iPhone 'other category in iTunes: what does it mean?
October 13, 2010 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Itunes tells me my iPhone has 1.06gB 'other' used space [as opposed to audio/video/apps/photos]. How do I discover *exactly* what this other is comprised of?

The machine is a 16gB 3GS, if that helps. Itunes is 10.01.22. I'm in the UK on O2.
posted by dash_slot- to Technology (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Exactly" is going to be hard. Generally, it's where apps put data that's neither "media" (songs, movies, etc.) nor the app itself. If your app downloads content, it may go there. Think of it like your "Application Support" folder on OSX.

If you've Jailbroken your iPhone, all that software and data will show up as "Other".
posted by mkultra at 1:23 PM on October 13, 2010

Best answer: Settings, JB software, I believe album art falls under this category as well. Cruft!
posted by Rendus at 1:32 PM on October 13, 2010

Best answer: I think the OS itself goes under this category too. At least, it used to be counted that way on the older iPods.
posted by andrewcilento at 1:38 PM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: Right, thanks guys. Is that 'other' folder destined to bloat forever, or is there a way of managing it downwards?
posted by dash_slot- at 1:49 PM on October 13, 2010

Best answer: relatively small scale, but I think all your text message transcripts fall into this category. unlikely to be a gig's worth, but if you have a bunch of them that you never delete they could accumulate some size, I guess.
posted by dogwalker at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2010

I think it's largely the OS, contacts data, email and, from what I remember of older iPods, album art for your songs. My Phone has 1.41 GB of "other" space used up.
posted by moviehawk at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2010

If you have a Mac and the iPhone is mounted you might be able to use a tool like OmniDiskSweeper to figure out where the space is going.
posted by Cogito at 1:52 PM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: I'm on Win XP, BTW.
I may have to delete 18 months worth of texts. Which, being as I am a heavy text user, coukld be quite a bit. Also I guess Visual Voicemail may take up some space.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:00 PM on October 13, 2010

Deleting texts won't clear up much space. If you sent 1000 160 character-long SMSes per day for a year, that'd only be 55 megabytes.
posted by zsazsa at 2:14 PM on October 13, 2010

IF you download the trial of diskaid it will tell you . Its mainly data that your apps use.

One big offender is tom tom app or any map software. If there are any apps you arent using delete them off your iphone.

The diskaid trial will let you browse everything. In my case tom tom app was taking up most of mmy other space.
posted by majortom1981 at 2:21 PM on October 13, 2010

Yeah most of that is likely the OS and there's very little you can do about that. Don't waste your time deleting texts.
posted by zachlipton at 2:25 PM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: um, so thats 25 minutes i'll never get back then...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:53 PM on October 13, 2010

You should clear Safari's cache, history and cookies. That will recover some 'other'. My other is about .5GB (I'm not a big Safari user on the iphone so clearing the cache only recovered about .1GB on my phone)
posted by nightwood at 7:13 PM on October 13, 2010

Do you read books, comics, etc, on your phone? Or any app that has you drag in files in iTunes? I read comics on my iPad and all of them are "other" and I am sitting at about 40GB in files.
posted by arniec at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2010

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