How To Delete iTunes Other Data From iPhone, iPad & iPod

Last updated : 1 February 2014

When you sync your iPhone, iPad or iPad to iTunes you may notice that a yellow bar titled ‘other’ listed in the usage bar graph is taking up storage space.

how to delete itunes other data from iphone ipad and ipod touch

click to enlarge

This is something I noticed on my own iPhone and after it creeped up to 4GB I decided I had to find out what this other data was and how to delete it.

What is iTunes other data?

When you look at the iTunes usage bar you will see that there are separate coloured bars for:

  • Photos
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Video
  • Books
  • Documents and data
  • Other

Basically, the ‘other’ data is stuff that doesn’t belong in any of the other categories. Specifically, these include things such as:

  • Safari bookmarks and history
  • Text messages (including multimedia attachments such as photos)
  • Email messages (including file attachments)
  • Calendar entries
  • Notes
  • Contact photos
  • Camera roll
  • App data such as saved games
  • Voice memos

You should expect to see other data in the range between 250MB – 1GB. If your other storage space is around this size then you don’t have too much of an issue.

However, if like me it is 4GB or so then you should follow the steps below in order to reduce this to a more manageable size.

How to remove iTunes other data

There are a number of things you can try:

  • Delete and reinstall apps – particularly instagram and facebook
  • Delete text messages
  • Clear Safari Cookies, Data, History
  • Delete voice memos
  • Reduce your email retention time
  • And if all else fails, backup and restore your iPhone, iPad or IPod

Delete and reinstall apps

An App on it’s own may not take up that much storage space on your iPhone, iPad or iPod but after using it for a while it will start to save all sorts of data. These saved games, components and other stuff can cause the App to bloat and take up loads more space.

If you want to know which Apps are guilty of storing lots of extra stuff do the following:

1. Click settings

iOS7 settings icon

2. Click general

How to fix the iPhone & iPad not enough local storage message

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3. Click usage

How to fix the iPhone & iPad not enough local storage message

click to enlarge

4. The usage screen appears

iphone ipad storage space

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5. Look at the largest Apps and compare the Documents & Data size to the actual app size. If there is a big difference then you should consider either removing some of the data or reinstalling the App.

compare storage usage

Click to enlarge

Remember that if you do reinstall an App all of the data saved with the App will also be deleted. So if the App has important data in it such as documents, saved games or photos then it may not be able wise to reinstall it. If you do you will lose all of the saved data.

Delete text messages

You may not realise it but every photo you ever sent is stored within the message thread. So if you send a lot of photos, or other stuff via text then it may well use up loads of storage space.

You have 2 choices:

  • delete the entire message thread., or
  • remove the individual messages with the attached files in them

Here is a great article on how to delete message threads and individual text messages.

http://osxdaily.com/2012/07/18/delete-text-messages-iphone/

Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone, iPod or iPad afterwards.

Clear Safari Cookies, Data, History

Safari doesn’t usually take that much storage space but clearing them out won’t do any harm on the amount of storage space other takes up.

Remember that if you do clear the cache that you will lose login details and saved web settings and any open windows will be shut.

This article explains what you need to do:

http://osxdaily.com/2011/05/16/clear-history-cache-and-cookies-from-safari-browser-on-your-iphone-ipad/

Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone, iPod or iPad afterwards.

Delete voice memos

When you record a voice memo your iPhone, iPad, or iPod will store those as an audio file. The longer the voice memo the more storage space that they occupy. To clear space consider removing longer voice memos.

1. Click Voice Memos

2. Tap on an individual memo

3. Click the red “Delete” button

4.Repeat this process for each voice memo you wish to remove

5. Reboot your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Reduce your email retention time

If you reduce the length of time that email is stored on your device email messages will take up less room as less of them will be stored on your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

1. Click Settings

iOS7 settings icon

2. Click Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

mail, contacts, calendars

3. Select your email account.

4. Scroll down to the bottom to where it says ‘Mail Days to Sync’ and tap it.

5. Adjust the setting to a lower length of time.

6. Reboot your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Backup and restore your iPhone, iPad or iPod

In the end, this is what I had to do in order to reduce my other from 4GB to 750MB. It is time consuming but it does work when nothing else does.

Did you find this iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch fix helpful?

If you found this fix helpful please take a moment to tweet, like, or share this article by using the buttons at the top of this page. I’d really appreciate it. :)

Also, if you are feeling extra generous after having your issue solved please leave some encouraging feedback in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

I love getting feedback from visitors. It encourages me to find further solutions to those awkward little iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Mac problems that we all suffer from.

Thanks for taking the time to read my website and I hope to help you again soon!

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Kevin Craighead

Director at NetChimp
Kevin Craighead is the Director and founder of NetChimp, a highly regarded web design agency with offices in York and Aberdeen in the UK. Over the last 15 years he has provided advice for huge multi-nationals - like BP and DuPont - to small businesses and local authorities. Originally from Scotland Kevin enjoys all things techie and electronic.

Comments

  1. This was very helpful. Thank you! The first site that could actually explain what is in “other” and included detailed instructions on how to fix it!

  2. Thank you, very useful info.

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