I had over 4 GB worth of photos on my phone and a month ago I deleted them all.

As of recently, the 1600 or so photos in the "recently deleted" album were automatically deleted. The usage section in the Settings app says that I still have over 1800 photos and that I only have 1.5 GB of space left on the device.

As far as I can tell I have less than 100 photos left in the Photos app.

I've rebooted my phone and even hooked it up to iTunes but nothing helps. Any way to fix this other than completely erasing everything and going back to factory settings?


I have found that in certain circumstances IOS hold on to data it should not, the fix is pretty easy if annoying and a little time consuming.

  1. Back up the phone to your local computer. If it asks to back up apps, do that too
  2. Unplug the phone from your computer
  3. Go into Settings -> General -> Reset and tap on "erase all content and settings"
  4. Your phone will do its thing for a few minutes, likely reboot.
  5. When it is done, plug it back into the computer, bring up iTunes and it should ask if you want to set it up as new or restore from a backup
  6. Click restore from backup, select the backup you just did and wait for that to complete.

I did say "annoying and a little time consuming?" Right?

If there is another method that is easier or less time consuming I'd love to know, but this has always worked for me when the phone has a lot of space consumed by stuff that should not be there.

  • There are a bunch of apps that delete unused space. One I remember that's free is battery doctor. You should check it (or another similar app) before restoring the phone, since these apps really work. – lnjuanj Jan 10 '15 at 22:21

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