How to Get Back if iPhone Internal Storage is Empty

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iPhone Internal Storage Empty

Is your iPhone’s internal storage empty? Most of us take photos with our iPhones on a regular basis. It is obvious to have lots of pictures saved on our phones.

Sometimes, we have to export these pictures from our phones to the computer for backup or other purposes.

So, this issue can happen to anyone; where we try connecting our iPhone to the system and find iPhone’s internal storage empty. Here, users do not find the DCIM folder on their phone and, thus, cannot copy the content to the system.

If this happens, try some reliable ways to get rid of this issue. Try these troubleshooting tips and effective methods for resolving this issue.

Why the ‘iPhone Internal Storage Empty’ Issue Occurs

Before we move further, let’s find out why the ‘iPhone internal storage empty’ issue occurs. If you do not know, iCloud Photos has some major functions, which include:

  • Synchronizing the videos and photos across all the devices.
  • Saving internal storage on the device by uploading the videos and pictures to iCloud.

So, because of the second major function, you come across the ‘iPhone internal storage empty’ problem. This empties that DCIM folder on your iPod touch, iPad, or iPhone.

With iCloud Photos enabled, your iPhone stores previews of the pictures in the library. iCloud Photos download full-resolution pictures from iCloud when you open them.

Thus, this DCIM folder stores pictures your device downloaded recently or has not uploaded to the iCloud yet.

Generally, this forms a very small selection of the photo library. This is the reason that you face the ‘iPhone internal storage empty‘ issue when connecting your iPhone to the system.

Another reason why you cannot see the DCIM folder is that it might be hidden. Some users found that the pictures on their iPhones were hidden on the computer. That’s why this folder shows up as empty on the device.

To solve this, you have to open the ‘File Explorer‘ tab on your computer. From there, visit ‘View‘ and select ‘Show/Hide.’ Now, tick the box against ‘Hidden items.’

View Hidden items to find why iPhone internal storage empty

How to Find the DCIM Folder of Your Device on the Computer

Users, who do not know where the DCIM folder shows up, find here how to connect your device to the system and discover this folder.

Steps on How to Find the DCIM Folder on Your System:

To find this folder, go through the following instructions.

#1: Switch on your iOS device and unlock it.

#2: Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.

#3: Click on ‘Trust this Computer‘ if asked on the phone.

#4: Now, visit ‘File Explorer‘ on your computer and select ‘Computer.’ Then, choose ‘iPhone‘ and then ‘Internal Storage.’ From there, select ‘DCIM.’

#5: Next, you will be able to see folders having all the pictures.

find the DCIM folder of your device on the computer to ensure iPhone internal storage empty or not

PS: Let’s learn more about how to recover videos from Android and delete photo albums from iPhone.

Part 1: Fix ‘iPhone Internal Storage is Empty’ by Trying Troubleshooting Tips

These tips can help you resolve the issue and bring back the iPhone’s internal storage empty back. So, if your internal storage shows as empty on the system, try these troubleshooting tips.

1.1 Ensure Your Device is Unlocked and Use Another Cable

If your device is locked, you may face difficulty viewing the content by connecting it to the computer via a USB cable. With your Face ID, passcode, or Touch ID, unlock your device and check if your iPhone’s internal storage empty is not empty anymore.

If iPhone data or photos do not show up on the system even after unlocking it, you should try another USB cable, USB port, or another system. If nothing works for you, it is better to use other ways to resolve this issue.

Ensure Your Device is Unlocked and Use Another Cable

1.2 Try Force Restarting your Device to Fix ‘iPhone Internal Storage Empty’

On noticing your iPhone’s internal storage is empty and no DCIM folder, then you may have to force restart the device and get the issue fixed. To do this, follow the instructions below:

iPhone X/8 Plus/8/11/12/13

Press and release the key ‘Volume Up‘ quickly. Now, repeat this for the key ‘Volume Down.’ After that, you need to hold down the tab ‘Wake/Sleep‘ and let go of it only when you see the Apple logo on the screen.

Force Restarting your Device to fix iPhone internal storage empty

iPhone 7 Plus/7

Hold down the keys ‘Volume Down‘ and ‘Wake/Sleep‘ for around 10 seconds. Let go of them when you see the Apple logo.

Force Restart iPhone 7

iPhone 6S/6/Earlier Models

Hold down the tabs ‘Home,‘ and ‘Wake/Sleep‘ simultaneously for around 10 seconds. Release these tabs on seeing the Apple logo on the screen.

Restart iPhone 6

1.3 By Authorizing the System to Fix ‘iPhone Internal Storage is Empty’

If your iPhone’s internal storage empty shows up after connecting your system to the system, this could be due to authorization issues. This is a security feature on iPhones, and the computer requires authorization to access the device data.

Users can follow the steps listed below to authorize their computers.

