How to Remove Documents and Data on iPhone and iPad

“Documents and Data” is a slightly baffling part of your iPhone storage that turns out to be a bother when you run out of space. Before going for the fix, first let’s find the root cause.

To put it straight, it’s browser history, cookies, logs, caches of photos and videos, database files and more piled up by your apps. And if you don’t eradicate them regularly, they can become problematic for your device. Besides, the total file size of Documents & Data can even supersede the actual size of the associated app!

Why do apps need to store cache? They store cache to enhance your user experience. As for instance, when you search anything in Safari, the web browser keeps a record of it to allow you to access it instantly next time. Likewise, YouTube keeps a record of your watch history to recommend the type of videos that you like watching. Enough talk; let’s embark on mission eradication!

How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone or iPad

iOS lets you check out how much storage each app’s data has consumed on your device. Once you have given a quick look at the space hijacked by apps, you have multiple options to get rid of their associated data.

You can offload unused apps without having to delete their data. And when you reinstall them, their data is automatically restored. Hence, you can use this handy feature to free up plenty of space on your device without having to clean up the important data. What if you wish to go for complete cleanup? In this case, you can delete the app along with its entire documents and data.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on General.

Tap on Settings then General on iPhone or iPad

Step #2. Tap on iPhone/iPad Storage → Now, tap on the app in question.

Tap on iPhone Storage and Tap on the App you Want to Remove Documents and Data on iPhone

Step #3. Next, you have two options: Offload App and Delete App.

If you wish to delete the app but want to keep its data, choose Offload option. As mentioned above, you will be able to reinstate the associated file when reinstalling the app.

Offload App on iPhone or iPad

But if you decide to clear out the entire data, hit the Delete button and confirm.

Delete App to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone or iPad

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

How about removing saved data from specific apps from iCloud? You can prevent your precious iCloud storage from being cluttered for space by getting rid of redundant files. Keep in mind; it will wipe out all the data from the cloud and connected devices. And, it can’t be undone.

Step #1. Open Settings app → Tap on your profile.

Tap on Settings then Your Profile on iPhone or iPad

Step #2. Tap on iCloud → Now, tap on Manage Storage.

Tap on iCloud then Manage Storage in iPhone or iPad Settings

Step #3. Next, tap on the app which data you want to remove from the cloud and then hit Delete Data → Tap on Delete to confirm.

Delete Documents and Data on iPhone for App

That’s how you can eradicate cache of individual apps from all of your devices synced with the same iCloud account.

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

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.

Mail: clearing out old email and attachments

If you use the stock Mail app, there’s a lot of caches that builds around this. All the synced email 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. Open Settings app → Tap on Accounts & Passwords.

Tap on Settings then Accounts & Passwords in iPhone or iPad Settings

Step #2. Tap on Email account.

Tap on Mail Account on iPhone or iPad Settings

Step #3. Tap on Delete account and confirm.

Delete Mail Account from iPhone or iPadNow, 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 up too much cache. Head over to this complete guide to clean up Safari.

Clean Up Photos

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 → tap on Select at the top right corner.

Tap on Select in Photos App on iPhone or iPad

Step #2. Select the photos you want to remove and tap on the Trash icon in the bottom-right corner. Tap on Delete to confirm.

Delete Photos from iPhone or iPad

So, that was about shooting out the unnecessary images, what about clearing out the redundant messages? Keep reading…

Don’t Let Messages App Eat Into Tons of Storage

If you use iMessage a lot, chances are the app may have consumed plenty of storage. You would be glad to know that iOS makes it incredibly simple to view how much storage photos, videos, GIFs have captured respectively. Therefore, you can choose to keep and delete data based on your need.

To do so,

Step #1. Open Settings app → Tap on General.

Tap on Settings then General on iPhone or iPad

Step #2. Tap on iPhone/iPad Storage → Tap on Messages.

Tap on iPhone Storage then Messages on iPhone or iPad

Step #3. Under Documents & Data, head to respective section and then tap on Edit.

Select Message's Media and Tap on Edit on iPhone or iPad

Step #4. Tap on Radio Button → Tap on Trash Icon to delete things you don’t want to keep anymore.

Delete Message's Media on iPhone or iPad Settings

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 Apps from Time to Time

One of the easiest ways to prevent your iPhone from running out of space is to clear out the cache and other redundant data of apps on a consistent basis. Most apps like Safari, Dropbox, WhatsApp, and Twitter let you easily eliminate such data. Hence, stopping them from eating into plenty of storage won’t be a big ask.

What if you don’t want to remove data manually?

Deleting cache files manually can be tedious and time-consuming, especially when you have to deal with a number of apps. In such case, it’s better to take the help of iPhone cleaning apps. We have rounded up the top apps that can let you eliminate the unwanted data with ease. Thus, picking out an able contender won’t be difficult for you!

Wrapping up:

So, that’s how you can prevent your iOS device from falling prey to junk files. Have any question? Toss it up in the comments below.

You might want to refer these posts as well:

Found this guide helpful? Download our app and stay connected with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to never miss such stories.

We may earn commission when you buy the product through links on our site.

Dhvanesh Adhiya
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.


  1. And it doesn’t work anyway!

    My iPad Air 2 (iPadOS 13.3.1) is saying that my Mail app is taking up 344 MB (10,7 MB App Size + 333,3 MB Documents & Data) under Settings->General->iPad Storage. This is weird because I keep the mailbox clean. I went and deleted all e-mails from Inbox, Sent and Trash folders. I then deleted all ma e-mail accounts from Settings->Passwords & Accounts. This did not reduce the “Documents & Data” size under Mail. I then deleted the Mail app completely and rebooted the iPad for good measure. The 344 MB were freed. I then went back to App Store and re-downloaded the Mail app. After it was downloaded, I went back into Settings->iPad Storage and saw that the Mail app again used up 344MB, same as before, and I did not read any accounts.

    So, removing e-mail accounts and the app itself didn’t seem to clear any of its Documents & Data.
    One thing is weird though. The main usage bar ar the top of the Settings->iPad Storage screen seems to show about 300 MB less used (was 14,5GB before, it’s 14,2GB now). That would suggest “something” was cleaned. But then why does the list below still shows Mail app using 344 MB again? It’s like the app usage list isn’t being refreshed properly. Bug ?

    • It does work. But the changes are not visible in your case on the front. Under General > iPhone Storage > Mail, below ‘Delete App,’ it clearly says that the app and all related data from this iPhone will be deleted. In your case, too, the data has been deleted (as you said that before it was 14.5 GB and now 14.2 GB). So it works. But we can rule that this ‘not reflecting accurately’ is a bug that maybe hopefully addressed in the next update.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

How to Use Control Center in macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur has added a Control Center to the Mac. It is a handy way to have several controls like display brightness, keyboard...

37 Paid iPad and iPhone Apps Price Drop – 01 July 2020

iGB’s daily edition of the iPad and iPhone apps price drop offers you a great chance to get paid apps at a whopping discount.

23 Paid iPad and iPhone Apps Gone Free Today – 01 July 2020

Paid iPad and iPhone apps have gone free today! Looking for more free apps for your iOS device? iGeeksBlog brings you a great chance to download and try out some amazing apps for free.

How to Send Messages with Effects in macOS Big Sur

iMessage effects have been on the iPhone and iPad for long. With macOS Big Sur, you can now enjoy these same options on your...

© iGeeks Media Private LTD - All rights reserved

Copy link