With the launch of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple bade farewell to 16GB devices and upgraded the storage space for users. This step was welcomed by users, who pile up a lot of documents and data on their devices. However, there are many users, who keep complaining about space crunch on 32GB devices. For such users, they need to clear documents and data on iPhone and iPad running iOS 11 or iOS 10 and create some free space.
With the release of iOS 11, the process to delete documents and data has changed, but the meaning is still the same.
Note that many built-in and third-party apps like Facebook, Snapchat and dropbox pile up cache on your iOS device. For example, if you frequently use Safari, the app will keep your search queries and websites in its cache, so that when you use it next day, you get quick access of the data (if you are looking for the same websites). Similarly, apps like YouTube and Google also store your search history.
How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11 or iOS 10
Check Storage Space Occupied on iPhone or iPad
Several apps, stock and third-party, occupy some storage space on your iPhone or iPad. You need to see which apps take up how much space on your device so that you can manage the app quickly.
Step #1: Launch Settings app on your iPhone or iPad → General.
Step #2: Open iPhone Storage (iPad Storage).
Step #3: This will show you total iPhone Storage consumed by Apps, Photos, Books, Mail and other. This screen will also feature storage consumed by individual apps. Tap on any one app; for example, WhatsApp is shown first on my iPhone Storage screen.
Step #4: This will show you the app size and below that, you can see Documents & Data.
Remove Documents and Data from iOS Device
Now you know how Documents and Data consume your storage space on the device. Next, your step is to remove Documents and Data.
#1: Delete Stock Apps
From dawn to dusk, you may be using stock apps like Safari, Messages, Music, Videos, Mail and more on your iOS devices. All these apps exchange data, and therefore, they store some data on your iPhone or iPad. Safari creates the cache and reading list; Videos downloads visual contents; while Mail app sends and receives documents.
All these apps send and receive a different type of data, and hence, there are different ways to clear such data.
From iOS 10, you can also delete and reinstall stock apps.
#2: Offload Unused Apps without Deleting Documents and Data
With iOS 11, Apple introduces this new feature to offload unused apps. This feature basically deletes the app but you can always see the same app on your device. This will create some space on your device; and once you reinstall the app, you have access to all documents and data associated with the app.
We have explained few different methods to offload apps on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11.
#3: Manually Delete and Reinstall Apps to Remove Related Data
You can delete and reinstall the apps if you do not care about the related data inside the apps. For example, if you delete and reinstall WhatsApp, you will lose all videos, audios, photos, and texts shared by your friends.
Step #1: Go to Settings and open General.
Step #2: Now tap on iPhone Storage.
Step #3: Next, tap on any individual app that occupies more space on your device.
Step #4: Here, you need to tap on Delete App option (in red fonts).
Step #5: Confirm your action by tapping Delete App, which swipes up from the bottom of your phone screen.
When you tap Delete App option again, a notice appears and it reads that “Deleting WhatsApp will also delete all of its documents and data. This action can’t be undone”.
Once you delete the app, you can easily restore or reinstall the same.
How to Delete App Specific Documents and Data from iCloud on iPhone/iPad
If you have synced your iOS device with iCloud, you can remove stored data of some apps from iCloud. By doing so, you can stop iCloud storage from getting packed with documents and data.
Step #1: Open Settings on your iOS device.
Step #2: Tap on your profile name (next to the profile picture you have set on top).
Note: If you are running your iPhone or iPad on iOS 10.2 or earlier version, tap on iCloud.
Step #3: Next, tap on iCloud.
Step #4: Tap on Manage Storage.
Step #5: Below the Change Storage Plan section, you will find apps data of which are synced with iCloud.
Step #6: Tap on any app from which you want to remove data.
Step #7: Now tap on Delete Documents & Data.
Step #8: Confirm your action by tapping Delete again.
You can remove the cache from individual apps from your iPhone or iPad synced with the same iCloud device.
Pro Tip: When you sync your device with iCloud, you should allow only a few apps to store data in iCloud.
How to Allow Only a Few Apps to Store Data in iCloud
Step #1: Launch Settings app on iPhone.
Step #2: Tap on Profile.
Step #3: Next, tap on iCloud.
Step #4: Now you need to toggle off the switch next to the apps data of which you don’t want to store in iCloud.
For example, on my iPhone, I have turned off apps like Home, Game Center, Siri, Wallet, Maps, VLC, and WhatsApp.
How to Clear Music, Movies, TV Shows, and Thumbnail Cache
When you purchase anything from iTunes (doesn’t matter if you buy anything from your device or synced from your computer), it is your media. Apple considers the media as audio/video part of storage; however, some of the data are also considered as ‘Documents and Data’; for example, thumbnail cache or related files.
You can remove music from your iPhone to clear cache. Then, you can resync your music from your computer. This action will clear cache on your iPhone or iPad.
