If you ever check your iPhone’s storage, you might be shocked to see how much space is taken up by something called “Other”. You may be wondering how to remove this unnamed agent and free up precious storage. Let me tell you what it is, how to see its total size and how to clear Other storage on iPhone.
What is “Other” on iPhone?
On the repository page, you have several categories such as Applications, Multimedia, Mail, Photos, Messages, etc. Now anything that does not fit these predefined categories can fall into Other “. In iOS 15, it seems to have been renamed to System Data.
Apple mentions that “Other” contains “non-removable mobile assets.” This includes things like Siri voices, dictionaries, offline translation languages, fonts, dictionaries, Spotlight index, local Keychain data, CloudKit database, logs and caches, and more.
Caches include things like song and video streaming, Safari cache, and more. They all show up as “Other” in the system storage.
How to check “Other” storage on iPhone
- Open iPhone settings and tap General.
- Tap iPhone Storage.
- Wait a few seconds and you will see a detailed histogram. Here you will see the fraction of space occupied by Other or System data.
How to check “other” iPhone data using a computer
- Connect your iPhone to Mac or PC and trust it if asked.
- On a Mac running macOS Catalina or later, open Finder. On a Mac running macOS Mojave or earlier, or a Windows PC, open iTunes.
- Go to your iPhone’s summary screen.
- Hover over the storage pane to see the space occupied by Others.
How to remove “Other” on iPhone to free up space
iOS automatically manages Other Data accordingly. And unless you have an iPhone fully refreshed after a full restore, there is no way to completely free up “Other” space. But you can reduce its size by clearing Safari data, getting rid of old messages, stickers, images, deleting app caches, etc. Let me show you how.
- Clear Safari History and Data
- Clear app cache from other apps
- Remove large message attachments
- Refresh your iPhone
- Backup, erase and restore
1. Clear your Safari history and data.
The first answer to deleting other storage on iPhone is to clear Safari history and data. This will ensure that all caches, temporary files, logs, etc. are removed from the browser. Please note that this will log you out of any websites you are logged into. Moreover, it will also close all open tabs.
- Open iPhone settings, scroll down and tap Safari.
- Click Clear History and Website Data.
2. Clear the app cache from other apps.
The most efficient way to clear your app cache is to uninstall the app and reinstall it. For example, if you uninstall the Spotify app and get it again, all temporary music streams (caches) will disappear. But the downside is that your downloads will be deleted too. So, deleting an application has its negative consequences. But if you want, you can do it with less up-to-date apps like Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, etc. to clear the app cache and free up a lot of space.
Another convenient solution is to offload the application. This removes the actual app, but retains all of the main app data (minus the app cache). You can learn how to unload the application here.
Also, some apps like Slack cleverly offer internal solutions for clearing the cache. Find and use this to clear other system data on iPhone.
In this case, opening video streaming apps like Apple TV +, Prime Video, Netflix and deleting downloaded files will help.
Finally, get in the habit of restarting your iPhone every three to seven days. This will ensure that temporary files are removed and you get a fast user experience.
3. Remove attachments for large messages.
Follow these steps to find and delete large iMessage received files that you no longer need. This will help you remove “Other” on iPhone.
- Go to Settings → General → iPhone Storage.
- In the list of apps, tap Messages.
- Tap Photos, Videos, GIFs, Stickers, and so on one by one to view them.
- Click “Change”, select the unnecessary ones and delete them.
Pro tip: You can also set your iPhone to automatically delete old messages after a month or a year to optimize local storage.
4. Update your iPhone.
Yes. Updating to the latest version of iOS is a reliable answer to the question of how to delete Other storage on iPhone. Previously, due to some kind of error, users were faced with the fact that huge chunks of their space were swallowed up by the “Others”. Apple did not shed light on this, but acknowledged it as a “problem” and recommended that you upgrade to iOS 13.6.1 or later.
So, in order to uninstall “Other” on iPhone and keep the system clean, be sure to update your iPhone. If you are unable to update directly from your device due to limited free space, use a computer.
5. Backup, erase and restore.
This is the ultimate and most effective solution to remove other storage on iPhone. So if you want to free up space now, you can go down this path.
But please understand that after setting up your iPhone, you will want to use Siri, which will load Siri’s voice. You will set up Keychain Access, Dictation, etc., which will increase the size of your system data. But for now, if Other takes up a few GB, deleting data from the device is the surest way to free up that space.
If you decide to erase data from your iPhone, be sure to back it up to iCloud. After that, you can erase the data from the device and then restore the backup.
Once again, although restoring a backup will bring all your apps and data back, it can take a long time. Also, if you are not tech savvy, I would recommend that you skip this step. Just reboot your phone every 3-7 days, make sure you always use the latest iOS version, and periodically delete unnecessary apps, images, videos, voice memos, etc. “Other” data. Your iPhone will handle this automatically.
Hopefully this quick guide helped you understand what “Other” is on iPhone, how to find out how much space it takes up on your iPhone, and how to get rid of it. If you need help freeing up more local storage, we have a dedicated guide that shows you how to free up space on iPhone and iPad.