Help with ios video workflow and questions about storage on iPhone

Hey all! I recently upgraded my iCloud storage in part because of my photos. Currently I’m at a volleyball tournament taking videos for my sister (helping for college recruitment as she’s a junior in high school). Right now my workflow is that I take video with my iPhone 8 and then if I can I try to upload to the cloud if possible. I then at night or when I’m done with the day’s matches plug in my phone to my computer and add the days videos and photos to a folder for the tournament within my movies folder on my Mac.

My questions of the following, the first is is this a reasonable and good workflow? In addition in terms of storage space on my iPhone, are the videos offloaded off my phones internal storage and instead on iCloud’s internal storage once they’re uploaded to the cloud?

I shoot video of my kids’ sporting events all of the time ranging from short clips to 35 minute segments (soccer). I have a 256GB iPhone and plenty of iCloud storage. I haven’t ‘yet’ been burned by my phone dying before I was back on WiFi and videos were uploaded; but that risk is there every time.

Uploading video, especially large videos, to iCloud takes a long time even over WiFi and I shut off uploading over cellular as my data plan and battery would be hit hard during a weekend tournament. So in terms of that workflow, I don’t know what else would be ‘better.’

In addition in terms of storage space on my iPhone, are the videos offloaded off my phones internal storage and instead on iCloud’s internal storage once they’re uploaded to the cloud?

It depends. My understanding is these will remain on device, even after upload to iCloud, provided your device has enough storage space to accommodate that. Photos manages this automatically and will leave a thumbnail of the video if more space is needed.

If you are recording long video segments, or are currently experiencing battery drain while recording, try turning on airplane mode while recording. This will prevent the phone from ringing while you are trying to record and will shut off all radio signals which can be a huge battery drain if you are in a remote area or inside a gymnasium with poor reception.

Keep in mind, your phone will not report its position if in airplane mode, so hold it tight to prevent loss.

Thanks Tim! I already film while my phone is in airplane mode as otherwise my battery would drain. Currently filming at 1080p 60fps. I do run into problems playing back the footage on my Mac and my dad’s PC, maybe because of file size or type.

I did some digging and found some interesting stuff. For one, my iPhone was set to upload video and photos on my data which might explain the draining of battery when going out of airplane mode. image

So sometimes when clicking on a video or photo it shows it “downloading” which means it’s grabbing It from iCloud then right?

Here is my data settings and cellular settings imageimage

Finally, should I select most compatible for this setting? image

If you have iCloud photo library enabled also on your Mac, you can skip the manual downloading, it will do it automatically, provided you have Download and keep originals ticked on. You should also backup your videos from there.
On your iPhone, you can then tick Optimise storage. If your iPhone runs out of space, it will delete the video off the device and keep just a thumbnail. If you later try e.g. to edit the video on the phone, it will download it again.
As for the most compatible/ high efficiency setting, it depends whether you need to share the videos, especially in the Win environment. If not, I would suggest high efficiency as it is more storage efficient.

You are right. That said I do this for two reasons. 1) Sometimes WiFi can be slow to upload. 2) Easier to copy files to a external hard drive that goes between my Mac and my dad’s PC. Otherwise he’d get annoyed with having to wait for the files to sync to iCloud as my dad wants instantaneous. He’s not good at saying “hey later let’s look at film, copy it from iCloud photos to an external hard drive” and instead says “where are the photos and why is this taking so long?”

What does the “keep originals” check mean again?

I have optimism storage enabled and have had it on, sounds good. I’ll do some more digging about the high efficiency vs most compatible.

That’s true, if you are on the road and/or have to process the videos immediately, you workflow is a safer bet.
“Download and keep originals” is the opposite of “optimize storage”. It will keep a copy of all your full res photos and videos taken on all your devices, until you run out of space. It is recommended to have this option enabled on at least one device, so you’re not relying solely on Apple to keep your originals. If that chosen device is a Mac, your photos/videos then get backed up with other stuff by whichever backup method you use - since you are on this forum I suppose you backup your Mac :slight_smile: Again, you can achieve this effect manually, but automatic is safer and more convenient.


Yes, I have both of those switches turned off.


I have mine set to high efficiency. In my use case, this hasn’t caused issues. However, I haven’t done research to see if it ‘could’ cause issues or what those might be either. Sorry, maybe someone else can chime in with a more technical response to this one.

I actually have the “optimize space” selected to save disk space. Will have to figure out how much storage space I would need and might offload stuff to make enough room.

@TimB I’ll for sure turn it to not upload video and data using my data. Yeah maybe someone else can chime in on high efficiency vs. most compatible.

Here is a good primer from Apple Support

Thanks once again for everyone’s help, I really appreciate it. I arrived home this morning from my trip and now am finally a process of making sure that I’m running my backups so that my work is not destroyed. All of the videos were backed up to iCloud which gives me a peace of mind as well. There was delay of course because it was hotel and didn’t have the fastest wifi though as long as I was patient everything uploaded no problem. The final day videos hadn’t quite uploaded yet because the hotel Wi-Fi in the hotel were staying at the last night which was closer to the airport wasn’t very fast and you had to pay to upgrade and I didn’t feel like doing that. That said before leaving for home, I copied the files to the external hard drive just in case.

In a couple of minutes my dad will have the files necessary for him to start sifting through things on his Windows PC. I’m headed off to a conference for two days and then I’m back home and honestly this traveling is really getting to me so I’m looking forward to not going anywhere later in the week and the weekend and planning on taking it easy. Everything went smoothly but my tripod has seen better days and I think I’ll either be replacing it or finding parts for to fix it.