iOS 17 storage space post-installation eaten up by System data! How to fix iOS 17 Storage Bug


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Just installed iOS 17, and got a warning that my phone was out of space. Took a look and “System Data” has taken 30% of my phone’s storage. WTF? Traditional the only way to get that back is to backup and restore. Has any ever seen that number go down?

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Following the release of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, a notable issue has emerged where the update consumes an excessive amount of storage space. Users attempting to update their iOS devices have encountered a concerning iOS 17 storage space problem. Numerous individuals have reported a significant loss of storage and data after updating to iOS 17. Alarmingly, in certain cases, this loss of iOS 17 storage space and data appears to be both permanent and fluctuates every 48 hours. This issue is causing widespread concern and frustration among iPhone users.

What is iOS 17 storage space bug?

The initial download size for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 is approximately 3GB, which seems reasonable for most users. However, the real surprise comes when users proceed to install the update.

According to reports, during this installation process, the iOS 17 update ends up consuming a substantial 15-20 GB of storage space on their devices.

This significant surge in iOS 17 Storage Space usage has left numerous iPhone and iPad users bewildered and discontented. It’s particularly distressing for those who own 64GB models, as updates are expected to enhance the device, not consume a significant portion of their available storage.

Excessive iOS 17 Storage Space consumption during updates severely restricts the space available for storing photos, videos, apps, and other essential data.

For example, iOS 17 utilizes 10.27 GB of space and additionally reserves 8.45 GB labeled as “System Data.” This amounts to nearly 30% of the total storage for a 64GB device.

On the flip side, there are users facing an even more disheartening issue—they can’t even install the update due to low iOS 17 Storage space. It’s a catch-22 situation for them; they want to update their devices to access new features and improved security, but the update itself demands substantial space that they simply don’t have.

This scenario is undeniably frustrating, leaving some users feeling excluded from enjoying the latest advancements in iOS and iPadOS.

While iOS 17 introduces a slew of exciting features, including ID Mask Unlock, along with bug fixes and enhanced security, it’s not without its drawbacks. Despite being a promising upgrade, iOS 15.4 still exhibits bugs even after 24 hours of its release.

Due to the inclusion of highly intriguing and substantial features not found in previous releases, iOS 17 necessitates more storage space on the system. Devices with available system space can upgrade to iOS 17 by combining the free storage space with the existing operating system space. However, for devices with no available iOS 17 storage space, upgrading results in data and storage loss.

Does the iOS system storage space come back?

iOS 17 storage space post-installation eaten up by System data! How to fix iOS 17 Storage Bug

The silver lining in this situation is that the excessive storage consumption during the update process is often temporary. After a while, the system undergoes an indexing process, gradually returning storage consumption to a more reasonable level.

byu/Stellar_Pathfinder from discussion

However, even after this indexing period, users continue to observe that iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 retain approximately 8-10GB of their storage space, which remains a lingering concern.

Apple needs to address this issue in future updates to ensure a smoother and hassle-free experience for its loyal customer base. Until this concern is resolved, users will grapple with the storage dilemma caused by these otherwise innovative updates.

Must Read: Download handpicked iOS 17 Wallpaper 4K for iPhone lock screen and carplay

What is iOS 17 system storage size?

The size of an iOS update can vary depending on your current iOS version and iPhone model. If you’re updating from iOS 16.3.1 to 16.4, the update is typically around 1.8GB. However, if you’re on an earlier version of iOS 16, the update could be as large as 5GB. Additionally, updating your iPhone 12 Pro to iOS 15.4 may use up approximately 1.25GB of memory space. The size of the update is influenced by the changes and updates made from the previous version. It’s important to note that different iPhone models can have different update sizes.

Tips to free up iOS storage space issue on your iPhone or iPad

If you’re grappling with storage concerns on post iOS 17 update, fret not. We’ve compiled a set of effective tips to help you reclaim valuable space and resolve the ‘iOS 17 storage gone’ problem. Let’s dive in and take the necessary steps to free up storage and optimize your iOS device.

Prioritize Data Backup:

Before proceeding with any of these actions, it’s crucial to prioritize data backup. Safeguarding your valuable data, especially images, is paramount to prevent any unintended loss during the troubleshooting process. Ensure you have a recent and complete backup of your device to guarantee the safety and accessibility of your important files. Let’s first secure your data, so you can confidently proceed with the necessary steps to address the iOS 17 storage challenge.

