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For a list view, go to Settings General Storage, tap any app, tap Delete then tap to confirm.” For those you do use, tidy them up by moving them into folders on your home screen.
As you use your iPhone, it gets filled up with all sorts of things: apps, photos, videos, messages. And that’s fine, but it also gets filled up with stuff you have little control over and don’t necessarily need.
If you've ever checked your storage, you know there’s a vaguely named Other category that often takes up more space than Photos. Even if you have plenty of storage on your phone, knowing some unspecified stuff is clogging it up can be frustrating. Let’s take a closer look at what Other data is, whether it’s the same thing as app cache or Documents and Data, and how to clear it.
What you'll need:
- Check and free up memory. Android manages the memory that apps use. You don't usually need to close apps. But if an app isn't responding, try closing the app. Learn how to troubleshoot apps that aren't working.
- I have a Samsung s9 plus and the app that was taking up all my storage was My files (ironically). I went to settings/apps/My Files/Storage and the data was a whopping 6GB. I hit Clear Data and freed up the space. I'm not sure why a file browser would need to hold on to that much data, but it's working fine without it.
- Your iPhone
- Gemini Photos, an iOS app for photo cleanup
- Internet connection
What's the difference between app cache, Documents and Data, and Other in iPhone Storage?
The relationship between these three concepts can be a little confusing. But the easiest way to understand it is that they're like Russian dolls: the Other category in iPhone Storage contains the Documents and Data of all your apps, and Documents and Data of each individual app contains that app's cache.
What is app cache on iPhone?
App cache is a bunch of files, scripts, and media that are loaded every time you open the app. Rather than loading those files all over again every time, the app saves copies of them locally on your iPhone and fetches them more quickly next time they're needed. Which is great, because it helps your apps work faster — but that cached data can quickly add up and occupy a lot of space even if you don't use the app anymore.
Browsers also cache bits and pieces of the websites you visit, which means that your favorite websites will load super fast, and that your iPhone browser will get bloated in no time.
What is Documents and Data on iPhone?
In Settings > General > iPhone Storage there’s a list of your apps sorted by the amount of space they occupy. When you tap on each you see how much the app itself takes up, and then how much its Documents & Data do. So what are those “documents”, exactly? They can include the following:
- app cache
- login details
- offline media content
Depending on which apps you use more often, some of your biggest space hoarders will include browsers, social media apps, and content-heavy apps like Spotify or Netflix. Identify apps that have the largest chunks of Documents and Data, they will be our targets in the next section.
What does Other mean in iPhone Storage?
In iPhone Storage, Other comprises your iOS and all of the files that don’t fall under labeled categories like Photos, Apps, or Media. These include app data (also known as Documents & Data), call history, notes, voice memos, Mail and Messages attachments, completed reminders, and similar tidbits of user data.
Although none of these files are particularly big, they tend to add up, especially if you have a lot of apps and actively use browsers.
How to delete Other on iPhone
Let’s start your iPhone cleanup with the easy stuff — the files you created yourself. Go over all your apps and delete unneeded:
- message attachments in Messages, WhatsApp, and other messengers
- email attachments in Mail
- completed reminders in the iOS Reminders app
- notes in the Notes app
- voice memos
- your call history
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Don’t forget to empty the Recently Deleted folders in Notes and Reminders, as well as empty the Trash in Mail. After that, we’ll move to the trickier part of Other data: files generated by your apps, also known as app cache and Documents and Data.
How to clear cache on iPhone
Unfortunately, most apps don't give you access to their cache. And iPhone cleaner apps that claim to clear app caches can't get that access either — it's just the way iOS is built. But apps like Safari and Chrome do allow you to purge their cache, so we'll provide separate instructions for them.
How to clear Safari and Chrome cache
This works pretty well for browsers, because Safari and Google Chrome actually allow you to delete cache, either in iPhone Settings or in the Settings within the app.
To clear Safari cache, do the following:
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down to Safari.
- Select Clear History and Website Data.
For Chrome, follow these steps:
- Open the app.
- Go to Options > Settings.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Clear Browsing Data.
- Select the browsing data you want to delete (cookies, history, cached images and files) and tap Clear Browsing Data.
