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

Mcmeowmers

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2015
421
262
Is there a fix for this yet? Becoming a problem for me as well. I offloaded a ton of photos from my iPhone into my MacBook and then deleted them from my phone. Instead of the space being freed up on the phone, it instead is being used as Other storage now ... ? Screen shots included.

So now I can’t use iCloud (free level) to backup my phone because is saying there are 16gb being used when really I’m operating somewhere around 2-3gb.

Halp!
How about mine - 45% of used space as "other"
 

Attachments

LifeTek

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2018
1
0
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.
[doublepost=1526137786][/doublepost]For most ...the solution is an easy one...if you have Facebook app on your phone...it will use up huge chunks of storage logging and temp files...as an example ...my phone showed Facebook taking 2.6GB...however after deleting Facebook app...you must go through Settings...General ...Storage...Apps...Facebook..delete...I actually recovered 8.5 GB ...you can watch that bar drop ..and bring back your space...whole thing takes about 2 minutes...then download FB app again from App Store...and your good to go...phone much faster as well...
 

RobaxMan

Suspended
May 1, 2018
159
152
I can't figure out how iPhone storage works. Last week I was looking through Storage and noticed the Apple Mail App was using 3.2GB of space - simply amazing since there was absolutely no mail being stored anywhere on the App. Erased the App, downloaded a "new" copy of the App and it's now at 2.1MB - just where it should be.
 

Gonzalogs

macrumors newbie
May 19, 2018
1
0
I had until 2 minutes, 24 gb of system storage. I “deleted” downloaded songs from spotify. Spotify storage reduced around 10 gb. System storage increases 10 mb. Total storage space remained the same...
 

getrektnerekt

macrumors newbie
May 25, 2018
1
0
I solved this problemo,

0. Backup your stuff from "Files" app.
1. Delete your "Files" app.
2. Re-install your "Files" app.

I had 30 gigs of space being used when I did not have anything in "Files" app.
Also emptied the "recently deleted" folder.
LOL

Enjoy!!
 

DSarakas

macrumors newbie
Dec 26, 2012
1
0
I solved this problemo,

0. Backup your stuff from "Files" app.
1. Delete your "Files" app.
2. Re-install your "Files" app.

I had 30 gigs of space being used when I did not have anything in "Files" app.
Also emptied the "recently deleted" folder.
LOL

Enjoy!!
I have this issue with System storage currently taking up 23gb but I don't even have the Files app downloaded. So no, you didn't solve it lol. Sorry.
 

pssker

macrumors newbie
Jul 13, 2018
1
0
This bug is insane, my system storage currently shows 27.06 GB of used space, and there is no way to clean it, no matter how many times you sync the phone with iTunes.
How did you clean them up from iPhone ? I think this may be the wrong way to clean it up .
This is the method that I often use, but there are no problems like yours .
Step 1:Sync the phone to iTunes
Step 2:Clean up iPhone : https://www.safewiper.com/tutorials/delete-everything-on-iphone.html
 
Last edited:

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
The very nature of 'other' and some peoples need to have as much free space wasted as possible is a fire that literally fuels itself.

First, "Other" is just things that don't fit into the other predefined categories. So it could literally be anything that isn't listed.

Second, "System" is deleted data on the flash that hasn't been overwritten yet. This is the way this type of storage works, if you delete something the storage is marked as available to be overwritten. Its not actually deleted because that causes unnecessary wear of the NAND chip(s).

Now here is the problem, "System" falls into the "Other" category. So the more stuff you delete to try to "save space" (still not sure what its being saved for) the larger the "Other" category gets because its "System" data now....

iOS tries to intelligently use the available blocks with data that is similar to avoid unnecessary wear again. So "Other" isn't used back up immediately which is why it is marked as "System" to begin with and not included with your available storage.

This is easy for me to demonstrate....(click the images for larger view)

IMG_0449.png

Above is a near fresh install from an iCloud back up on my iPad. Notice there is very little "Other" space but keep in mind TV is using 7.78gb

IMG_0450.png

Scrolling down and you can see "System" is also barely using anything as seen above.


Now I'm going to delete the movies in the TV app.

IMG_0451.png

Notice that "Other" shoots way up. And where did it go?

IMG_0452.png

It went to "System" of course because again like mentioned the data is still there just ready to be overwritten in a more intelligent fashion then your available space.



So what I'm going to do is sync 2 different movies that are more than the 8.23gb used by "System" above. Since they are two large files they should be able to be utilized by iOS to overwrite the old movies.


