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

1195647 Views 1,155 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2014 8:07 PM by Mr. Luigi RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 6:49 AM (in response to everkleer)

    I had a call off a friendly lady in Executive Relations at Apple earlier. She assures me the engineers are aware, and 6.1 should have a fix that at least stops the problem getting worse (so I assume with 6.1, deleting a message with an attachment does actually delete the file too). That makes me think what I saw (with my other staying at 4gb after updating to 6.1) was the other side... they're still working on addressing the issue of some files being left from previous deleted messages and that should be addressed in a future update..

    I'll test this tonight, and send a video over iMessages then delete it, and see what it does to my "Other" and iCloud backup.

  • yumcrisco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 7:37 AM (in response to r-m)

    Great to hear about that phonecall r-m! Thanks for being persistent and getting them to pay attention! I hope that this iOS update and the next update fix both ends of the problem (attachments you now delete and ones that are orphaned).

     

    Also, I'd love to hear about your tests later. I'll do a test as well and see what I can discover.

  • yumcrisco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 8:34 AM (in response to r-m)

    I just updated from 6.01 to 6.1 and then performed a test to see if it really does delete iMessage attachments when you go and delete that iMessage from the Messages App. It does seem to really delete the attachment now!

     

    1. Took a 20 second video

    2. Sent it to someone via iMessage

    3. Deleted it from the Camera Roll

    4. Performed Backup/Sync

    5. Looked at the backup files and confirmed as expected that there was correctly just one full size copy of the video in the backup (the copy of the iMessage attachment)

    6. Deleted that iMessage on the phone via the Messages App

    7. Performed Backup/Sync

    8. Looked at the backup files and confirmed that the video really wasn't in the backup anymore

     

    Now we just need to wait for an update which cleans up all of the orphaned files.

     

    One more thing that I think Apple *should* do perhaps is instead of saving a full-size copy of the iMessage attachment, it should save the compressed version that really gets sent to the recipient. This way the storage of your iMessage attachments won't get so darn huge and you won't necessarily even have to go to the trouble of cleaning them out. And it would also be a more accurate representation of what is getting sent to the recipient.

  • Edg-R Calculating status...

    I had understood that it only compresses video attachments sent via SMS, not iMessage... Or at least not the same kind of compression.

     

    I'm glad to hear it has been fixed. I might restore my phone today.

  • everkleer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 4:13 PM (in response to r-m)

    Great to hear it's been fixed, thanks for the report!  And thanks for testing yumcrisco!  Seems kinda strange that I've been watching my "Other" grow larger and larger for months now and finally found the reason for it the same day Apple releases a fix.  Now I just have to wait for them release an update that cleans up the leftovers!

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 7:14 PM (in response to everkleer)

    I, too, can confirm that deleting a message with an attachment now deletes the attachment too :-)

    So I proceeded to delete the message threads that I knew would have the most media in them and my "Other" went down from 4.2gb to 1.9gb! So that's 2.3gb in iMessages attachments since I last deleted them to try and clear the space.

    I've checked my backup and there are still some attachments that are undeleted - ones I've deleted prior to updating to 6.1. Hopefully that'll come in another update some time, but at least I have 2.3gb freed up.

     

    My iCloud is still full/near full, so I'm going to delete the backups (I think it keeps a few historic ones too) for my iPhone then start a fresh one. I imagine the backup size will go from it's current 3.3gb to about 1gb.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 7:43 PM (in response to yumcrisco)

    I agree it could be done a slightly better way.

    I'm going to file a Feature Request suggesting there be a way to manage iMessage media that's sent/received seperately to the conversations themselves. Maybe a separate menu that allows you do delete the media without having to delete full message histories.

     

    Also in response to myself, I deleted my iCloud back up and started again. As expected, my iCloud backup for my iPhone is 1gb. A reduction of 2.3gb (same as my "Other") from 3.3gb icloud backup after deleting all my messages. I'm glad there's finally a way to delete them and get the space back.

    From now on I'll be deleting iMessage attachments as they happen!

  • Tigervision Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 7:52 PM (in response to r-m)

    How do you delete your icloud back up and re do it?

     

    I still have 2.4 gigs of other after new update, from 2.6gigs.  My wife and I have virtually the exact same phone content, music, pics, etc... hers is 1.4gig.

     

    Annoying.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Deleting the iCloud backup only worked for me because I deleted all my messages, in turn deleting all the attachments that were filling up my "Other". The key to that working though, was updating to iOS 6.1 (released yesterday).

     

    To delete the iCloud backup, go to:

    Settings App--iCloud--Storage & Backup--Manage Storage--<Device>--Delete backup (should be the bottom option).