Some other apps have this feature as well, so rummage around in their Settings to see if you can clear the cache.
How to clear app cache for other apps
The majority of cache-heavy apps like Facebook and Snapchat don’t have a built-in cleanup, so the only way to delete cache for an app like that is to delete and reinstall the app itself. Before you do that, make sure you have all your login info: deleting an app will clear not only its cache, but all its Documents and Data, including login details. And you probably don’t want to get locked out of your Facebook account.
Once you're sure you have all your login information, here's how you can delete the apps:
- Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
- The apps at the top are the ones occupying the most space. Tap on an app to see how much Documents and Data it has. This is all the cache, login details, and offline content the app has accumulated over time.
- If it looks like a lot, tap Delete App.
- Repeat for all your 'heavy' apps.
Now go to the App Store and reinstall the apps you just deleted. You'll notice they'll have far less Documents and Data, which means you've successfully purged the cache.
Is clearing cache bad?
Clearing cache isn't bad in the long run. The first time you open apps and websites after your big cache purge, they might feel a little slower. But once they re-cache the resources they need, you'll be up to speed again.
What's the point of cleaning up cache if apps and websites will regenerate it anyway? Well, you're getting rid of useless data from the random website you once read an article about measles on, or that game you played twice and forgot about it after. All that cache can add up to gigabytes, so you're reclaiming storage for the things you actually need. Plus, according to moms, you should really clean up every once in a while.
How to delete other Documents and Data
Apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Google Maps allow you to save content for offline use, which is a great way to stay entertained or find your way around when you don’t have internet access. But once you’ve watched that Black Mirror episode, you probably just leave it there, and the app continues hoarding data and using up space.
Deleting and reinstalling the app like we suggested above will definitely help. But if you don't want to re-log into all of your apps, try deleting just the offline content. Look around in some of your apps and see if you have offline content left behind. It can include:
- Movies and series in Netflix
- Music in Spotify or Apple Music
- Areas in Google Maps
- Files in Google Drive or other cloud storage apps
- Videos in educational apps like Coursera and Skillshare
With all that done, the Other section of your storage bar should shrink considerably.
Bonus tip for a cleaner iPhone
Clearing app cache, long-forgotten offline playlists, and login data is a great way to declutter. But if your goal is to clear any and all useless stuff on your iPhone, not just Other data, we have a bonus tip: clean up your photo library.
Sure, nobody likes deleting their photos, because those are memories and you keep them for a reason. But most iPhones have a fair amount of photos that are useless clutter, not memorable shots.
These include multiple photos that look the same (taken to pick a good one later); photos of notes, bills, schedules (taken for a temporary need and then forgotten); screenshots (same case); photos that are plain bad (dark or blurred). You'd be surprised how much cleaner your iPhone feels when you get rid of all that dead weight! Here's how to do it:
- Download Gemini Photos for iPhone.
- Tap Similar, and then on a set of photos.
- Look through the photos in this set to make sure you agree with the Best Result.
- Tap Delete.
- Repeat for all your similar pics!
When you're done with Similar, be sure to check out Screenshots, Duplicates, Videos, and Blurred. Finally, go to Other and swipe through all the remaining photos: up to keep a pic, down to delete it.
We do recommend you give your Camera Roll a cleanup — not only will it save you some storage, but it will also make the photo collection on your iPhone cleaner and easier to navigate. That can be time-consuming, but with an app like an app like Gemini Photos you'll be done way faster.
That’s it, hope this helped you understand the confusing Other data – Documents and Data – app cache relationship and clean up your iPhone a little bit. Be sure to come back to this checklist every once in a while to keep your iPhone clean.© Provided by Business Insider You can clear your iCloud storage on your iPhone, iPad and by going to the iCloud website on your Mac. SOPA Images/Getty Images
- You can clear an iCloud account's storage in several ways to free up space and avoid having to pay for extra storage.
- Apple gives you 5 GB of iCloud storage with the purchase of one of its devices, and that can fill up fast.
- Most often, your iCloud storage goes towards backing up your photos, files, voice memos, apps, and text messages.
Unless you pay for an iCloud subscription, Apple gives you 5GB of storage with any device's purchase. That's not a lot of space, and you can quickly find that you don't have enough room for your photos, iCloud Drive files, and other data from your phone or tablet.
