What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It?

If you have looked at the storage information on your iPhone, you might wonder what system data is and how to clear it.

The system data on an iPhone often take up a significant amount of space in its local storage. When you’re trying to conserve as much space as possible for photos, videos, apps, and other content, it can be discouraging when system data takes up so much space.

What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It 1 What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It?

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What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It?

System data on an iPhone is used to run core functions for iOS, apps, and general system processes. It might contain activity logs, temporary content and data, and other nondescript files. You can partially clear system data by clearing apps, updating iOS, or resetting your iPhone.

When you purchase an iPhone based on its storage capacity, you might expect to have every bit of that storage at your disposal. Since an iPhone requires many system files to run, much of your initial storage space will be occupied by system data.

If you want to have an iPhone that works properly, you won’t be able to clear your system data completely. However, you can perform simple actions to reduce the amount of storage your system data use.

What Is System Data On My iPhone?

Much of the storage space on an iPhone may be filled by system data used for the iPhone’s operating system, background processes, web browser media, streamed content, and various apps.

Unlike photos, videos, and other common files stored on an iPhone, we cannot easily delete files stored within system data.

Some of the files stored in system data are temporary files your iPhone saves when you visit websites and other internet content.

Websites often use a mechanism that automatically stores content like images, videos, and other web page files to your iPhone.

By saving web page content to your iPhone, your web browser can load pages you previously visited faster.

When you visit a web page for the first time, your iPhone’s web browser (like Safari or Google Chrome) must download all the content within the page.

Since media files like images and videos often have large file sizes, it may take a long time for your web browser to download everything to your iPhone.

For future visits to the same page, your web browser can access media files stored on your iPhone instead of downloading them from the web page again.

Web browsers might also save session data that logs information about pages you visited, settings you configured, and other activity on a website.

The degree to which content and data are viewed, stored, and used can vary depending on the website you visit and the permissions you grant them.

How Do I Clear System Data On My iPhone?

What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It 1 1 What Is System Data On An iPhone And How Do I Clear It?

Though clearing large chunks of unnecessary system data files isn’t very straightforward, you can at least reduce some of the space used by iPhone system data with a few simple actions.

Many popular apps used for text editing, gaming, and messaging have settings options to allow users to delete cached files and data for the apps.

To clear some space from the system data on your iPhone, you can use clearing tools in your web browser to remove temporary content like images and videos.

Clear iPhone Web Browsers To Clear Some System Data

You can clear this data at the same time as your cached content from your iPhone web browser.

Follow these instructions to clear web browser cache and data files using the Safari app on your iPhone:

  • Go to your iPhone’s Settings app.
  • Go to Safari.
  • Select Clear History and Website Data.

If you check your system data on your iPhone, you may notice a difference in the amount of space it takes up.

Different web browsers on your iPhone have their own databases for cached files and data.

You might be able to free up more system data space on your iPhone by clearing other web browser apps.

Follow these instructions to clear web browser cache and data files using the Chrome app on your iPhone:

  1. Open your iPhone’s Chrome app.
  2. Go to the bottom and select a menu item at the right with 3 dots.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Go to Privacy.
  5. Select Clear Browsing Data.
  6. Set your preferred Time Range (longer time ranges should clear more data).
  7. Tap the options you want to clear such as “Browsing history,” “Cookies, Site Data,” and “Cached Images and Files.”
  8. Select Clear Browsing Data.
  9. In the small pop-up window, select Clear Browsing Data.
  10. Select Done.

The above steps might be different depending on your iPhone model, iOS version, Google Chrome version, and other factors.

Update iOS On Your iPhone To Streamline Your System Data

Another way you might be able to clear space from system data on your iPhone is to update your iOS software.

When you update the iOS software on your iPhone, your iPhone will download files to bring your iPhone up to date with the latest software and security settings.

Though it might sound counterintuitive to download and add more files to your system data, the total increase in storage space is generally temporary.

After the iOS update is downloaded and installed, your iPhone should have more space available than the size of the download.

Having the latest iOS update on your iPhone often helps to make your apps and iPhone processes work smoother and with more security than before the update.

The iOS update might clear or replace files from your iPhone system data and lower the amount of overall space your system data takes up on your iPhone.

Follow these steps to have your iPhone automatically update iOS:

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings app.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Go to Software Update.
  4. Go to Automatic Updates.
  5. Go to Download iOS Updates and turn the switch on.
  6. Go to Install iOS Updates and turn the switch on.
  7. If you don’t want your iPhone to automatically update iOS, you can perform the following steps to manually update iOS.
  8. Go to your iPhone’s Settings app.
  9. Go to General.
  10. Go to Software Update.

The screen should show you if a new version of iOS is available for your iPhone.

If you see a “Download and Install” option on the screen, you can press the option to download and install the suggested version of iOS on your iPhone.

If you prefer manual updates in the future, you can go to Automatic Updates and turn off Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates.

Reset Your iPhone To Clear System Data

Restoring your iPhone to its default settings is one of the more effective ways to clear system data on your iPhone.

You can backup your iPhone data on iCloud and restore your data after your iPhone has been reset.

Follow these steps to reset your iPhone and erase all content and settings:

  1. Backup your iPhone data in iCloud or your preferred data storage option.
  2. Go to the Settings app.
  3. Go to General.
  4. Go to Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  5. Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. After your iPhone restarts, you can restore your data from your backup (you may have to input your Apple ID and password).

Use Private Mode To Limit System Data Storage

If you don’t mind the potentially slower page loads caused by your iPhone web browser downloading media directly from a web page, you can set your web browser to private mode.

Setting a web browser to private restricts websites from storing content on your web browser or logging session data.