    <Device> being the device you want to delete the backup for.

  • wisniak Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well,

    I can sadly say that although isntalling 6.1 and formatting my iPhone 4S and iPad2 as new, has not completely resolved the Other issue.

    I don't use iCloud or iMessage.

    While formattign the devices (rather - when the apps were being installed), I saw the other very quickly climg up to about 700MB (previously I had abiyt 1.6GB).

    Now, from past experience, every app I install (either from the device or from my desktop) will add to Other, as well as everything that is deleted.

     

    So besides spending a couple of hours installing everything back, setting up the devices and organizing all my apps into groups - this was a completely unhelpful upgrade.

     

    I hope that at least battery life improves a bit.

  • Tigervision Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 9:02 PM (in response to wisniak)

    Just reset my ipad completely... I don't use much on this... no imessages or anything.  Was at 1.66 gig.  Now at 0.6 gig after the redo.

     

    I am dreadding doing this on my iphone... since it is synced to everything... cars blue tooth, Nest, multiple wifi's, apps all organized into folders, etc, etc, etc.

     

    Painful... why don't they just make a fix that avoids this reset stuff.

  • everkleer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    According to what r-m said above about his conversation with Apple, it sounds like there will be a fix in a future update.  As a software developer I can tell you that the cleanup after fixing a bug is always much harder than the fix itself.  I suspect it has something to do with not having a good index on the attachments, making it slightly more dificult to identify which ones are still linked to messages.  I am going to wait a month or so to see if it gets fixed before I restore my phone - I think I can live without that 2GB until then.

     

    But I also like r-m's suggestion above of adding an attachment manager.  For one thing, this would make it easier to identify where there are attachments, rather than just manually going through every thread.  Yes, now that I read what I'm saying, they definately need to add something like this!

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 5:51 AM (in response to wisniak)

    wisniak wrote:

     

    Well,

    I can sadly say that although isntalling 6.1 and formatting my iPhone 4S and iPad2 as new, has not completely resolved the Other issue.

    I don't use iCloud or iMessage.

    While formattign the devices (rather - when the apps were being installed), I saw the other very quickly climg up to about 700MB (previously I had abiyt 1.6GB).

    Now, from past experience, every app I install (either from the device or from my desktop) will add to Other, as well as everything that is deleted.

     

    So besides spending a couple of hours installing everything back, setting up the devices and organizing all my apps into groups - this was a completely unhelpful upgrade.

     

    I hope that at least battery life improves a bit.

     

    While Other can contain corrupt data or deleted files that should have been removed, it is also where all of the data for all of your apps resides. So it sounds like your apps total 700 MB of data.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 5:58 AM (in response to wisniak)

    I do expect some "Other".

    It may be worth next time you restore the backup (to a "new" device") make a note of the time your computer reports, and then check the newly created backup (iTunes used to create a new backup whenever you restored a backup) for any files that were created/modified/accessed around the time you started to see it increase.

    May not work, because as you say it was whilst apps were being installed, but worth noting and checking.

     

    It could also be that you've previously had an app that contained a lot of data, but that app is no longer installed on your iPhone.

    When restoring a backup, iTunes loads the data for all apps you had on your phone at the time of the backup, then when you install that app it'll still have the data like you last had it (rather than it being a new install of the app).

     

    This happened to me last night, iTunes didn't install my RSS reader. Once I installed the RSS reader again off the app store, my feeds were already there.

    If you can figure out what the apps are that may be missing... you could install them again, then delete them, which may clear some of the "Other".

     

    The issue I see with iTunes doing this, is if you decide not to install all the apps you had on it previous, that restore data sits on your phone. Then when you backup again, it's still backed up, then restore to a new phone and pick more apps not to install, you end up with even more app data that's not needed... not ideal.

  • r-m Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Lawrence Finch wrote:

     

    ... it is also where all of the data for all of your apps resides. So it sounds like your apps total 700 MB of data.

    I'm not convinced about that, based on some tests I did myself.

    Do you mean user installed apps, such as Facebook, google Maps, etc..?

    I believe the data contained within those apps (such as cached images, user lists, etc) is shown on iTunes in the "Apps" section.

    I'm sure that happens, because I transferred some photos to a few different apps that could store documents, and I saw the "Apps" section size increase just as much as I expected (the total file size of the photos I added as documents, multiplied by the 3 apps I transffered them to). It didn't change the "Other" size.

     

    What "Other" does contain, is partly what you've said about "Corrup data or deleted files that should have been removed". As in my response to Wisniak, I think "Other" contains data for apps that were backed up, but then not transferred to the device when the backup was restored. I don't know if there's a way to remove that data.

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