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"Other" data (iPhone) - How do I remove this junk?

1178231 Views 1,155 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2014 8:07 PM by Mr. Luigi RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Lawrence,

     

    Wrong assumtion. No one really knows what exactly is contained in other.

    There's a lot of wild speculation about it, some of it in this thread.

    In my case the data I've loaded into apps (eg music, movies, documents, photos) vastly exceeds the current amount in Other. Even if I discount the music, it's over 2GB.

     

    R-m found above that his other contained old movies.

    In the past, when I had a JB device, I found that as well, in addition to dozens of music files.

     

    I speculated that there seems to be a bug in the indexing in iTunes, so that if sync is interrupted, these garbage files would be created in a specific sub folder under /var (can't remember the exact location right now, but at the time I wrote a detailed procedure here in the forum).

     

    And every time I did delete those files, music would be corrupted and I had to resync it.

    But at least Other always wend down to less than 50MB (if I recall correctly, certainly not hundreds of MB as people here state in their case).

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 6:13 AM (in response to wisniak)

    I'll be looking into it more myself once the JB is out later this week.

    Don't suppose you can recall the title of your post about the files? I'll go have a read and refer to it when I go chopping out some files.

  • everkleer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 6:21 AM (in response to r-m)

    App data is definately stored in Apps, not Other.  But as r-m says, that probably only applies to installed apps.  You can probably use a program like iExplorer to identify App data for old apps - you may be able to remove it from there, but if not then you can re-install and un-install the Apps.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,420 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 6:29 AM (in response to wisniak)

    wisniak wrote:

     

    Lawrence,

     

    Wrong assumtion. No one really knows what exactly is contained in other.

    There's a lot of wild speculation about it, some of it in this thread.

    In my case the data I've loaded into apps (eg music, movies, documents, photos) vastly exceeds the current amount in Other. Even if I discount the music, it's over 2GB.

     

    R-m found above that his other contained old movies.

    In the past, when I had a JB device, I found that as well, in addition to dozens of music files.

     

    I speculated that there seems to be a bug in the indexing in iTunes, so that if sync is interrupted, these garbage files would be created in a specific sub folder under /var (can't remember the exact location right now, but at the time I wrote a detailed procedure here in the forum).

     

    And every time I did delete those files, music would be corrupted and I had to resync it.

    But at least Other always wend down to less than 50MB (if I recall correctly, certainly not hundreds of MB as people here state in their case).

    I think you are right about app data included in the Apps section. I just added up the total storage of my 204 apps (Settings/General/Usage) and it's equal to "Apps".

     

    However, back in this thread there was a report from someone who reduced "Other" by 2 GB by deleting all text message threads. So it seems likely that the bult in apps store their data in Other.

     

    I think that deleting music reduces Other because it removes album art.

     

    I don't recall ever seeing "Other" as low as 50 MB in 5 1/2 years. Prior to iOS 5 on a "virgin" phone it was around 300 MB, which i assume was operating system data. With each update it increased a little, and when I installed iOS 5 it was around 500 MB. Went up to 1 GB with iOS 6.

  • Tigervision Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It appears the problem is fixed right? From what others have tested and said. That is the media is deleted correctly now.

     

    Sorry for sounding lame with this question.... So why not just restore the phone as new and reload everything.  I know it is a total pain to even think about. Redoing all apps log ins, blue tooth, wifi passwords, etc.

     

    But if that was done, wouldn't that prevent this from happening again since the fix has ocurred?

     

    In other words, who knows if another future fix will actually go back and remove the erroneous data stuck in Other.

     

    I am on my thrid Iphone (3, 4, now 5)... I have always restored from back up... maybe it is time to do this total redo every 4-5 years?????

     

    I only have 2.5 gigs of other data.  And I don't buy the argument that 'that is normal amount of data since it is less than 3-4 gigs'.  My wifes phone has the exact same stuff on as mine and hers is 1.5 of other.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Yes. The iMessage bug is fixed, apart from those remaining files.