  • Connect your device to the system with a USB cable
  • Launch iTunes and click on ‘Account‘ and then ‘Authorization.’
  • Choose ‘Authorize this Computer‘ and put in your username and password for visiting the DCIM folder.
By Authorizing the System

Now, check if the problem ‘iPhone internal storage empty’ has been fixed or not.

1.4 By Uninstalling the Drive to Fix ‘iPhone Internal Storage is Empty’

Even after trying these methods, if you still struggle with the iPhone internal storage empty issue, then uninstall your phone drive. Sometimes, when your computer does not recognize the drives, your phone’s internal storage does not show up.

To do this, go through the following instructions.

  • Open ‘Device Manager‘ and choose the option ‘Portable Devices.’
  • Under this tab, right-tap on ‘Apple iPhone‘ and then hit ‘Uninstall.’
  • Tick the box present against ‘Delete the driver software for this device.’
  • Hit ‘OK
Fix iPhone internal storage empty By Uninstalling the Drive

This will uninstall your iPhone drive from the computer. Next, disconnect your device and start the system again. After reconnecting your device, check whether the iPhone internal storage empty issue has been resolved.

Part 2: Different Effective Methods for Exporting Pictures from iPhone to Computer

In most cases, troubleshooting tips resolve the issues like ‘iPhone internal storage empty.’ If these tips do not work, try out these effective methods to export pictures from your iDevice to the computer.

2.1 By Using a Professional Third-Party Tool

When troubleshooting tips do not work, you need a professional third-party tool to fix the ‘iPhone internal storage empty’ issue. You can do this with a wonderful tool called iCareFone.

This tool can export over 18 kinds of files selectively, including pictures from your device. It enables users to access iTunes and iCloud data even if they do not have their phones.

Steps to Fix the ‘iPhone Internal Storage is Empty’ Issue:

Here are the instructions for exporting pictures effectively from their device to the system.

#1: Initially, download Tenorshare iCareFone and install it on your system. Next, connect your device to the computer.

#2: Tap on ‘Backup & Restore.’

Tenorshare iCareFone

#3: Now, choose ‘Photos‘ and then click ‘Backup.’

iCareFone - Backup

#4: Backup completed.

iCareFone - Backup Completed

2.2 By Downloading Pictures from

By using the iCloud Photo Library, you can sync your pictures on the device with iCloud. For this, you need to enable this feature. Then, you can download pictures from if the iPhone’s internal storage is the empty issue.

  • Switch on the iCloud Photo Library feature on the iPhone by clicking ‘Settings.’ After that, click on ‘Your Name‘ and press ‘iCloud.’
  • After that, choose ‘Photos‘ and switch on the ‘iCloud Photo Library‘ feature.
  • Then, download pictures from iCloud by going to on the system. After that, put in your login credentials.
  • Click on ‘Photos‘ and next, press ‘All Photos.’ Keep scrolling down to choose ‘Select Photos.’
  • Once selected, click on ‘Download‘ and then select ‘Download‘ in the pop-up window to confirm your action. In the folder ‘Downloads‘ on your computer, you can see these pictures.
By Downloading Pictures from

2.3 By Emailing the Pictures from Phone to Computer

Another great alternative for accessing your pictures on the system when the ‘iPhone internal storage empty’ issue occurs is by emailing them from the device to yourself. For this, you need to attach the pictures and send them to your email ID.

After that, open your email on the system and download your pictures. In this way, you can easily transfer your pictures to your computer.

By Emailing the Pictures from Phone to Computer


1. Can I recover permanently deleted files from my iPhone’s empty internal storage?

Unfortunately, if your iPhone’s internal storage is empty, it’s unlikely that you can recover permanently deleted files. However, if you have previously backed up your device using iCloud or iTunes, you may be able to restore the deleted files from your backup.

2. Will offloading apps delete their associated data?

No, offloading apps only removes the app itself, while preserving its associated data. When you reinstall the app, your settings and data will still be intact.

3. How much space does optimizing photo and video storage save?

Enabling the “Optimize iPhone Storage” feature can save a significant amount of space, as it replaces full-resolution photos and videos with optimized versions that take up less storage. The amount of space saved depends on the number and size of your photos and videos.

4. Are cleaning apps safe to use on an iPhone?

Cleaning apps developed by reputable and trusted developers are generally safe to use on an iPhone. However, exercise caution and ensure that you choose reliable apps from the App Store.

5. Can I use multiple cloud storage services simultaneously?

Yes, you can use multiple cloud storage services simultaneously on your iPhone. This allows you to take advantage of the free storage space offered by different providers and distribute your files across multiple platforms.


So, these are some of the effective methods and troubleshooting tips that you can use to get back your iPhone’s internal storage empty back.

Try these methods one after the other until you come across the perfect solution to your problem if you like to export your pictures from your iDevice to the computer, use iCareFone. This professional tool lets you export different types of data hassle-free. Try out its amazing features now with its free trial.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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