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Documents and Data on iOS: what they are and how to reduce the space they occupy

Nowadays, who has a 16GB iPhone or iPad (or less) suffers after a while with the lack of internal space on the device. Photos, videos and apps are largely responsible for this, but if there’s something that makes a lot of users angry, it’s that Documents and Data, that not everyone knows what it is and how to get rid of them.

In this article, we will explain what it is about and what you should do to alleviate the problem.



What takes up space on your device

When you start running out of space on your iPhone or iPad, the first thing is to find out what is taking place inside it. Usually the photos and videos that the user does with the camera are the main causes of this. Installed apps also take up a lot of space, so the more you have on your device, the less space will be left.

But sometimes you’ve deleted photos and videos and even deleted certain apps that you no longer use, and the lack of space continues. When you connect the device to iTunes, it reveals what is taking place: a Documents and Data. Here comes the question: how to erase this plague?

Documents and Data

What the system identifies as Documents and Data it’s no extra iOS item. It’s actually the content of the apps you use. For example, a video saved inside iMovie or a document from the Dropbox app that you recorded to access offline.

One of today’s great villains who steals quite this type of space is the Whatsapp. Each image, video or audio you receive from your contacts and forget to delete is stored within the application and iTunes considers it in the category Documents and Data, for being part of WhatsApp.

Of course he is not the only one. The same can happen with iMessage, Telegram and other types of messaging applications.

Therefore, the first thing you must do to eliminate this extra weight is to look for where the files are and manually delete them one by one.

How to delete Documents and Data

To find out which applications are occupying the most space with internal documents and data, open Settings and go to General »Storage and iCloud» Manage Storage.

You will then see a list of installed applications, ordered by the space they occupy on the device. The more at the top, the more it occupies. This is important for you to decide where to start emptying content.

By tapping an application on the list, you can see how much it stores from Documents and Data.

It is important to note that this is not the so-called cache, which we comment on here. THE cache it is the storage of temporary files that are not deleted, while the documents and data are formed by the content inside the apps that are kept intentionally (or not) by the user.

There is no button on the system that allows you to immediately delete all documents and data from an application, and it is the user who has to do this manually, one by one.

As you’ve seen which apps take up more space, the next step is to decide what data you want to get rid of and which data you want to keep. WhatsApp, for example, has a relatively easy way to erase your data and documents internally. See how:

Delete documents and data on WhatsApp

Within the application, on the tab Settings, select the option Data and Storage Usage.

Then you choose the option again Storage Use:

You can then choose a conversation group and choose, via the button To manage, which media to delete.


Each application has its own way of eliminating your Documents and Data. In iMovie, for example, you need to delete the projects you made (don’t forget to make a backup first).

So, if you are experiencing problems with low internal space on the iPhone and iPad, you now know how to manage Documents and Data. Clean it from time to time, backing up what you use and freeing the device’s internal memory, so that you can make the most of it, in an optimized way.

This is a very common question, so share this article with your friends and family so that they too can benefit. For more iPhone and iPad tips, check out other articles here on the blog.

Original content © iPhone Blog