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iPhone memory management help

443 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2013 7:36 PM by Markcw98a RSS
Markcw98a Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 16, 2013 1:59 PM

My wife has a 16G iPhone 4.   She loves to take pictures and just recently started taking videos.   She is constantly filling up the iPhone so I have looked at it to see what I can do.   I am seeking any advice or suggestions to better manage her phone memory.  


First- I think she finally understands that all pictures she takes are being fed to iCloud.   She was worried every time I pulled pictures/videos off of the phone using iPhoto.   I have shown her that she can see the same pictures in iCloud- and she can view on her phone or iPad.   But, when I look in usage I see she has 881 MB in photostream.   Could someone explain that?  I thought photostream was in iCloud, so would not use up any space on the phone.  


I have also seen that her photosteam does a dump each month into iPhoto, saving the photos onto my iMac.   That is also re-assuring, as I do know that at some point the cloud will "fill up" and the oldest pictures will disappear.   Please correct me if I am wrong here.  


Last question on photos.  I deleted all but 2 photos from her phone.   Yet, I see that photos is coming up as 2342 photos, over 2GB.   I made sure I am not synching any photos to her phone.    What is happening?   Is that iCloud, or shared streams?  


Second- I have found this "other" category when synching with iTunes.   It is 1.4GB large on her phone.   I have read it is from SMS, texting, email and apps data.   Are there any suggestions of how to reduce "other"?   I would like to NOT have to do a complete reset and then reload all the apps, ID's and PW.   I have also read that you do not want to do a "restore" from iTunes after that reset, as it will just reload all the data that was there after your last synch.   Some suggestions there would be helpful.  


Third- How can I look at what is contained in the iPhone when I plug it in via USB.   I am used to seeing a USB drive pop up on my PC or Mac when I plug in my android phone.   I thought the iPhone at least shared some viewable hard drive space when plugged in but have not seen it.   Is there a setting that needs to be adjusted?   I was thinking I might be able to selectively remove some pictures or data, once I understood how things mapped out.   


I appreciate any help you can provide.   Thanks.  



iPhone 4, iOS 6
  • pvonk Level 6 Level 6 (13,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2013 2:09 PM (in response to Markcw98a)

    1)  Photo stream is only a syncing service, it should not be treated as a storage service (you seem to understand the 30 day rule).  You also have the stream photos going to iphoto and you get the monthly albums copied from photo stream - keep those, these are you archives of the photos.


    In Settings>General>Usage, the list of apps (e.g. Photos & Camera) are storage on the device, not icloud.  Perhaps that's what you see.  I don't recall ever seeing a reference to "photo stream" in Usage (correct me if I'm wrong).


    But photo stream storage is not part of the icloud storage.


    2)  "Other" - you seem to have a good handle on this.  Yes, many users suggest deleting text messages, as these are stored in "other".  Lots of other data and system data are stored there.  1.4GB is a lot, look first at the amount of text messages there are on the phone.


    There are tiimes when corrupt files are kept in "other", thus bloating this section.  A restore from backup will fix this.  If you ever do a restore, I suggest a backup to itunes, then a restore from itunes (it's much faster and I think more reliable).


    3)  The file system on iOS devices is hidden for the most part (unless you have special software that can peek into the system on a device).  If you want to know what's on it, the best place is Settings>General>Usage and look at the amount of space taken by each app.  Unfortunately, you can't use a file manager and trim files from the device.  You need to use the apps associated with files you wish to focus on (unlike a computer's file system, each app includes its own data files, there is no "open" folder area that all files are dumped into).


    To make room on the device:


    You have to delete files on your device. 



    Delete apps you don't use.

    Delete videos you don't want (these take up a lot of space).

    Do you have a lot of emails stored on the device?

    Are there apps that store data files, like a PDF reader?  If there are a lot of these, you need to delete some.



    The bottom line is that you need to remove data and/or apps on your device to make more storage available.



    But for videos and photos, always sync them to a computer first to archive them.  



    (BTW, if there are a lot of emails on a device, you might use your computer and move some icloud emails from their mailbox to a local mailbox (folder) on the computer.  This removes them from icloud and thus the devices.)

  • razmee209 Level 7 Level 7 (21,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2013 2:14 PM (in response to pvonk)



    As I understand from reading other threads anything between 1 to 2 GB of other is normal, however anything above 2 GB could mean corrupted files.

  • pvonk Level 6 Level 6 (13,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 19, 2013 2:22 PM (in response to Markcw98a)

    1)  I use photo stream and nowhere in Settings>General>Usage do I find it listed.  Where in Usage is yours?  Under Storage?  Under iCloud section in Manage Storage?  And if in Manage Storage, is it in the Backups for one of your devices or the Documents & Data section?


    2)  I've read many posts that indicate a restore (after reset) has shrunk the Other category.  Mine is between 1-2GB, so your amount seems acceptable.  Some other users report huge amounts, like over 5 GB, so Razmee209 is correct in his observation.


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