Freeing up space on iPhone

[warning]The following is not supported by the R.H. Smith School of Business, Office of Smith IT, nor Division of Information Technology.  Use at your own risk![/warning]

Ever since my little girl was born, I’ve been struggling with space on my iPhone.  It’s because I take so many videos and pictures of her and I don’t delete them off my iPhone!  I refuse to take them off my phone because I want to show them off to people.  I do back them up onto iPhoto now and then, but I don’t remove them from my phone after it is backed up.  Granted I can just remove the pictures and have iTunes sync albums from iPhoto back onto the iPhone, but I don’t.

Anyways, the first time I got a warning about my storage space on the iPhone, the first thing I did was remove all the music and videos off my iPhone since I never listen to music nor watch non-YouTube videos on my iPhone.  I used to listen music and watch the videos when I was traveling to California to visit relatives, but since I don’t travel much anymore and JetBlue has free DirectTV, there’s no need for the media on my iPhone.  That freed up alot of space.

Now the next part may be shocking and I’m pretty sure it will pertain to almost everyone since almost everyone has a Facebook account and is on it.

Before PhoneClean

If you go to Settings > General > Usage, you can see the top applications that takes up space on your iPhone.  One thing I asked myself – why is Facebook taking up 112 MB?  If you click on Facebook, you can see that the App itself is only 39.4 MB but it somehow has 73.4 MB of “Documents & Data”.  Why would Facebook have Documents & Data if everything is stored in “the cloud” and not on the phone?  The answer is cache.

Facebook Usage

What Facebook does is it caches all the pictures you see in your Facebook feed onto your phone so that the next time you go thru your feed that has a picture you’ve already seen, it can load it faster by reading it from that cache instead of trying to download it from the internet again.  Many apps that has pictures/images/photos do that and the problem is that the cache will get bigger and bigger and most apps don’t have a way for you to get rid of the cache unless you uninstall the app.  Sometimes it is annoying because I don’t want to uninstall and reinstall an app over and over because of this.

Well, I found a solution that will help me get rid of all the unnecessary cache – it’s a software called PhoneClean.  Taken from their site:

PhoneClean is uniquely designed to reclaim more free space on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and make all iOS devices running faster. Working on both PC and Mac, this free-yet-magic tool will safely remove all kinds of useless files on iOS system in order to clean up and speed up your iDevices.

I gave it a try and it seems simple enough.  The application is pretty straight-forward.  Connect your iPhone to the computer and click Next so it can scan to see what files aren’t needed.  It will give you an estimate of how much space it can free up.  In the picture below, PhoneClean goes thru your phone find any unnecessary temp, cache, and off-line files that is not needed.

PhoneClean in Action

When it is done cleaning, it will tell you how much space you got back.  Disconnect your phone from the computer and you are ready to go.

PhoneClean Done

You can see how Facebook is no longer the top app that is taking up space because it should be only using 39.4 MB (according to image above) so it is not even on the list in the image below.  I went from 264 MB free to 772 MB free.  It wasn’t just Facebook that had cache files, but I had other apps that did as well.  The amount freed will vary from user to user based on how they use their iPhone.

After PhoneClean

In closing, I think PhoneClean is very useful, but please remember:

[warning]The following is not supported by the R.H. Smith School of Business, Office of Smith IT, nor Division of Information Technology.  Use at your own risk![/warning]




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