How to get rid of the “Other” space on my iPad

Other Space on iPad and iPhoneThis issue really bugged the crap out of me – so I wanted to share my results in hopes that it can help others in the future.

When an iPhone, iPad, etc… is connected to your computer and loaded up through iTunes you can see how much space is used by Movies, Music, Apps, etc.  There is also a group of data called “Other”.  Think of other as any other space being used by items that are not Movies, Music and Apps.

The frustrating part was that over 50% of my storage was being taken by “Other”.  It was a pain to manage the storage and only have enough room for a movie or two and a few apps.

When I began searching on the issue, I started to get even more frustrated.  Part of the frustration is that Apple is too large to provide individualized customer support.  So you are left with non technical folks attempting to fix issues on help forums and so forth.

After reading some forums I made some attempts at fixing the iPad.  However the following fixes did not solve my particular issue.

  • Remove apps that can download and store data (e-mail apps, facebook, etc).  Generally the storage used by these apps will show under your App Section.
  • Remove iCloud and other streaming services
  • Removed extra photos, videos, etc…

Again – all of the suggestions above will not fix the particualr problem with the “Other” data set growing.  Let’s look at what causes the actual issue.

The “Other” section of data is basically anything else that is not Movies, Music, Apps, etc.  That means that any partial data, data corruption, abandoned data, etc… will all end up in that “Other” group.

In my particular case I noticed this starting to occur after I had trouble downloading and installing a particular iPad app.  I am a Mobile Developer and was installing a developer version of an App that was broken.  The app then got corrupted on my device.  After that my “Other” data group started to grow.

The “Other” data group grew even more when I attempted to download some videos but ran into download and connection issues in the middle of the download.

Long story short – it is cached by bad cache files, corrupted files, etc.  Apple does not provide a way to manage your individual files, so the fix is a little annoying.

Here is how I fixed my growing “Other” data set on my iPad.

  1. Upgraded and installed the latest iPad software
  2. Created a fresh BACKUP point for my iPad.
  3. Used the “Restore iPad” feature to restore it to the original factory settings  (note: just restoring a backup at this stage did not do the trick – you have to give it a good clean install first)
  4. Once restore to original settings, I restored my backup, which copied all of my previous settings and data.
  5. Viola – my “Other” data group is now incredibly small.

I hope this helps!

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