Recently, I have been getting a lot of messages on my iPhone telling me that I am running out of space. Because I primarily use my phone for taking photos, storing voice notes (because I’m terribly forgetful) and messaging, I knew that I could not possibly be using all of the space on my phone.

After some searching, I read on the internet that this memory problem can be due to cached messages and internet settings, but even after deleting these I still had almost 6 gigabytes of data consumed by the mysterious ‘Other’ category (viewed through iTunes).

The source of the problem appears to be that when I ‘stream’ video from my iTunes Match account these data are stored, rather than deleted. It’s easy to imagine how quickly memory can be consumed. The most popular solution for this problem that I found seems to be to wipe your iPhone and restore from backup. This seems a little drastic and also rather silly.

I didn’t want to delete the contents of my phone, so, here is an alternative idea that worked for me:

  • Plug your iPhone into the USB port of a computer running Ubuntu (or an instance of Ubuntu in Virtualbox).
  • Mount the phone (your iPhone will ask if you Trust this computer).
  • Go to the iPhone icon in the dock and open the folder named ‘CloudAssets’.
  • Inside there will be many .plist files, but also iTunes videos files, .m4v, which you can safely delete.
  • Unmount the device, plug it into iTunes and check what happened to the ‘Other’ category. You can see from the photo below that I suddenly gained 7.25 gb of space. 🙂

IMG_5226

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