Simple trick to free up storage

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
Start watching at 1:40


Basically, when trying to download a movie that is larger than the free storage, iPhone will self-clean by deleting cache files, unneeded temp files, etc. Just make sure the movie file is WAY bigger than iPhone's free storage.

I did this, and gained 500mb! :D
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
8,685
Ventura County
Start watching at 1:40


Basically, when trying to download a movie that is larger than the free storage, iPhone will self-clean by deleting cache files, unneeded temp files, etc. Just make sure the movie file is WAY bigger than iPhone's free storage.

I did this, and gained 500mb! :D
Similar to what battery doctor does. The problem is, it also clears temp files that are needed. For example, RR3 downloads all the cars and tracks separate from the app size. That way you only download what you are using, or need to use in the future. But doing this trick and battery doctor removes those downloaded files, and you have to redownload them next time you open RR3.
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
Similar to what battery doctor does. The problem is, it also clears temp files that are needed. For example, RR3 downloads all the cars and tracks separate from the app size. That way you only download what you are using, or need to use in the future. But doing this trick and battery doctor removes those downloaded files, and you have to redownload them next time you open RR3.
Ohhh.... Thanks for reply. Maybe I should check whether certain files apps need were deleted.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
8,685
Ventura County
Ohhh.... Thanks for reply. Maybe I should check whether certain files apps need were deleted.
It really depends on how the app classifies the file. RR3 classifies it as a temp/cache, so it gets trashed by iOS. Similar to Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat caches. Other apps I use, like OneSafe and Road Trip store data as documents & data, so this method and battery doctor don't remove any files.
 

MEJHarrison

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,352
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The main problem is there's no point in "freeing up space". There is no reason for the user to manage memory as the OS is already doing that for you. You yourself said the phone will clear memory when needed (totally accurate).

So what's the point? Anything dumped from memory that you want to use will now need to be loaded back in. That depletes your battery slightly as the app now needs to be read from disc again and loaded into memory. And it will be slower than reusing what is already loaded into memory.

So while this is definitely an iPhone "trick", it seems counterproductive. The phone will manage things on its own. All the end user needs to do is use the phone.
 

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
Agree completely with mejharrison... the whole point of a "smart" phone is to let the OS handle things like these...which it does. similar to people who think "closing" apps is useful - its really not.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
8,685
Ventura County
I slightly disagree. With apps like Facebook and Instangram. They are notorious for sucking up storage as they fill with cache. I don't use those apps, as I use safari for both. But there are people that are stubborn and want to use the apps. So this trick saves you from deleting and reinstalling apps.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,420
15,974
Agree completely with mejharrison... the whole point of a "smart" phone is to let the OS handle things like these...which it does. similar to people who think "closing" apps is useful - its really not.
Unfortunately sometimes some apps can run in the background when not expected or desired and one might want to close them. Similarly some apps just cache and cache things and don't provide an option to clear the cache, and neither does iOS unfortunately, so sometimes one might want to clear out the cache for such apps (usually by uninstalling and reinstalling the app again).
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
The main problem is there's no point in "freeing up space". There is no reason for the user to manage memory as the OS is already doing that for you. You yourself said the phone will clear memory when needed (totally accurate).

So what's the point? Anything dumped from memory that you want to use will now need to be loaded back in. That depletes your battery slightly as the app now needs to be read from disc again and loaded into memory. And it will be slower than reusing what is already loaded into memory.

So while this is definitely an iPhone "trick", it seems counterproductive. The phone will manage things on its own. All the end user needs to do is use the phone.
This trick can be very useful i many situations. For example, one might have to suddenly free up space to take more pictures while on vacation. Or one might have to free up space to download PDF file for work. This trick is better than hunting down apps to delete.

I was there before... ZERO mb free space. I wanted to take more pictures, but I couldn't. When I was looking at which apps to delete, I mistakenly hit "update all" button on App Store. To my surprise, a couple of apps were updated before a display told me there isn't enough space. When I went to Settings>General to look at my storage, somehow I gained 30mb or so. This is what the trick does - forcing self-clean. Yes, iPhone DOES manage memory on its own by deleting unneeded cache/temp files. But this seems to be for ensuring iOS' optimal operation rather user space. In my case, taking pictures did not clear up those cache/temp files.

