How To Clean System Data Or Other Storage On Your IPhone

 How to clean system data or other storage on your iPhone

Since there is no expandable storage option, there is no shortage of storage space for iPhone users. At some point, your phone will fill up with files and you'll need to delete some to make more free space.

Here comes the mysterious “System Data” or “Other” folder. It doesn't contain apps, media, photos, or messages because your iPhone makes it clear which folders contain these types of files and how much space they take up. So why does system data take up so much space and how do you clean it up?

What is system data in iPhone storage?

The System Data category on your iPhone or iPad is basically where your caches, settings, saved messages, voice memos, and… well, all the other miscellaneous data are stored. These files are usually too small to have separate categories, so your iPhone or iPad groups them all into the System Data or Other folder.

Renamed to Other as System Data, it is more concise and less mysterious, as users can get an obvious idea of ​​what is in the folder. Despite this, there is no easy way to identify and remove the contents of a folder due to the many files grouped in a category.

But don't despair; difficult does not mean impossible. We will show you some tips to deal with this problem.

Before we begin, let's take a quick look at how to view iPhone storage so you know if system data isn't taking up too much space.

How to view your iPhone's system data storage

To check the space your apps and other data are taking up on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

The bar at the top shows your iPhone's total storage, including which groups of data are taking up it. Below that, you'll see a list of apps on your phone and how much space they're taking up, both for the apps themselves and their stored data.

Because it takes time to scan and analyze your iPhone storage, it may take a few seconds for the bar to appear. Even after it appears, you should wait a few seconds for it to refresh, as the app list and storage size will adjust as your phone completes the analysis.

To see how much space system data is taking up, scroll all the way to the bottom of the app list. On the right side of the screen, you will see how much space the category takes up. System data should ideally be in the range of 5GB to 10GB, but if it exceeds 10GB, it has most likely grown out of control and you need to do some cleanup.

How to clear system data storage on iPhone or iPad

We found that you may not be able to completely delete the System Data folder on your iPhone. This is nothing to worry about. In fact, it's better than that - the folder contains useful data that improves your iOS experience.

For example, if you've downloaded multiple voices for your Siri, they'll be stored in System Data.

However, there are still ways to clean your iPhone's system data folder of unnecessary content.

1. Clear Safari cache

Safari caches are one of the biggest culprits of system data storage getting out of control. Safari helps you load websites quickly. However, Safari caches aren't a necessity, and if they're filling up your iPhone's storage, you may need to clear them to make room for more important items.

To clear the Safari cache:

Tap Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Scroll down the list of applications and tap Safari.

Click on Website Data

Remove all website data scroll to the bottom of the page and tap.

2. Limit streaming if you can

Streaming a lot of music and video is another potential reason for your iPhone's system data storage to spiral out of control. To clarify, this is not the same as a download.

When you download video or audio from the iTunes Store, the TV app, or the Music app, they are placed under the Media category. You can use caches to ensure seamless playback, and these are classified as system data.

So while you're trying to free up space on your iPhone or iPad, pause streaming or reduce the amount of streaming content you consume. In the meantime, you can live off the download.

You can also try clearing the app cache from iPhone storage. Target specific media apps you use to stream online content, such as YouTube, Apple Music (or other music apps), Netflix, or Podcasts. Then clear the data of these apps in the storage settings.

3. Delete old iMessage and Mail data

If you're a heavy texter, the Messages app can fill up your storage with a lot of data. If you want to change your message settings to save fewer old messages.

By default, Messages is set to keep messages forever, but you can change this to 1 year or even 30 days to minimize the amount of data the Messages app caches.

To do this, open Settings and tap on the Messages app under the default app section. 

When you use the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad, all the documents, photos, and videos you've been viewing are cached. This makes loading faster the second time around. However, they can also accumulate quickly and take up valuable storage space. You can clear out-of-date mail caches by logging out of your email account and logging back in.

4. Remove and reinstall some apps

Most applications store data that is classified as application, but some caches or data are classified as system data. For example, if the Podcasts app is taking up more than a few gigabytes of space, it's probably full of cached data.

To remove an app, touch and hold the app, then tap Remove app > Delete app > Delete. Then go to the App Store and download and reinstall the app.

5. Backup and erase your iPhone

The easiest way to remove excess data is to wipe your device completely and start over. It's faster than trying to find app caches and delete them, not to mention you can wipe out the pesky bugs that may also be contributing to the storage problem in the process.

Before doing anything, you need to backup your iPhone or iPad. Otherwise, you will lose all data on your device.

To wipe and reset your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Transfer or reset iPhone, then tap Erase all content and settings. If you have an iCloud backup set up, iOS will prompt you to upgrade to avoid losing unsaved data.

If all else fails…

If your iPhone still shows an out-of-storage error and deleting data from the System Data section doesn't seem to work, you should try uploading your files to iCloud. This way you can completely remove them from iPhone storage.

However, the default 5GB of free iCloud storage may not be enough for this, so you may need to purchase

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