How to Clear System Data on iPhone?

Buying a 128GB iPhone does not mean you can fill it with 128GB of music, apps, or games. iOS will take a solid chunk of that storage (8-10GB), and a few gigabytes will go under something called “System data.” System data is a plague that has been hunting iPhone owners for many years. Some customers say system data on their devices stay within reasonable ranges, while others complain that the category takes away the entire iPhone or iPad storage. In some cases, the situation gets so bad that people cannot properly operate their devices, install apps, update to a newer iOS, or even perform basic tasks just because system data has taken away every free bit of space.

how to clear system data on iphone

Unfortunately, Apple does not seem very keen to fix the problem. Therefore, users need to Google how to get rid of other storage on iPhone, how to clear system data on iPhone, etc. There are no definitive ways to delete system data on iPhone, but you can do a few things to reduce the amount of space it takes.

What is System Data on iPhone?

You can find a brief and somewhat vague description of what system data is on iPhone by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > System Data. Apple says the following:

System Data includes caches, logs and other resources currently in use by the system. This value will fluctuate according to system needs.

how to delete system data on iphone

Unfortunately, there is no apparent “delete” button or a clear explanation of what users should do when system data on iPhone starts growing exponentially.

Note. Do not bother deleting system data on iPhone if it does not go higher than 4-5GB and you have plenty of storage left. You cannot delete system data altogether to keep it at 0GB. Even brand-new iPhones have about 2GB of system data after the initial setup.

How to Clear System Data on iPhone?

Here are a few things that will help you get rid of other storage on iPhone or system data (in newer iOS versions):

  • Start with closing all apps. This step will help you reduce the amount of storage system data taken on your iPhone if you have spent considerable time watching streaming videos, such as YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, etc. These services cache the video as you stream it, and it goes straight to system data.
  • Delete some of the offline content. Many apps allow downloading content for offline use. Those include video and music streaming, podcasts, books, magazines, webpages, games, etc.
  • Close all Safari tabs and clear the browser’s data. Note that this will likely sign you out of the websites you visited. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. Tip: the Clear History and Website Data will be unavailable if you use the Screen Time and content blocking feature. Disable the latter before deleting Safari data. clear system data iphone
  • Delete old iMessage attachments, such as audio messages, photos, and videos.
  • Install a newer iOS version if you have enough storage to download and install it. Upgrading to a newer release often gets rid of system data on iPhone and iPad. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Open the Files app and check all accessible folders in the “On My iPhone” section. You can safely delete every file you do not recognize without fear of damaging the operating system or installed apps.
  • Back up your iPhone and then restore the backup. This will remove system data on your iPhone while keeping all your apps and personal data. Note that you will have to log in to some of the programs after restoring from the backup.
  • Reset your iPhone and start from scratch. Remember to back up important information before doing that.

We can only hope Apple will introduce a better way to clear system data on iPhone and iPad. Until then, users must deal with the problem using the abovementioned steps.

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