I also have lots of space taken up under "Documents & Data" and "Other". When I look under Settings | General | Usage, Mail is the biggest offender, and reports that it is using 507 MB of storage as "Mail and attachments", even though I've deleted all messages within Mail, including Sent and Trash. Strangely, "All Sent" lists a count of 164 messages, but swiping that line for details reveals "No mail".
iOS uses the computer language C, renown for its ability to lose track of data.
This seems to be a long known problem as detailed at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4728399?start=0&tstart=0, but it does not seem to have been solved in iOS7. The recommended fix for individual applications is to delete and reinstall, but for Mail this presumably means reinstalling the operating system.
This seems very sloppy. Is Android just as bad?
In the thread at https://discussions.apple.com/message/23087846?ac_cid=tw123456#23087846 a post points out that to deal with lost files that can't be deleted there is an approach less draconian than a full phone refresh. One can use:
Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
But more generally, it would be good if iOS went beyond telling you that you have 507 MB of inaccessible junk storage and instead gave you the opportunity of deleting it without erasing all content and settings for all apps.
It looks like Android has similar problems in losing track of files. There is some description at http://www.appsdaily.net/clean-master-remove-junk-files-from-your-android-device /, and it looks like the ability to delete the junk storage is also at a global level, rather than at the level of individual apps. Another review discussing the Clean Master product at http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/05/22/your-smartphone-maximized/ZGfAmMg wnF7VERvIeii5xN/story.html notes that Android phones not only have the junk files problem but since they are customized by vendors, "The [Samsung Galaxy] S4 comes with just 16 gigs of memory — and over half of it is consumed by Android and bloatware."
The Boston Globe article goes on to note that "While the major cellphone companies love to cram bloatware onto their Android phones, Apple Inc. has banned them from doing the same to the iPhone. It’s a good argument for sticking with Apple."
It seems pretty sloppy that these operating systems lose track of files, are able to list how much lost files each app has, but are only able to apply global fixes, in the case of Apple, one that erases all content and settings.
LaurenOnda - did you ever get a full answer on how to fix your problem? I'm in the same boat right now - ironically with 12% data that an hour ago (before iOS7 update) I didn't have? Obvioulsy I had it, but somehow it was storing it differently because I had ACCESS to that 12% for music, books etc. Now I have 2% available...
Quick note to segalsegal - I guess I am unsure what to think of the Erase all Content and Settings advice, as some novices wouldn't think to stop and back up or would understand you are sending their iphone into recovery mode - is that correct? I might be wrong, though.
Anyway, if anyone has other thoughts on the original issue that was posted, I would love some feedback too! I'm beyond annoyed with this "upgrade" - there's not been any "up" to it!!! Disappointed I've had to waste my time searching for answers...
My assumption is that "Erase All Content and Settings" gives you a phone with your apps still installed, but both the apps and iOS having the default choices for all settings, and both having no other data either. It is of course a bother to go back and reset everything.
For the meantime I've decided not to do anything about lost file debris because it takes up 2 GB on a 16 GB phone, I have 9 GB free, and I plan to get a new phone next month. When I get a new phone I'll do a clean install so as to start without any lost file debris. But if iOS 7 continues to spew junk I'm not pleased about staying with such a sloppy OS.
I considered switching to Android, but apparently it has the same lost junk problem. Android from various carriers also tends to arrive crammed with bloatware, something Apple doesn't do very much or allow carriers to do, so I'm not likely to switch to Android.
I may opt for a Windows phone. I'm getting one of the Windows Surface Pro 2 tablets in a week and if I like the phone-like part of the OS I may try Windows Mobile instead of iOS.
Real computer don't have junk files that build up and can't be cleared easily. Apple should know how to deal with this problem. Whether or not Microsoft avoids this sloppiness would be information that could sway my choice of phones next month.
Thanks segalsegal - great clarification and input on future choices. I have considered the Windows based items recently as well... hmmmm... makes me think it would be wise for "Mr. Apple" - whoever that may be - to take a gander at these posts every now and then... because I, for one, am getting more and more disappointed with these "clever" additions that simply make my life more difficult.
Sometimes the latest and greatest isn't always best, you know? We might have been quite satisfied with what we HAD and COULD have waited for their launch to be "less sloppy" as you put it. But alas, our input will be filed away with the millions...
The point is - is exactly what you said - real computers don't have junk files that build up now a days... they CAN be accessed and cleared easily, they have ALERTS that tell you if it's almost full, where to find it, and WHAT to DO to clear it... AND computers EVEN have default settings to clear these files, without you even knowing they DID it... now THAT'S a concept I wish Apple would have used in this iOS 7... I would've taken that ABOVE the addition of a male Siri... (giggle)
I close my comments patiently hoping SOMEONE out there can give me the insight needed to FIX this documentation and data problem easily... anyone, anyone?
Hi I have been dealing with this crap for over a year. All that stuff was there before as yellow "other". iOS 7 just divided the "other" into "documents and data". Most of it is your text messages. But if, like me, it might be a duplicate "saved" text messages that you can't delete and saved on your phone. I responded earlier to another post so if you go there I have a link to a forum that might help you. Mine was text messages but if yours is e-mails you might need to use iBackupbot or something to clear out "saved" crap you can't delete through the phone. Was pretty easy, took me like 5 mins:
I don't plan to try any third party programs to get rid of the Mail junk since I'm getting a new phone next month and will do a clean install. But I find it sloppy that iOS can identify that I have 500 MB of data associated with Mail and not give me any option to get rid of it except "Erase All Content and Settings" for the entire phone.
I should add that I've deleted all email messages, including sent messages, and emtied the Trash, but the total has remained at ~500 MB.
I have very little memory associated with Messages. My guess is that the Mail junk is a result of the bug described at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2528738. However, having such a bug present for years is all the more reason to provide a way to deal with its consequences.
The "Sent" listings for each email account listed many messages, in the hundreds for one account, even though clicking on the arrow near the number produced a "No Mail" display. I deleted the account with most messages and then re-created it by setting the large number of settings involved manually. The result was that storage listed in Settings | Usage | Mail dropped from 500 MB to 285 MB.
So there is a workaround for huge storage in Mail that is better than "Erase All Content and Settings".
Also, it is clear that iOS has the information to find and delete the junk files, but it is not made available to us except by deleting accounts.
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.