And what do you know like magic the "Other" space is completely gone!

IMG_0453.png

And since I used larger movies than the originals "System" is completely gone!

IMG_0454.png

There is no reason to be concerned with "Other" or "System", its either files that don't fit into one of the several categories or it is free space iOS is trying to handle itself for wear prevention. Let it do its thing. Attempts to circumvent this are harder on the NAND, use more power and overall is just a waste of your time.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,443
4,427
The very nature of 'other' and some peoples need to have as much free space wasted as possible is a fire that literally fuels itself.

First, "Other" is just things that don't fit into the other predefined categories. So it could literally be anything that isn't listed.

Second, "System" is deleted data on the flash that hasn't been overwritten yet. This is the way this type of storage works, if you delete something the storage is marked as available to be overwritten. Its not actually deleted because that causes unnecessary wear of the NAND chip(s).

Now here is the problem, "System" falls into the "Other" category. So the more stuff you delete to try to "save space" (still not sure what its being saved for) the larger the "Other" category gets because its "System" data now....

iOS tries to intelligently use the available blocks with data that is similar to avoid unnecessary wear again. So "Other" isn't used back up immediately which is why it is marked as "System" to begin with and not included with your available storage.

This is easy for me to demonstrate....(click the images for larger view)

View attachment 770516

Above is a near fresh install from an iCloud back up on my iPad. Notice there is very little "Other" space but keep in mind TV is using 7.78gb

View attachment 770517

Scrolling down and you can see "System" is also barely using anything as seen above.


Now I'm going to delete the movies in the TV app.

View attachment 770518

Notice that "Other" shoots way up. And where did it go?

View attachment 770519

It went to "System" of course because again like mentioned the data is still there just ready to be overwritten in a more intelligent fashion then your available space.



So what I'm going to do is sync 2 different movies that are more than the 8.23gb used by "System" above. Since they are two large files they should be able to be utilized by iOS to overwrite the old movies.


And what do you know like magic the "Other" space is completely gone!

View attachment 770520

And since I used larger movies than the originals "System" is completely gone!

View attachment 770521

There is no reason to be concerned with "Other" or "System", its either files that don't fit into one of the several categories or it is free space iOS is trying to handle itself for wear prevention. Let it do its thing. Attempts to circumvent this are harder on the NAND, use more power and overall is just a waste of your time.
When there's not enough free space to download things one actually wants on their iPad because of "Others", then yes, it matters. Besides, we're not exactly running an OLTP server on the iPad. NAND wear is pretty negligible.

I have a 512GB iPad and 20GB on iCloud Photos (full quality). Apparently, iCloud Photos starts bugging you to use "Optimize Storage" when free space drops below 10%. Others is currently at ~40GB and I only need 10GB so it would stop bugging me about my photos (which even at full resolution only uses up a very small portion of storage all things considered).
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,586
1,886
When there's not enough free space to download things one actually wants on their iPad because of "Others", then yes, it matters. Besides, we're not exactly running an OLTP server on the iPad. NAND wear is pretty negligible.

I have a 512GB iPad and 20GB on iCloud Photos (full quality). Apparently, iCloud Photos starts bugging you to use "Optimize Storage" when free space drops below 10%. Others is currently at ~40GB and I only need 10GB so it would stop bugging me about my photos (which even at full resolution only uses up a very small portion of storage all things considered).
Yes that is a problem if other space isn’t being used. For me the vast majority of it is, the rest is data that isn’t defined into one of those categories. I guess the solution would be for Apple to label it better? You can always look down the list of items to see what can be deleted.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,443
4,427
Yes that is a problem if other space isn’t being used. For me the vast majority of it is, the rest is data that isn’t defined into one of those categories. I guess the solution would be for Apple to label it better? You can always look down the list of items to see what can be deleted.
As far as I can tell, the space is simply being used as cache (all my videos and other large files are accounted for). Unfortunately, only way to clear the space is through backup and restore or paid 3rd party program.

