. Nowadays, if you have one of the latest iPhones, you can take sharp, clear and vivid photos as well as shoot high-resolution videos. In fact, some people manage to shoot short films on their iPhones! Yes, that’s how good their cameras are.

How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone tutorial

However, there’s a downside that you might already be aware of. High-resolution images and videos tend to have a large file size. That’s a problem because you can run out of memory storage pretty quickly. Large-sized files are also difficult to share online since a lot of websites and platforms have a file size limit.

The average size of an iPhone photo varies from 2 to 8 MB. Therefore, around 500-600 photos are enough to take up 1GB of your device’s memory. If you check the device storage of your iPhone, there’s a high chance that the majority of it is occupied by the Gallery. Thus, if you want to manage your files efficiently and finally deal with the issue of not having enough memory storage, you will need to know how to reduce the file size of a photo on iPhone. This will also make it easier for you to send photos via email or messenger. The image quality won’t be compromised!

So, do you want to learn more about compressing images on iPhone? Let’s dive in!

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How to Check the Image File Size on an iPhone?

Each photo in your iPhone’s gallery contains some metadata which is embedded into a file. It’s basically all the information about a photo. By checking metadata, you can find out the date and the time of when the photo was taken, the location, its file format and pixel dimensions. Metadata can also tell you the file size which is usually measured in MB and kB. Unfortunately, you cannot view metadata of all your photos or even a group of photos at once. You need to open each file separately and check its metadata.

Here’s how you can check the image file size on your iPhone:

  1. Go to the Photos gallery
  2. Find the image that you want to know more about and open it
  3. Tap on the „i” icon at the bottom of the screen
  4. The file size in MB or kB can be found near the pixel dimensions of your photo.
How to Check the Image File Size on an iPhone

It's very simple, isn't it?

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Why You Should Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone

Сompressing photos on an iPhone offers quite a few benefits. You need to be aware of the fact that there will be some quality loss. It’s kind of inevitable. However, the difference will be barely noticeable.

Here’s a tip! It might be a good idea to have compressed images on your iPhone, while storing your high-resolution originals on an external hard-drive. Just in case. This way, a compressed copy will take up a little memory storage, yet you’ll be able to send it to someone or get access to it any time you want. Not to mention that it’s much easier to share images of a small file size instead of high-resolution ones.

Here are the common reasons to reduce the file size of an iPhone photo:

  1. To save storage space: A lot of high-quality photos will surely occupy a large chunk of your device’s memory. And it’s not like you can insert an empty memory card because an iPhone doesn’t have a slot for it. You might have already experienced an issue of constantly running out of memory space. The obvious solution to this problem is to delete the images that you don’t need anymore. But you can also reduce image file size on iPhone to free up some space. This is a valid strategy if your storage space is limited and you cannot afford to buy more GBs in a cloud storage.
  2. To share images easily: When it comes to sending a photo to someone – whether you do it via email or messenger – you might run into the issue of not being able to send your file because it exceeds a certain size limit. To deal with it, you will have to reduce the photo file size on iPhone. Plus, when your photos have a smaller file size, you’ll be able to send more of them. There’s something else that you need to keep in mind – you don’t know how much free storage the recipient of your file has. Maybe they are running low on memory. If you send a small-sized image, the recipient will surely be able to download and view it.
  3. To speed up image transfer: If you want your images to get transferred quicker, you will need to reduce their file size. The smaller the file size, the faster the transfer. This is true for Airdrop, Bluetooth, messengers, mail services and so on. Small-sized images are uploaded faster, too.
  4. To optimize images for a website: If you want to use photos that you took on your iPhone on your website, don’t upload them without learning how to reduce photo file size on iPhone. Why is that so important? Well, there are two reasons. First, large-sized images will take up a lot of space on your server. And you’ll have to pay more. Second, and this is even more important, large-sized images will take a while to load, which will slow down your webpages. And if a visitor of your website has a slow internet connection, they might not see your photos at all! Slow loading speed is something that you want to avoid at all costs. Thus, you’ll need to reduce the file size of your iPhone photos and only then upload them.
  5. To free up some space in iCloud: All iPhone users have access to 5GB of free storage on iCloud and can use it for backing up their photos. But you’ll have to pay for more space if you need it. If you reduce the file size of your iPhone images, you’ll be able to free up some space in your iCloud and keep using it for free.
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How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone. Choose the Right Format

Before you learn how to reduce photo file size on iPhone of the photos that you’ve already taken, you need to make sure that your future photos will be in High Efficiency format (HEIF). This is important because once you choose this format, your iPhone photos will have good quality, yet a manageable file size.

Naturally, this format is set for photos by default in the Camera settings of all the iOS devices that have been released in the past few years. However, there’s another option available – “Most Compatible”. If you select it, your photos will be in JPEG. It is indeed a more popular format but it produces photos of a larger file size than HEIF. It is possible that this option is selected in your Camera settings at the moment.

How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone

HEIF, which stands for High Efficiency Image File Format, is a container format that is used to store images and image sequences. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as a more efficient alternative to the traditional JPEG format. Nowadays it is primarily used on Apple devices. HEIF and HEIC are pretty much the same format.

The main advantage that HEIF has over JPEG is its improved compression. HEIF uses advanced data compression methods like HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). Thanks to these methods, HEIF images tend to have a smaller file size, yet excellent image quality compared to JPEG. This allows you to store more images on your device or share them online faster. Apple opted for this format as a way to solve the issue of their constantly improving cameras taking images of high quality yet large file size.

