How to Clear System Data on iPhone

If your iPhone starts to slow down or runs low on space, it’s a good idea to clear system data on iPhone. This guide shows easy ways to clean up unnecessary data that can clog your device. Keeping your iPhone free of this clutter helps it run better and last longer.

Briefly About System Data on iPhone

System data on your iPhone includes files and data that accumulate as you use your phone. This data comprises cached files, system logs, and temporary files from your apps and iOS itself. By understanding what system data is, you can better manage your iPhone’s storage and keep it running smoothly.

iPhone system data is largely composed of:

  • Cached Files: Temporary data saved by apps to speed up performance.
  • System Logs: These help track the operation of your iPhone and troubleshoot issues.
  • Temporary Files: These are created and used by apps during operation and are not needed long-term.
  • Other Data: Includes various system files like Siri voices and dictionaries that support iOS functionality.

The accumulation of system data can have significant implications on your iPhone’s storage and performance:

  • Storage: Unused system data can take up space that might be used for photos, apps, or documents.
  • Performance: Too much stored data can slow down your iPhone, making apps load slower and the phone less responsive.

Regularly cleaning up system data can help free up space and keep your iPhone running smoothly. Delete apps you don’t need, clear cache, and remove old system logs to improve performance and storage.

9 Ways Clear System Data on iPhone

Clearing system data from your iPhone can improve performance and free up storage space.

Method 1: Restart Your iPhone

Simply restarting your iPhone can free up space by clearing temporary system files that accumulate over time. This can refresh your device’s memory and potentially free up system storage.

  1. Press and hold the Side button: On an iPhone with Face ID, press and hold the side button and either volume button until two sliders appear. On an iPhone with a Home button, press and hold the side (or top) button until the sliders appear.hold buttons
  2. Slide to power off: Drag the slider, and wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off. This step ensures that all running processes are properly shut down, which helps in clearing temporary cache that might have built up.drag the slider
  3. Restart your iPhone: After the device turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo. This action triggers the device to start up, reinitializing system processes and clearing unnecessary temporary files.

By restarting your iPhone, you not only clear iOS system data but also help resolve minor glitches and free up memory that apps and processes were using temporarily. This is often one of the simplest ways to reduce system data on iPhone and improve overall performance.

Method 2: Offload Unused Apps

Offloading unused apps is a great way to free up system data on iPhone while keeping the app data intact for when you reinstall the app. This feature removes the app but preserves its documents and data, allowing you to reclaim space without losing your information.

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon on your iPhone’s home screen to begin.
  2. Access iPhone Storage: Scroll down and tap on ‘General’, then select ‘iPhone Storage’. This area provides a detailed breakdown of what’s consuming your device’s space, including recommendations for optimizing storage.go to iPhone storage
  3. Find the app to offload: Scroll through the list of apps to find the app you wish to offload. Tap on the app’s name to open its specific settings and storage details.Review the detailed list
  4. Offload the app: Tap on ‘Offload App’. Confirm your choice by tapping ‘Offload App’ again in the dialog that appears. This step removes the application along with its system files but keeps all important documents and data on your device. The icon remains on the home screen with a cloud symbol next to it, indicating it can be reinstalled anytime and restored with its data.offload an app

This method is particularly useful for apps that have no way to store their data in the cloud. By offloading them, you clear system storage on iPhone without losing data associated with them.

Method 3: Clear Safari Data

Clearing Safari data is a way to delete system data on iPhone related to browsing history, cookies, and other website data. This not only helps free up space but also protects your privacy by removing traces of your browsing activity.

  1. Open Settings: Start by tapping the ‘Settings’ icon on your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Navigate to Safari Settings: Scroll down in the Settings menu and tap on ‘Safari’ to access Safari’s specific safari settings
  3. Clear History and Website Data: Scroll down to the ‘Privacy & Security’ section and tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’. This option will be highlighted in blue, indicating that you have data to clear.Clear History and Website Data
  4. Confirm the action: A prompt will appear warning you that this will clear your browsing history, cookies, and other browsing data from Safari on all devices signed into your iCloud account. Tap ‘Clear History and Data’ to confirm and proceed.Confirm the action

By performing these steps, you clear iOS system data associated with Safari, which can significantly reduce the amount of cached information and potentially speed up your device. This method is simple to perform but can free a significant amount of space.