    So yes, starting with a device as new would give a nice clean start and prevent this from happening again. It would also fix the "issue" of app data left behind in a restore for apps no longer installed on the device.

     

    My big reason for not restoring as new, is the data inside my apps. Things like my Message history, Photosynth and my 360 captures, Sketchbook and the doodles and things I've done, Garagaband and my little mixes, Voodoo Friends and my progress through their thousands of levels, minecraft and all my worlds, etc... I'd lose all of that. I could go through each app using something like iExplorer (iPhone Explorer), copy out the data, and hope I can copy it back in once I have my device as new. I just need to spend the time doing that. Message history isn't a major issue, because I rarely need the message I sent to my girlfriend 1.5 years ego, ie.

     

    The options now are: Wait for apple to relase another update and fix it (in the works) and just delete all current messages + attachments; Wait for apple to release an update which includes message media management screens (probably not in the works, may never happen); Go through the above process and copy app data manually; wait for a JB and delete the files myself, breaking the link in messages (it'll just show blank space when I try viewing an attachment I've deleted in the file system...) but allowing me to keep all other data (it could also potential cause issues with the future update that Apple release to fix the issue of older files still being there).

  • yumcrisco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 10:11 AM (in response to r-m)

    Just to be totally clear though for those new to this thread...

     

    Even though this text message attachment bug situation is getting better, lots of people are still going to have their "Other" data be huge and taking up a signficant chunk of their phone's data. You have to go back in time and delete those individual text message that have attachments or delete whole conversations.

     

    I think the average iPhone user probably sends lots of videos and pics via txt msg without ever thinking of the fact that this takes up a significant amount of phone storage every time and that they should really go back and delete these attachments from time to time.

     

    I think Apple probably needs to come up with a robust solution for this entire situation that even the least-tech-savvy iPhone user can understand and deal with.

  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 10:52 AM (in response to r-m)

    I checked the other value immediately after creating as new - it was over 400MB.

    Then after syncing everything, it was about 640MB.

    Right now, 1 full day after having installed 6.1, it's 699.6MB...

     

    Re the suggestion of deleting things from backup, I don't believe it'll help for more than a couple of days (see the completely useless music deletion idea).

    If, as I suspect, this is an inherent flaw in the iTunes code (bad indexing), then all this garbage wil return in no time.

     

    I really don't believe this Other stuff has anything to do with the backups (r-m - regarding your comment on this issue).

     

    Also note that after countless users have reported not using iCloud/iMessage/SMS, having cleaned up their Safari cache, deleted all emails and text messages etc - and Other is STILL huge, all of the "usual suspects" have been removed, and so to me it's clear this is a software/index/buffer management issue.

     

    Somebody posted something above that caused me to think of the swap file that Windows uses to speed up its operations.

    What if Apple used the same idea (with the same poor design and performance), and this is what we've all bee suffering from for these past few years?

     

     

    In any case, here is what I did while I had a JB device to clean up "Other" storage on iPhone/iPad

    This method works in jailbroken devices only.

    1. Install iPhone Explorer, DiskAid or similar sofware on PC.

    2. Turn off "Sync Music" in iTunes.

    3. Goto folder var/mobile/media/iTunes Control/Music, you'll find many folders F00, F01....

    4. Delete all those Fxx folders, including their contents.

    5. Open iTunes and sync device ("Sync Music" still turned off).

    6. Unplug device from PC and reboot it (hold power + home buttons together until screen goes dark and then the Apple logo reappears, then release both buttons).

    7. Reconnect device to PC, recheck "Sync Music", sync device.

     

     

    Other alternatives:

    1. Reset warnings in iTunes, check afterwards whether there are any new warnings which might explain problem.

    2. in iFile check that the "use thrash" option is off, otherwise all deleted files are kept in the device in the Thrash folder, taking up space.

    3. in iFile goto var folder, then goto each subfolder there and press the blue arrow in the right side of the screen, check for large temporary files left over from cracking apps such as crackulous and delete them. Careful not to delete system files!

  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 10:59 AM (in response to wisniak)

    And now I see that while I was writing all of this, my iPhone was syncing - and Other is now 977.7MB...

