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How to Clear Other Storage on iPhone (FAST!)

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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If you’re running low on iPhone storage space, deleting “Other” in your iPhone storage can help.

Yes, that gray category on your iPhone storage bar is usually the culprit for your iPhone’s storage problems.

Read on, and we’ll explain what “Other” actually means in your iPhone storage and how to delete it.

See also: Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector (Easy FIX!)

How to Find the “Other” Storage

Let’s find out how to locate the other storage on your iPhone.

  • Go to Settings, then tap General.
  • Tap on iPhone Storage.
  • A bar graph displays how your storage is split into various categories.
  • Other is usually on the far right of this bar graph.

The colorful graph showing the breakup of the phone’s storage usually has “Other” listed as a gray color bar.

This storage breakup bar can change daily depending on many factors specific to your iPhone and its apps.

What Is Other in My iPhone Storage?

“Other” is usually made up of some settings files or some files of iOS applications like Apple Maps or Siri.

It can also contain some iOS updates that might get stuck after you have used them to update your iOS.

However, most files under “Other” contain cache files, which help you run your applications faster.

Let’s take your Instagram app, for instance. Have you ever wondered how your Instagram app can instantly load your feed?

The smooth upload of the feed partly happens because your Instagram app pre-fetches content in the background.

It predicts what you will view and stores the upcoming content in the feed in its cache. So, theoretically, the cache should be cleared when you are done viewing the content. When this clean-up doesn’t happen, it accumulates in the “Other” category.

You can remove “Other” from your iPhone storage in many ways. First, you can free up space taken up by a few iOS applications. Then, we can look at other methods as well.

How to Clear Other Storage on iPhone

Now that you’ve looked closely at your iPhone’s storage consumption breakdown, you’ve likely noted that your iPhone’s Other storage is huge.

So, how do you clear “Other storage” on your Phone? The steps below will show you how.

  1. Clean up Safari’s Cache
  2. Delete Old Messages
  3. Follow Apple’s Recommendations
  4. Offload Unused Apps (Automatically)
  5. Offload Unused Apps (Manually)
  6. Delete Old Voice Notes
  7. Backup & Restore

1. Clean up Safari’s cache

Steps showing how to clear Safari History and Website Data
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Safari is the default browser used by most people on their iPhones. If you use Safari, there might be some space that can be cleaned up.

  • Head over to your iPhone settings.
  • Scroll down and select Safari.
  • Scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data at the bottom of the page (on iOS 13 and earlier).
  • Tap Clear History and Data on the popup to confirm your action.

2. Clean up Old Messages

Though this process may not free up much space, you must know how to clean up old messages. You can delete messages by swiping left one message at a time.

If you want to delete multiple messages, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Select Messages to select all the messages you want to delete.
  3. Then tap Delete at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Be careful. There’s no confirmation message. Once you tap “Delete,” your messages will be deleted immediately.

Steps showing how to delete iMessages in bulk
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

It’s a good idea to automatically clean up old messages to avoid draining your iPhone storage. To do this, delete all messages older than 30 Days or 1 Year.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Messages.
  • Scroll down under the Message History section and tap Keep Messages.
  • You’ll have three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, or Forever. Select either 30 Days or 1 Year. All messages older than the selected period will be automatically discarded.

See also: 5 tricks to clear iPhone storage without deleting photos

3. Follow Apple’s Recommendations

Apple tracks how space is utilized on the iPhone. The system automatically generates recommendations that, if followed, can clear up some of the space under the “Other” category.

The recommendations are specific for every iPhone since they’re based on individual usage. Follow the steps below to find these recommendations.

Recomendations to clear iPhone storage
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor
  • Go to Settings, then General.
  • Tap on iPhone Storage.
  • Recommendations are located under the colorful bar displaying the current storage breakup.

Some of these recommendations may be:

  • Offload Unused Apps (Details in the following section).
  • Review Large Attachments: Explore this option to review photos, videos, and attachments in Messages taking up storage space.
  • Review Large Conversations: Like the above option, this allows you to clean up the Messages app.

4. Offload Unused Apps (Automatically)

Your iPhone tracks which apps you use most and which ones you visit sparingly.

