One of the most confusing aspects of your iPhone’s storage is the “Other” category. Why is it so full, and why is it so hard to delete? This is exactly what the following post is all about.
By the end of this article, you will know how to clear out most of your “Other Storage” and how to prevent it from filling up in the first place. Plus, you won’t need to reset your phone at all.
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Is There A Difference Between “Other Storage” And “System Data”?
If you have an older iPhone, or an iPhone operating with iOS 15 or earlier, then you are dealing with “Other Storage.” If you have iOS 16 or above, then this data is labeled “System Data.”
No matter what the label is, this data is comprised of “hidden” data that you generally don’t have access to. Data such as system files, system logs, temporary files, and streaming caches.
It’s normal for your “Other Storage” or “System Data” to be in the 5 – 20GB area, but if it’s any higher, then you may want to clear out as much of that data as you can.
How To Check Your Other Storage
Your iPhone’s “Other Storage” may be a bit of a mystery, but checking it is quite simple.
- Open up the Settings app, and tap on General.
- Scroll down toward the middle and tap on iPhone Storage.
- At the top of the screen, you will find a graph showing everything that is taking up room on your device. Other storage will be at the end of that graph, and it may be labeled as System Data.
How To Check Your Other Storage On Your Mac
The second way you can check your other storage on your iPhone is through your computer.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
- If you are asked to trust your device, click Trust on your computer and tap Trust on your iPhone.
- Open up a Finder window, and select your iPhone in the side panel.
- At the bottom of the iPhone summary screen, you will find how much Other storage is taking up your device. Hover over each colored segment to find Other storage.
Note: If the amount of Other storage is considered insignificant, it won’t show up on the bar at all.
How To Delete Other Storage Without Resetting Your iPhone
One of the best ways to clear out your other storage is by resetting your iPhone. But this is a hassle, and you most likely don’t want to go through it.
Instead, here are all the proven ways you can lower your Other Storage (or System Data) without resetting your iPhone.
Delete Your Safari Cache
Keeping your Safari cache clean is one of the best ways to clear out the “Other” storage on your iPhone or iPad. It’s wise to do this periodically as cached files can balloon in size, especially if you spend a lot of time browsing online through Safari.
Here’s how to clear your Safari caches:
- Open up the Settings App.
- Find the option for Safari, then tap on it.
- Toward the middle of the screen, tap on Clear History and Website Data.
- Confirm your decision by tapping Clear History And Data. This will instantly clear the cache for Safari.
Offload Rarely Used Apps
Your Other Storage is constantly growing by just having your apps existing on your phone. To relieve some of that space, you can offload apps that you only use occasionally.
Note: When you offload an app, user data, configurations, and settings are all preserved. This means when you reinstall the app later, you won’t have to start from square one.
- Open up the Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Scroll down and tap iPhone Storage.
- You will find a long list of every app on your device. Click on an app that you wish to offload.
- In the middle of the screen, tap Offload app.
- Confirm by tapping Offload again. Your app is now deleted, with all its data intact.
- To reinstall the app later, tap Reinstall app.
Reset Your Mail App
If you frequently send and receive big attachments with the Mail app on your iPhone, it can cause a large buildup of cached files in your “Other” storage.
If you’re looking to clear the Mail app’s cache, there is, unfortunately, no “Clear Cache” option. To complete this task, you’ll need to unlink and then reconnect your email accounts. Keep in mind that taking away the accounts from Mail does not erase them.
To reset your Mail app:
- Open up the Settings app.
- Tap the Mail icon, then tap on Accounts.
- Tap on one of your accounts, then scroll down and tap on Delete Account. Remember, this will not delete your email account altogether, just off of your iPhone.
- Once you delete your first email account, repeat the process for all of your other accounts.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Now, you need to add each one of your email accounts back to your iPhone. First, open your Settings and tap on the Mail icon.
- Tap on Accounts, then tap Add Account.
- Choose your email account provider, then add your email address and password to sign back into your account.
Tips To Help Prevent An Overflowing Other Storage
The tips below will not clear your Other Storage, but they will help you prevent your Other Storage from overflowing in the first place.
Cut Down On Your Streaming
Constantly streaming music and videos can be a big reason your iPhone’s System Data storage is overflowing. This includes watching videos on Tik Tok and YouTube.
To combat this, instead of streaming everything you watch and listen to, try downloading as much content as you can. Downloaded content does not add to your Other Storage.
Save Fewer Older Messages
If you’re an avid texter, your storage could be overflowing with “Other data” from the Messages app. To free up Other space, try altering your Message settings to save fewer older messages.
- Open up Settings.
- Tap on Messages.
- Tap on Message History.
- Choose either 30 Days or 1 Year to keep your older messages from clogging up your Other Storage.
Adjust How Long Safari Tabs Stay Open
This one is similar to the last tip, but involves Safari. Open tabs in Safari can build up your Other Storage fast. To prevent this, you can change how long to keep Safari tabs open in the settings:
- Open up the Settings.
- Tap on Safari.
- Under the Tabs section, tap Close Tabs.
- Choose the amount of time you would like to keep Safari tabs open from the available options.
I hope you enjoyed reading about how to delete your Other Storage on iPhone without resetting your device. Trust me, I know how annoying Other Storage can be.
If you know anyone struggling with Other Storage on their iPhone, please send them this article.