iPhone Storage > System taking 19.3GB of space. No idea why. (Update: now 21GB+ and growing)

pgharavi

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 25, 2004
255
194
Out of the blue the other day, I get a message saying I'm running out of space. This baffled me as this has never been an issue before. I tend not to have a ton of apps or media. I can't tell you what my total storage typically is, but that also speaks to how much of a non-issue it has been.

Attached is a screenshot of the biggest space hogs is (i.e., Photos @ 3GB, Messages @ 621MB, etc.).

System taking 19.3GB. I have no idea why. I've been on the most recent Public Beta since the day of release. This became an issue as of yesterday. So I have no idea what caused it or how to remedy it.

I've googled and I can't see anyone with a similar issue. Any ideas?

Thank you.
 

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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
System includes: System caches, health data, diagnostic logs and more. If you are running betas and not regularly clearing out diagnostic logs, they can consume several GB. iOS 10.0 betas consumed over 5GB in diagnostic logs for me. You can download an app on your Computer called PhoneCleaner. Give it a go. Probably get a lot back.
 
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pgharavi

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 25, 2004
255
194
System includes: System caches, health data, diagnostic logs and more. If you are running betas and not regularly clearing out diagnostic logs, they can consume several GB. iOS 10.0 betas consumed over 5GB in diagnostic logs for me. You can download an app on your Computer called PhoneCleaner. Give it a go. Probably get a lot back.
I tried "PhoneCleaner" and all that app does it clean out photos and videos. I then tried out "PhoneClean" and it can't read my iPhone - it keeps asking me to plug it into my laptop even though it already is.

I already checked in the Settings > Privacy and everything that is related to logging is off. I think you're right though.

Any other ideas?
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
I tried "PhoneCleaner" and all that app does it clean out photos and videos. I then tried out "PhoneClean" and it can't read my iPhone - it keeps asking me to plug it into my laptop even though it already is.

I already checked in the Settings > Privacy and everything that is related to logging is off. I think you're right though.

Any other ideas?
That's very weird about PhoneClean (that's the proper app I double checked when I got home). Have you tried rebooting phone and computer? It's the only way I know to fully purge diagnostic files.
 
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pgharavi

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 25, 2004
255
194
That's very weird about PhoneClean (that's the proper app I double checked when I got home). Have you tried rebooting phone and computer? It's the only way I know to fully purge diagnostic files.
If I delete an app (or offload it), "System" storage metastasizes and grows in space. It's now at 21GB. A few days ago it was at like 15GB. I've rebooted and closed everything, multiple times.

This is wild.

I do have PhoneClean scanning right now.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
If I delete an app (or offload it), "System" storage metastasizes and grows in space. It's now at 21GB. A few days ago it was at like 15GB. I've rebooted and closed everything, multiple times.

This is wild.

I do have PhoneClean scanning right now.
Sounds like the apps are not deleting properly and the documents and data associated with the app is storing to system storage. It seems like the data is being saved and only the app is being removed. That's a feature in iOS 11, right? So maybe a bug?
 

vertsix

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2015
1,249
1,970
DO NOT use PhoneClean. Used it once and corrupted my media and photo libraries. I suggest restoring from backup or as new.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
DO NOT use PhoneClean. Used it once and corrupted my media and photo libraries. I suggest restoring from backup or as new.
Something must have gone wrong. The only thing you need to run is the quick clean. This clears diagnostic logs and cached files. I've been using it once a week for 4+ years and have never once had an issue.
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,231
592
Tokyo, Japan
Hmm ... I’ve got 8.49GB of System on my my iPhone 7+ ... that’s not counting iCloud data (214GB) because I can also see my un-optimized Photos storage (I want full-res pics and fully downloaded videos stored locally) as taking 153GB of my 256GB phone.

That 8.49GB of System seems a bit excessive to me. Not as bad as the OP but still - that’s a couple of 1080p movies ...
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
A freshly installed version of iOS on my iPad Air 2 without any apps has a system size of 6GB. That's iOS and probably formatting loss. Cause remember, 64GB isn't really 64GB. It's more like 60GB. So 4GB on formatting and 2GB on iOS.
 