Method 4: Delete App Cache Where Possible

Some apps on your iPhone may allow you to clear their cache directly from the app settings. This helps in freeing up system data on iPhone without deleting the app or its data. Clearing the cache can recover space used by temporary files that are no longer needed.

  1. Find the App: Scroll through the home screen to find the app whose cache you want to clear. We will use Spotify for example, but there are many more apps with this feature.
  2. Access App Settings: Tap on the app to open its specific settings. Note that not all apps will have a clear cache option. This varies by app and safari settings
  3. Clear Cache if Available: If the app provides an option to clear cache, it will usually be labeled as ‘Clear Cache’ or ‘Delete Cache’ within the app’s settings. Tap on this option to clear the cache.delete spotify temp files

Since the availability of this feature varies, for apps that do not offer a clear cache button, you might consider offloading the app (as described in Method 2) which removes the app but keeps its documents and data, or deleting and reinstalling the app to clear its cache fully.

Regularly clearing the cache where possible helps reduce system data on iPhone. It’s particularly useful for apps that accumulate a lot of data over time, such as social media apps, shopping apps, and multimedia apps.

Method 5: Delete Unused Apps

Deleting unused apps is an effective way to free up system data on iPhone. Apps, especially those not regularly used, can take up considerable space due to their app data and cache.

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon from your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Go to iPhone Storage: Scroll down and tap on ‘General’, then select ‘iPhone Storage’. This area will show you a list of all your apps and the amount of space each one is 'iPhone Storage'
  3. Identify Unused Apps: Browse through the list to find apps that you no longer use. Consider the last time you used the app and the amount of space it occupies.browse the apps
  4. Delete the App: Tap on the app you want to remove, then select ‘Delete App’. Confirm your choice by tapping ‘Delete App’ again to remove it completely from your device.delete an app

Deleting apps will not jut clear system storage on iPhone but will also reduce the load on system resources in the future. Regular review and removal of unused apps is a good maintenance practice to keep your iPhone running smoothly.

Method 6: Use iPhone Storage Recommendations

The iPhone offers built-in storage recommendations that can help you manage and reduce system data on iPhone more effectively. These recommendations are tailored based on your usage and storage patterns, providing easy solutions to free up space.

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon from your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Access iPhone Storage: Navigate to ‘General’ and then tap on ‘iPhone Storage’. This section not only shows a breakdown of how storage is being used on your device but also displays recommendations for optimizing storage.navigate to iPhone storage
  3. Review Recommendations: At the top of the iPhone Storage screen, you will see recommendations such as offload unused apps, review large attachments, and auto-delete old conversations. Each recommendation includes an estimate of how much space you can storage recomendations
  4. Implement Recommendations: Tap on the recommendation that you want to apply and follow the on-screen instructions to execute it. For example, if you choose to offload unused apps, your iPhone will automatically offload apps that you haven’t used in a long time but will keep their data.

By following these recommendations, you can clean up system data on iPhone and optimize your storage without having to sift through each app or setting manually. This feature is particularly useful for users who want a quick and automated way to manage their device’s storage.

Method 7: Reset iPhone Settings

Resetting your iPhone settings can help clear unnecessary system data accumulated through changes in settings and configurations over time. This method clears all system settings to their defaults but keeps your personal data, such as photos, apps, and documents, intact.

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon from your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Navigate to Reset Options: Go to ‘General’ and scroll to the bottom to find ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone.’go to transfer or reset settings
  3. Reset All Settings: Tap on ‘Reset,’ then choose ‘Reset All Settings.’ You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode if you have one set. After entering your passcode, you will need to confirm that you want to reset the settings.reset all settings to clear iphone storage
  4. Confirm the Reset: After confirming, your iPhone will begin the reset process. This will reset system preferences for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Privacy, and General settings back to factory defaults, but it will not delete your personal data or apps.

This reset can help resolve issues caused by incorrect settings and can also reduce system data clutter that may impact performance. It’s a safe option if you’re experiencing problems with your device and don’t want to erase your personal content.

Method 8: Restore iPhone via iTunes

Restoring your iPhone via iTunes is a powerful method to erase system data on iPhone and refresh your device entirely. This process involves backing up your data, erasing all content, and then restoring it from a backup, ensuring you don’t lose important information.

