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When you carve out time to optimize your iPhone storage, delete unwanted apps and large videos, and erase duplicate files, the last thing you expect to see is your iPhone displaying storage full even after deleting everything.

Why is my iPhone storage full after deleting everything? How to fix iPhone storage full issue to free up space on your device? This guide reveals the answers to these questions as we take a deep dive into the possible reasons your iPhone storage keeps filling up and what you can do to resolve the problem by yourself.

In this article
    1. Force Restart iPhone to Fix iPhone Storage Full
    2. Remove Recently Deleted Photos and Delete Unwanted Files
    3. Clear Cache to Free iPhone Storage
    4. Optimize iPhone Storage to Fix iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Everything
    5. Disable Syncing to iCloud to Fix iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Photos
    6. Factory Reset iPhone via Settings to Resolve iPhone Storage Full
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Recommended reading: What to do if your iCloud storage is used up? How to free up iCloud space? Click to read more.

Why is My iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Everything?

iPhone storage is limited and the amount of storage you have depends on the iPhone model you got and the base storage of the device. However, many users ask “Why is my iPhone storage full after deleting everything?”

Here are possible reasons your iPhone storage is full even after deleting everything:

1. You Have Cached Data on Your iPhone

When you browse through websites on your iPhone, your choices and preferences on the websites are stored as cached data on your device. The purpose of cached data is to help the websites load and execute your choices faster the next time you visit the web page.

However, too much cached data on your device can take up storage space and you won’t even notice it because cached data is stored separately. Cached data can also come from frequently used apps on your iPhone.

2. You Have Ghost Files on Your iPhone

Ghost files are leftover data from apps and files that you have deleted. These are files that weren’t completely deleted from your device and still take up storage space on your phone. Individually, ghost files are harmless but collectively, they can cause your iPhone storage to remain full after deleting everything.

3. iOS Storage Lag

Sometimes, it may take a while for iOS to detect how much space is left after deleting everything, so if you check your device storage before iOS can accurately calculate and display the available space, you may not see any changes in your iPhone storage giving you the impression that your iPhone is still full after deleting everything. Give it some time.

4. iOS Issue

An underlying iOS issue such as a failed iOS upgrade or software glitch may cause the iPhone storage full problem.

5. The Recently Deleted Folder is Full

A lot of people don’t know this but when you delete photos and media from your iPhone, the deleted items don’t leave your iPhone immediately. Instead, the deleted files are stored in a Recently deleted folder that affects the iPhone storage. If your Recently Deleted folder is full, you need to empty it to free up space.

How to Fix iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Photos

Is your iPhone storage full after deleting photos? Here are easy methods to fix the problem. The methods in this list are easy to perform on your iPhone by yourself.

Force Restart iPhone to Fix iPhone Storage Full

The quickest method to fix iPhone storage full after deleting everything is to force reboot your iPhone. When you force restart your iPhone, the iOS is forced to calculate and accurately display the available storage on the device, so you know for sure if the files you deleted have had any impact on your iPhone storage.

Also, restarting your iPhone can fix minor bugs and software glitches causing the “iPhone Storage Full” error message.

Here is how to force restart your iPhone to fix iPhone storage full:

For iPhone 6S, iPhone SE (1st generation), or Earlier

  • Press and hold the Power button and the Home button together for 10 seconds.
how to force restart the iphone 6 series
  • Wait till your iPhone screen goes blank and the Apple logo pops up on the screen. Then release both buttons and allow the iPhone to reboot.

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

  • Press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button together for about 10 seconds.
how to force restart iphone 7 and 7 plus
  • Wait till the iPhone screen turns black. Then release the buttons when you see the Apple logo on your screen and leave the phone to reboot.

For iPhone 8 or Later Models

  • Hold the Volume Up button and release it after 5 seconds.
  • Hold the Volume Down button and release after it 5 seconds.
  • Hold the Power button until the screen goes blank and displays the Apple logo. Then release the side button.
how to force restart the iphone 8 and newer models

Remove Recently Deleted Photos and Delete Unwanted Files

Another method to fix iPhone storage full after deleting everything is to remove the photos in your recently deleted folder. As explained earlier, your recently deleted folder also occupies a part of your iPhone storage, so you should empty the folder to free storage.

  • Go to Photos on your iPhone and tap on Albums.
  • Scroll down to Recently Deleted and open the album using your Face ID or iPhone passcode.
how to empty recently deleted items on iphone
  • Click on the media you want to delete and confirm Delete. You can also select all and click delete to empty your recently deleted folder.

Do you have unwanted apps and files on your iPhone? You should delete these apps as well to free up storage on your iPhone.

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone and click on General.
  • Select iPhone Storage and wait for the iOS to display your iPhone storage breakdown.
  • Tap on Enable next to Offload Unused Apps.
how to offload unused apps on iphone

Your device will automatically remove the apps you haven’t used for some time. Your app data will not be erased so when you install the app again from the App Store, your content will still be accessible.

Did you know that you can also delete unwanted apps and files from Settings > iPhone Storage?

  • Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  • Your iPhone will recommend the apps and files that are taking the most space on your device.
  • You can review the recommendations and delete the files you don’t need anymore.
how to fix iphone storage full issue

Clear Cache to Free iPhone Storage

If you suspect that your iPhone has accumulated cached data from websites and frequently used apps over time, it’s best to clear the cache to free iPhone storage.

