How to Free Up Space on an iPhone or iPad?

iPads and iPhones don’t have file systems you can see, but there are still apps and files eating up space. You can see exactly what’s consuming that limited space and free it up.

Each bit of data on your device is associated with an app. For example, downloaded Kindle eBooks are tied to the Kindle app. Music files are part of the Music app, videos are part of the Videos app, and photos are part of the Photos app.

View Per-App Storage Usage

Your device’s Usage screen shows an overview of the storage space used on your device and exactly how much each app is using. Open the Settings app, select the General category, and tap Usage to view it.

The number displayed to the right of each app includes the app’s application files, cached documents and data, and media files. Tap the app to view exactly what part of the app is using up the space.

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Delete Apps

Free up space by removing apps. Games are particularly large, so your installed games will probably appear near the top of your Usage list. Tap an app in the list and tap Delete App to remove it from your device.

You can always reinstall the app later. Just visit the app store, search for the app, and download it again. If the app uses iCloud syncing or its own user account system, your saved settings and data may be accessible even when you reinstall the app later.

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Clear an App’s Documents & Data

Some apps have quite a bit of space used by their “Documents & Data.” In the screenshot below, the Pocket app itself is using up 37.4 MB, while its documents and data are using up a comparatively whopping 191 MB.

what-is-documents-and-data-in-storage-usage

An app’s Documents & Data include any documents and other files the app has downloaded or created. For example, the Pocket app’s Documents & Data include offline copies of articles in our Pocket queue. The Amazon Kindle app’s Documents & Data include any eBooks you’ve downloaded for use offline. Google Chrome’s Documents & Data include your settings and Chrome’s browser cache.

You can’t actually clear an app’s Documents & Data from this screen. Instead, you’ll need to either delete the app and reinstall it or clear the an app’s temporary data from within the app. For example, you can open the Settings screen in Pocket and tap Clear Downloaded Files to remove offline copies of downloaded articles. This will reduce the Pocket app’s Documents & Data usage. Not every app has this sort of option, so you may have to delete and re-install an app if it’s using too much space for its temporary data.

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