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Just like “Other,” “Documents & Data” is a slightly baffling part of your iPhone storage that turns out to be a bother when you run out of space. A lot of people come up with one persistent question: how to clear “Documents and Data” on my iPhone and reclaim free space?

Once you understand what that “Documents & Data” really is, it becomes easy to figure out ways to clear all of it and still have your iPhone work smoothly. The documents and data come from a variety of sources including stock apps, third-party apps, and even iCloud documents. It's cache files stored by individual apps.

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Docuements & Data on iPhone

Why do apps need to store cache? They store cache to let you have smooth sailing experience. As for instance, when you search anything in Safari, the web browser keeps a record of it to let you access it instantly next time. Likewise, YouTube keeps a record of your watch history to recommend the type of videos which interest you the most.

Let's check out how you can find and remove cache, cookie and other miscellaneous data stored by apps and reclaim valuable space on your iPhone!

How to Clear “Documents and Data” On iPhone & iPad

Delete and Reinstall App(s)

One of the easiest ways to get rid of the documents and data of specific app is to delete them and then reinstall them.

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Step #1. Tap on the Settings → General.

Tap on Settings then General in iOS 10.3 on iPhone

Step #2. Tap on Storage & iCloud Usage.

Tap on Storage & iCloud Usage in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Tap on Manage Storage under the Storage section.

Tap on Manage Storage under Storage in iPhone Settings

Step #4. Tap on the individual app which data you want to delete.

Find the App Having Documents & Data on iPhone

Step #5. Tap on Delete App and confirm.

Delete App from Storage on iPhone

Step #6. Reinstall the same.

Delete Documents and Data of Specific Apps from iCloud on iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Launch Settings app on your iOS device.

Tap on Settings on iPhone 7 Plus

Step #2. Tap on your profile picture. (If your iPhone is running the previous iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap on iCloud.)

Tap on Profile in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud in iPhone Settings

Step #4. Now, you should see used space and available space in your iCloud account. Tap on iCloud under Storage.

Tap on iCloud under Storage in iPhone Settings

Step #5. Tap on Manage Storage.

Tap on Manage Storage in iCloud Settings on iPhone

Step #6. Tap on Show All under Documents & Data section.

Tap on Show All in iCloud Settings on iPhone

Step #7. Tap on the app which data you want to delete. (You can delete the documents and data of some stock apps like Notes, Keynote, iMovie.)

Tap on App Name Under Documents & Data on iPhone

Step #8. Tap on Edit at the top right corner.

Tap on Edit in iCloud Documents & Data in iPhone

Step #9. Tap on Delete All and confirm.

Tap Delete All to Clear iCloud Documents & Data on iPhone

That's how you can get rid of the cache of individual apps from all of your devices synced with the same iCloud devices.

Tip: Allow only selected apps to store their data in iCloud. It will help you manage your iCloud storage in a better way.

Step #1. Open Settings app.

Tap on Settings on iPhone 7 Plus

Step #2. Tap on your Profile.

Tap on Profile in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud in iPhone Settings

Step #4. Now turn off the switch next to the app which data you no longer want to save in the iCloud.

Allow Selected Apps to Store their Data in iCloud

Clear Out Music, Movies & TV Shows, Thumbnail Cache

All your iTunes purchases (made on the iPhone/iPad or synced from the computer) are part of the media. It's usually categorized under the Audio/Video part of your storage, but some of it goes to “Documents and Data.” This could include thumbnail cache or related files.

One of the best things you can do to clear cache is to remove all music from your iPhone and then re-sync it through the computer. This way, you will be clearing out all cache on the iPhone, and because these aren't created during a re-sync, you get some free space.

Clean Up Photos and Messages

There may be a number of unnecessary photos in your Camera Roll. Getting rid of them can help you reclaim some valuable space.

Step #1. Open Photos app → Photos tab → tap on Select at the top right corner.

Tap on Album then Tap on Select in iPhone Photos App

Step #2. Select the photos you want to delete and tap on the trash button at the bottom right corner.

Delete Photos from iPhone

To delete messages,

Step #1. Open Messages app → open conversation → simply touch and hold any message → tap on More.

Open Messages Conversation on iPhone and Tap on More

Step #2. Select the message you want to delete and then tap on Delete All at the top left the corner.

Delete Messages from iPhone

Follow this guide to delete photos from the Messages app on your iPhone.

Turn Off Photo Stream

When Photo Stream is enabled, it automatically uploads your new photos and syncs them all of your iCloud devices. Turning it off can help in taking control the storage.

Step #1. Tap on Settings.

Tap on Settings on iPhone 7 Plus

Step #2. Tap on Profile (earlier iCloud.)

