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What is the mysterious ‘other’ storage that’s clogging up your iPhone?

Published Feb 15th, 2016 10:45PM EST
iPhone Other Storage Explained

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Have you ever looked at your iPhone’s storage and noticed that a sizable chunk of it is taken up by a mysterious block that’s only labelled ‘other’? Christian Zibreg of iDownloadBlog has and he recently went on a quest to discover once and for all the contents of the “other” storage that you have on your iPhone and iPad.

FROM EARLIER: This app lets you play N64, PS1 and GBA games on your iPhone without a jailbreak

According to Apple, your iOS device’s “other” storage consists of the following:

  • Device settings
  • Siri voices
  • High-quality VoiceOver voices
  • System data
  • Cached files

Zibreg says that of these different categories, cached files are the ones that take up the most space on your device. It’s pretty obvious why this could possibly take up a lot of storage, as Apple says that “when you stream music or video, that content is stored as cached files on your iOS device.” So if you stream a lot of songs or TV shows, that could possibly take up a lot of other space for a temporary time.

This can get tricky because there isn’t a good way to see how most of your apps are caching data, which makes it harder to free up storage on your device by getting rid of unwanted caches.

“Because the amount of device storage wasted on the ‘Other’ category cannot be directly checked out in iOS, less experienced users may be left scratching their head, puzzled as to why their reported free storage isn’t higher,” writes Zibreg.

The entire iDownloadBlog analysis of “other” data is worth your time and can be found at this link.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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