Does HEIF have any drawbacks? Yes, of course.

Even though this format is gaining popularity, it still doesn’t offer the same level of compatibility that the JPEG format does. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are solutions to this problem. First of all, iPhone automatically converts photos to JPEG, when you export or share them with someone. Secondly, there is a wide selection of free online image converters that you can use to convert your photos to JPG. For instance, “HEIC to JPG”.

Additional benefits of HEIF format:

  • Supports various types of data: HEIF supports not only regular photos, but also animation, video, 360-degree photos, etc. It even allows you to store several images in a single file. With this format, you will have a lot of flexibility and freedom; especially if you need to work with different multimedia content.
  • Smaller file size: Thanks to improved and efficient compression that this format utilizes, HEIF images don’t usually occupy a lot of memory space; even if you have quite a few of them. For instance, 10 HEIF images will require much less space than 10 JPEG images. It means that you can store more photos on your device.
  • Extended metadata: HEIF images have a vast variety of metadata. For instance, you can learn when and where a HEIF image was taken, what device was used, etc. This can be very useful if you need to organize your images or search for a certain photo in your Gallery.
  • Transparency support: HEIF allows you to save images with transparent pixels, which is especially important when working with illustrations, logos and other graphic elements.

How to reduce photo file size on iPhone by choosing the HEIF format:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Camera > Formats
  3. Enable the “High Efficiency” option at the top.

Please note that if the Most Compatible Option was selected before and some or all of your photos are currently in JPEG, this switch to a different format won’t have any effect on them. They won’t get compressed automatically. It’s important to make this switch from JPEG to HEIF, so that the photos that you take in the future will have a smaller file size.

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How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone Using Mail App

There are no built-in apps for making a file size smaller on iOS devices. Yet you can compress your images on iPhone without using any third-party apps. It can easily be done in the Mail App. When sending one or several photos from Photos gallery via Mail, the app will ask you whether you want to resize your images and offer several file sizes to choose from. This is pretty quick and simple. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the images, the file size of which needs to be changed.
  3. Tap on the “arrow” icon in the bottom left corner and choose “Mail”.
  4. Enter the email address of the recipient and tap on the “Send” button. Here’s a tip! You can email the images to yourself by entering your email address. This is how you can quickly change the file size of your photos without sharing them with anyone.
  5. Now, you will see a selection of different file sizes. You will be able to compress photos on iPhone to a small, medium or large size. It’s also perfectly possible to keep the actual size unchanged; in case some of the files don’t need to be resized.
How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone Using Mail App

This method is quite convenient if you need to send a small-sized photo to someone as quickly as possible. It’s great for occasional use. But if you need to reduce the file size of hundreds of photos and you’d like to do it in one go, it’s not the best option for you. It’s not ideal for frequent usage, either.

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How to Reduce Photo File Size on iPhone. The Most Effective Option

Now you know how to reduce photo file size on iPhone when it comes to a handful of photos or your future photos. But what if you have a ton of JPEG images stored on your device and you’d like to reduce their file size? How can you go about this? Well, you can make use of an online image compressor. There’s a bunch of them on the Internet. The majority of image compressors are available for free or have a free version. What’s great about them is that they don’t require any installation. For instance, you can use Watermarkly.

Why it’s an ideal choice for compressing photos on iPhone

First, with Watermarkly you can process a batch of images; even if it’s a rather big batch. In other words, you can upload and reduce the file size of multiple photos on iPhone in one go.

Second, Watermarkly works surprisingly quickly and at the same time keeps the image quality as excellent as possible. You can easily process all the photos in your Photos Gallery within a few minutes, regardless of what format they were saved in.

Third, Watermarkly’s online compressor is a web-based app. It works in a browser thus it won’t occupy any memory space on your device. And you can get to work right away!

Let’s see how you can reduce the file size of your images using Watermarkly:

  1. Go to
  2. In the menu, select the “Compress Images” tool and tap on the red button “Compress images online”.
  3. Tap on “Select images” and choose “Photo Library”. Now you can pick the images you want to compress. Tap on “Add” when you are ready for import.
  4. Pick one of the options in the Compression Quality section depending on what level of compression you need. Finally, tap on “Compress images”, wait for the app to process your photos and save compressed copies.
how to reduce photo file size on iphone with watermarkly

An online image compressor gives you much more control over the final file size. If, for instance, you choose the “Specific File size” option in the Watermarkly app, you will be able to enter the approximate number of kB or MB that your resized images should have.

how to reduce photo file size on iphone with watermarkly

Another great thing about Watermarkly is that it is much more than just a compressor. Watermarkly’s website offers a selection of online tools that will allow you to add watermarks, crop images, resize pictures, blur faces and license plates. You can do all of these on your iPhone easily and for free.

The only drawback of Watermarkly is that it saves the processed photos to Downloads on iPhone, not to the Photos library. Though, this can actually be an advantage. Watermarkly keeps original files unchanged. You will always get processed copies. And since the high resolution images and their small-sized version will be stored in different places, you won’t mix them up.

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In this article you’ve learned that it’s pretty uncomplicated to reduce image size without sacrificing quality. Now, the next time you run into the issue of running low on memory you’ll know what to do. You can set the HEIF format for you images and convert them to JPEG if the occasion calls for it. You can use the Mail app to change the file size of a handful of images. Or, if you need to process a batch of photos, it’s better to go for an online image compressor. Your choice depends entirely on your needs. With just a little bit of planning, you can keep your memories safe and optimize your iPhone's memory storage.