You can upgrade your iCloud subscription, but it's cheaper to clear out space in your iCloud account. You can delete files, photos, app backups, voice memos, and more from your iCloud Drive directly on your Apple device or through the iCloud website.
Typically, these things and all their associated data get backed up to iCloud by default. This can be both a blessing and a curse, particularly if the things you want to be backed up take up a lot of storage space. But you can save a substantial amount of space by disabling automatic backups, especially when it comes to your largest apps.
You can also delete text messages and any of the videos or images attached to them. While deleting individual texts won't save much space, you can remove entire conversations and the media associated with them, which can help significantly.
Here's how to clear your iCloud storage and free up more space.
How to clear iCloud storage
Delete photos from iCloud storage
By default, iCloud backs up all your photos and videos to the cloud. Over time, that adds up to a lot of pictures. You can save space by deleting any images you no longer want. It's possible to do this from your iPhone, iPad, or the iCloud website. As long as Google Photos is enabled, any pictures you delete in one location are automatically deleted everywhere. Here's how to delete photos from iCloud.
Delete files and folders from the iCloud website
1. Open iCloud.com in a browser.
2. Log in with your Apple ID.
3. Click 'iCloud Drive.'
4. To delete a folder, select it and then click the Delete icon.
5. To delete files, double-click a folder.
6. Hold down CTRL while clicking each file.© Dave Johnson/Business Insider You can remove a single or multiple iCloud files using the CTRL-key. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
7. Select the Delete icon.
Delete unwanted files in iCloud Drive from your iPad or iPhone
1. On your iPhone or iPad, launch the Files app.
2. Tap 'Browse' at the bottom of the screen.
3. In the Locations section, select 'iCloud Drive.'© Dave Johnson/Business Insider You can delete files and folders to free up space in iCloud using the Files app on your iPhone or iPad. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
4. To delete an entire folder, tap 'Select' in the screen's top right.
5. Then, choose the folder and tap the Delete icon.
6. To delete files, open the folder they're contained in.
7. Use 'Select' to choose files and delete them.© Dave Johnson/Business Insider Select each file you want to delete and then send them to the trash. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
Delete app backups from iCloud on your iPhone or iPad
1. Start the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap your account name at the top of the screen.
3. Select 'iCloud.'
4. Choose 'Manage Storage' on the next screen.
5. Tap 'Backups.'
6. A list of your Apple devices being backed up to iCloud will appear. Select the name of the device you are currently using.
7. In the Choose Data to Back Up section, you should now see a list of the five apps that take up the most space on iCloud.
8. Turn off the backup feature for any of these apps by swiping the button to the left.© Dave Johnson/Business Insider You can save a lot of storage space by not backing up your largest apps. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
9. To see more options and disable more apps by tapping 'Show All Apps.'
10. Repeat this process for any of your other Apple devices from that respective device.
Delete voice memos from iCloud on your iPhone or iPad
1. Start the Voice Memos app on your iPad or iPhone
2. Swipe a voice memo to the left.
3. Tap the Delete icon.© Dave Johnson/Business Insider You can delete any voice memo, but you'll need to remove it from the Recently Deleted section to reclaim the space immediately. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
4. Select 'Recently Deleted.'
5. Tap the recording you just deleted.
6. Choose 'Delete' to permanently remove the voice memo, which will be erased on its own after 30 days.
Delete text messages and their large attachments on an iPhone or iPad
1. On your iPhone or iPad, start the Messages app.
2. Locate a conversation that has attachments you want to remove.
3. Select the person's name at the top of the screen.
4. Choose 'Info.'© Dave Johnson/Business Insider A contact's info can often be found by tapping the 'i' icon. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
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5. On the Details page, photos should appear in a grid. Scroll and tap the 'See All Photos' link below them.
6. Tap 'Select' at the top of the screen.
7. Select each photo you want to remove.
8. Tap 'Delete.'
9. Go to the iMessage app.
10. Select the text thread you want to delete.
11. Swipe it to the left.© Dave Johnson/Business Insider This method will delete an entire conversation, including all its photo and video attachments. Dave Johnson/Business Insider
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12. Tap 'Delete.'