I referenced this existing question and numerous forum threads on the internet, but still have not found a solve besides restoring the iphone. Is there any known way to decrease the "other" storage category in iOS? I am in iOS 13 w/ an iPhone 11 Pro 64GB. My "other" category is 30 GB. I have tried everything with no avail short of restoring the phone from scratch and starting over. Open to ideas...

  • 3
    Honestly when this happens to me or any of the phones I am responsible for I back up the phone (with password) to my local computer, wipe the phone and then restore from the backup. It takes some time and is an annoying procedure to have to go through but it has the benefit of working. Jul 17, 2020 at 22:18
  • if you wait a long time on the iPhone Storage screen sometimes the phone will show you what is taking up some of the space in Other. I think it scans in the background and initially shows used space up it hasn't scanned as "Other". Jan 25, 2021 at 8:09
  • I freed up 85G of "Other" space by turning off the iCloud setting in Settings→Photos (note: not the same as the Photos setting in iCloud settings!). This removed the 85G of "thumbnails" of 50G of iCloud photos.
    – unhammer
    Jun 20, 2021 at 13:01

3 Answers 3


As Steve Chambers commented - this was the ONLY thing that worked:

  • Backup phone on itunes to your local computer (not iCloud).
  • Wipe/Reset phone completely. Delete all data and settings.
  • When it comes back up, plug into your computer again (or just leave it plugged into your commputer the entire time).
  • In iTunes, click restore from backup (the one you just made locally on your computer).

It will reload all your apps and settings to nearly the exact same (I had some things that randomly didn't restore properly and had to handle myself). You'll also have to login again to some apps, but others you won't.

It also takes a long time, and is generally a pain. But, given that this problem is all over the internet including on apple forums with no response or help from the company (typical), I will depend on this in the future too!


Settings → iPhone Storage

Delete any apps you never use. Then at the bottom, "On My iPhone," look at the local files for app you do use and delete files you don't need.

Alternatively, in Finder on MacOS, plug in and select the iPhone. Go to the apps tab and look through the files different apps have stored. You can delete them, or move them to the Mac.

  • 1
    I have seen this on one case only, it’s a shot - especially if some app that’s super prevalent like a Google or a Facebook leaks storage, that this would work for a lot of people. My money is on erase / restore as the general and correct fix for this when it happens. +1 for the idea
    – bmike
    Jul 19, 2020 at 14:45

If you can upgrade to iOS 13.6.1 it should improve this situation greatly with an over the air update, no tethering or computer needed to erase and restore.

If not, the article covers the manual steps, summarized below. In either case, you need a backup for both.

  1. Erase all content and settings
  2. Restore the OS

If the first method works, you have some containers where the indexer can’t adequately report user data correctly. If Wiping the user data / user sandbox clears this in less than 20% of the cases I see, but it’s quicker.

If the second method works, the container itself needed to be erased.

The APFS filesystem is in play, so without a command line interface or custom app that likely calls private API (or a jailbreak) we can’t really know if it’s APFS snapshots or just files that are in some state that a restore is the correct way to reset and clean.

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