Force iOS Devices to Recalculate “Other” Capacity in iTunes

Apr 12, 2012 - 35 Comments

iTunes Other Capacity

The “Other” capacity in iTunes is supposed to estimate the size of system software, contacts, Messages data, and things that are not listed elsewhere in the labeled capacities list of storage on an iOS device. Sometimes other data will become mislabeled or misappropriated to the “Other” category, and suddenly it’s reported as being much larger than it actually is on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Though this has no impact on device performance, some people find it annoying when Other is eating up a lot of capacity on an iOS device, so here’s an easy fix that will often get the Other space to be recalculated into a more accurate number:

  1. Connect the iPad, iPod, or iPhone to a computer
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. Hold the Power and Home button until the device forcibly reboots
  4. Relaunch iTunes

The Other space should recalculate to be a reasonable amount, though you usually need to relaunch iTunes to see the change.

If the above method didn’t work for you, you can also try the traditional approach to fixing a gigantic Other category size, which can remedy it many situations.

Note that sometimes the only way to clear out and remove the Other storage is to restore the iOS device, which is a process of backing it up, wiping it, then restoring from the backup. Yes, that may sound a bit extreme, but it works when nothing else does, and there are times when no other solution will remove the Other space.

Thanks to hironaka and alan for the tip


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Luiz Segantini says:

    Go to Settings/Music turn off the Librarian Music. Check you free storage, you will have more space. You can turn on again.

  2. nicola says:

    Excellent – halved mine from almost 8! Plus forced me to delete loads of stuff I don’t use and got even more space!!

  3. chris. just chris. says:

    funny, the “other” problem happened for me AFTER i had restored my phone

  4. Sandra says:

    I need to thank you very much Darko. This sucked 6gb of space and now it’s less than a gig. So I got to bed a bit later than expected.

  5. Skylor says:

    Thank you so much! That was pissing me off

  6. Lindsey says:

    So you have to restore your phone to factory settings?

  7. Lena says:

    Clearing history, cookies and data in Safari will free up “other” space. Settings>Safari. Took off just a bit for me but then again I don’t use safari a lot.

  8. Tee says:

    Mine went from 6.7GB to 1.2 GB after reboot. Super thanks!

  9. Lisa says:

    I too did the method by Darko and although my nicely restored phone did have the other amount reduced down to 0.45 GB, I can’t get any of my old settings back and now need to spend hours redoing everything. I did backup my phone before completing the process but when I selected set as new phone, it’s no longer giving me access to any of the old backups. When you first plug the phone back in, it immediately begins syncing and backing up.

  10. JCS says:

    I am in the process of trying the method outlined by Darko. I tried checking and unchecking the “Open iTunes” to no avail, I tried rebooting the phone and restarting iTunes to no avail.

    The current summary is showing 9.1GB in “Other” and I can’t take pictures or update apps or anything because it is showing that it is 1.something over.

    • JCS says:

      Following the first step I backed up the iPhone 4GS to my computer. As soon as that had finished it showed the “Other” size as .94GB. I don’t know if it had to do with taking it off iCloud autobackup or what, but it doesn’t appear that I need to do a full restore at this time.

      Many thanks to everyone that has submitted an idea for this problem. Even though it took a few tries to get the desired results it is wayyyy better than having an iPhone that is severely limited in capability!

  11. dhb says:

    great! went from 10.2 gig to 1.6 with hard reboot.

    thx much

  12. Ryan says:

    Darko – Common sense wins out. Other solutions did not work, only increase “other” file. Your solution reduced from 9GB down to 0.42GB. I finally got my phone back!!

  13. Vince says:

    excellent!!!!! took my ipad from 8GB to 0.73gb! NICEEEEE!