  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 11:42 AM (in response to wisniak)

    And by the way, you can easily see and manipulate these garbage files by using iExplorer (even the free version), without having to JB:

    Just run the app, go to the iPhone/Media/iTunes_Control/Music folder on the left side and you'll immediately see all of these Fxx folders containing the junk.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 5:12 PM (in response to wisniak)

    They're not garbage files?

    I always saw them as being the actual songs that are on the device. the iPhone just doesn't display them as the filename they had in your iTunes library, and then the iTunes library on the device keeps track of which filename is what song.

    I've just copied one of them to my desktop, and it plays and is a podcast I have on my iPhone..

     

    I just copied the full Music folder to my desktop, and it's all the music files I have on my iPhone (no music, a series of podcasts, and 2 music videos.

  • everkleer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 7:51 PM (in response to wisniak)

    I think it should be pointed out that while the 'SMS bug' has been fixed and deleting SMS/iMessage threads should now delete all "Other" space associated with them, Messages are by no means the only source of "Other."  Emails and attachments could be a big contributor, Safari cache would be in there, basically the Apps storage includes the size of any Apps you installed and the data they store, and you know what Audio, Photos & Books are, so any other data is Other.  In my comment before where I mentioned that app data is included in Apps storage, I wasn't clear that I meant only apps that you download - not the ones that came on the phone like Mail, Safari, Contacts, etc.  And the Apps only contain permanent storage for the Apps.  I believe any temporary caches the Apps create will be stored as Other.  So I don't think it's uncommon for the Other to be around 1GB, depending on how many Apps you have and what kind of things you do with your phone.  As far as the swap file thing you mentioned, that is not something that only Windows does, and it is not done to improve performance; any OS does that as Virtual Memory - ie. disk space for when you need more memory than you have - it is just most visible on Windows.  I would assume that iOS devices do this as well, but I'd really doubt there is any problem with that, and it man not even included in the total phone storage reported.

     

    Those F files are your actual music, as r-m pointed out, and I suspect that the reason it (temporarily) appears to reduce your Other size is because some index on the device is telling it that it has, for example, 10GB of Music, and iTunes reduces your Other size when you delete that 10GB because it doesn't yet realize that the missing 10GB was your music.  When it syncs the music back on, the Other size returns to what it was.

  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 8:41 PM (in response to r-m)

    A long time ago it was proven that in the case of music/movie files - they were duplicates.

    This is why I stated above that it's caused by bad indexing.

    This is why I refer to them as garbage files.

     

    Can't say about messages/attachments - but seems logical to me that Other might contain the message attachments as some temporary storage category (since they can't be classified unfer the App category, which includes any files you've loaded into apps, eg into GoodReader).

     

    Also, it could certainly be that part of Other are badly installed/uninstalled apps.

    Try it yourself - install/uninstall apps (either from the devoce or from the desktop) - and see Other grow...

     

    Last, when I had my JB device, Other did contain remains of failed installations.

     

    Everybody here is fixing their eyesight on the insignificant - the SMS/iMessage threads/attachments - while the larger culprit gets away unnoticed.

    People, unless you're constantly sending messages wit hhumogous attachments - they can't be the reasin for this problem! it's just a thing of simple math. Neither temp caches (eg Safari).

  • everkleer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I know the Messages is not everyone's problem, but it was certainly my problem.  Until I realized the bug, I would routinely iMessage myself the videos from my phone as a way to quickly and wirelessly transfer them to my computer.  Now I use Dropbox, but before I realized this I had sent myself about 10 videos ranging from 50 to 400MB.  leading to about 1.5GB of Other that I have no way of removing since I had deleted the message thread before the fix.  Add to that a few pictures and videos that I had sent to other people, and it's about 2GB.  I have a total of 2.44GB in the Other category, which I chalk up to being that 2GB + a somewhat reasonable amount for my usage.

  • Edg-R Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 9:12 PM (in response to everkleer)

    Messages is DEFINITELY my problem as well. I multiple high resolution photos every day and quite a few videos as well.

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