If you are like me your iPhone, iPad or iPod will constantly be running out of storage space. This means you have to delete something valuable to create room to take more photos or videos. However, your device is crammed with loads of un-required stuff that can be cleared to make more space. This article explains how to find, and remove this ‘other’ data from your iPhone, iPod or iPad.
Of course, if you don’t want to go through this whole process then you can always expand the storage space on your iPhone or iPad using the clever SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. This can add up to 128GB of extra storage space!
How to see the unwanted stuff on to your device
When you sync your iPhone, iPad or iPad to iTunes you will notice that a yellow bar titled ‘other’ listed in the usage bar graph. If it is anything like mine it can take up loads of storage space.
This is something I noticed on my own iPhone and after it crept up to 4GB I decided I had to find out what this other data was and how to delete it. After all removing it creates loads of extra space for storing important stuff like photos and videos.
What is iTunes other data?
When you look at the iTunes usage bar you will see that there are separate colored bars for:
- Documents and data
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
- 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 2 options when removing other data from your iPhone or iPad.
- Use an App to automatically remove iTunes other data
- Manually remove the iTunes other data
Use an App to automatically remove iTunes other data
If the manual method described below is a bit too complex or time-consuming then you might prefer an automated option. The best-automated solution I have found is PhoneCleanPro. Not only does it keep your iPhone or iPad clean – it also keeps it secure too.
A routine clean with this tool can help you reclaim up to 60% storage space. Obviously a big improvement on a 16GB iPhone. There is a version for Windows or Mac computers so regardless of the type you have you can still use this tool.
Unfortunately it isn’t free but I have managed to talk iMobie, the authors of this software, into giving my customers a great deal. Normally PhoneCleanPro can cost up to 159.99 EUR (about $175) but I have got an exclusive discount taking the price down to unbelievably low $19.99 EUR (about $22). That’s a saving of about $150!
You can find out more about Phone Clean Pro here so you can decide for yourself if it is worth buying. If so, you can use the buttons below to get the deal.
I’m not sure how long this deal will last as it is such a huge price cut so if you want to automate the whole process then I’d recommending buying it quickly before they change their mind!
The links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
If you are more technically minded or don’t want to pay $20 for the software then you can use the process I describe below to clear the space instead. It won’t work quite as well but for most people, it will clear a lot of room on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
How to manually remove iTune other data
I’d set aside a couple of hours to try all the methods described below to clear the space, especially if you do the backup and restore described at the end. 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
2. Click General
3. Click usage
4. The usage screen appears
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.
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 realize 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. https://osxdaily.com/2012/07/18/delete-text-messages-iphone/ Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone, iPod or iPad afterward.
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: https://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 afterward.
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
2. Click 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?
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Thanks for taking the time to read my website and I hope to help you again soon!
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Kevin Craighead is iChimp’s chief technology editor and has been covering Apple’s mobile electronics, security, privacy and the wider technology sector since 2011. He is also a highly regarded Web Designer & Developer.
With a career spanning 30 years which began doing PC support (before the internet existed), Kevin’s technical expertise and experience is highly regarded in a wide variety of fields. His well-researched work resulted in highly regarded and often cited articles such as the infamous ‘Unable to move message to trash’ error on iOS devices.