apple  ipad

My Number 1 Complaint with Working on the iPad

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Bar none, the biggest issue I run into on the iPad is dealing with local storage. Like, by a mile.

I'll give you an example that happened to me tonight. I recorded some video of the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remake this evening and wanted to cut together a video in LumaFusion. Should be easy, right? Usually you'd be absolutely right, but tonight I ran into an issue; my iPad showed 5GB of available storage in the Files app. Huh, that's not a lot, and I've got 35GB of footage I want to load on here.

So I do the only logical thing and look for some files to delete to make space. I find nothing, I'm not storing anything large in the "On My iPad" section of my iPad.

The next step is to check the Storage section in the Settings app to see what it thinks I have available. It says I have 146GB free and that "On My iPad" is using less than 2GB of local storage.

Try as I might, the Files app won't let me add more than 5GB of files even though the Settings app says I have tons of space (this is why I bought a 256GB iPad, after all). I can't delete anything else because there's nothing showing up in Files for me to delete and the Settings app doesn't let me do anything because it tells me I'm swimming in free space. And yes, I've gone to "Recently Deleted" in Files to actually remove the things the system hadn't purged yet.

I'm sure there is some explanation as to what's going on, but it's completely opaque to me the user. As far as I can tell, there is 141GB of space on my iPad that's being used but my iPad won't tell me what it's being used for or how I can get it back. I'm stuck.

I've rebooted, I've Googled around, I've done everything I can think of to get my space back, and I can't get it.

If this was the first time this had happened, I wouldn't write this post, but this is at least the third time I've had a remarkable discrepancy between how much space Files and Settings say I have left. It's actively preventing me from getting work done, and that's the worst thing any pro machine can do. I love the iPad because it takes care of a lot of this storage management for me, but when I need to get something done, the system is holding me back, and I can't fix it, that's when I need to be able to do something, anything to take control of my device.

Add this to my list of iPadOS 14 feature requests, I suppose.