I am trying to update my wife's iPhone from iOS 7 (.x.x) to 8 (the latest). I was trying through iTunes because the iPhone says only around 300MB is available. iTunes shows around 7GB as available space. But when I hit update, it complains that at least 770MB should be available and it is not.

Is this a known issue that iTunes reports a larger available space than iOS? I have read about the "Other" storage space problem, but this is about "Free" space.

Also, is there a workaround to reclaim this "free" space?

This is a iPhone 5S, latest iTunes ( on OSX Yosemite (10.10.1)




7 Answers 7


I had the same problem too. My iPhone 6 showed free memory at less than 200mb and iTunes showed more than 5.6GB.

To correct this problem: go to your device (iPhone) and go to settings, iTunes & App Store, click on your Apple ID and select Sign Out. Go back and Sign in again. This is a lot simpler than restoring your backup.

  • I had the opposite problem: The iPhone showed several GiB of free space, while iTunes claimed that it was already full (and did not sync all mp3s of all albums). Logging out from iCloud and back in again helped, indeed!
    – hans_meine
    May 13, 2018 at 8:35
  • The reason that works is because your iTunes Music will be deleted when you sign out. When you sign back in, you won't have any of the music you added to your playlists. It will still exist, just not on your phone so be aware of that.
    – kakubei
    Aug 2, 2018 at 14:40
  • Didn't work for me.
    – RoG
    Aug 29, 2018 at 17:31
  • Did not work for me either. Showing 30GB of "other."
    – Shackrock
    Jul 17, 2020 at 20:34

Are you using iTunes Match? If so, turn it off. Any locally cached files will be purged. iTunes doesn't see the Match downloaded music but only what it is configured to sync. I think this is why you see usage difference between the phone and iTunes.

  • 1
    Thanks for the response. She does not use iTunes match, it is not on.
    – Nivas
    Dec 21, 2014 at 1:00

To clear out 'ghost' space from iOS devices, first backup your device to iCloud [Fully] then wipe the device & restore from your most recent backup.

iCloud does not backup any of the 'ghost' space & therefore does not restore it either.


This may have happened if you recently deleted a bunch of photos from your phone. Oftentimes, when you delete a large amount of pictures from the Photos app, the amount of actual free space does not show up, and it shows a smaller amount of space available than you actually have. Maybe, if you haven't tried this yet, you could 'hard reboot/reset' your phone. This won't delete anything. To hard reboot, you need to hold down the power button and home button until the phone turns off and then shows the apple logo. If this doesn't work, there is a great Mac application called PhoneClean that deletes a bunch of cache files and the likes from your phone, freeing up a lot of space. On my first time, I got as much as 700mb of free space on my 16gb iPad from this application, so give it a try.

  • Please see the help center regarding self-promotion and make sure you disclose if you are affiliated with a product.
    – grg
    Aug 9, 2015 at 14:34

You might want to try out the third-party Mac application PhoneExpander. This can clear the cache of your iPhone and free up some space.


Join Apple beta and you can get cuter iOS updates and have a decketed out phone without jailbreak and it will work also


A simple solution: sign out from icloud, then sign in, all the "ghost" memory space will be back.

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