Documents and Data on iPhone is basically a stored cache of information gleaned from your apps – things like cookies, log-in data, and downloaded files like images and other files.
Simple, right? The reason iPhone’s have this feature is to ensure the apps work quickly when you open them. If the app you use, say, Facebook, for instance, already has its requisite Documents and Data stored, it will open faster as it already knows what to do based on the previous usage.
This is good; you want your apps to open quickly. But these Documents and Data files can soon add up and, if you’re running a lower storage iPhone model, cause issues with your storage in the long run. For this reason, it is advisable to delete your iPhone’s Documents and Data once every few months.
For more tips on managing your iPhone’s storage, read this.
How To Delete Documents and Data on iPhone
Apple DOES NOT offer a way for users to delete all Documents and Data, however, meaning you have to go through ALL the apps on your phone and delete their associated Documents and Data and files.
And this takes time, obviously, which is another reason why you should ONLY run applications that you actually use. If you do not regularly use an app (meaning you haven’t opened it for a month or so), you should 100% think about deleting it.
So, how do you go about deleting your iPhone’s Documents and Data? Follow this example to do it. We’re going to use Facebook to demonstrate, but you can apply the same methodology to any application running on your iPhone.
- Open Facebook
- Go To Settings & Privacy
- Media and Contacts
- Tap “Clear Browsing Data”
Once you’ve done this, all of Facebook’s stored Documents and Data will be removed from your iPhone, freeing up a surprising amount of space. If you perform this process of all your most-used apps (things like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc) you could end up freeing up a couple of GB of room on your iPhone – perhaps even more!
What If App Doesn’t Let You Delete Documents and Data?
Not all iPhone apps let you delete their Documents and Data files; some simply do not have the option. Take Apple’s Podcasts app, for instance, it doesn’t let you delete Documents and Data inside its Settings. This isn’t ideal, but it isn’t a deal-breaker, either – you can still clear its Documents and Data.
And apps like Podcasts, or Spotify, by their very nature, will have massive Documents and Data storage files on your phone. If you’ve downloaded a podcast, for instance, and listened to it, you don’t need it anymore, so there’s no reason to have it on your phone. You should, therefore, remove it to free up room for the stuff you’re actually going to use.
In order to do this, all you have to do is delete the application, this will clear its cache and its Documents and Data, and then reinstall it. This approach takes longer, but if the app your dealing with has over 2GB of stored Documents and Data it is definitely worth doing once in a while, especially if you’re using a 32GB or 64GB iPhone.
Benefits of Deleting iPhone Documents and Data?
Regularly deleting your iPhone’s Documents and Data will help conserve your iPhone’s storage and keep your phone running smoother. If you have an iPhone with limited storage – anything below 64GB, essentially – then clearing its Documents and Data files is the #1 easiest way to free up room on your iPhone.
The more applications you have installed on your iPhone the more likely you are to run into issues with performance and glitches. For instance, if an app isn’t updated or maintained regularly it can lead to bugs, things like your iPhone constantly restarting, and you do not want this.
Your iPhone will function better when it is running in an optimized state. Having hundreds of applications installed (especially when you only use about 10% of them) is the quickest way to hamper your iPhone’s overall performance and storage. Moral of the story? Run fewer apps and you’ll experience fewer issues in the short, medium, and long term.
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Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.