iPhone slowing down? How to speed it up by clearing 'Other' storage

Asia's Tech News Daily

If you’re running out of storage space on your iPhone, that doesn’t mean you have to rush out to upgrade to the iPhone 13. In fact, please don’t if that’s the only reason (unless your phone is on its deathbed). That’s because there are tons of easy tricks that could help.

iPhone slowing down? How to speed it up by clearing 'Other' storage
© Provided by CNET Safari now takes a proactive approach to managing the number of open tabs on your iPhone or iPad. Jason Cipriani/CNET

One major memory hog can be the iPhone’s mysterious “Other” storage section. If you’ve run out of storage before and attempted to manually free up space, you may already be familiar with Other storage. If not, let’s run what that is before we dive into how to shrink this pesky category.

The Other section is a catch-all corner of your iPhone’s storage. Think of it as a place where things like system files and Siri voices can be stored. But the main reason it can be a memory hog is due to cache: Your cache stores elements of apps or websites so they load faster when next you use them. Cache collects as you browse the web, stream videos or movies and when you send text messages with pictures or video. In apps like Google Maps and Chrome, cached data can soon start to eat away at your available storage on the device. 

So, is Other storage taking up too much precious space on your iPhone? To check, you’ll need to go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. After a moment’s calculation, you’ll see a bar graph of the categories taking up your iPhone’s storage. The other storage section is usually the gray portion on the far right of the graph. (For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume your Other section is taking up more space than it should.)

iPhone slowing down? How to speed it up by clearing 'Other' storage
© Provided by CNET iOS 11 introduced new ways to free up space, including the option of offloading apps you don’t use regularly. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Let’s get this out of the way early: A surefire way to dump a lot of the junk contained in Other storage is resetting your iPhone, though in my experience you can’t fully empty it. If backing up, wiping and restoring your iPhone sounds intimidating for now, here are a few alternatives for you to try. 

iPhone slowing down? How to speed it up by clearing 'Other' storage
© Jason Cipriani/CNET

Safari now takes a proactive approach to managing the number of open tabs on your iPhone or iPad. 

Offload apps

Not to be confused with deleting an app, offloading an app means the app is removed from your device, but all data is retained, for when you decide to reinstall it. Take advantage of this trick, especially if you have apps like Google Maps, for instance, that use a lot of space but don’t store much data. To offload an app, go back to iPhone Storage in Settings > General, tap on the app that you want to offload and then Offload App

Here’s a tip: In the iPhone Storage section, there’s a list of apps with a number next to each name indicating the storage it uses. You can immediately get an overview of which apps are hogging memory or taking up just a little. This will help you decide which to offload.

Clear out Safari cache and close tabs

If you use Safari often, your iPhone may be storing web history and data that you simply do not need. To clear Safari’s browser cache, go to Settings > Safari and Clear History and Website Data. And if you’re a Chrome user, here’s how to clear out cache on Google’s browser.

Closing out tabs also helps free up storage and keeps your device running smoothly. You can manage how frequently Safari will close open tabs by going to Settings > Safari > Close Tabs. You can keep closing tabs manually, or let Safari close out tabs that haven’t been viewed for a day, a week or a month. 

Stop storing texts forever

By default, your iPhone stores all of the text messages you send and receive… forever. This is convenient if you need to look up a 15-month-old conversation, but not so convenient if you need that storage space back. To stop your phone from saving texts forever, open up Settings and tap Messages. Scroll down until you find Message History and tap Keep Messages. Change Forever to 30 Days or 1 Year. A pop-up will ask you if you want to delete older messages; tap Delete to proceed.

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