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How to Remove “Other” Data from iPhone

Oh, how annoying! You open up iTunes, or your usage overview on your iPhone, and notice that some “Other” data is taking up a bunch of space. This tutorial shows you how to delete “Other” on iPhone. There is an easy way to get rid of all that excess data, which accumulates with continued use and proceeds to eat up storage space on the device.

Especially the smaller devices with 16 GB or 8 GB of storage can benefit from this technique, as it often helps reclaim multiple Gigabytes of space. That translates to a lot of music, photos or around 10 apps and games!

What is “Other” or “Other Storage” on iPhone?

If you connect your iPhone to a PC or Mac running iTunes, you’ll see an overview of the different types of data stored on the device and how much space each is taking up. Usually “Other” takes up quite a chunk of the total sum. Of course you don’t want to keep any clutter, especially if there is no real way to identify where it comes from. A lot of the stuff taking up space on your iPhone can be managed however, see our guide on full iPhone storage errors and how to manage iPhone storage.

In contrast to Googles Android, Apple prefers to keep technical details out of sight for the sake of simplicity. Don’t worry, we have an explanation handy. The definition of the mysterious “Other” data on your iPhone can be described as follows:

  • Cached and buffered media content from all sorts of apps
  • Safari browsing history and cached data
  • Files stored within the mail application, e.g. attachments
  • iTunes data for streaming and media playback, podcasts and such
  • and all kinds of orphaned files and cached data for faster performance on your iPhone

How to delete “Other” on iPhone: Taking out the garbage

Connect iPhone to PC/Mac > open iTunes > Backup > Restore

You lose no functionality by getting rid of the “Other” storage, but rather gain a little bit of space for active usage. The single most effective way to clean the “Other Storage” group of files is to back up and restore your device via iTunes. This will allow you to start with a semi-clean slate, but keep your personal data. This is how to go about it:

Connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC running the latest iTunes. Select “Back Up Now” to create a local, current backup of all your settings and personal data. You might receive a warning about non-synched purchases. Go to “File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from iPhone” to authorize the current machine and sync all of your bought apps. This will enable a more seamless restore process afterwards. See our full guide for restoring and creating back-ups of your iPhone.

Once the backup is done, you can go ahead and “Restore iPhone” in your iTunes application on the computer. After completing the restore process, during which your device is wiped completely, you may select to restore the backup (“Restore Backup”) we created during the start of the guide. Don’t worry, the “Other Storage” data is now gone and will not be re-synced to the device.