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Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

My iPad1 (16GB) suddenly started telling me my disk space was full and to start deleting pictures and videos. I only had half a dozen pictures and no videos, but when I checked the content in iTunes it was showing over 12GB of space taken up by apps. I was surprised by this and deleted some. Still no difference. Then I counted the volume my apps was taking up and it was just over 1GB.


I did a full restore, during which iTunes quit two or three times and to cut a long story short I have original settings restored now and a restore done from my last backup today, and the iPad now shows 1.12GB of audio, 1.34GB of apps, and 10.6GB of "Other". Most of my apps are missing from the iPad screens, and when I try to select and apply them from iTunes the system goes into sync mode. I'm just waiting for it to crash again, as that's what was happening before. The backup starts, then quits, then starts again. Then iTunes crashes.


Anyone seen anything like this? What is 12GB of "other", why can't I get my apps back into the iPad, and what's with all this crashing? Yes, I've tried restarting the Mac and I've tried changing the USB ports, and even the USB cable.

Dual quad core Mac Pro, 2.16GHz MacBook Pro, 16GB iPhone 4, 1.6GHz MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 16GB iPad
  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    "Other" includes data such as contact information and photos assigned to contacts, calendar events, Safari bookmarks/cookies/history, notes created with the Notes application, SMS messages, email stored locally or cached, and 3rd party application data created and stored by the application.


    The amount showing on your iPad is astronomically high and usually that means you have a corrupt backup. Try moving the iPad backup to somewhere on your desktop and then restore again. Restoring is the only way to correct the "other" situation.


    This is where your backup is stored on the Mac.

    Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup


    The information is from this support article.

  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (169,035 points)

    Since restoring from backup did not reduce the "other" category you have to restore to factory defaults/new iPad.

    Try plaing the iPod in recovery mode and then restoring via iTunes. For recovery mode see:

    iPhone and iPod touch: Unable to update or restore

    Yest it works for the iPad

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    Thanks for advice from both of you. While waiting for your replies I unplugged and plugged in the iPad once again and found most of the missing apps on a sixth page off the end of the iTunes screen. I moved these onto the almost empty screens manually in iTunes and then clicked Apply and while this was happening the Capacity bar at the bottom suddenly changed its positions, so that I now have 1.12GB of Audio, .32GB of Other and 11.8GB of Apps. All of this looks more natural, except for one thing - the large space taken up by Apps. I have 54 apps in total installed and the only ones taking up substantial volume are Pages and Keynote, which are 121MB and 150Mb respectively. The rest are as you might imagine - ranging from 7 to 15MB. I cannot see how these in total could eat up almost 12GB.

  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (169,035 points)

    Some apps can have a lot of data/downloads associated them that is larger than the app download file size.  Also, the file size of he app is the compress the size.  Whne expanded and installed it can take a lot more storage.

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    OK, I'm going through the restore from recovery mode now, as advised, as iTunes was still behaving oddly. I understand what you mean about the true size of apps - they are not necessarily the compressed size seen in the iTunes window. I suppose the lesson here is to go for the biggest capacity possible when iPad3 arrives. I just never imagined I would fill 16GB. (But then again - I am old enough to remember when 256MB seemed an impossibly large HD to have on a Mac. On my last hardware upgrade I went for 2TB, as the lesson I have learned over the years is that you should guess how much storage you'll need, and then multiply it by four. Pity I didn't apply the same principle to the iPad. But then again, when it first came out - who knew?)

    Thanks for advice.

  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    You may find that when the process completes that the size of Apps decreases as well. Even given that app data can take up space, that data should be included in "other" and not in the apps themselves. At least that has always been my understanding of "other". Plus having only 54 apps taking up that much capacity just doesn't seem right to me. I have 80 apps accounting for 3.7 GB of storage on my iPad and I have a couple of games that take up 450 and 750 MB respectively.


    But I will defer to lllaass knowledge on this one and and I will be curious to find out what your results are when the recover/restore process is finished.

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    No, we're back to square one again after the recovery/restore. Most of my apps missing. Have to go to bed now, so will have another look at this in the morning. I also have "Other" taking up most of the space again.

  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    I'm now starting to think that an app or apps are causing the problem based on your previous post. Restoring to factory settings and adding one app at a time until you find the culprit may be your next best thing to try.

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    Please bear with me, as I'm a little fuzzy on the whole backup/restore thing. Here's what I've done now:

    1) Deleted all the apps from the virtual iPad screens in iTunes and have made sure they are all unchecked in the column beside this. One icon remains that cannot be deleted and does not appear in the column to the left is MacRumors - I assume this is a bookmark rather than an app? I have also not attempted to delete any of the default apps that appear on the Home screen

    2) Tried once more the recovery/restore process, which is going on at the moment.


