I have the problem in iTunes where the "Other" data on the iPhone is excessively large. It's taking up over 5 GB of space. I've searched this topic over and over, tried just about every option I've seen, and my problem is getting bigger.

I have my daughter's iPhone 4 with 8 GB storage.

  • She only has about 11 apps on it taking up a total of 407 MB.
  • Her photos are taking up 83 MB.
  • Music is only using 6 MB

Screenshot of the Other bar

What I've tried so far:

  1. Restored the iPhone to factory, and the problem grew by 1 GB
  2. Downloaded DiskAid trial as suggested here, but I could not see what the problem was from there.
  3. I've Deleted Safari browsing history and cache, but that didn't move the needle much. probably gained 3 MB.
  4. Deleted some of the larger apps, but nothing was more than 600 MB.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

iPhone is NOT Jailbroken by the way.


Well, I'm just going to do a factory reset and set the phone up as if it were new. I'm too tired to keep trying to figure this out.

  • Is there an email account setup on this device ? How big is the backup on the computer? Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:05
  • @Lyken: No email account. Where do I find the backup?
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:08
  • In iTunes under devices you can see the backups. It should be in your Library folder. It might be a corrupt backup that isn't deleting off the phone. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:20
  • Ok, the backups folder was hidden so that drove me crazy. Looks like the backup is 5GB. Is this perhaps the problem?
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:48
  • 1
    Yes but its difficult to fix, my next suggestion would be factory reset, which you have updated. Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 6:37

5 Answers 5


Factory Reset

I ended up doing a Factory Reset to clear off the "Other" data.

The key is that since the Other seemed to be backup related, I did not restore the phone from the backup. Instead, I selected "As a new phone".

One by one, I added back her apps, music and photos, watching the Other bar like a hawk.

The Other data remains virtually gone now only taking up 430Mb.


Go to:

1) Settings App

2) General Tab

3) Usage

You should get a list of the top 10 storage consumers - does that help?

PS Is the phone Jail Broken? Could be some funny stuff being loaded on the 'dark side'... That storage would not be recognised by iTunes and could be responsible for what you describe.

  • Thanks Ewan, that's one of the first places I tried. Nothing in there was over 600mb. I deleted apps from here that were large and still no dice. The phone is not jailbroken either.
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:01

I have read that Messages contribute to 'Other' and typically Messages are kept for ever...

If your daughter was at all typical in her use you could have 100,000 messages (many with pictures?) on the phone.

Try going into Messages and deleting all the conversations except the most recent and see if that helps?

  • See item 2 here, plus some other suggestions: osxdaily.com/2013/07/24/remove-other-data-storage-iphone-ipad Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 6:54
  • I cleared the message history, recent calls, voicemail (she had none) and none of those decreased the other by very much. I ended up doing a factory reset and that cleared it off.
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 13:54
  • Thanks for the link too. I actually found that site earlier and tried those steps to no avail.
    – ckpepper02
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 14:01

I've pinpointed this to be mail related - specifically the time duration you're syncing mail. I use exchange for work mail and when I had 1 month of mail sync, "other" was at 5.5gb. I changed that to be 1 week sync and it dropped to .5 gb. Don't know if icloud or gmail are affected as well but it appears to be an issue with the default iphone email app.

I've done multiple factory resets and restored to new phone condition but the above is the only consistent solution


Try the DiskAid application. That may help you find information on what's using up space.

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