Tap on Profile in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud in iPhone Settings

Step #4. Tap on Photos.

Tap on Photos in iCloud Settings on iPhone

Step #5. Turn off the switch next to My Photo Stream.

Turn Off Photo Stream in iCloud on iPhone

It will delete all of the Photo Stream photos from your iPhone.

Mail: clearing out old mail and attachments

If you use the stock Mail app, there's a lot of cache that builds around this. All the synced mail that you access through the app is stored on your iPhone for quick access. And over time, there's data pile-up. Add to this all the attachments that you open on the iPhone.

One simple way of clearing out all mail cache and data is:

Step #1. Tap on Settings → Tap on Accounts.

Tap on Settings then Mail on iPhone

Step #2. Tap on the email account.

Tap on Account then Email in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Tap on Delete Account → and confirm.

Delete Mail Account from iPhone

Now, re-add the account by tapping on Add New.

Clean Up Safari History and Website Data

It's better to clear out Safari history and website data from time to time to ensure the web browser continues to run smoothly and doesn’t pile too much of cache. Head over to this complete guide to clean up Safari.

Voicemail: Delete all voicemail

It turns out that all of your Voicemail contributes to the “Documents and Data” part of the Phone app. Hence make sure to delete unwanted voicemails regularly to ensure they don’t clutter your device for space.

Phone app → Voicemail → select the voicemail → Now, you need to tap on it or swipe right to left across it to reveal Delete button → tap on Delete button.

To delete multiple voicemails, open Phone app → Voicemails → tap on Edit → select the voicemails → tap on Delete.

Clean Up Third-Party Apps

One of the easiest ways to prevent your iPhone from running out of space is to clean up the third-party apps from time to time. Many apps easily allow you to clear cache and history.

Check out: How to Remove/Reinstall Stock Apps in iOS 10 on iPhone or iPad

Using software to remove app data and cache

If you'd like some more control over the documents that apps store, then use software to easily manage the data and keep your device junk-free.

Luckily, there is handy software like PhoneClean that can take away all the stress and help you carry out the task of removing unnecessary files with ease.

Wrap Up

I hope you have now fully understood what documents and data is and how to clear it off on your iOS device. By cleaning it off regularly, you can keep your device junk-free; preventing it from running out of storage.

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Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of iGeeksBlog.com. He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.
  • Morenwor

    hii….nice application

  • Morenwor

    hii…..iMyfone is definitely the one way to remove junk files from your iPhone with just one click.

  • Cristina

    Hi I have iPhone 6s 16gb iOS 9.2 if i delete all and i restore the iOS from iTunes
    i have 500mb of space full (300mb documents and data and 200other)
    but in the iPhone i don’t have nothing,,,no app,,, no contact…no mail
    i don’t have not even the iCloud account configure!
    please anyone could help me? thanks a lot cri

  • Ganesh

    I have connected my iPhone to system and copied and pasted some data manually without using ITunes but now I am not able to see the files I pasted there but the internal memory is being used nearly 5 GB I am not able to use , mine is IPhone 6Splus 16 GB so I got only 11 GB as free space in that lot of spaces gone, can I know how to delete those files I manually pasted.

  • Innreously

    I always use Safewiper iOS Data Eraser app to clean large junk files from my iPhone every time, when I feel my device run slowly, I used Safewipe to clean the junk files, I love it!

  • AaronHenry

    I’ve had always faced difficulty in the case of third party apps. May be I can try out these steps next time and save some time. Cheers.

  • Jia Yong

    I can’t clear any cache when i used phoneclean. The system found nothing but my phone space is reducing. Why? Btw i’m using ios 8.3

    • Maria

      I’m having the same issue… I’ve been using PhoneClean for over a year now and it’s always cleared 800MB+ for me, but this past month it hasn’t been finding ANYTHING – although I know for a fact that I have a bunch of documents/data that will clear a big chunk of space on my phone if deleted. So strange.

    • deadhead

      In 8.3 I noticed you cannot clear e-mail cache. I deleted my email account which used to clear all cache before 8.3 . Does not work now. I deleted my email account, and there is 117MB of e-mail space listed under “usage.” This is a big fat bug.

  • kris

    sooooo helpful. thank you!!

  • Ashok

    Thanq chandra

  • R

    This was so, so helpful. I was buying extra iCloud storage and had no idea why. Thank you!

  • reljohnson

    Wow, I just followed all of these steps along with restoring my iphone & now I have 9.5 GB of free space! My phone was so clogged up it wouldn’t even let me take photos, and Siri would practically freeze my phone if I tried to call anyone with it. Now everything is working fast and I have all this new free space. Thanks!