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Since iOS 1 I have always lost Gigs of storage to the "Other" category on my iPhone.

I have cleared my Safari data, told my phone not to sync music, apps and just about every other syncable option and yet I still find myself loosing 2-4 gigs of storage after about a month of use.

I have read that the issue lies in the way iOS and iTunes handle deleting data, incomplete synchronization and building the iTunes library on the Phone.

The "Other" Section in iTunes normally does contain 70 - 200 MBs for system information but 2-4 gigs is clearly an error. How can I fix this or am I stuck Restoring my phone every month?

Problem Details:

  • iTunes is up to date and I have tried on both OS X 10.6.x and 10.7.x
  • Have Had issue with iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, iPad and iPod touch 2nd Gen.
  • Devices are not and have not been jailbroken
  • Application data has been accounted for
  • Safari Data has been cleared
  • 5.1GB Audio/0.01GB Photos 3.1GB Apps/0.04GB Books
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Other also includes SQL lite databases and any information stored in apps on the phone, although this wouldn't take up gigs of data and then not gigs of data. You will also find emails, contacts, iCal events and reminders all under the other category. –  Graeme Hutchison Jan 16 '12 at 16:00
    
I'm sorry I was vague when i said application data has been accounted for. I have cleared the email and text information and clicking on usage lets you know the application data size for each application so I added them before I cleared the data. I am convinced the problem lies with deleting applications that have not yet been downloaded to itunes and incomplete syncing –  Jason Ginsberg Jan 16 '12 at 16:10
    
I've got 3.5Gb of "Other". That seems more than excessive! –  Paul Tomblin Sep 18 '12 at 20:06

5 Answers 5

I cleared 2gb of "other" space by using DiskAid to dig into the file system of the phone and clear out corrupted data.

WARNING - this may be dangerous, use extreme caution. If in doubt, don't.

Once diskaid is installed and running, click the file system menu on the left to expand the folders on the right. When looking around, I found a 2gb file in applicationarchives related to a program that I know didn't download correctly, and had since been deleted. Removing the file freed up the "other" space.

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Can you include the path, I will take a look via iFile on the device itself –  Jason Ginsberg Jan 31 '12 at 0:40
    
All diskaid will tell me is Media\ApplicationArchives. Hope that helps. –  tenpn Jan 31 '12 at 11:36
    
I looked under DCPM and found pics were the source of the problem. I transferred it to computer using diskaid and cleared 2 gig –  user28641 Sep 6 '12 at 0:33

I have been looking into this issue for a long time and it would seem that the problems lie in the textlogs. If you like to save all of your text conversations and your contacts like to send you pics and movies then your other data will fill up with this you can also save a lot of space by deleting your voicemail and deleting the trash and old messages.

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Good catch if you have people sending you videos and large amounts of multimedia SMS/iMessage. –  bmike Sep 25 '12 at 19:02

I had 3.5Gb of "Other", so I did a wipe and restore, and now I have 0.62Gb of "Other".

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Settings > General > Usage then click Music and swipe to delete, then restart your phone. I tried this, and it worked!!! All my music is still in place, but now I have an additional 3GB of space and the 'other' section has been reduced to next to nothing. I'm stunned. Happy, but stunned. –  user30335 Sep 19 '12 at 17:13
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This is the easiest way to clear things. Other is orphaned files, temporary working files from apps and any missing space due to file system corruption. The restore wipes things clean and allows you to just reload the files you need. –  bmike Sep 20 '12 at 0:43
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@user30335's solution actually worked for me brilliantly: deleting my library and re-syncing is all that I needed. In the past I've used the wipe and restore method as well, so an upvote for paul as well :) –  Nolen Royalty Jun 6 at 0:59

Figured it out in my case, with iTunes Match installed go to Settings > General > Usage then click Music and swipe to delete, then restart your phone.

All your music is still there and other is cleared. This can also help in traditional sync if your phone is confused and has music from more than one computer. This isn't supposed to happen, so the system no longer cleans older music up and this is less destructive than a total erase/restore.

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Could you explain to me how deleting your music doesn't delete your music? –  Andrew Larsson Jul 24 '12 at 20:31

I believe the 2-4 gigs (more on that below) are the OS itself as well as logs, data receipts, and other files that are created as you use your device. All of these files add up, with the OS being the bulk of the "Other".

Also, you are correct that 4 gigs seems a bit high and it is likely an error. I have had the problem of iTunes miscalculating how much storage I actually have left. Sometimes, the best solution is to go to the Apple Store's Genius Bar. They will be able to give you a much clearer answer than I.

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The way that the iPhones disk architecture is set up has a seperate section for the Phones OS which is why on a 16 gig phone youy capacity is only 13.60. Other stores the system logs like you said but can also store text and email data. The problem is when you interupt a sync logs get corrupted. a big issue is if you delete an app that you havent downloaded to your computer, then sync your phone and disconnect before your machine deletes it since the phone stores the application data until it can transfer it to the mac. I know the causes I just want a solution that doesn't require root access. –  Jason Ginsberg Jan 16 '12 at 16:08
    
I see what you mean. However, 2.4 gigs is set aside for the OS. The problem here, I think we can agree, is when the OS needs to store system data (logs and "text" are not the user's problem and shouldn't intrude on their space, especially not upwards of a few hundred MB) and the reserved 2.4 gigs is not enough. Nevertheless, turn on automatic app downloads on your Mac so that when you download an app on your iOS device, it doesn't need to sync back to your computer. As for interrupting a sync, don't do it. With iOS 5 you can use your phone while it's syncing. –  aTheatreMan Jan 16 '12 at 16:29

protected by gentmatt Sep 21 '12 at 22:08

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