Help! For the past year, it seems that enabling the "iCloud Photo Library" feature on my phone causes the entire phone's storage to fill with "System".

I've checked the Storage summary and Photos is currently using 278.2 MB. Scrolling all the way down shows System as using 15.13 GB.

Nothing helps with clearing this storage other than restoring my phone. The second I enable 'iCloud Photo Library' the entire phone's remaining storage begins to fill-up.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Any ideas on how to fix this?

  • 1
    This issue no longer occurs on my device, so I couldn't tell you.
    – Trent
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


In Settings > Photos > Turn on Optimize iPhone Storage. This should prevent full resolution photos from being stored on your device and should remove content from local storage when your device fills up.

  • 1
    Doesn't work! In fact, that setting does not even display as I have iCloud Photo Library disabled.
    – Trent
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:48
  • What happens when you re-enable iCloud Photo Library and enable that setting?
    – zdub
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:59
  • Nothing. Still have > 95% of storage categorized as Other, with System at 15.25 GB.
    – Trent
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 21:01
  • 1
    Other is generally not photos. Try this: Back up your phone to your Mac (use a password on the backup!). Wipe the phone "Erase all Content and Settings." Restore the phone from the backup you just made. I'll bet a lot of that "Other" is gone. Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 23:56
  • Correct, that did work; however, I've done that before and the phone fills up again.
    – Trent
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:15

It feels like they collecting your metadata then upload it to their servers if you don’t have a good WiFi connection or only mobile it’s harder to upload so they keep it on your phone if you connect it to iTunes your metadata will be able to upload faster also with the developing new technology of metadata collection there’s probably a huge bottle neck so you have to affect the priority mechanism somehow

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