So I learned a trick. If my phone seems to be running out of space, I force app updates that are way bigger than free storage. This always gives me ~200mb of extra space. I once forced MS Word update (around 300mb) when free storage was less than 100mb, I gained enough storage to film an hour-long driving video.

For my trick, there had to be an app update with the appropriate size at the right time. But the video's trick can be done any time.

Also, I once looked at EACH one of ~3000 files from iPhone back-up (I posted about that experience on this forum a couple of times). There were many files from apps that had long been deleted, messaging apps' never-before-seen stickers, thumbnails from in-app stores, pictures I deleted long ago, attachments I downloaded AND deleted, etc. Yes, iOS does self-cleaning, but what were these files doing here? I wouldn't perfectly rely on iPhone to manage the storage.
 
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dontworry

Suspended
Mar 18, 2010
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Thanks! Storage trick worked for me. went from 600mb free to 2.8 GB free after a few tries.
 

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
This trick can be very useful i many situations. For example, one might have to suddenly free up space to take more pictures while on vacation. Or one might have to free up space to download PDF file for work. This trick is better than hunting down apps to delete.

I was there before... ZERO mb free space. I wanted to take more pictures, but I couldn't. When I was looking at which apps to delete, I mistakenly hit "update all" button on App Store. To my surprise, a couple of apps were updated before a display told me there isn't enough space. When I went to Settings>General to look at my storage, somehow I gained 30mb or so. This is what the trick does - forcing self-clean. Yes, iPhone DOES manage memory on its own by deleting unneeded cache/temp files. But this seems to be for ensuring iOS' optimal operation rather user space. In my case, taking pictures did not clear up those cache/temp files.

So I learned a trick. If my phone seems to be running out of space, I force app updates that are way bigger than free storage. This always gives me ~200mb of extra space. I once forced MS Word update (around 300mb) when free storage was less than 100mb, I gained enough storage to film an hour-long driving video.

For my trick, there had to be an app update with the appropriate size at the right time. But the video's trick can be done any time.

Also, I once looked at EACH one of ~3000 files from iPhone back-up (I posted about that experience on this forum a couple of times). There were many files from apps that had long been deleted, messaging apps' never-before-seen stickers, thumbnails from in-app stores, pictures I deleted long ago, attachments I downloaded AND deleted, etc. Yes, iOS does self-cleaning, but what were these files doing here? I wouldn't perfectly rely on iPhone to manage the storage.
That's not true at all. If the OS senses that you're running out of space, it'd delete cached files by itself. There's no need to manually delete. That is the reason why cache files are called "cache" files - they are temporary files that can be deleted on demand. Similar to the "%appdata%/" folder in Windows.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,420
15,974
That's not true at all. If the OS senses that you're running out of space, it'd delete cached files by itself. There's no need to manually delete. That is the reason why cache files are called "cache" files - they are temporary files that can be deleted on demand. Similar to the "%appdata%/" folder in Windows.
The main thing is that it doesn't happen until you are essentially out of space and even then it's done in small increments that are just enough for the moment. Some people might need some more free space to take some pictures or something like that and there's no straightforward method to clear caches like that.
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
That's not true at all. If the OS senses that you're running out of space, it'd delete cached files by itself. There's no need to manually delete. That is the reason why cache files are called "cache" files - they are temporary files that can be deleted on demand. Similar to the "%appdata%/" folder in Windows.
That's not what happened with my iPhones. Taking pictures did not clear those files on multiple occasions. It DID clear some files when I was shooting a long video once, but not enough to complete the video. However, forcing an update gave me more space. Yes, iPhones are smart, but in the end it only does what it's programmed to do. Clearing files so that users can take more pictures isn't one of them.
 