  14. Darko says:

    I had worked over problem and solved it to my satisfaction – listening to no one from forums and performing my logic:
    step 1. Backup phone (with Sync, have ‘Backup to this computer’ CHECKED)
    step 2. Restore iPhone and when done ‘Set as New iPhone’ (DO NOT choose to backup from last backup)
    step 3. Once iPhone is ready and working, reconnect to iTunes and only then choose to Restore from backup from step 1., and restore your device once again (all old data will appear, but iTunes will show SHRANK Other capacity (mine shrank from 3 Gb to .65 Gb)).
    Hope this helps.

    • Peter says:

      @Darko – your solution totally worked for me too after trying several other “fixes” I saw posted on the web. I got a 10x reduction in the “other” file size. Yay!

    • Brandon A says:

      This worked! Thank you so much…Back up to NEW PHONE

    • ViperKim says:

      @ Darko. Just tried this & it work great. Went from 5.5 Gb of “other” to 1.04Gb (about 81% reduction). Free space went from about .75 Gb to 5.8Gb.
      Thx! 81%

    • CosmicFreak8 says:

      I am not tech minded in the least, so bear with me. I have an iphone 4. If I perform a backup, will that give me the latest version (6.0)? I do not want this. I still want 5.1.1.
      Thanks for any help

      • GIuliano says:

        stich 5.1.1 firmware with shsh blobs and then download and run tiny umbrella them open itunes and shitft+left click with windows or alt+leftclick mac and select the firmware with the numbers.

    • Don says:

      Darko, thanks for the advice. I am about to try it on my iPad. In step 2, you said to “restore” the iPhone and when done, etc. Did you mean to first “reset” the device by erasing all content and settings?

    • Kelli says:

      Despite my initial skepticism, Darko’s method worked for me like a charm and shrank my Other Capacity from 2.2 MB to .87 MB. All else restored without issue. Thanks!

    • todd says:

      alas. this did NOT work for me :(

    • Allie says:

      WOW!! worked like a charm!! it went from 6.55GB to 493.4MB!! thanks so much!! nothing else was working, only increasing ‘Other’.. Thanks :)

    • Ghermiah says:

      Tried this and it worked. Shrunk my “Other” category from over 5 GB to just over 1 GB. Thanks!

    • jen H says:

      best advice ever for this issue. I tried everything else, and finally found this comment. thanks again. went from 3.44GB down to 1.26GB big difference on a 16GB phone. :D

    • Martin says:

      Thank you, Darko. I tried quite a few other “solutions” and yours is the only one that worked. My “other” category shrank from 36Gb to less than 3Gb.

    • Daniel says:

      This worked very well for me, thank you so much. From 6GBs remaining to 28GBs remaining overall! ‘Other’ from 10GBs down to 0.8GBs

  15. trenton says:

    i restored my phone and my other went up from 5.2 to 5.8! WTH????

  16. trenton says:

    did not work at all for me

  17. Mike says:

    Awesome man, took mine from 8.8gb of other to 0.83!!! Sweet!

  18. kyle says:

    it changed mine from 1.99 GB to 1.95… big help.

  19. paul baccini says:

    Over a week my ‘other’ just blew out my capacity. I usually sinc once a week but i did it a couple of times that week coz it was going spastic. I followed instructions on a couple of forums and nothing happened. I was finally told to restore my phone’s settings. Very stupid move. When – what is it? Apple? – when they tell you that restoring your phone’s settings will take it back to factory settings you would think, literally, that it would take ONLY YOUR PHONE’S SETTINGS BACK, not your SIM card’s. Now, I’m not a technically minded sorta person, but I do understand the English language. Under iPhone’s instructions I performed an operation which would effect only my phone… those instructions wiped my SIM card. I have lost 20 years of contacts!
    Any suggestions at all? Other than suing the muthaf**k’n c**t out of them?!
    (Sorry for the suggested expletives, but I’m pretty cross!)

  20. I face this problem on my iPod Touch 8GB , The “other” capacity is shown wrong. This trick works great, now iTunes displays the correct used capacity.

  21. abacus rosse says:

    Took mine from 1.6GB to 1.2GB. I didn’t really see a problem with the original number but good to know anyway.

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