Am I going mental, or does the number in the following image make no sense at all? my top 10 apps seem to account for barely ~15GB, so why is my used space so high?

So, I'm calling this a bug. The "other" section of my phone is taking up 40GB of space. I figured I'd just take a backup and restore my phone but due to there being no available space, I couldn't take a backup through iTunes. So I deleted my Spotify music, and the 40GB "other" grew almost instantly to take up the remainder of the space. I tried putting my phone into airplane more, but the button didn't put it into airplane mode - I had to restart and do it (I also temporarily lost use of my lock button and home button). I used a 3rd party tool to take a backup and deleted all my photos, and the storage has stopped growing at 42GB. Here's my iTunes screenshot for giggles:


I tried updating my iOS, nothing. I checked using iMazing at my phones directory structure (it allows you to view folder sizes) and none of my folders had 40GB, the total amounted to what my phone was reporting (~15GB).

I have no idea why it's doing it, so I'm going to go for a full restore from my newly created backup.

  • are you using iTunes match? If so, music doesn't get counted as as you would expect.
    – Tyson
    Mar 19 '15 at 12:43
  • @Tyson, nope, I'm not.
    – Prisoner
    Mar 19 '15 at 12:45
  • 1
    The sum of your apps isn't how the total is calculated. The list of apps is there so you can see what the apps are using, and that list is the one you can influence by removing an app. The big total includes everything, more than just that list of apps. iTunes might give you a slightly better insight. Mar 19 '15 at 14:53
  • 1
    The next thing I would think of is trying to make a full backup using iTunes and checking if that is the complete size. If it is: check the contents with iPhone Backup Extractor on the computer. If it is not: reset the iPhone and restore the backup. If that doesn't work: Apple should probably replace the iPhone. Mar 22 '15 at 19:25
  • 1
    I have this exact problem. I had 15-20 GB of Podcast episodes, then suddenly all of them were gone (in terms of the Podcast interface), but none of the space returned. Usage says Podcast is only 2.5 GB, but looking at On My Device > Podcasts in iTunes, there's a ton listed. I presume this is a bad bug in the Podcasts app.
    – Stiggler
    Jun 22 '15 at 15:31

Is this device older than 2 years and has never been reset?

I can't tell you exactly what to do but this article quotes some possible solutions:

  • Do you happen to send and receive a lot of messages with multimedia? that could be clogging up some of your storage especially if you set the settings to delete messages to never.

  • How much space do you seen take by the Other category? Other may include:

    If you've ever connected your iPhone to iTunes, you're well aware of the "other" stuff taking up space on your device. This data contains things like Safari's browser cache, your email, Siri's cache, reminders, notes, stocks, weather data, emails (including attachments), text messages, iMessages (including images and videos), app data, etc.

    • Check voicemails?

    • Try to reset Safari Cache and data.

EDIT: OP indicated that the issue is indeed with the "Other" category, this article has some tips on how to try and locate and free up space taken by various elements that make up this category.Also check this Apple forums thread. Download any mentioned software there after doing your own DD.

Here's what "Other" includes, in full:

Browser cache

Mail cache

Mail messages

Mail attachments

Safari's Reading List

iTunes Backups

Crud resulting from jailbreaking your iDevice

Game data

Saved data files

Call history



Voice memos

  • 2
    I've plugged in my phone and "other" is taking up 40GB, which is INSANE. I've downloaded iExpolorer and done a folder refresh to get the sizes and none of the folders contain anything over the 5.3gb used for images.
    – Prisoner
    Mar 19 '15 at 14:29
  • That is, ineed, quite insane. Please refer to the link I've added to my answer.
    – zerohedge
    Mar 20 '15 at 10:46
  • 1
    Yep, it is indeed insane. I've gone through loads of different items and cleared them and it hasn't made a difference, I even tried updating my iOS which made no difference. See the edit to my original question for a laugh.
    – Prisoner
    Mar 20 '15 at 13:00

So, after a call with Apple support, they advised trying to take a backup and restore (after they suggested doing a "clear all settings", which failed). Problem was, over the weekend this happened again and I couldn't even take a backup as the phone kept disconnecting due to the space issue. Thankfully I took a backup last week which I was able to restore from.

Basically, the only way to solve this issue was to do a complete restore from a previous backup. Absolute joke really!

  • 2
    This worked for me! I went from 64MB to 3.4GB simply by backing up, erasing, and restoring. And here I thought I might need a larger phone soon. Nov 3 '15 at 3:11
  • @Nick I hope you mean GB
    – Rob
    Nov 5 '15 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Rob To clarify, my FREE space went from 64MB to 3.4GB. No typo in my original comment. Nov 5 '15 at 14:15

I had a storage issue with my phone and learned a trick- If you manually change the date on the phone to sometime in the past (I went back about two years) you suddenly have all of the photos and videos on your phone that you thought were deleted a long time ago. Go through, delete them again, and you could free up a substantial amount of space

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .