How to Clear System Data on iPhone

Want to find out how to clear System Data on iPhone?

As great as iPhones are, they cannot beat Androids in certain areas. One of them includes storage. You will ultimately run out of storage space no matter how much money you spend on the high-capacity model. 

Imagine not being able to install the latest iOS release, transfer your data to a new iPhone, or download and install applications just because your device doesn’t have enough space. This problem is not to be lightly taken as iPhones do not support the use of external storage cards to extend device capacity.

The space consumed by photos or applications is understandable. These can be cleared if needed, but the mystery lies in the System Data, labeled as Other storage in older iOS versions. The data included in this category vary for every user and can’t be directly deleted. But below, we’ve mentioned a few ways you can clear System Data on iPhone.

So let’s take a quick look at them!

1. Clear Safari Cache and History.

The gray-colored section indicates the System Data in iPhone Storage settings. While it doesn’t mention what kind of data is included, it’s not too difficult to guess that this category comprises all information that doesn’t fall in the previously defined sections. 

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to clear the System Data on iPhone, but you can take several measures to bring it down to 1 or 2 GB. One of them is by clearing the Safari cache and history.

Below are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Launch the Settings app from your iPhone. 
  2. Next, scroll down and select Safari
safari in settings
  1. Now, scroll down and tap Clear History and Website Data
clear history and website data in safari settings
  1. Lastly, a confirmation message will appear. Simply select Clear History and Data. This will delete all your Safari tabs, history, and other data. 
Clear System Data on iPhone

However, if you wish to save your Safari tabs from being deleted, you may follow these steps to delete Safari history from the app itself:

  1. Go to the Safari app on your device. 
  2. Afterward, tap on the Bookmark icon present at the bottom bar. 
bookmark icon in safari
  1. This will open up the History tab. Now, tap on Clear from the lower-right corner. 
  2. Select All Time from the options given. 
Clear System Data on iPhone

2. Offload Unused Applications.

Clearing applications’ cache from time to time is recommended not only to clear System Data on iPhone but to prevent frequent crashes, lagging, and battery drainage issues. Some apps feature the option to clear cache from their settings, but if it doesn’t, you’ll need to head over to the Settings app.

However, it’s noteworthy that Apple doesn’t offer you a direct way to clear the program’s cache. To delete unwanted settings and data of apps, you need to offload them. This will keep the apps’ icons on your screen while getting rid of files associated with them.

Here’s how to turn on the option to offload apps automatically:

  1. Open the Settings app. 
  2. Next, scroll down and choose the App Store
app store in settings app
  1. Turn on the toggle for Offload Unused Apps
app store settings on iphone

Follow these steps to offload apps that you don’t usually use manually:

  1. From the iPhone Settings app, go to General
  2. After that, tap on iPhone Storage
  3. Now, select the app that you wish to offload. 
  4. Lastly, tap on the Offload App option.
Clear System Data on iPhone

After offloading apps, you may head to the iPhone Storage settings and check whether that made a difference or not. 

3. Disable iCloud Photos.

iPhones hold on to all the failed attempts of data transfer in some unknown location. Surprisingly, turning off the iCloud Photos feature worked for some users, and they got rid of the System Data. 

Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Head to Settings from your Apple device. 
  2. Next, scroll down and tap on Photos
photos in settings app
  1. Under the iCloud section, turn the toggle off for iCloud Photos
icloud photos option in photos settings

4. Disable Analytics.

Analytics is one of the options on Apple devices that drain the battery and comprise your privacy too. The feature gathers your usage data and further sends it to Apple to improve your experience. However, it definitely takes up needless space on your iPhones, which is especially important when you’re running low on the device storage.

So, follow these steps to disable the feature:

  1. From the Settings app, scroll down and locate Privacy. Then, tap on it. 
privacy in settings
  1. Next, select Analytics & Improvements
privacy settings on iphone
  1. Lastly, turn the toggle off for Share iPhone Analytics.
Clear System Data on iPhone

5. Get Rid of Messages History and Large Attachments.

One of the easiest ways to clear System Data on iPhone is to delete Messages threads. That’s because your conversation doesn’t only include texts but also images, videos, and files until you decide to delete them manually. 

Instead of selectively erasing files, it’s quicker to delete entire conversations. Here’s how to do it:

  1. From iPhone Settings, scroll down and tap on Messages
messages in settings
  1. Now, select Keep Messages from the Message History section.
messages settings
  1. Finally, change the selected option from Forever to 30 Days or 1 Year to reduce your messages’ data in System Data.
Clear System Data on iPhone

Deleting read messages and unnecessary message attachments is another good way to free up some space if you don’t prefer to delete entire conversations. Luckily, iPhones are very well organized when it comes to such files. 

To get rid of large message attachments, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings from your phone. 
  2. Next, head to General and then select iPhone Storage
  3. Now, tap on Messages
  4. Under the Documents section, you will come across several categories such as Top Conversations, Photos, etc. 
Clear System Data on iPhone
  1. Simply tap on each option one by one to delete any large or unnecessary files and attachments. You may also tap on Review Large Attachments to specifically delete large files.

6. Update to the Latest iOS Version.

This method is for all except those unfortunate ones that can’t even install the latest software update due to being run out of storage. Apple can take notice if most users are having the problem of clearing the System Data. in such a case, the company will release a fix through an update.

Below are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Head to General from the Settings app.
  2. Select Software Update
software update in general settings
  1. If there’s an update pending, you should be able to see it along with the option of Download & Install. Simply tap on it to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version. 

7. Reset Your Device.

If all the previously explained methods haven’t been too effective in your case, we recommend that you reset your iPhone. By doing so, you are not spending your precious time finding caches in every corner of your device to clear it. Simply back up your data and reset your device.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Settings from your device and tap on General
  2. Scroll down and select Transfer or Reset iPhone
transfer or reset iphone settings
  1. Now, tap on Erase All Content and Settings
Clear System Data on iPhone
  1. Provide your passcode and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your iPhone. 

This concludes our guide on how to clear System Data on iPhone. Hopefully, you’ve cleared some data by following a few methods mentioned in this guide. If you have further queries, feel free to use the comments section below. We’ll try our best to help you out. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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