    Here are my questions, though:

    1) Every time I do anything like recovery/restore I am given two options - either to set up as a new iPad or to restore from my last backup, which was yesterday afternoon. The iPad has not successfully backed up since these problems started yesterday. Which option should I take? If all my apps are secure in iTunes, ready to be re-installed, should I set up as a new iPad? Or by doing that would I also lose all my emails settings, notes and so on?
    2) Every time I plug in the iPad to the computer it attempts to do a backup (but usually fails). This then stops me doing what has been suggested - re-installing one app at a time and syncing. Maybe I've got this all wrong? What should be the step-by-step procedure I undertake now that all apps have been deleted?


    Finally, on a more general theme, why are we still having these (to me) complex technical problems with devices that should just....well, "work"? Why are the discussion forums still full of thousands of people looking for advice on products that malfunction so regularly? I thought we'd have got past all that by now.

  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    Any item that appears in the Apps window under the Sync Apps heading, in iTunes, is an app and not a bookmark. I'm not sure why you cannot uncheck the box next to it. That is what you want to do to remove the apps - uncheck the boxes next to the app names and sync and that removes the apps from the iPad. They will still remain in your iTunes library to sync again when you choose to do so. But you want to obvioulsy resolve this backup/crashing issue first.


    At this point you may have to restore to factory settings if your backup is corrupt or bad. You will lose all dadat, but you can sync the apps, photos, music, movies and so on back to your iPad. If you restore to factory settings you will lose mail settings, bookmarks, contacts, app data, etc. This sinformation is copied from this site about iPad backups. You may want to read this for a better understanding.



    • Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, and currently open pages.
    • Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps.
    • Application settings, preferences, and data.
    • Contacts.
    • Calendars.
    • CalDAV and subscribed calendar accounts.
    • YouTube favorites.
    • Wallpapers.
    • Notes.
    • Mail accounts.
    • Autocorrect dictionaries.
    • Camera Roll.
    • Home screen layout and web clips.
    • Network settings (saved Wi-Fi hotspots, VPN settings, network preferences).
    • Paired Bluetooth devices (which can only be used if restored to the same iPad that did the backup).
    • Keychain (This includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications. The keychain can only be restored from backup to the same iPad. If you are restoring to a new device, you will need to fill in these passwords again.)
    • Managed Configurations/Profiles.
    • MobileMe and Microsoft Exchange account configurations.
    • App Store Application data (except the Application itself, its tmp and Caches folder).
    • Per-app preferences allowing use of location services.
    • Offline web application cache/database.
    • Autofill for webpages.
    • Trusted hosts that have certificates that cannot be verified.
    • Websites approved to get the location of the device.
    • In-app purchases.


    You could try removing the backup from the MoblieSync folder and place it on the desktop - don't trash it just yet - and then try to backup again. I wish I could answer your question about why these things occur and why this should be so complex at times but I can't.

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    Thanks, the MacRumors icon does not appear in the Sync Apps column, so must be just a bookmark. Now, simple question - in Lion there's no User Library, as in Leopard, so the only library is the HD library and there's no MobileSync folder under Application Support. Nor does MobileSync turn up in a Spotlight search. Any ideas, please?

  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    This should direct you to that folder - I hope. ml


    I didn't realize that you were running Lion. I'm still using Snow Leopard and I'm not ready to make the switch just yet

  • Colin McClelland1 Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)

    No, I just don't follow what he's doing here. Think I might bite the bullet and give Apple Support a ring in the morning and see if they can talk me through it. Thanks.


    I'm using Lion on my Mac Pro but have kept my Air on Snow Leopard just in case. In my opinion, Lion has many great features, but sometimes is too smart for its own good. There has been a loss of elegance and simplicity in some programmes, most particularly Mail. And if you're typing something like this in Safari, in a forum, and you as much as breathe on the surface of the mouse, the page slips away to the right and when you retrieve it all your typing has disappeared. Little things like that. An accumulation of them leads to an unpleasant user experience.

  • Demo Level 10 Level 10 (86,840 points)

    You may be better off talking to Apple Support at this point. I did find a little more clarification on a Macrumors site. It is the last post on this site.


    From the site .....

    Lion does have a home library, it just doesn't have it accessible by default.

    To access it, hold option on your keyboard and click "Go" on the menu bar while in the Finder application. If you have option held, it will show Library, and if you let go it disappears again.


    I think I will stick to SL for a while longer!

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