How to Delete Downloads on iPhone

Dealing with your iPhone feeling cluttered? You’re not alone. If you’re struggling with how to delete downloads on iPhone, it’s likely because downloaded files are often hidden and hard to find, quietly taking up precious space. I’ve been there, sifting through my iPhone trying to understand where all these files accumulate. It can be time-consuming, but don’t worry—I’ve picked up some practical tips to help you locate and eliminate those downloads on your iPhone.

Where Do Downloaded Files Go on Your iPhone?

Finding where your iPhone keeps downloaded files might seem confusing because it depends largely on the source of the downloads. Here’s a breakdown to help you navigate the different locations based on the app and file type:

  • Files App: Most downloads can be found in the Files app. Open the app, tap on the Browse tab, then tap iCloud Drive and look in the ‘Downloads’ folder.
  • Photos App: Downloaded images or videos typically save directly to the Photos app.
  • Safari: For downloads via Safari, check the Downloads icon next to the search field. Detailed steps are available at Apple Support.
  • Mail App: Email attachments usually go to the Files app but might be saved to Photos, depending on the file type.
  • Third-Party Apps: Apps like Dropbox or Google Drive store downloads within their own specific folders. However, other apps, especially multimedia apps like Spotify or YouTube, often store downloaded content right within the app, either as accessible files or cached data to enhance playback efficiency.

With this knowledge, you can better navigate your device and prepare to tackle the next challenge: deleting unwanted downloads to keep your iPhone tidy and storage-friendly.

How to Delete Downloads on Your iPhone

Alright, so you’ve figured out where all those hidden downloads are lurking on your iPhone. What’s next? It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start clearing them out. Let’s clear downloads on your iPhone and see how freeing up space can really perk up your iPhone’s speed and functionality. Whether it’s a bunch of old files or just a few you no longer need, there are various methods to delete them efficiently.

Method 1: Delete Individual Downloaded Files

Tackling your iPhone’s clutter file-by-file is a great place to start, especially if you’re not ready to part with everything at once. Whether you need to delete a lone document, a photo, or any other type of file, doing it one at a time can help you manage your storage more deliberately. Here’s a straightforward approach to selectively remove downloads on your iPhone, keeping your storage clean and organized:

  1. In the Files App: Locate the file, then tap and hold then select ‘Delete’.delete single download from diles
  2. In Safari: For recent downloads, tap the Downloads icon, swipe left on the file, and choose ‘Delete’.delete single download in safari

Method 2: Delete Downloaded Files in Bulk

When it comes to removing several files at once, bulk deletion is a time-saver. here’s how to efficiently get rid of downloads on your iPhone by deleting multiple files at once:

  • In the Files App: Tap ‘Select’, choose multiple files, then tap the trash icon. This method is ideal to clear iPhone downloads in multiple files to delete
  • In the Photos App: Select multiple photos or videos and tap the trash multiple downloaded photo to delete

Method 3: Manage Downloads in Specific Apps

Different apps on your iPhone, such as Apple Music, Netflix, and YouTube, handle downloaded content in their own unique ways. To efficiently delete iPhone downloads that are no longer needed and free up more space, there are specific removal methods these apps offer. Follow these steps to erase downloads on iPhone directly within each app:

  • Apple Music: Find the song or album, tap and hold, and select ‘Delete from Library’.delete song from apple music
  • Netflix: Go to ‘Downloads’, find the content, then tap the pencil icon and choose the trash icon to delete.delete downloads from netflix
  • YouTube: Under ‘Library’, tap ‘Downloads’, find the video, tap the three dots, and choose ‘Remove from Downloads’.delete downloaded video from youtube

Method 4: Use Third-Party Apps

While the built-in iOS features offer straightforward ways to manage and delete downloads, I prefer third-party apps because they can provide additional functionality and convenience. These apps often include advanced features like smart cleaning, duplicate file detection, and better file management tools. Let’s look at some of the best third-party apps available for iPhone users who seek more control over their device’s storage and downloads.

  • Cleanup: Clean Storage Space: Focused on simplifying the task of cleaning iPhone’s internal storage, this app identifies duplicate images and allows for their easy removal. It also helps in sorting and deleting large videos, thereby aiding in efficient storage management.Cleanup: Clean Storage Space
  • Cleaner for iPhone: This app effectively helps in managing iPhone storage by scanning for unnecessary files, including downloads. It identifies similar photos and large video files, which often constitute significant storage space. The app’s Fast Clean feature is particularly useful for quickly decluttering storage, making it an excellent tool for managing various types of downloads.Cleaner for iPhone
  • Boost Cleaner: Designed for overall media management, Boost Cleaner scans and removes duplicate pictures, live photos, GIFs, and unnecessary selfies. It also offers contact management features, including merging and backup options. Its strength lies in efficient storage cleaning, quickly identifying and sorting large files and media by date or location.Boost Cleaner
It’s important to be aware that developers frequently modify the names of their applications to enhance App Store Optimization (ASO). Consequently, the names of these apps may have undergone changes over time.

Method 5: Remove Downloaded Cached Data

Apps can accumulate a lot of hidden cached data and downloads over time, significantly eating into your iPhone’s storage space. While it might seem drastic, removing apps that hoard large caches or numerous downloads is an effective way to quickly free up substantial space. Keep in mind, this approach deletes all data associated with the app, not just the downloads, so consider the full implications before you proceed.


  1. Select the app you want to delete.
  2. Press and hold the app icon.
  3. Then select ‘Delete App’ to remove the app and its data, including any downloads.

This method will delete all app data, not just downloads. It’s effective for clearing space, but you will lose any saved settings or progress within the app.


I hope that thanks to this guide you now have a clear roadmap to locate and delete unnecessary downloads, whether they’re individual files, bulk data, or hidden within specific apps. The exploration of third-party apps opens up new possibilities for personalized storage management, while the all-in-one deletion method offers a quick fix for immediate space recovery. Remember, regularly cleaning your iPhone’s downloads can also improve your device’s performance and ensure a seamless user experience. So go ahead, apply these tips, and enjoy a more organized and efficient iPhone.


Yes, if you delete a file from iCloud Drive in the Files app, it will be removed from all devices logged in with your Apple ID. Be cautious when deleting files from iCloud Drive, as this will permanently remove the file from your iCloud storage.
If you’ve accidentally deleted a download, you might be able to recover it. If the file was stored in the Files app and backed up to iCloud, you can restore it from iCloud. For photos and videos, check the ‘Recently Deleted’ album in the Photos app. However, for files deleted from third-party apps, recovery will depend on the app’s specific features and settings.
The frequency of cleaning up downloads on your iPhone depends on how quickly you accumulate files and how much storage space you have. A good practice is to review and clean up your downloads every few months, or when you notice your storage space is running low. Regular maintenance helps keep your iPhone running smoothly.
Yes, if you use iCloud to sync files across your devices, deleting a file from your iPhone will also remove it from your Mac and other devices connected to the same iCloud account. iCloud syncs files in real-time, so any changes made on one device will reflect across all devices. Make sure to back up any important files before deleting them.
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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