  1. Back Up Your iPhone: Connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed. Open iTunes, select your device, and under the ‘Backups’ section, choose ‘This computer’. Click ‘Back Up Now’ to ensure you have an updated backup of your device on your computer.backup-iphone-itunes
  2. Restore Your iPhone: After backing up, click on ‘Restore iPhone’. iTunes will prompt you to confirm that you want to restore your device to factory settings. This will erase all content and settings from your iPhone.restore iphone through itunes
  3. Confirm the Restore: Click ‘Restore’ to begin the process. iTunes will download the software for your device and restore it to factory settings. This can take some time depending on your internet connection and the device model.confirm restoration
  4. Reapply Your Backup: Once the restore is complete, iTunes will ask if you want to set up your iPhone as a new device or restore from a backup. Select the backup you just created to put all your data, apps, and personal settings back onto your iPhone.

This method not only clears all existing system data and settings but also addresses any underlying software issues that might be affecting your device’s performance. It’s a comprehensive reset that can make your iPhone feel brand new.

Method 9: Reset iPhone

Performing a full factory reset on your iPhone is the most thorough way to clear all system data on iPhone. This option is typically used as a last resort when all other methods to resolve issues or free up space have failed, or when preparing the device for a new owner.

Before proceeding, make sure you have enough storage space to back up your iPhone. This is important as a factory reset will delete everything from your device.
  1. Open Settings: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon on your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Navigate to Reset Options: Go to ‘General’, scroll down, and tap on ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone’.transfer or reset iphone
  3. Erase All Content and Settings: Tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings’. You’ll need to enter your device passcode and possibly your Apple ID password to disable ‘Find My iPhone’ and confirm your choice.Erase All Content and Settings
  4. Confirm the Reset: After confirming, your iPhone will begin erasing all data and settings, returning it to its original factory state. The device will restart as if it were new and take you through the initial setup process.confirm erasing iphone

This factory reset is effective for clearing up all forms of clutter, bugs, and glitches by completely wiping the iPhone and reinstalling the operating system. It’s an excellent option if you’re experiencing persistent problems that other troubleshooting methods haven’t resolved, or if you’re selling or giving away your iPhone and need to ensure no personal data remains on the device.

Prevent Excessive System Data in the Future

Keeping your iPhone’s system data in check prevents slowdowns and maximizes storage. Here’s how to keep system data from building up:

  • Check Storage Regularly: Look at your iPhone storage once a month. This lets you spot and handle any issues before they grow too big.
  • Update iOS: Stay up-to-date with iOS versions. New updates often include better tools for managing storage and improving performance.
  • Watch for Data-Hungry Apps: Some apps fill up your storage quickly. Identify these apps, and try to clear their cache or adjust their settings to use less space.
  • Control Location Services: Turn off location services for apps that don’t really need it to save data.
  • Restrict Background App Refresh: This feature can eat up space by updating apps in the background. Keep it enabled only for essential apps.

Regularly managing these settings helps keep your iPhone fast and your storage clear. For more tips, check out Apple’s support page.


Regularly clearing out system data is important to keep your iPhone working well and make sure you have enough space. By following the steps in this guide, you can make sure your iPhone stays fast and efficient. It’s all about taking care of your device regularly to prevent problems before they start.


It’s a good idea to review your iPhone’s system data every few months or whenever you notice a decrease in performance or storage availability.
No, clearing system data like cache and logs won’t delete your personal information such as photos, videos, or documents unless you perform a full factory reset.
Yes, managing system data efficiently can help improve battery life. Overloaded data can cause your iPhone to work harder, which drains the battery faster.
Yes, it’s safe to delete app cache. This often helps apps run smoother and frees up space without losing important app data or settings.
If performance issues persist after clearing system data, consider updating your iOS or consulting with an Apple support specialist to diagnose possible hardware issues.
You can clear system data without a full reset by offloading unused apps, clearing Safari browsing data, and deleting app cache where possible. These methods target specific data accumulations without impacting your overall system settings or personal information.
Yurii Kulynych is a skilled professional who continues to work in Quality Assurance (QA) for InsanelyMac while also starting to write articles. He has a strong eye for detail and extensive experience in ensuring content quality, especially in areas like data recovery, understanding macOS/iOS, and storage solutions for Apple devices. Yurii excels in writing easy-to-follow guides and putting together helpful toolkits.
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