How to reduce storage space taken up by “System” on iPhone

The iPhones launched in recent years have been very powerful, along with those their latest iOS versions are so much optimized that they are one of the most efficient OS across the world. iPhones are known to be powerful and long-lasting smartphones.

However, the base variant of iPhones is still starting only from 64 GB. Which in today’s world is a bit less. If you have an iPhone with 64 Gb of storage or even less, then chances are you will be running out of storage now and then.

A big chunk of storage is used by the system. The developers have designed their operating system in such a way that they are allowed to occupy some extra space of storage to run properly. On the other hand, after installing apps and when apps start to occupy app data, then most likely you will run out of storage.

How To Reduce Storage Space Taken Up By “system” On Iphone

Not only that, often iPhones start to consume a lot of storage space by the name of the system, especially when you have updated your iPhones multiple times. So, if you are looking for ways to reduce the occupied storage space by the system, you can follow through with the tutorial below. But first, let’s start with first analyzing the storage space of your iPhone.

Check the Current System Storage Size in iOS

First, let’s get an idea of how much storage system is occupying your iPhone. Then we will proceed to reduce the occupied storage space, by the system and other unwanted occupied storage space that can be released.

You will be able to check the storage space occupied by your iPhone by following the tutorial below.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or the iPad and then go to the General option.
  2. Inside the general option, you will have to choose iPhone Storage or iPad Storage.
  3. Wait for a while until the storage is calculated by your device, and then you can scroll to the bottom of the storage screen to find the System and its total storage capacity consumption.
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The storage space occupied by the system can vary from device to device, it can be from 7 Gb to up to 15 -20 or even a whopping 25 GB. We have seen some users complaining about system storage being used above 50 GB on iPhones above 256 Gb variants.

This much of the storage space occupied by the system isn’t right and should be reduced anyhow. So, now that you know how much the system is occupying the storage space of your iPhone, we can proceed to the process where we will try to clean up some storage space of the iPhone.

How To Shrink System Storage On iPhone or iPad?

There are several different methods through which you can manage the storage space occupied on your iPhone. To shrink the System capacity size of your iPhone or the iPad storage, you will need to have the iOS device, a computer with iTunes and a USB cable to connect your iPhone or the iPad to the computer.

Once you are ready with all of the required things you can proceed with the tutorial below.

  1. Start the process by first opening iTunes on your computer, be it a Mac or a Windows PC.
  2. Connect the USB cable to the computer, and then you can connect the iPhone or the iPad with the USB cable.
  3. Ensure that the iPhone or the iPad that you have connected is unlocked, if not then enter the passcode to unlock the device, if this is the first time you are connecting the device to the computer you need to permit by tapping on the Trust the computer button when the pop up comes up.
  4. Keep the iPhone or the iPad connected for a while do not do anything or do not sync it, just keep it idle for a while.
  5. Now, open the Settings app on your iPhone and then go to general and to the storage section of the device, you can scroll down all the way to see the System, it will refresh and recalculate it, most of the time, the size of the system is reduced considerably.
  6. That’s it. Now, you can disconnect the iPhone or the iPad from the computer and you can also disconnect the USB cable, you may now check that the occupied storage space must be reduced by a lot.
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The above method is a hit or miss try, mainly because whenever you connect the iPhone or the iPad to the computer via iTunes, it automatically performs some sort of maintenance or diagnostics, using which, iTunes clears the cache and the temporary files which isn’t needed any more.

However, it doesn’t always work, because sometimes there are no such files that can be cleared to give more space out of the system storage occupied space.

Users have been reporting that they were able to free up over 5 Gb of storage space on an iPhone only by plugging their device into the computer with iTunes and doing nothing else. Similarly, you can also do the same with your iPad to free up space on your iPad.

The above method isn’t consistent at all, often people were able to free up only 1-2 Gb of system occupied space of around 25 GB.

How To Reduce Storage Space Taken Up By “system” On Iphone

What is the System storage anyway?

just like Windows has System32, and Android OS also has system storage, iOS also has a system reserved storage space, where the OS is installed, it’s basically the iOS on space reserved which the OS uses whenever required, so it occupies the space all the time, to make sure that the whole iOS is running fast and smooth.

In short, the system is where the whole iOS is installed, including the iOS itself, system functions, system apps and other files like caches, temp files and the updates that you temporarily download to install are also downloaded inside that system files only.

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often, the system storage is also disguised as other storage sections on your iOS device, it is also the same thing, the difference could be very minute, could be that the apps might have added their app data inside that others section of iOS, but majorly it’s just the same thing, system and others both of them are the ones that keep the storage space reserved for the iOS to run it smoothly.

Alternatively, you can also clear or shrink the storage space occupied by the system, using a more complicated method. You will have to erase the device and then reinstall the iOS and then restore it from your backup.

This way it will simply clear off all the unwanted files that are taking up the storage space inside the system section of your iPhone. After reinstalling the iOS on your iPhone, you can start restoring the device, so it should also reduce the space occupied by the other section of your iPhone, thus making up enough free space that you can use it for downloading some apps or clicking photos and videos on your iPhone.


So, this was a guide on how you can free up some space on your iPhone which is being occupied by the system files. Often, iOS restricts users from clicking pictures or downloading apps from the app store because of low storage, as iOS needs some adequate amount of extra storage space to run smoothly, so users should always try to keep their iPhones and iPad at least 30% free all the time, that way you won’t face any app crashes or bugs due to low storage. Hopefully, the above method helps you and frees up some space on your iPhone.

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