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What does ‘Other’ mean in your device storage? Dealing with the dark matter of iPhone and iPad data.

“Other” can be a four-letter word of doom to iPhone and iPad users. Those who can’t install software patches on their devices with maxed-out storage blame that amorphous foe.

On an iPhone SE and an iPad mini 5, each with 64 GB of storage, “Other” took up more room than Apple’s system files: just under 7 GB for System on each device, around 8 GB for Other. (Except for when the iPad briefly showed Other topping 29 GB.)

Some apps also let you delete specific files within that interface. For example, Apple’s Podcasts app’s entry in the storage list includes shortcuts to erase every episode of a podcast.

There’s not, however, any way to delete caches of individual apps as you can in Android’s Settings app or to dump temporary files all at once as you can with Google’s Files app.

To clear out Other all at once – which may be more necessary on an older iPhone or iPad with little storage to spare – you’ll need to back up and restore your device. Moving all of your data off the phone or tablet, erasing it and then moving it back zeroes out Other, if only temporarily.

Centers offered the equivalent of a shrug about this situation.

“Personally, I just ignore it and manage space where I actually can, chalking ‘Other’ up as a cost of doing business,” said Centers. “Obsessing over it will just drive you insane.”

Category: Technology

Source: USA Today

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