How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Clear documents and data iPhone and iPad to free up plenty of space on your device. Here is the complete guide, which will tell you how you can Clear documents and data iPhone and iPad to get it done the right way.

Just like “Other on iPhone,” “Documents & Data iPhone” is a slightly baffling part of your iPhone storage that turns out to be a bother when you run out of space. Many people come up with one steadfast question: how to clear “Documents and Data iPhone” and reclaim free space?

Once you have understood what that “Documents & Data” really is, it becomes easy to figure out ways to clear all of it and still have your iPhone work smoothly. The documents and data iPhone come from a variety of sources, including stock apps, third-party apps, and even iCloud documents. It’s cache files stored by individual apps.

Why do apps need to store cache? They store cache to let you have a smooth sailing experience. As, when you search anything in Safari, the web browser keeps a record of it to allow you to access it instantly next time. Likewise, YouTube keeps a record of your watch history to recommend the type of videos that interest you the most.

Let’s check out how you can find and remove cache, cookie, and other miscellaneous data stored by apps and reclaim valuable space on your iPhone!

How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone

First off, give a close look at the storage space used by various apps. It would help you quickly find out the apps that are eating into plenty of space on your device and needed to be controlled immediately.

Step #1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device → Tap on General.

Tap-on-Settings-then-General-on-iDevice

Step #2. Now, tap on iPhone/iPad Storage.

Tap-on-iPhone-Storage-in-Settings

Step #3. Check out the total storage consumed on your device and how much is left. Also, have a look at how much space each app has eaten into. To have a better view, tap on any app.

Check-App-Storage-on-iPhone

Step #4. Now, you will see the app size and how much space its documents and data have consumed.

Check-Document-and-Data-on-iPhone

Once you have check out the storage consumption on your iOS device, you have two options:

First: Offload Unused Apps Without Deleting their Documents and Data

iOS 11 allows you to offload unused apps without deleting their documents and data iPhone. And when you reinstall them, their data is automatically restored. Hence, you can use this handy feature to free up plenty of space on your device without having to clean up the critical information.

Second: Manually Delete and Reinstall App(s) to Easily Clean Up Their Associated Data

If you don’t need the data saved by individual apps, delete them and reinstall them. It will allow you to clear off the associated data of any apps quickly.

Step #1. Tap on the Settings → General.

Tap-on-Settings-then-General-in-iOS-10.3-on-iPhone

Step #2. Tap on Storage & iCloud Usage

Tap-on-Storage-iCloud-Usage-in-iPhone-Settings

Step #3. Tap on Manage Storage under the Storage section.

Tap-on-Manage-Storage-under-Storage-in-iPhone-Settings

Step #4. Tap on the individual app which data you want to delete.

Step #5. Tap on Delete App and confirm.

Delete-App-from-Storage-on-iPhone

Step #6. Reinstall the same.

How to Delete Documents and Data of Specific Apps from iCloud on iPhone and iPad

How about removing saved data of specific apps from iCloud? You can prevent your precious iCloud storage from being cluttered for space by getting rid of redundant documents and data.

Step #1. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device.

Tap-on-Settings-on-iPhone-7-Plus

Step #2. Tap on your profile picture. (If your iPhone is running the previous iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap on iCloud.)

Tap-on-Profile-in-iPhone-Settings

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap-on-iCloud-in-iOS-11-Settings-on-iPhone

Step #4. Tap on Manage Storage.

Tap-on-Manage-Storage-in-iCloud-Settings-on-iPhone-in-iOS-11

Step #5. Tap on the app which data you want to remove.

Tap-on-App-You-Want-to-Delete-Document-and-Data

Step #6. Tap on Delete Documents & Data.

Tap-on-Delete-Docuemnts-and-Data-in-the-App-on-iPhone

Step #7. Tap on Delete to confirm.

Delete-Documents-and-Data-on-iPhone-in-iOS-11

That’s how you can get rid of the cache of individual apps from all of your devices synced with the same iCloud devices.

Tip: Allow only selected apps to store their data in iCloud. It will help you manage your iCloud storage in a better way.

Allow Selected Apps to store their data on iCloud

Step #1. Open the Settings app.

Tap-on-Settings-on-iPhone-7-Plus

Step #2. Tap on your Profile.

Tap on your Profile.

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud in iOS 11 Settings on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #4. Now turn off the switch next to the app, which data you no longer want to save in the cloud.

Allow Selected Apps to Store their Data in iCloud - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Clear Out Music, Movies & TV Shows, Thumbnail Cache

All your iTunes purchases (made on the iPhone/iPad or synced from the computer) are part of the media. It’s usually categorized under the Audio/Video part of your storage, but some of it goes to “Documents and Data.” This could include thumbnail cache or related files.

One of the best things you can do to clear cache is to remove all music from your iPhone and then re-sync it through the computer. This way, you will be clearing out all cache on the iPhone, and because these aren’t created during a re-sync, you get some free space.

Clean Up Photos and Messages

There may be some additional photos in your Camera Roll. Getting rid of them can help you reclaim some valuable space.

Step #1. Open Photos app → Photos tab → tap on Select at the top right corner.

Step #2. Select the photos you want to delete and tap on the Delete Mail Account from iPhone in the iOS 11 button at the bottom right corner.

To delete messages,

iOS 11 or later allows you to remove old conversation attachments automatically. Even better, you can view large attachments and quickly clear them off. Head over to this complete guide to getting it done.

Turn Off Photo Stream

When Photo Stream is enabled, it automatically uploads your new photos and syncs them all of your iCloud devices. Turning it off can help in taking control of the storage.

Step #1. Tap on Settings.

Tap-on-Settings-on-iPhone-7-Plus

Step #2. Tap on Profile (earlier iCloud.)

Tap on Profile in iPhone Settings - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #3. Tap on iCloud.

Tap on iCloud in iOS 11 Settings on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #4. Tap on Photos.

Tap on Photos in iCloud Settings on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #5. Turn off the switch next to My Photo Stream.

Turn Off Photo Stream in iCloud on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

It will delete all of the Photo Stream photos from your iPhone.

Mail: clearing out old email and attachments

If you use the stock Mail app, there’s a lot of caches that build around this. All the synced email that you access through the app is stored on your iPhone for quick access. And over time, there’s data pile-up. Add to this all the attachments that you open on the iPhone.

One simple way of clearing out all mail cache and data is:

Step #1. Open Settings app → Tap on Accounts & Passwords.

Tap on Settings then Accounts and Passwords in iOS 11 Settings on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #2. Tap on the Email account.

Tap on Mail Account in iOS 11 Settings on iPhone - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Step #3. Tap on the Delete account and confirm.

Delete Mail Account from iPhone in iOS 11 - How to Clear Documents and Data on iPhone to Free up Space

Clean Up Safari History and Website Data

It’s better to clear out Safari history and website data from time to time to ensure the web browser continues to run smoothly and doesn’t pile too much of cache.

Voicemail: Delete all voicemail

It turns out that all of your Voicemail contributes to the “Documents and Data” part of the Phone app. Hence make sure to delete unwanted voicemails regularly to ensure they don’t clutter your device for space.

Phone app → Voicemail → selects the voicemail → Now, you need to tap on it or swipe right to left across it to reveal the Delete button → tap on the Delete button.

To delete multiple voicemails, open Phone app → Voicemails → tap on Edit → select the voicemails → tap on Delete.

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Muhammad Irfan Raza
Irfan Raza is Editor at TechWafer covering Everything about Apple including Mac, iPhones, iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook, and How-tos.

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