Since there is no option for expandable storage, iPhone users are no strangers to running out of storage space. At some point, your phone gets full of files and you have to delete some of them to make more space.
Here comes the mysterious “Other” folder. It does not contain apps, media, photos or messages because iPhone clearly shows which folders contain those types of files and how much space they take up. So what are other volumes and how do you clear them?
In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know.
What is the other storage partition on the iPhone?
Basically, the other category on your iPhone or iPad is where your caches, settings, saved messages, voice memos,…etc, any other miscellaneous data are stored. These files are usually too small to have separate categories, so your iPhone or iPad groups them all together in the other folder.
This means that there is no direct way to locate and delete the contents of the other folder, but we will show you some tips to deal with this problem.
Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at how to view your iPhone storage to see if other data is taking up too much space.
How to view your iPhone storage
To see how much space your apps and other data are taking up on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage .
A bar at the top shows your total iPhone storage, including the data sets that you’re consuming. Below that, you’ll see a list of your phone’s apps and the amount of space they take up, both for the apps themselves and their saved data.
Since it takes time to scan and analyze your iPhone storage, it may take several seconds for the bar to appear. Even after it appears, you should wait a few seconds for it to update because the list of apps and storage sizes will be set when your phone completes its analysis.
To see how much storage others are taking up, scroll all the way to the bottom of the apps list.
How to clear other storage on iPhone and iPad
We’ve established that you probably won’t be able to completely erase the other volume. Do not worry. In fact, it’s better this way, as the “Other” category contains useful data that improves your iOS experience.
For example, if you download more sounds for Siri, they will be saved in the Other section.
Other volumes are usually in the 5-10 GB range, but if you go over 10 GB, you’ve probably expanded out of control.
Here are some ways to clear your iPhone’s other storage for unnecessary content:
1. Clear Safari Cache
Safari caches are one of the biggest culprits in other storage operations that are growing out of control. The browser saves your browsing history and website data to help you browse websites quickly. However, Safari caches are not necessary, and if they are showing up on your iPhone storage, you may have to clear them to make space for more important items.
To clear the cache in Safari:
- Tap Settings > General > iPhone Storage .
- Scroll down in the list of apps and tap on Safari.
- Click Location Data
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Remove all website data .
2. Reduce your data flow if you can.
Streaming a lot of music and video is another possible reason why your iPhone’s other storage space is out of control. To be clear, this is not the same as downloading.
When you download a video or audio from the iTunes Store, TV app, or Music app, it is categorized as media. On the other hand, streams use caches to ensure smooth operation, and are categorized as other.
So, while you’re trying to free up some space on your iPhone or iPad, stop streaming, or reduce the amount of streaming content you’re consuming. You can get rid of downloads in the meantime.
You can also try clearing the app cache on your iPhone storage. Target specific media apps that you use to stream online content, such as YouTube, Apple Music (or other music apps), or Podcasts. Then clear the data of these apps in your storage settings.
3. Delete old messages and mail data
If you use heavy text, the Messages app will probably fill up your storage with a lot of data. You may want to change your message settings to save fewer old messages.
Messages is set to keep messages forever by default, but you can change it to one year or even 30 days to reduce the amount of data the Messages app caches.
To do this, open Settings and tap on the Messages app from the Default apps section. Scroll down to the Message History section and tap Keep Messages. Next, select your preferred message storage period: 30 days or 1 year.
Also, when you use the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad, it saves a cache of all the documents, photos, and videos you’ve watched. This makes reloading them the second time faster. However, it can quickly accumulate and take up valuable storage space.
You can clear old mail stores by deleting and re-entering your email account details.
4. Delete and reinstall some apps
The majority of applications store data classified as applications, but some caches are classified as other. For example, if a Podcasts app is taking up more than a few gigabytes of space, it is likely that it is full of cached data.
Deleting and re-downloading the app can help clear other storage space on your iPhone. To delete an app, touch and hold the app, then tap Remove app > Delete app > Delete .
Head to the App Store to download and reinstall the app.
5. Backup and reset your iPhone
The easiest way to remove excess data is to completely wipe your device and start over. It’s faster than trying to locate and delete app caches, not to mention you can clear annoying errors that may also contribute to storage issue in the process.
You don’t have to worry about losing your files. Before uninstalling anything, simply backup your iPhone or iPad. This way, you can start over without having to start from scratch.
To reset your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Erase All Content and Settings.
If you have iCloud backup set up, iOS will prompt you to upgrade it to avoid losing any unsaved data.
If all fails…
If you are still getting out of storage space error on your iPhone, and it seems that deleting data from the other partition is not working, you should try uploading the files to iCloud so you can delete them from your iPhone storage.