If you have ever checked your ipad [or iPhone] storage by going to Settings –> Other –> iPad Storage you will have seen the space taken up by apps, documents, video, audio, etc. — and then a mysterious “Other”.
The “Other” category can be anything from a system update that has been downloaded but not installed, to web browser caches, logs, Siri voices, Messages, and many other odds and ends.
If your “Other” category has become bloated and taking up too much room on your iPad, here are some tricks to try and reduce it.
Here’s how to tell how much storage you have used on your iPad, and how to tell what is using it up:
To see how much storage you have already used up on your iPad, go to
Settings –> General –> About
Look for the line Available.
Anything less than about 400 MB means you need to clean out your unused stuff.
To see what is using up your storage space, go to
Settings –> General –> Storage and iCloud Usage –> in the Storage section, click “Manage Storage”
You will see a list of the apps after a minute or so, with the apps taking up the most room at the top of the list.
Some general advice:
Assuming you have setup Google Drive correctly to automatically upload your photos and videos, you’ll still have a copy of them in Drive, even if you delete them from your iPad. [They’ll be the Google Photos folder on Drive].
To ACTUALLY delete photos/videos from your iPad, open up Photos –> Camera Roll.
Click on the photos/videos you want to delete.
Click the Trash icon, top left.
Click the message “Delete these x photos?”
Click “Albums”, top left
Open up “Recently Deleted”
Click “Select”, top right
Click “Delete All”, top left.
If you don’t clear out the Recently Deleted folder manually, it will empty itself in about a month.
Google Apps [Drive / Sheets / Docs]
The Google apps all have an option to store your document “locally” on the iPad. If you no longer need docs available when you don’t have an internet connection, then check the Docs part of this article: iPads –> what’s taking up all my storage?
Miscellaneous Space Hogs
Messages – those messages with pictures and videos take up ROOM. Delete them.
Mail – sometimes the Mail app takes up a ton of room. Actually, it’s all those emails that you never deleted. Delete them.
–> If deleting the mails sound like too much, then delete the account
[Settings –>Mail–> Accounts–>Select the account–>”Delete Account”
–> This does NOT actually delete your account from the Mail server – it just deletes your “window” into your mail account.
–> Then re-create it. For the MDS email, it’s a Google account type.
iMovie – delete your projects. You can export them into your Google drive if you’d like a copy of your final project.
Notability – anything deleted in Notability goes into a trash can which is emptied after about a month [similar to the way Photos works]. Click on the trash can to empty it manually.
Remember that deleting a note in Notability does NOT delete it from Drive.