Delete Photos and Messages
In a month, you capture many photos you wish you hadn’t. This creates an unnecessary burden on Camera Roll in Photos app. You can create some space by deleting such photos.
Step #1: Launch Photos app.
Step #2: From the bottom menu, tap on Photos tab.
Step #3: Next, tap on Select from the top right corner.
Step #4: You can see ‘Select’ button enabled next to each group of photos. Tap on this Select button.
Step #5: Now tap on trash can icon to delete selected photos.
When you tap on trash can icon, pop-up swipe up; in there, you can read the text: These photos will be deleted from iCloud Photo Library on all your devices”.
Finally, tap on Delete to confirm your action.
If you are using iOS 11 or later version on your iPhone or iPad, you can delete large iMessage chats and attachments on your device.
Clear Message/iMessage Cache on iPhone and iPad
People use Messages app in the presence of free chat clients like Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts and more. iPhone users like to communicate via Messages when they are in important meetings, seminars, or conferences just to avoid any disturbance. But little do they know about cache amassed on their iPhones and iPads.
We have discussed a workaround to clear Message/iMessage cache on iPhone and iPad.
Toggle Photo Stream OFF
When you toggle Photo Stream on, you ensure that all your new photos sync with your iCloud devices. You can disable this feature to claim some storage space.
Step #1: Open Settings on your device.
Step #2: Now tap on Profile (if you are using your device on iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap on iCloud).
Step #3: Next, you need to tap on iCloud.
Step #4: Tap on Photos.
Step #5: Here, you need to turn off the switch next to Upload to My Photo Stream.
This action will remove all Photo Stream photos from your iOS device.
Remove Old Mail and Attachments
Every day, you receive at least 10 emails; some with attachment and some without. This works as slow poison for your storage on iPhone. When you open an email on your device, it creates a cache in the background; over a period of time, the background cache increases. You can clear this cache data by following a simple method given below:
Step #1: Settings → Accounts & Passwords.
Step #2: Now tap on an email account under ACCOUNTS section.
Step #3: Next, tap on Delete Account.
Step #4: Confirm your action by tapping on “Delete Account”.
Later, you can add this email account to your device.
Clear Safari History and Website Data
If you are in the habit of accessing websites from Safari on your iPhone or iPad, you need to clear cache and cookies on the browser; also remove history. We have created a complete guide how to clear Safari history and cookies on iPhone or iPad.
People store many voicemails in Phone app on iPhone. This obviously creates an unnecessary cache in the device. Users can delete voicemail messages from iPhone permanently.
Use Third-Party Apps for Clearing Documents and Data
In a day, you may be using some third-party apps that generate cache in the background; for example, apps like Dropbox and WhatsApp, which have data inside and create cache too.
Clear Dropbox Cache from iPhone/iPad
Step #1: Open Dropbox on your iPhone or iPad.
Step #2: Now tap on Settings icon from the top left corner of your device.
Step #3: Scroll down and tap on Clear Cache.
Step #4: Tap on Clear Cache again to confirm your action.
How to Remove Media Files from Individual WhatsApp Chat History on iPhone
It is universally accepted that GIFs, audios, videos, and images shared on WhatsApp occupy more space than simple texts. Keeping this in mind, you need to delete such media files from individual WhatsApp chat history. Moreover, you can select individual media files on each contact or group with which you interact every day.
Are you using the latest WhatsApp on your device? If not, please update your WhatsApp.
Step #1: Open WhatsApp on your device.
Step #2: Now tap on Settings from the bottom menu (by default, you are on Chats section).
Step #3: Next tap on Data and Storage Usage.
Step #4: The last option is Storage Usage; tap on it.
Step #5: This will show you a list of groups or contacts with whom you chat; on the top, you can see a contact or group name that stores more data in terms of texts, GIFs, video, audio, and more.
Step #6: Tap on that contact or group.
You can see a matrix of Texts, Contacts, Locations, Photos, GIFs, Videos, Voice Messages, and Documents.
Step #7: Tap on Manage from the bottom.
Step #8: Now uncheck the field data of which you don’t want to delete. Normally, users keep Texts and Contacts and remove other data like Photos, GIFs, Videos, etc.
Step #9: Tap on Clear; tap on Clear again to confirm your action.
You can perform the above method for each group or individual contact to remove media files.
Clear Apple News App History
News lovers keep exploring Apple News app, which is now a default app in iOS 11. During a day, you browse many news links to keep updated with the latest happenings. In the background, though, your Apple News app piles up history. You can Clear Apple News App History, Recommendations on iPhone.
Also Check: How to Delete Other Data from iPhone and iPad
Documents and Data, if not taken care of, can make your device slow over a period of time. Since you have got the hang of this term, you can perform above methods on your device and clear documents and data from your iPhone and iPad.