Have you ever wondered what is “Other” on iPhone/iPad storage as shown in iTunes? If you’ve noticed, the “Other” data (shown in the below image) often occupies a helluva lot of space. It drives me nuts to see that this data can be much more than everything else – including music, at times. Eventually, it piles up to a level where there just isn’t enough space for an app.
Well, one good thing is I’m not alone. It’s a problem a lot of users face. And if you’re not familiar with things like cache, cookies, album art and stuff that’s common between Mac/PCs and iPhones, you’re going to keep wondering what this huge amount of mysterious data is! There’s actually nothing mysterious about it.
Here’s how to remove “Other” Data from iPhone and iPad Running iOS 7.1 earlier iOS version:
Step 1: Open Settings -> General -> Usage
Step 2: Tap on any large app (I’m thinking of Facebook/Whatsapp)
Step 3: The Documents & Data shows the total size of the data stored by the app
Do you wonder what is Documents and Data on iPhone or iPad? You’ll notice that the app itself is actually quite small. In the image, you see that the app is 18.1 MB whereas the data stored is 50 MB. This 50 MB is what goes into your “Other” data. These data includes browser history, cookies, logs, caches of photos and videos as well as database files stored by apps.
If an app like WhatsApp can store 50 MB of data, think of all the album art your Music stores, think of the cache data from Safari/Chrome, think of cookies, text messages, Facebook data etc. It’s huge. And this huge thing is what clogs up space in the form of “Other” data.
This is not strange or something unique. Things like these happen and you’ll just need to figure out a way to safely clear these data so there’s enough space on your iPhone.
Clearing out Other data isn’t straight-forward. I mean, there’s no way to remove all the data at once without deleting the app completely. iOS doesn’t come with a switch for this. Nor does iTunes.
But still, there’s a way. Wipe.
Yeah, you heard that right. Wipe does what we intend to do to the Other data thing.
This is how you proceed:
Step 1: Take a backup of all data, preferably via iTunes instead of iCloud but if you’re happy with iCloud, you’re most welcome to backup on iCloud.
Step 2: Now, make sure – double or triple check you’ve got all your stuff backed up.
Step 3: Reset your iPhone: Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings
Step 4: Connect your iPhone to iTunes and restore from backup.
What this does is wipes off all the temporary files, cache, cookies and stuff like album art which steals – a little bite at a time – large amounts of free space. This clears things a lot but not everything will be gone. There’ll still be some (or occasionally, a lot of) “Other” data.
You’ll do good to occasionally clear things from apps that store a lot of data. Most of the apps themselves have the lever to delete the data. Where it isn’t possible, you’re going to have to resort to erasing data.
Music can be one of the major causes too if you’ve not a lot of apps that store a ton of data. This means we’re looking at playlists, preferences, cache, art, lyrics data etc. To remove this, you’ll have to remove all music data and the re-sync from your iTunes.
So that’s about how you get rid of the Other data in your iPhone which annoyingly prevents you from stuffing up your iPhone with more stuff.
We also covered PhoneClean so check that out if you’re not one to mess around with the iPhone.
Oh and if you’ve got other ways to clear things up, do let us know!