So. Many. Yellow. Bars. At least that’s what it looked like… A few weeks ago, I plugged my iPhone into my computer with the intent to upload the entirety of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook to my phone’s library for a road trip back to Buffalo (8 hours in the car by yourself can get a little lonely).Everything started normally, my phone backed itself up, did its’ usual sync and prepped itself for 859.7MB of data. I had no media in my library (no music, no videos) and I figured the transfer shouldn’t take to long so I left for a moment to pack my things. Upon my return, I was met with a message that said that there had been an error and that the files could not be stored on my iPhone. Why? Because the space that I had previously assumed was vacant was apparently being inhabited by a plethora of yellow bars. The bars claimed to be “other” data (which is pretty much useless information when you’re looking to clear space). With no idea what to do I got some help from a member of our team who told me to take the following five steps.

(1) Check Your Per-App Storage Usage

It’s obvious that Apps take up space. The less obvious thing is how much space they re using. For this step you’re going to have to travel over to your iPhone or iPad’s susage screen (located under Settings à General à Usage). To the right of each application will be a number depicting the data used. Find the culprits that are occupying the most space and proceed to step two. But, if you want to be a bit more surgical you can tap on the application in the Usage menu to target the main culprit.

(2) Delete Apps

Now that you know which apps to delete it’s time to do some deleting! There are two ways to go about this step. You can either hold your finger down on the application itself or you can go to the Usage screen (as detailed above) and delete apps from there. If you choose the finger option, just hold down on the application long enough that all of the applications begin to shake, click the little x in the upper left hand corner of the application you wish to delete and click yes when your phone asks whether or not you’d like to delete it. If you choose to delete the application from the Usage screen, click the application you wish to delete, scroll down and click on “Delete App.”

(3) Clear the Remaining App’s Documents and Data

Those select few apps that remain may still be using more data than you’d like them to. That data is likely coming from the Document’s and Data section where you’ll find any and all of your apps temporary data such as eBooks, newspaper articles and recipes. To delete this unwanted information you’ll have to go to Pocket à Settings à and delete any offline files. Those that don’t have this option you will have to delete entirely and then re-install.

(4) Delete Music, Videos, Photos and Pretty Much any other form of Media

Music, videos and photos most likely take up the majority of space on your iPhone or iPad. To delete them you’re going to have to go to a few different places. Deleting videos involves going to the Usage screen and swiping left on the video you’d like to delete. To delete music you’re going to have to go to the Music app and swipe left on the individual songs you’d like to delete (photos work much the same way, just go to the photo app, select the photos you want to delete and delete them).

(5) Erase Your Browsing Data

Browsing data is the final culprit you may attack. Again, to find out how much space your browsing data is occupying you’ll have to go back to the Usage screen. For Safari just click on the application, tap Web Data and Remove All Website Data (that’ll get rid of the cache and cookies). You can also swipe left on Offline Reading List or History to delete either one. For Google Chrome you’ll have to open the App, go to the Settings screen and select “Clear Browsing Data.”

If you follow these steps you should be able to free up some much needed space on your iPhone or iPad. Happy space clearing!

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