Tip 1: Analyze iOS 17 Storage Space Usage

To begin optimizing your iPhone’s storage, start by identifying what is using up the space on your device. Here’s a simple guide to achieving this:

  1. Access Storage Information:
    • Launch the Settings app.
    • Go to General.
    • Tap on iPhone Storage.
  2. Examine Storage Usage Breakdown:
    • On this screen, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of storage usage, including Photos, Apps, Messages, iOS, System Data, and other files.
    • System Data, once known as “Other,” can occupy a significant portion of storage.
  3. Explore App Storage Usage:
    • Scroll through the list of apps to see how much storage each app is using.
    • Media-heavy apps like Photos, Music, and Messaging apps often top the list due to the data they store.
  4. Identify Apps for Removal:
    • Spot apps that are consuming a considerable amount of space and are suitable for deletion.
    • Be mindful that app storage encompasses media, so focus on apps like Photos, Music, and Messaging.
  5. Check Last Usage Date for Apps:
    • The list also displays the last time you used each app.
    • Utilize this information to confidently delete apps you haven’t used recently.
  6. Delete Unnecessary Apps:
    • Swipe from right to left on an app you wish to remove.
    • Choose “Delete App.”
    • Alternatively, opt for “Offload App” to remove the app while preserving documents and data for potential reinstallation.
  7. Manage Downloaded Apps:
    • Deleted apps will appear in this list with a download icon.
    • You can redownload apps from this list if necessary.

By following these steps, you can effectively pinpoint and remove apps that are occupying a significant amount of space on your iPhone, helping you optimize its storage.

Tip 2: Manage App Space

To efficiently manage storage by deleting space-consuming apps on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Using iPhone Storage:
    • Open Settings, then go to General and select iPhone Storage.
    • Sort through the list of apps based on size and last usage date.
    • To remove an app, swipe left on its entry and choose “Delete App.”
  2. Deleting from Home Screen:
    • For newer iOS versions:
      • Press and hold an app icon to bring up a menu.
      • Tap “Remove App.”
      • Confirm the deletion by selecting “Delete App.”
    • For older iOS versions:
      • Tap and hold the app icon until all icons begin to jiggle (enter Edit Mode).
      • Tap the “X” in the top left corner of the app icon to delete it.

These methods allow for efficient identification and deletion of apps, aiding in the quick freeing up of storage space on your iPhone.

Tip 3: Manage Photos and Videos

Photos, videos, and screenshots tend to occupy a significant portion of storage space, alongside media from messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram. This can trigger the “iPhone Storage Almost Full” alert. If a significant portion of your iPhone’s storage is taken up by photos, it’s a good idea to tidy up and remove unnecessary ones. Here are steps to help you with this:

  • Removing Screenshots:
    • Open the Photos app and go to Albums > Screenshots.
    • Choose the screenshots you want to delete, or opt for “Select All” if you want to delete them all.
    • Delete the selected screenshots to create more space.
  • Managing Burst Mode Photos:
    • Burst Mode takes a series of quick shots, often resulting in numerous similar images.
    • Access the Bursts folder and select the images you want to keep, then mark one as a favorite.
    • Retain only the favorite image to reduce redundancy and free up space.
  • Optimizing Burst Mode Activation:
    • Use the volume control buttons on the side of your iPhone to capture photos, minimizing accidental activation of Burst Mode.
  • Using Duplicate Photo Remover Apps:
    • Consider utilizing apps like Gemini Photos to detect and delete duplicate photos from your library.
    • These apps categorize photos into different groups, making it easy for you to manage and remove unwanted duplicates.

By following these steps, you can efficiently clear up storage space occupied by photos on your iPhone, making room for more essential content.

Tip 4: Delete Photos and Videos embeds

To clear space on your iPhone by deleting images shared via Messages, follow these steps:

  1. Delete Images within a Conversation:
    • Open the Messages app and select the conversation containing the images you want to remove.
    • Tap and hold on to an image within the conversation to reveal additional options.
    • Tap “More” to select multiple images.
    • Mark the images you wish to delete using the circles next to each image.
    • Tap the trash bin icon at the bottom left to delete the selected images.
  2. Delete Images from the Photos Library in a Message:
    • Open the Messages app and select the conversation.
    • Tap the name or group at the top of the message to access additional options.
    • Scroll down to the “Photos” section.
    • Tap “See All” to view all images.
    • Tap “Select” to choose the images you want to delete.
    • Once selected, tap “Delete” to remove the images from the conversation.

