It’s easy to let your iPhone get filled up with apps and data you no longer need. When you bought your iPhone you probably thought you’d never run out of space and downloaded a lot of apps. This activity can result in a problem as you run short of space or have to negotiate a crowded library when looking to launch a critical app. Eventually, you will get a “Storage is almost full” notification and be unable to download new items.
You can always simply delete some large images, videos, or documents to get back some space. But the main culprit is likely to be the data that apps are storing on your iPhone. Many apps use extensive storage capacity for internal data and cache files that can leave you short on space.
We’re going to look at several methods you can use to clear app data on your iPhone. They’ll help you free up valuable storage space and streamline your iPhone usage.
Is it Safe to Delete App Data on an iPhone?
Before providing an answer to this simple question, it is critical to understand some subtle nuances regarding iPhone apps and how they store their data.
Some apps store all their data locally on your iPhone. Deleting this data to free up space risks losing important information that cannot be easily recreated. You should carefully consider if the risk of losing data is worth the space you will save by deleting an app. Perhaps several apps are taking up a lot of space and you can choose one that is not important to you. Be very careful when removing backups that you may need in the future.
Other apps you may find on your iPhone store data in the cloud. Deleting these apps from your iPhone will not immediately delete their data from iCloud storage. You will need to remove the data manually from your iCloud account. In some cases, deleting the app may also delete its iCloud data. This information is then moved to the Recently Deleted folder, where you can recover it for the next 30 days.
How to Clear App Data on an iPhone
Now that you understand the potential implications if you delete app data on your iPhone, we can look at several methods to accomplish the task. Choose the appropriate technique based on the specific type of app and data you want to delete. We’ll show you how to clear an app’s data on iPhone 11/12/13/14 and keep your device operating efficiently.
Method 1: Remove App Data from iPhone Storage
The first method we will discuss involves removing the selected app and its data from your iPhone storage. This is a quick way to recover storage space. The space may be occupied by an app you no longer use or one that is taking up more storage than anticipated. The following procedure demonstrates how to clear app data from your iPhone’s internal storage.
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Tap on General and then tap iPhone Storage. You will be presented with a list of the apps on your iPhone sorted by how much storage space the app and its data are using on your device.
- Tap on the app you are considering deleting from the iPhone.
- You can choose Offload App which frees up space by deleting the app but retaining its data. You can download the app again later and use this data.
- Choose Delete App to delete the app and all of its related data from the iPhone.
Method 2: Delete Temporary Files and Cache
You may find that your iPhone storage is being filled up with temporary and cache files generated by certain apps such as Safari. These temporary files can get to be very large over time and become a problem that needs to be addressed. Use the following procedure to delete these files from your iPhone.
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Tap on Safari or another app that creates temporary files.
- Scroll down until you find the Clear History and Website Data button.
- Tap the button to delete the temporary files and free up space on your iPhone.
An alternate method of deleting an app’s temporary files is to delete the app and its data from your Apple device. You can then reinstall the app and save the space that had been occupied by the temporary files.
Many other apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook store cached data on your iPhone. You can delete this app data on iOS devices using the same procedure demonstrated with Safari. Just go into Settings and clear the cache or temporary data.
Method 3: Clear App Data from the Cloud
Some of the apps that run on your iPhone save data to the cloud. Storing data in the cloud allows it to be shared with your Mac or another Apple device logged in with the same Apple ID. The following procedure shows you how to delete app data from iCloud.
- Open Settings on your iPhone.
- Tap on your name to access your Apple account.
- Tap on iCloud and then tap Manage Account Storage.
- You will be presented with a list of the apps that are storing data in iCloud and the amount of space they are currently using.
- Tap on the app whose data you want to clear from iCloud.
- A Delete Data button or a Delete Documents & Data button will be displayed.
- Tap the button to delete the app data from iCloud.
Method 4: Delete App Data Using Third-party Tool
Third-party tools that can delete app data are available from the app store. Phone Cleaner is an example of an app you can use for this purpose. These apps can help minimize the manual steps required to find out which files or apps are taking up the most space on your iPhone. Phone Cleaner can also search for files by type and identify duplicate or similar photos in your gallery that can be deleted to save space.
Over time, your iPhone can get filled up with temporary and junk files that you no longer want or need. Keeping your iPhone operating efficiently may require you to delete app data from the device or iCloud storage. You’ll likely find that there are a lot of items on your iPhone that you can safely delete.
Failure to free up storage space can limit the iPhone’s functionality. We’ve shown you various ways to clear app data from your device so you can use its storage to hold more pictures and videos or download new apps. Use the appropriate technique to delete the app data stored in on-board or iCloud storage and reclaim the valuable space it was using. Good luck!
Robert Agar is the Content Writer & Managing Editor for Handy Recovery. Robert brings over 30 years of experience in data storage, security, compliance, backup, and recovery to the HandyRecovery team. Several years ago, he turned his attention from hands-on technical roles to develop a career as a freelance writer concentrating on technology and its impact on society. Areas of focus include the cloud, data recovery, artificial intelligence, and industrial automation.