Here is how to clear cache in the Safari browser to free iPhone storage:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap on Safari.
  • Tap on Clear History and Website Data. Then confirm the prompt.
how to clear browser cache on iphone
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Note: When you clear the cache from Safari or other browsers on your iPhone, you will be automatically logged out of all websites you are currently logged in to.

Optimize iPhone Storage to Fix iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Everything

One of the best methods to fix iPhone storage full after deleting everything is to optimize your iPhone storage.

When you optimize your iPhone storage, the high-resolution and large copies of your photos and videos will be stored in iCloud while the lower-resolution and smaller copies will be stored in your iPhone storage. You can access and download the high-resolution images whenever you want over an internet connection.

Here is how to optimize iPhone storage:

  • Go to Settings and click on Your Name/Apple ID.
  • Click on iCloud and go to Photos. Click on Sync This iPhone.
  • Enable Optimize iPhone Storage.
how to optimize iphone storage

Disable Syncing to iCloud to Fix iPhone Storage Full After Deleting Everything

Another thing that might be taking storage space on your device without your knowledge is the iCloud Photo Library feature. When enabled, iCloud syncs the photos and videos from your other Apple devices to your iPhone, so your media library is updated on all your devices and so you can access any photo or video whenever you want on any registered Apple device.

However, iCloud Photo Library also uses some of your iPhone storage because copies of the images synced from other devices can be downloaded automatically on your iPhone. You can disable iCloud Photo Library to prevent this.

Here is how to disable iCloud Photo syncing:

  • Go to Settings and click on your Apple ID (Your Name) at the top of the screen.
  • Tap on iCloud and go to Photos.
go to icloud photos menu to check out icloud storage
  • Turn off the switch to Sync this iPhone and confirm the prompt.
how to disable icloud photo syncing if your iphone storage full after deleting everything
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Note: When you disable iCloud syncing for photos, you won’t get photos from your other Apple devices and the images you capture on your iPhone will only exist on the iPhone.

Factory Reset iPhone via Settings to Resolve iPhone Storage Full

If you have tried all the methods above but your iPhone still displays the storage full error, then you can factory reset your iPhone via settings to resolve the iPhone storage full problem.

When you factory reset your iPhone, all the files and custom settings on the device are automatically erased and your iPhone is restored to its factory mode. This will free up and restore your iPhone storage to the way it was when you bought the device.

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Note: Ensure to back up your iPhone data to your PC before factory resetting the device. This way, your files and data are protected during the factory reset and you can restore the backup to your device once the factory reset is complete.

Here is how to factory reset an iPhone to resolve the iPhone storage full issue:

  • Go to Settings and click on General.
  • Scroll down to Transfer or Reset iPhone. Click on Erase all Content and Settings.
how to factory reset iphone
  • You’ll receive a notification prompt. Click Continue and enter your iPhone passcode to authorize the prompt.
  • Wait till the iPhone has been erased. Then restart the device and allow it to reboot.

You can choose to restore your iPhone backup via iTunes, iCloud, or a backup folder on your PC.

Move iPhone Data to PC If iPhone Storage Full

Don’t want to erase your iPhone to free storage space? You are not alone. Like you, many other iPhone users find it difficult to erase all the content on their iPhone just to free up space.

If you are an old iPhone user, this becomes increasingly difficult because you have years of memories and stored data on your device. Instead of deleting everything, you should move your iPhone data to your PC via the MobileTrans - Backup & Restore tool if your iPhone storage is full.

MobileTrans a user-friendly backup tool that allows iPhone users to back up different types of data to a computer, including messages, photos, videos, app data, and audio recordings. MobileTrans is safe and secure and doesn’t overwrite existing data on your PC.

It also allows you to merge old and new data without data loss and backups occur via USB. This means you don’t need Wi-Fi or cellular data to back up your iPhone data to a PC and there is no risk of theft or hackers gaining access to your files.

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  • • Support various data, including files, photos, videos, apps, contacts, etc.
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Would you like to back up your iPhone data to a PC to free storage on your device? Then download MobileTrans and follow the steps below:

  • Launch MobileTrans on your computer and connect your iPhone to the PC using a USB cable.
  • Choose Backup & Restore from the MobileTrans dashboard and select Phone Backup & Restore.
how to back up iphone data to pc via mobiletrans backup & restore
  • Next, select the iPhone files to back up to the PC and click Start to begin the backup process.
click start to begin iphone back up to pc

Once the backup is complete, you can delete your iPhone files from the device to free space for more files.

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Final Words

In summary, having your iPhone display storage full repeatedly after deleting everything can be very annoying. You have deleted your previous files but you still can’t get enough storage on your iPhone. This can be caused by many reasons ranging from ghost files and cached data to iOS issues and storage lag.

There are different ways to fix the iPhone storage full problem depending on your available storage and preferences. Ensure to back up your iPhone data to your computer before erasing its content, so you don’t permanently lose your files. This is also a great way to free up storage on your iPhone without data loss.

FAQ

  • 1. How to restore deleted photos to iPhone?
    You can restore deleted photos to your iPhone via the recently deleted folder. Go to Photos and scroll down to Recently Deleted. Select the photos you wish to restore and click restore to send the pictures back to your iPhone internal storage. If the photos have been permanently deleted, you can restore them from an existing backup folder if you created one either in iCloud, iTunes, or your computer.
  • 2. Can you increase iPhone storage?
    No, you can’t increase iPhone storage. If you’d like to get more storage to store your photos and media, you can upgrade your iCloud storage, so you can save files in the cloud servers. You can also move some of your iPhone files to your computer to free up space for more files on your iPhone.
Axel Nash
Axel Nash Jun 07, 24
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