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 be happening, but the likeliest one is that your device may simply 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 guide assumes that your iPhone and/or iPad are updated to the latest version of iOS: iOS version 13.2. Older iOS versions may work slightly differently than the most current.

What Is 'Other' on iPhone?

'Other' is how your iPhone or iPad decides to categorize data that’s basically used or leftover by other apps. Essentially, 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 simply deleting data inside the app or deleting the app altogether. But, as you'll see below, 'Other' doesn't have a delete button so you have to do a little investigating. So clearing out the 'Other' category is a little trial and error, but we'll show you the best way to go about it.

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

Here's how to get an overview of what's being stored on your device.

  1. Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. This works the exact same on both devices. When you find it, tap Settings to get it started.

  2. In the Settings app, tap on General. You may need to scroll down slightly to see it.

  3. In General, tap on iPhone Storage. This is where you’ll 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 even delete apps (and some files) from here so you don't have to go back to the home screen.

    How to see what apps are using storage on iPhone.
  4. In your iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, you’ll see how iPhone Storage Other and iPad Storage Other are divided against Photos, Apps, Messages, and Media. Here, you can get a clear picture of whether iPhone Storage Other is eating up a significant amount of space or not.

There are multiple paths that you can choose to take to clear up storage space at this point. The easiest thing to do would be to enable Offload Unused Apps, which could minimize 'Other' without any extra fuss. But you may decide that this isn’t enough and that you’d also like to delete certain specific files that eat up too much storage space in the Apps, Photos, and Media sections.

While you’re in the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen, you can also individually delete large Message attachments. To do this, tap on the option located directly to the right of Recommendations, called Show All then Review Large Attachments. There, you can scroll through and manually delete Message attachments. They’re automatically ordered by size, from largest to smallest. By selecting Edit on the top right corner of the screen, you can select multiple Attachments at once for deletion.

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 will be deleted, but all the data associated with the app and the app icon will be retained. To reinstall the app later, just tap the icon and, assuming you have a data connection, the app will download 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, select the option called Offload Unused Apps.

  2. Next, scroll to the bottom of the iPhone Storage or iPad Storage screen and look for the Other option. Select that next.

  3. You should now see a reduction in the amount of space 'Other' is using.

    The location of the Other storage option in iOS.

If you still want to free up more space, you can look into what Apple calls 'offloading.' Basically it deletes the app from your system but not the data associated with that app. This way, you can simply download the app again and pick up where you left off.

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, you can scroll down and view each app listed from top to bottom by largest to smallest (in that order). Choose an app that you’d like to get rid of, then tap on it.

  2. On the next screen, you can see how the specific app in question distributes its load across Apps, Photos, Media, and Other. You can either choose to Offload this specific app, or you can simply delete it.

    Where to find the Offload App option on iOS

    Offloading an app won’t delete the app's data. It simply 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 simply 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 very top of the menu 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 Your Safari Cache

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

  1. Tap Settings on your home screen.

  2. Select General.

  3. Tap iPhone Storage or iPad Storage.

  4. Scroll through the list of apps and tap Safari.

  5. Tap into Website Data. Tap Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the screen.

  6. Back out to Safari.

  7. In Safari, left-swipe the Offline Reading List and select the Delete option to delete files stored in the Offline Reading List.

    How to clear the cache in Safari.