iPhone users are no strangers to running out of storage space since there is no option for expanded storage. Your phone will eventually fill up with files, and you’ll have to remove some to make room.
This is when the enigmatic “System Data” or “Other” folder comes into play. It does not include applications, media, photographs, or messages since your iPhone clearly indicates which folders contain those sorts of things and how much space they use. So, what’s the deal with System Data taking up so much space, and how can you get rid of it?
What Is System Data in iPhone Storage?
Basically, the System Data category on your iPhone or iPad stores caches, settings, saved messages, voice notes, and…well, anything else. Apple referred to this as Other storage in prior versions of iOS. Because these files are often too little to warrant separate classification, your iPhone or iPad places them all in the System Data or Other folder.
Renaming Other to System Data is more appropriate and less confusing, since people will have a clear understanding of what’s in the folder. Despite this, owing to the large number of files clustered together in the category, there is no straightforward method to identify and remove the contents of the folder.
But don’t be concerned; tough does not imply impossible. We’ll show you a couple solutions to this issue.
Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at how to check your iPhone storage to see whether System Data is eating up too much space.
How to View Your iPhone System Data Storage
Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to check how much space your applications and other data are eating up on your iPhone.
A bar at the top displays the total iPhone storage, as well as which data groups are using it. Below that, you’ll find a list of your phone’s applications and how much space they use up, both in terms of the programs themselves and stored data.
Because scanning and analyzing your iPhone’s storage takes time, the bar may appear after a few seconds. Even once it shows, you need wait a few seconds for it to refresh since the program list and storage sizes will change as your phone analyzes.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the program list to discover how much storage System Data consumes. On the right side of your screen, you can see how much space the category takes up. System Data should ideally be in the 5GB to 10GB range; however, if it surpasses 10GB, it has most certainly grown out of control, and you will need to clear it out.
How to Clear System Data Storage on an iPhone or iPad
We’ve established that you won’t be able to entirely empty the System Data folder on your iPhone. That is not a cause for concern. In fact, it’s preferable that way since the folder includes essential data that enhances your iOS experience.
For example, if you downloaded extra Siri voices, they will be preserved in the System Data area.
However, there are still methods for cleaning out the System Data folder on your iPhone.
1. Clear Your Safari Cache
Safari caches are one of the primary causes of excessive System Data storage. Safari keeps browser history and webpage data to speed up website loading. However, Safari’s caches are not required, and if they are taking up too much space on your iPhone, you may need to remove them to create room for other necessary objects.
To clear your Safari cache:
- Navigate to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
- Scroll to the bottom of the app list and choose Safari.
- Tap Website Data
- Tap Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the page.
2. Cut Down on Streaming If You Can
Another possible cause of your iPhone’s System Data storage getting out of hand is streaming a lot of music and video. To be clear, this is not the same thing as downloading.
Media is what you get when you download video or music through the iTunes store, TV app, or Music app. Streams, on the other hand, employ caches to assure continuous playback, which are categorised as System Data.
So, while you’re trying to free up space on your iPhone or iPad, avoid streaming or limit the amount of streaming video you consume. In the interim, you may survive on downloads.
You might also try deleting app caches from your iPhone’s storage. Specific media applications that you use to stream online material, like as YouTube, Apple Music (or other music apps), Netflix, or Podcasts, should be targeted. Then, under your storage settings, clear the data for those applications.
3. Delete Old iMessage and Mail Data
If you’re a prolific texter, the Messages app may be clogging up your storage space. You should adjust your Messages settings to store less old messages.
Messages is configured to preserve messages forever by default, but you may alter it to 1 Year or even 30 Days to reduce the amount of data cached by the Messages app.
To do so, go to Settings and choose the Messages app from the list of default applications. Scroll down to Message History and choose Keep Messages. Next, choose whether you want to keep your messages for 30 days or a year.
In addition, when you use the Mail app on your iPhone or iPad, a cache of all the documents, photographs, and videos you’ve seen is saved. This makes reloading them a second time quicker. They may, however, rapidly accumulate and take up valuable storage space. Logging out of your email account and joining in again will clean any old Mail caches.
4. Delete and Re-Install Some Apps
The bulk of applications store data that is labeled as App Data, although certain caches or data are labeled as System Data. If the Podcasts app takes up more than a couple of gigabytes of space, it’s most likely loaded with cached material.
Deleting and reinstalling the app may assist in clearing the System Data storage on your iPhone. Touch and hold an app to delete it, then tap Remove App > Delete App > Delete. Then, go to the App Store and download and reinstall the app.
5. Back Up and Erase Your iPhone
The simplest approach to eliminate extra data is to wipe your smartphone and start again. It’s quicker than attempting to find and delete program caches, and you can also get rid of weird problems that may be contributing to the storage problem.
Before you do anything else, make a backup of your iPhone or iPad. Otherwise, you will lose all of your device’s data.
Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and then press Delete All Content and Settings to erase and reset your iPhone or iPad. If you have an iCloud backup configured, iOS will offer you to update it in order to prevent losing any unsaved data.
If All Else Fails…
If you’re still receiving an out-of-storage message on your iPhone and removing data from the System Data area isn’t working, try transferring files to iCloud. This manner, you may completely remove them from your iPhone’s storage.
However, the default 5GB of free iCloud storage may not be sufficient for this, so you may need to buy more storage space from Apple.
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