By following these steps, you can efficiently delete images and free up storage space on your iPhone associated with the Messages app.

Tip 5: Managing iCloud Messages to Free Up Space

Disabling the Messages in iCloud feature can significantly free up storage space on your device, as it stops the storage of message history in iCloud. Although this means your conversations won’t sync across devices, it can help optimize your storage. To turn off this feature on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings and tap on your profile name.
  2. Tap on “iCloud.”
  3. Select “Manage Storage.”
  4. Tap on “Messages” and then switch the toggle to “Off.”

If needed, you can re-enable this feature later by following the same steps and switching the toggle to “On.” However, remember that re-enabling it will resume storing your message history in iCloud and syncing conversations across devices.

Tip 6: Clear Safari and App Caches

Cache data stored by Safari and other apps can accumulate over time, taking up valuable storage. To optimize your iPhone’s storage by removing app data and clearing cache, here’s a guide to effectively manage space:

  1. Assess and Remove App Data:
    • Navigate to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
    • Select an app to view its storage usage and app-related data.
    • Explore the app’s settings to delete unnecessary data like caches, downloads, or old files.
  2. Handle Video and Book Apps:
    • For video apps (e.g., Prime Video, Netflix), launch the app and delete downloaded videos you no longer require.
    • In book reading apps (e.g., Kindle, Books), eliminate downloaded books that you’ve read or don’t need anymore.
  3. Clean Google Maps Data:
    • Open the Google Maps app.
    • Access “Saved” to review and manage downloaded Maps data.
    • Delete any outdated maps or unnecessary data.
  4. Clear Data in Video Streaming Apps:
    • Launch streaming apps like Prime Video, Netflix, and Disney+.
    • Visit the downloads section and remove videos that are no longer of interest.
  5. Purge Browser Cache:
    • To clear Safari cache:
      • Open Settings.
      • Scroll and tap on Safari.
      • Choose “Clear History and Website Data.”
  6. Clear Cache in Chrome Browser:
    • Open the Chrome app.
    • Tap “Options” (three dots).
    • Navigate to Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data.
    • Select the data to delete and tap “Clear Browsing Data.”

Following these steps empowers you to efficiently manage app data and cache, optimizing your iPhone’s storage space.

Tip 7: Remove Less-Used Apps

Apps can consume a substantial amount of storage, especially with frequent updates. Removing apps that are rarely used or no longer needed can significantly free up space:

  • Press and hold an app icon until it starts to wiggle, then tap the “X” to delete the app.
  • Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to manage and uninstall apps.

Tip 8: Perform a Factory Reset

In persistent cases, a factory reset may help resolve underlying iOS system bugs and optimize performance:

  • Navigate to Settings > General > Reset.
  • Select “Erase All Content and Settings,” enter your password, and confirm the reset.

Note: A factory reset erases all data and applications, so ensure you’ve backed up your device before proceeding.

Always exercise caution when performing a factory reset, as it leads to permanent data and app loss. Make sure to back up all crucial information before proceeding with this step.

Here are a few tips from Apple too. Check them out


Ever since its launch on March 14th, iOS 17 has been plagued by a persistent storage problem, potentially arising from a software bug or a glitch. Fortunately, there are various solutions to tackle this vexing issue. From optimizing storage space to clearing caches and even resorting to a factory reset, we’ll explore effective steps to overcome the challenge and restore smooth functionality to your iOS 17 device. Let’s delve into these solutions and find the one that best fits your situation.

Rashmi is the Editor of PhonesWiki. She launched PhonesWiki back in 2018, turning it into a top spot for phone news and updates by 2019. Now, it's your go-to for leaks and solutions to phone problems. Her first phone was a Nokia 6610, but now she relies on an iPhone 14 Pro as daily driver. Rashmi's a tech enthusiast through and through, always tinkering with gadgets and gizmos. When she's not writing, you'll find Rashmi hanging out with her beloved pet, enjoying some quality playtime. Have a tip or just want to say hello? Contact her at


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