There are always some apps you just downloaded to check them out. You may have lost interest in them or not used them in a while.

Your iPhone has a list of recommendations for all such apps. These are located under the Offload Unused Apps option.

Offload unused apps to clear Other iPhone storage
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

You can find the Offload Unused Apps option at the following location.

  • Open the Settings app, then select iTunes & App Stores.
  • Locate Offload Unused Apps.
  • Flip the switch to the On position (it’s green when it’s On).

This feature automatically uninstalls all apps you haven’t used in a long time. However, it keeps the data and documents related to these apps intact.

The iPhone automatically retains the app icon of an uninstalled app on your home screen. The app is not there, but tapping on the icon re-downloads the app from the App Store.

Now that you already have the associated data and documents related to the app, you get a fully functional app restored to its last stage with all your custom data before it was uninstalled.

The best part is this step will most likely clear the app’s cache and delete the “Other” storage space.

5. Offload Unused Apps (Manually)

You can also choose to offload apps manually. You can find which ones to pick from the following location (iOS 13), where all apps are listed, sorted from the ones taking the most space to the least.

Offload an app to clear iPhone Other storage
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor
  • Open up the Settings app.
  • Select General, then tap iPhone Storage.
  • You’ll see all your apps sorted from the ones taking the most space to the least.
  • Tap an app that you want to offload.
  • Inside the app-specific menu, Tap Offload App.

This step uninstalls the app but keeps its documents and data. You can review the iPhone Storage section to see whether the “Other” storage space was freed up.

See also: How to Fix iPhone Storage Full? (10 ways)

6. Delete Old Voice Notes

Deleting voice memos to clear iPhone Other storage
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Voice notes record audio around the phone, typically while creating an audio log or recording notes in meetings. These audio files, just like other files, also take up space.

You can delete old or unwanted voice notes by following these steps.

  • Launch the Voice Memos app.
  • Tap Edit at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Select the notes you want to delete.
  • Then tap Delete at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • Now go to the Recently Deleted folder at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap Edit at the top right corner of the screen, tap Delete All, then tap Delete Forever to permanently delete your recordings.

7. Backup & Restore Your iPhone

One final method to free up space from the “Other” category of iPhone Storage is to reset your iPhone to the default settings.

This significant step will erase all of your content on the phone, so make sure you back up your iPhone to iCloud before you do this step.

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi internet connection.
  • Go to Settings, then tap on your Name at the top.
  • Select iCloud.
  • Turn on the switch next to the categories you want to be uploaded and saved to iCloud.
  • Scroll down and tap iCloud Backup, then switch the toggle next to it to On
  • Tap Backup Now to back up your iPhone. Allow the backup to finish.
Backing up iPhone via iCloud
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Ensure the “Last Successful Backup” displayed under the Backup Now has the most recent timestamp. Also, make sure you have enough space on your iCloud.

If you don’t, follow this guide’s instructions to free up iCloud storage space. Either way, you should have enough storage for the backup you are attempting to store in the iCloud.

Now, Let’s Reset Your iPhone

To reset your iPhone, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings, and tap General.
  • Then scroll down and tap Reset.
  • Tap Erase All Contents and Settings.
  • Select Erase Now to reset your iPhone.

The iPhone will restart, follow the regular setup procedure, and reach the Apps & Data screen.

You’ll have the option to transfer apps and data. Choose Restore from iCloud Backup and select your most recent backup.

The Restore process will start, and after a few reboots, you will return to the home screen. Your apps will be downloaded in the background.

Once all apps are downloaded, check the same location as below to ensure you have reclaimed some space from the “Other” category

  • Go to Settings, then General.
  • Tap on iPhone Storage.
  • Review the now probably reduced “Other” storage category.

Wrap-Up: Clear Other in iPhone Storage

It becomes quite a routine to keep going through these steps to salvage a few gigs of free space.

Going for a higher storage iPhone wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially if you think you would be a heavy app user or record many high-quality videos.

However, like every other piece of tech, the iPhone needs regular fine-tuning to maintain optimum performance.

If you have any feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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