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
That's not what happened with my iPhones. Taking pictures did not clear those files on multiple occasions. It DID clear some files when I was shooting a long video once, but not enough to complete the video. However, forcing an update gave me more space. Yes, iPhones are smart, but in the end it only does what it's programmed to do. Clearing files so that users can take more pictures isn't one of them.
Actually it is. If you read apple's official documentation on this issue: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/FileManagement/Conceptual/FileSystemProgrammingGuide/FileSystemOverview/FileSystemOverview.html

go over the "tmp/" and "Where You Should Put Your App’s Files" sections.
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
Actually it is. If you read apple's official documentation on this issue: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/FileManagement/Conceptual/FileSystemProgrammingGuide/FileSystemOverview/FileSystemOverview.html

go over the "tmp/" and "Where You Should Put Your App’s Files" sections.
Please tell me why this did not happen to my iPhones on multiple occasions. I would love to know because I don't want to go through such trick to take more pictures.
[doublepost=1460580577][/doublepost]
even then it's done in small increments that are just enough for the moment.
Even if that's the case, it doesn't apply to all situations. My iPhone did not clear extra 2mb so I could take one more picture. On the other hand, my iPhone DID clear some files to make space for the video file. From what I remember, the video file itself turned out to be 40mb more than the remaining storage at the time of shooting.
 

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
Please tell me why this did not happen to my iPhones on multiple occasions. I would love to know because I don't want to go through such trick to take more pictures.
[doublepost=1460580577][/doublepost]

Even if that's the case, it doesn't apply to all situations. My iPhone did not clear extra 2mb so I could take one more picture. On the other hand, my iPhone DID clear some files to make space for the video file. From what I remember, the video file itself turned out to be 40mb more than the remaining storage at the time of shooting.
I'd love to know why and diagnose it for you. Unfortunately, I cannot do it remotely without any access. What I was pointing out is, that your claim of "it doesn't clear files" is definitely not true. Why exactly it didn't work for you, I don't know.
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
I'd love to know why and diagnose it for you. Unfortunately, I cannot do it remotely without any access. What I was pointing out is, that your claim of "it doesn't clear files" is definitely not true. Why exactly it didn't work for you, I don't know.
Question - have you run out of space before? And did your iPhone clear up half gb by itself so you can take more pictures?
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
Yes. many times I've seen the app name replaced by "cleaning...". for example facebook, instagram, onedrive get "cleaned"
Did this happen when you were taking pictures? How much gb did it free up?

I'll call Apple tomorrow, and hopefully they'll tell me what's been wrong with my iPhones
 
Last edited:

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
Did this happen when you were taking pictures? How much gb did it free up?

I'll call Apple tomorrow, and hopefully they'll tell me what's been wrong with my iPhones
it happens many times, not just with photos. the specific instance that i recall from the top of my head right now was when i was almost of space, but opened up facebook,exited it. and i saw the "cleaning" action.
 

e93to

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 23, 2015
809
182
Toronto
it happens many times, not just with photos. the specific instance that i recall from the top of my head right now was when i was almost of space, but opened up facebook,exited it. and i saw the "cleaning" action.
I've seen this "cleaning" behavior many times, but not when taking pictures or downloading attachments from email/web.

So are you confirming that you have seen this "cleaning" behavior when taking pictures? How many more pictures were you able to take?

EDIT: I just remembered another incident where this "cleaning" didn't take place. I deleted ~20 songs on my iPhone, and wanted to add only one song to my iPhone through iTunes. However, it did not let me do this because there wasn't enough space. Surely, deleting ~20 songs would have freed up more than enough space for one song, but that wasn't the case. After deleting one of the only two apps installed on the iPhone, iTunes then proceeded to add the song to my iPhone. When I tried to re-download YouTube app, I saw Safari in "cleaning" behavior. Again, why didn't this take place when I was syncing with iTunes to add only one song? It seems like self-cleaning has mind of its own. Or, is something wrong with my phones?
 
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MrGuder

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2012
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1,643
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Basically, when trying to download a movie that is larger than the free storage, iPhone will self-clean by deleting cache files, unneeded temp files, etc. Just make sure the movie file is WAY bigger than iPhone's free storage.

I did this, and gained 500mb! :D
Lol you did all that work for 500MB? Lol