Skip to Content

iPhone Storage Keeps Filling Up After Deleting (Causes and How to Fix)

As an iPhone owner, I know how frustrating it can be when your phone storage keeps filling up even after you delete items. I’ve been there myself and believe me, it’s no fun. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share what I’ve discovered about why this happens and how to fix it. In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the causes of your iPhone storage filling up and how to free up space on your device. I hope this will help you get back to using your iPhone with ease.

iPhone cacheUpdate to the latest iOS version
Reserve space for files that aren’t downloadedFactory reset your iPhone
Unused apps, photos, and videosRegularly clear up space by deleting or offloading unused apps, cleaning up photos and videos, and clearing app caches

The Culprit Behind Losing iPhone Storage

The main culprit behind the spontaneous refilling of whatever amount of storage you free up on your iPhone is its cache.

If you’re not familiar, caching data is what your smartphone does to give you super quick access to files you’re using.

For example, if you’re watching something on Netflix, your phone will download the whole movie and keep it in the app’s cache till you’ve closed the app and moved on to other ones.

Another example, which seems to be an issue for iOS, is reserving space for files when you’re receiving a file.

Despite this file not being saved on your phone yet, your iPhone system will register it as occupied until it’s received… even if it never actually gets received.

How to Fix This Problem

There isn’t much you can do to fix the root cause of this issue. For that, we’ll need to collectively yell at Apple through our iPhones for this to be fixed once and for all.

But as we said earlier, there are a few things you can do to fix this issue for months at a time and even keep it from ever happening.

Update to the Latest iOS

While this issue has persisted over the years, you’re much more likely to see an improvement with the latest iOS updates

Unless your iPhone is too old to handle the newer bulky iOS versions, we recommend updating to the latest iOS

This could instantly fix the issue, and if so, you probably won’t have to deal with it again.

Factory Reset Your iPhone

This may be a bit of an extreme solution in some people’s opinions, but the other option (which you’ll find below as a means of prevention) is quite tedious.

Of course, you need to back up everything on your iPhone before you do that. You should also keep in mind that this process takes some time. Expect no less than an hour between resetting your iPhone and restoring all your data.

Factory resetting your iPhone will instantly delete all cached data as well as the apps and settings that had it piling up in the first place.

This should keep your iPhone light and breezy for quite some time, but if you don’t keep your iPhone nice and tidy, it’ll probably happen sooner than you’d like.

  • To back up and reset your iPhone using a MacBook, simply plug in your iPhone, select it from the left-side panel, go to General on the menu bar, and select “Backup all data.” After it’s done, follow the same steps, then click the “Restore backup” button.
  • To back up and reset your iPhone on a PC, connect it to your PC and launch iTunes, click the device button that will pop up on iTunes, then click on “Summary.” There, you’ll find the “Backup Now” and “Restore Backup” buttons.

Prevention: Clear Up Space Regularly

There’s a rather simple way of keeping your iPhone’s storage in check without having to factory reset it every few months or weeks.

Make a habit out of doing any of these when you have a minute and nothing particular to do on your phone.

  • Delete or offload unused apps on your phone.
  • Clean up pictures and videos you don’t want, then delete them from the recently deleted.
  • Clear Safari’s cache from the settings.
  • Go through your apps in the settings and clear the caches of the apps taking up most space.


Read more: Why won’t my controller connect to my iPhone

iPhone storage filling up on its own after deleting various files and apps is a problem that’s been around for nearly a decade. It’s every bit as frustrating now as it was when it first started happening. 

There isn’t a final solution to it, but you can fix it for weeks or even months at a time by factory resetting and restoring your iPhone.

You can also prevent this from ever happening again by building up a digital hygiene routine which includes deleting apps, photos, and videos you don’t use.

Read more: 128GB vs 256GB iPhone