Cayden

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2014
793
386
Utah
Just checked on my iPad and it said 27 GB but I reloaded the settings app and it now shows 10 GB, which is still a pretty large amount, seems like there’s a bug surrounding this
 

pgharavi

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 25, 2004
255
194
I had to erase everything and restore via iCloud. PhoneClean didn’t find anything other than typical, little clutter.

I’ve been up and running since last night with no changes. System storage is at 9GB. On a 32GB 7+ and I still have 10 GB free.

Crazy that it swallowed all that space and I still never figured out what or why. Betas gonna beta!
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,017
3,900
There is at least one way to stack system storage: corrupted iTunes sync or iCloud photos. My system size could easily stack to over 100 GB if iTunes sync is going wrong and I have enough empty space on device (witnessed 20GB System size before just by retrying syncing music).

Logs is also a huge space hogger, and by far there is no solid way to remove them from device. I am not sure if turning off diagnostics could recycle some space tho.

Therefore, if something is storing on the device while iOS can not categorize it in normal way, it will likely be categorized as system files.

Right now, the best cure is regular factory reset.
 
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awp69

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2017
110
36
Glad to see I’m not the only one having this issue. It’s been horrible for me because the system space is causing the storage to get completely full. I delete or “offload” a large app to try to get it back under control and it fills back up within a few hours.

I tried several cleaners and looked through the logs a bit to see if I could see exactly what is causing it with no luck.

Does anyone think that maybe the next beta could fix the problem rather than doing a factory reset?

Mine is up to over 27 GB.
 
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twanj

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
744
911
Pompano Beach, FL
I'm having this issue too.

System at 28.47 GB.

I deleted some larger apps & it filled up within minutes.

I tried to report the issue with Feedback but it won't work because there's no space :(
 

awp69

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2017
110
36
So are those who are doing a factory reset restoring from backup and going back to iOS 11 PB 3? And the issue is not occurring again?

If anyone finds ANY solution (preferably without a factory reset), please post.

I can deal with all kinds of other bugs but this is definitely not one of them since the entire storage gets filled. I’m now at 30+ GB in system storage.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
So are those who are doing a factory reset restoring from backup and going back to iOS 11 PB 3? And the issue is not occurring again?

If anyone finds ANY solution (preferably without a factory reset), please post.

I can deal with all kinds of other bugs but this is definitely not one of them since the entire storage gets filled. I’m now at 30+ GB in system storage.
Until the root cause is found, there won't be anything you can do but factory reset. My Air 2 is still at 6GB (same as fresh install) but I don't know how long it will last. I am monitoring it though. My guess is, its all beta related.
 

twanj

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
744
911
Pompano Beach, FL
Has anyone been able to report this to Apple? Like I said, for me Feedback is broken because all my space is taken up.

From the amount of comments, I'd guess it isn't too widespread unless it's building up & going to be hitting a lot of people coming up. But it would be good for Apple to know.
 

pgharavi

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 25, 2004
255
194
So are those who are doing a factory reset restoring from backup and going back to iOS 11 PB 3? And the issue is not occurring again?

If anyone finds ANY solution (preferably without a factory reset), please post.

I can deal with all kinds of other bugs but this is definitely not one of them since the entire storage gets filled. I’m now at 30+ GB in system storage.
That’s exactly right, unfortunately. It’s been a couple days now and the metastasizing System storage has yet to return.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
Has anyone been able to report this to Apple? Like I said, for me Feedback is broken because all my space is taken up.

From the amount of comments, I'd guess it isn't too widespread unless it's building up & going to be hitting a lot of people coming up. But it would be good for Apple to know.
Have you tried syncing with iTunes to offload log files?
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
10,017
3,900
Have you tried syncing with iTunes to offload log files?
I sync with iTunes frequently (2-4 days between each sync) and it never deletes the log upon each sync. I can still see it on the device regardless.
For beta I can understand. But I am not sure if it will be deleted automatically when iOS 11 is officially released.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,535
9,080
Ventura County
I sync with iTunes frequently (2-4 days between each sync) and it never deletes the log upon each sync. I can still see it on the device regardless.
For beta I can understand. But I am not sure if it will be deleted automatically when iOS 11 is officially released.
Well typically when the GM comes out its a full installer which will remove all logs and beta stuff. But thats where PhoneClean comes in. Last year I got over 5GB back from log files from PhoneClean.
 
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