It appears the more storage capacity one has, the more iOS uses for caching. That's fine if they allowed the user to clear up that cache so the space could be used. Right now, it seems iOS clears cache if you download a large app from the App Store that needs more free space than available. They don't seem to do the same for iTunes Movie downloads or for in-app downloads.
 

royinla14

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
451
70
My system storage currently shows 62gb!!! Wtf? Not sure how it got to be so big. Any ideas how to shrink it? I’m trying to avoid setting the new phone next week as a new phone. Rather prefer to set from backup.
Thanks!
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,443
4,427
My system storage currently shows 62gb!!! Wtf? Not sure how it got to be so big. Any ideas how to shrink it? I’m trying to avoid setting the new phone next week as a new phone. Rather prefer to set from backup.
Thanks!
iCloud (and even iTunes) backup doesn't store all that extra crap so if you restore from either, it should be fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cynics

Pennypacker83

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2010
117
69
Helsinki, Finland
iCloud (and even iTunes) backup doesn't store all that extra crap so if you restore from either, it should be fine.
Just restored my iPhone SE 32GB from an iTunes backup and updated to iOS 12. Noticed that system storage was at 20GB, then suddenly it reduced to 15GB, and now shows up at 14.55GB. I have less than 1GB of storage left on my iPhone. I can no longer even access Mail. Am I seriously supposed to backup and restore again? And then again. For the record, I did not have this issue with iOS 11.

IMG_0880.png
 
Last edited:

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2010
1,143
665
Denver, CO
I’m running into this today for the very first time on my brand new XS. I upgraded from a 64GB 6S to a 64GB XS. Previously my storage was very stable at about 15GB free. I setup the new phone by restoring from an iTunes backup. This morning I started getting storage full messages and I was down to less than 1GB free. Not sure why this is happening.
 

Pennypacker83

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2010
117
69
Helsinki, Finland
I did another complete factory reset and installed the iPhone as a new device. I then did the factory reset again and restored from an iTunes backup. While iTunes was syncing all the music files (around 9GB) and the Photos app was just starting the sync process with iCloud, I noticed how the system storage portion had now shrunk to 5.5GB.

Of course this was too good to be true. The minute iCloud finished the sync, the system storage increased to 12.5GB (and counting), leaving me with less than 5GB of available storage. Maybe this has something to do with iCloud? Anyway, what a nice way to spend six hours.

Edit. Woke up this morning and noticed it had dropped down to 6GB, and has remained the same so far.
 
Last edited:

iKel

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2017
7
0
i have this issue too
my iphone 6 plus updated to ios12 and just showed sys storage over 50G
it's ridiculous that i cant seem to find out what takes up that much space
 

Pennypacker83

macrumors regular
Dec 27, 2010
117
69
Helsinki, Finland
It has something to do with syncing. Not sure if this is what really solved it, but I disabled the 'Show Apple Music' option from the music settings, and haven't had any issues since.
 

iKel

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2017
7
0
It has something to do with syncing. Not sure if this is what really solved it, but I disabled the 'Show Apple Music' option from the music settings, and haven't had any issues since.
I just disabled "show Apple Music", it didn't seem do anything helpful. As I went through some threads on google, this issue seems related to some caching functions
 

calisurfboy

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2008
179
139
Upgraded to iOS 12. Hit with an iPhone is full message. I had 23 gb free which shocked me. My system file sized jumped up to 62.7gb in size. I've deleted and restored several methods. Same issue. I thought about the indexing but 5 days later its still at 57.67gb in size.
 

calisurfboy

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2008
179
139
This is so incredibly frustrating and I can't seem to fix it. UGH!
This isn't an isolated incident or a few incidents. There are multiple threads on this website, across the web, apples own support forums, etc.

Myself, it reached 74.3 GB in size. My phone was unusable due to apps crashing, apps not opening, system wide freezing and crashing, etc.

I tried every single solution possible; different restarts, clean restore & back up restore. Nothing.

I turned iCloud on for every feature and was forced to upgrade to the 2TB plan. I backed up to iCloud, did a clean OS restore, then restored from that iCloud backup. My file system was 11.23GB.

I turned off all the iCloud features. Did a back up to local computer and restored from this back up. File size is 12.23GB and holding 2 weeks later. I don't know what caused it but it cost me $9.99 for iCloud 2TB to fix it.

Apples solution was to delete everything and leave it at a clean restore which would of been a loss of my voice mails, text & message history, phone history, health data history, etc. that I need. The problem is that I had apps that are no longer on the store so I cannot get them back due to how the App store and iTunes store now works.

I'm fustrated with my phone which just adds to my fustration with Apples treatment of computer hardware, accessories and software (or lack thereof + pure negligence )
 
  • Like
Reactions: kevo0822

Luke10702

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2017
25
11
As there been any progress towards resolving this issue? Betas? Or solutions not mentioned here that actually work? (What is the best solution?)
 

Ki11Sh0t

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2019
1
0
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.

I’m not running beta but I have same issue of having 21gb or system
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.