9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2015 5:17 AM by keferraro
SteveMountain Level 1 (0 points)

My 8GB iPhone 3GS has a total capacity of 6.2GB, as shown in settings of my iPhone. Further, a friend's 8GB iPhone 3GS shows a total capacity of 6.7GB, but after being restored to factory settings with the iTunes in my laptop, its total capacity drops to 6.2GB as well. This is not owing to new version of iOS; indeed, I gave a new 8GB iPhone 3GS to another friend last year, and the iPhone also shows a total capacity of 6.2GB despite its iOS4 (not iOS 5 or iOs 6).


Clearly, there is something wrong here. A friend suggests this is a virus that reduces iPhone's total capacity, but Apple technical team hasn't yet been able to figure out a way to clean the virus. Another friend told me rumours about *** randomly select iPhone users to monitor their usage and private activities, and the missing storage space are taken up by these hidden spy programs. For iPhone 5 and 4s users with much larger capacity, this problem cannot be identified because iOS reserves an extra space of 1GB or 2GB in all iPhones, and the spy programs, if they were really here, could hide in such reserve space.


Any expert could shed some light on this troubling issue? Thanks!

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • diesel vdub Level 7 (21,995 points)

    SteveMountain wrote:


    Clearly, there is something wrong here.

    Clearly, there is not.



    SteveMountain wrote:


    A friend suggests this is a virus that reduces iPhone's total capacity


    They know not what they speak of.



    SteveMountain wrote:


    Another friend told me rumours about *** randomly select iPhone users to monitor their usage and private activities, and the missing storage space are taken up by these hidden spy programs

    Tell them to remove their tin foil hat.

    All users can elect to participate in sharing information with Apple or elect out of sharing the information with Apple.  It takes up no more or no less space regardless of the user's decision.



    How OS X and iOS report Storage Capacity

  • SteveMountain Level 1 (0 points)

    Could you please explain the cause of the problem? I don't believe Apple would do this at all, and the issue is why this discrepancy in capacity shows up, and whether it could be exploited by third parties whomever they may be. Apple is a great company, and trust such security concerns would be taken seriously by Apple tech team members if any of them read this discussion, even if it might be just a matter as simple as a couple of lines of explanation.


    Thanks again for your prompt reply, and any more details or direct explanation on capacity discrepancy between my iPhones and others would help me much further.

  • SteveMountain Level 1 (0 points)

    The link in your post does not deal with my question. I bought around 10 iPhone 3GS, and all of them have 6.2 gb capacity regardless of iOS versions. As discussed in my original post, even a friend's iPhone 3GS drops from 6.7gb to 6.2gb after restoration with the iTunes in my laptop.

  • diesel vdub Level 7 (21,995 points)

    The post specifically answers your question... read and comprehend it.


    No device, computer, tablet, or phone will every show the actual drive capacity.


    Apple is not doing anything here, there is no conspiracy.

    Part of the capacity is taken up by the Operating System, part of the "missing" capacity is the difference between the actual capacity and the industry standard of how device capacity is reported.

    There is nothing hiding or hidden.

    There is nothing to be exploited.


    This is a user to user support forum, you will never get a response from Apple here.


    An 8GB device is supposed to have around 6GB of available storage.

    A 16GB device has around 13GB of available storage.

    A 32GB device has around 28GB of available storage.

  • SteveMountain Level 1 (0 points)

    This is CLEARLY a big problem that would upset any user who are concerned about just decent security when using iOS devices such as iPhones.


    You don't know the question I posted -- maybe you hadn't read through it before posting your first response. It's indeed surprising to see that you actually have provided NO concrete information about my question despite your HIGHLY TIMELY and STRONG response to my post.


    Your strong and emotional response, with no backup of any meaningful information, only makes this question on the security of iOS devices such as iPhone and iPads even more of a concern.


    "The emperor has no clothing" -- this is no secret to any naked eyes. You're the one who's talking about conspiracy and blame it on Apple, and I don't see the reason why you act this way. Regardless of whether Apple people would come to this forum, trust this forum is one of the best ways to catch attention of iDevice users and find out what's really going on with iOS and hidden space.

  • diesel vdub Level 7 (21,995 points)

    Do you even have a clue what you are talking about?


    Every posting has specifically addressed your completely baseless claims.

    These "friends" of yours that claim there are back doors and hidden file space are simply ignorant.


    If you want proof, provide some of these completely ridiculous claims you are making.

    Then we can easily shoot down and prove just how completely moronic these claims are.

  • SteveMountain Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there any expert who could provide some insight into the issue, please? This post is to seek answer and help, and hope the arguing by one individual does not stop iPhone users and Apple experts from helping each other and supporting Apple customers here.


    This unexplained discrepancy in capacity, even for the same iPhone, relates directly to the security and privacy of every iPhone user -- indeed, every iOS user. Trust the vast majority wants to find out what's going on. I don't see a way to post pictures in this forum, or else would have attached screen shots from my iPhone/iTunes.

  • Starslighter Level 1 (0 points)

    I was wondering about the same thing even if this post is quite old. Normally such small hard drives lose about 9-10% of real space and it isnt the ios installation because i can see that one installed on top of the missing space and ios 7 weights about 1.45gb with all preinstalled apps.

    It means 8GB should have 7.1GB capacity like it was on my first iPhone hd. It seem there is something installed that weights 1GB which is making an 8GB iPhone into 0.8gb(10%) + 1gb = losing 1.8gb = remaining capacity into something about 6gb on top of which the ios is installed with the apps.

    Same with iPhone 16gb - 10%= 14.4gb minus mysterious 1gb of something = remaining capacity is about 13.3gb

    iPhone of 32gb - 10% = 28.8gb minus 1gb = 27.8gb - near the ''normal'' 28gb and so on...

    Simple math makes it obvious that emperor has no clothes on.

  • keferraro Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm going to reply to this thread even though I am PC support specialist because apparently in the Apple world you only get your answers buried in a boatload of snark.  diesel vdub does give a link to an informative Apple post after his diatribe. In the post it rightly explains that although you may have 8GB of raw storage space and you may know that your iOS takes 1.3 GB of storage space (this is just a hypothetical number, I couldn't find right off hand how much storage space the iOS actually takes up), you do not have the entire remainder of your raw space to store your "stuff"  The biggest reason for this is that the device and the iOS needs room to move to do its actual work of making your device work. The OS sets this space aside to make sure it is available. On a PC, this is called paging files, on a Mac this is called virtual memory.  Other things come into play that take up space: the memory component itself uses some of its space to store records about how and where the information is stored. Also, files are stored in blocks but sometimes a file doesn't take up a full block. The rest of that block is not available to store another file though. Apple does say that on an 8GB device you should have about 6.2GB available for your "stuff". There are several quite good tutorials on how to clean out unused space on your iOS device so I won't go into that here.  My catch was that I had lots of mail and texts stored with photos in them. So even though my photo storage is small, my mail storage is huge. Store those pictures somewhere else and get the messages off your phone. :-)