How to Delete 'Other' on iPhone and iPad

Steps to help open up storage space

If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, the likelihood is that you’ve run out of storage space before. There are multiple reasons that this could happen, but the likeliest one is that your device may be racking up too many miscellaneous files including data caches, cookies, and other files left over by the various apps installed on your system.

This information applies to iPhones running iOS 13 or iOS 14 and iPads with iPadOS 13 or iPadOS 14. Older iOS versions may work slightly differently.

What Is 'Other' on iPhone?

"Other" is how your iPhone or iPad categorizes data that’s basically used or leftover by other apps. It’s a category for cached files that aren’t currently in use. They’re not necessarily trash because they might have some important information an app may want to pull from in the future. They’re categorized as iPhone Storage Other and iPad Storage Other because they don’t currently apply to an app that’s in use.

How to Get Rid of 'Other' on iPhone

It's easy to free up space on your iOS device by deleting data inside an app or deleting the app altogether. However, clearing out the Other category is a trial and error process. Here's the best way to go about it.

What's Taking Up All the Space on Your iPhone or iPad?

First, get an overview of what's being stored on your device.

  1. Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap Settings.

  2. In the Settings app, tap General.

  3. Select iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage). This is where you go for everything storage-related on your iPhone or iPad, and it’s a great way to quickly find out what’s eating up a lot of space. Not only can you see the amount of data being stored, you can delete apps (and some files) from here so you don't have to go back to the home screen.

    Path to iPhone Storage screen

    In the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, you can see how the storage is divided among photos, apps, messages, and media. Here, you can get a clear picture of whether the Other category at the bottom of the screen is eating up a significant amount of space. This figure fluctuates depending on the system needs, and it is unlikely you can delete it entirely, but you may be able to reduce it.

There are multiple paths that you can choose to take to clear up storage space at this point. The easiest thing to do is to enable Offload Unused Apps, which can minimize Other without any extra fuss. You can also remove photos, videos and large message attachments in this screen in the Review Large Attachments section or the Review Downloaded Videos section. You can also view which apps take up the most space with an option to delete them individually.

How to Clear Storage Space by Offloading All Unused Apps

Offloading is a way to remove part of the data associated with an app without losing all the data that it has stored. When you offload an app, for example, the app is deleted, but all the data associated with the app and the app icon is retained. To reinstall the app later, just tap the icon and, assuming you have a data connection, the app downloads, and you can pick up where you left off. Here's how to offload unused apps:

  1. On the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, locate the Offload Unused Apps section. It tells you how much storage space you can save by enabling this feature. To turn it on, tab Enable.

  2. Tap Enable to turn on Offload Unused Apps.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen and look for the Other option. You should now see a reduction in the amount of space Other is using.

    The Storage screen with Offload Unused Apps enabled

How to Clear Storage Space by Deleting Large Attachments

It is likely that you have some large email attachments on your iPhone or iPad that you no longer need. In the storage screen, your device has selected several for your review.

  1. In the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, tap Review Large Attachments.

  2. Tap the Edit button at the top of the Attachments screen.

  3. Tap the circle next to each item you want to delete to select it and then tap the trash can to complete the deletion.

    Large attachment screens with deletion option

How to Clear Storage Space by Offloading Specific Apps

You can also offload apps that you think are eating your storage space. To offload specific apps:

  1. On the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, scroll down and view each app listed by storage space from largest at the top to smallest at the bottom. Choose an app that you don't need to keep and tap on it.

  2. On the next screen, you can see details on the specific app in question. You can either choose to Offload this specific app, or you can simply delete it.

    Offload App option on iOS

    Offloading an app doesn’t delete the app's data. It archives and compresses files categorized under iPhone Storage Other or iPad Storage Other, making it easy for you to retrieve them again as needed. Some things like history caches, bookmarks, and saved passwords may not be retained after an app is offloaded. If you’re uninterested in ever using an app again, you may as well delete the app in question.

Once you’re finished offloading and/or deleting apps in iPhone or iPad Storage, you can scroll back to the top of the screen to see how your progress is going. You’ll know you’re successful in clearing up storage space when your iPhone or iPad storage distribution contains less storage space distributed to the Other category—or none, if you chose to Offload Unused Apps. You should now have more free space to use however you’d like on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Clear the Safari Cache

Another way you can open up more storage space on your iPhone or iPad is by clearingthe Website Data and Offline Reading List from Safari.

  1. Scroll through the list of apps on the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen and tap Safari.

  2. Tap Website Data in the Safari information screen.

  3. Tap Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the screen.

    Path to Remove All Website Data
  4. Back out to the Safari information screen and left-swipe the Offline Reading List. Select Delete to remove any saved reading list items.