How much iPad storage do you need?


Shawn Farner

Writer and Storywriter


There are a number of different iPad models available nowadays, and all of them come in multiple configurations. There are different colors to choose from. Different sizes, as well, on the iPad Pro side. More importantly, you can typically choose the amount of storage you get in your tablet. So how much iPad storage do you need? What should you shoot for?

How much iPad storage do you need?

To get an answer, you have to settle on how exactly you’re going to use it.

What’s your use case?

If your iPad will basically act as a couch computer — something you use to browse the web while watching TV — there’s really no need to go big. The entry-level iPad comes in at 32 GB of storage, which should be more than enough to install the apps you use the most, and perhaps have some games installed or eBooks downloaded and at the ready. Anything more is probably overkill.

If you’re a traveling media monster, however — watching movies constantly on the go — you may want to step things up. You may find yourself limited by that 32 GB. All of the other iPads start at 64 GB, which offers a bit more breathing room over the $329 model, so you could go with one of those.

There are other instances where you might truly need more space. If your iPad will serve as your primary gaming machine, some of the more polished experiences on the platform have larger file sizes. Installing all of them will require you have a storage drive that can meet your needs.

If you plan to create or edit a lot of media on your iPad — say, if you’re a photographer or a video editor — you may also want to consider upgrading the storage capacity of your iPad. Sure, you can transfer files off of the tablet and onto a laptop or desktop, but more storage would keep you from having to do so quite as often.

Unless you’re really putting in work, small is probably okay

For those who don’t fall into one of the scenarios above (or something like them), the smaller iPad storage capacities are likely fine.

To give you some peace of mind, I checked an entry-level $329 iPad that I have sitting nearby — just to see how much storage space I have remaining. Of the 32 GB of onboard storage, I’ve used 21.1 GB. And I’m at that point after installing every app I’d ever want to use on this particular device. For the record, this tablet acts as my “couch computer.” It’s the one I keep for browsing while kicking back, and for occasionally pulling up Destiny Item Manager while playing Destiny 2.

I do have an iPad Pro, however, that I tend to tote around as a laptop replacement now and again. For that, I did go with more storage space (256 GB). I use that to edit and save photos I use for blog posts while traveling, to watch movies on planes, and to check out new games that appear on iOS. For those reasons, I’m giving myself a bit more headroom.

If you can’t see yourself needing to store a bunch of things in that way, why devote the extra cash to it? Just go with the lower range model Apple sells. And if you find yourself hitting a ceiling at some point, just make it a point to go bigger the next time around. At least justify the need for the space before you spend the money on it.

With that, good luck to you.

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