As an Apple Watch owner, you may have noticed the “other” storage category taking up a significant chunk of your available space. This mysterious “other” storage prevents you from installing new apps, downloading music, and even updating your watchOS.
So what exactly is “other” storage and how can you free up this space on your Apple Watch? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain what “other” storage is, how to check your usage, and provide step-by-step instructions to delete it. With a few simple troubleshooting tips, you’ll learn how to manage “other” storage and reclaim gigabytes of space.
What is “Other” Storage?
The “other” storage category refers to cached data, temporary files, logs, and other miscellaneous data stored on your Apple Watch by apps and the watchOS system itself. This isn’t useless junk data – it helps your apps launch faster and run more smoothly. However, it does quickly build up and eat away at your limited storage over time.
Here are some examples of what gets categorized as “other” storage:
- Cached media files from Apple Music or podcasts
- App cache and data files
- Log files and crash reports
- Temporary download files
- Siri voice feedback cache
- Maps tile cache
- Handoff data between devices
- Widget data
- Browser cache and history
This system data and cache files are helpful for speedy performance. But when they’re no longer being used, they end up wasted as “other” taking up precious space. The watchOS does not automatically clear this data out regularly. That’s why it’s important to manually manage your “other” storage.
How to Check Your Apple Watch’s “Other” Storage?
To see how much “other” storage is used up, you’ll need to check the storage breakdown on your Apple Watch app:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone.
- Go to General > Usage.
- Scroll down and you’ll see a color-coded graph of your storage.
Take note of the “System Data” and “Other” sections. They combine to show you how much space is being used to store cache and other temporary usage files. If they are taking up over 50-60% of your overall capacity, it’s definitely time to clear them out.
Steps to Delete “Other” Storage on Your Apple Watch
Now that you know what’s included in “other” storage, here is the process to delete it and free up space on your Apple Watch:
Unpair and Erase Your Apple Watch
The most thorough way to delete “other” storage is to unpair your Apple Watch from its iPhone, erase it, and then re-pair it as a new watch.
On your iPhone, go to the Watch app > General > Unpair Apple Watch. This will backup your data and settings. Then on the Apple Watch, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
When done, you’ll have a fresh blank slate with all of the “other” cache and junk files deleted.
Pair Your Watch with Your iPhone Again
Once erased, go through the setup process to pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone again. It will now sync as a new watch.
Keep in mind you’ll have to re-download apps, music, and other content you had stored before. Contacts, calendars, and other data synced from your iPhone will automatically transfer over.
This process should dramatically reduce the “other” storage after clearing the slate. But additional cached data will begin to build up again over time.
Alternative Ways to Manage “Other” Storage
If you don’t want to fully reset your Apple Watch, there are a few alternative ways to manage “other” storage:
- Force close apps when not in use – Apps that remain open in the background cache more data. Force closing them clears some cache.
- Limit photos – Don’t sync too many photo albums to your watch. Streamline to just your favorites.
- Stream music – Stream music on demand rather than downloading lots of songs to your watch storage.
- Uninstall unused apps – Get rid of app bloatware that may be caching unneeded data.
- Turn off Siri – Disabling Siri prevents it from caching as much voice feedback data.
- Reduce notifications – Limit notifications to just essential apps. Too many can cache junk data.
While not as thorough as fully resetting your watch, these tips can help optimize “other” storage on an ongoing basis. Periodically check your usage breakdown and try these maintenance steps.
FAQs About Deleting “Other” Storage on Apple Watch
Here are some frequently asked questions about managing “other” storage on your Apple Watch:
How often should I erase my Apple Watch storage?
Most people find they need to do a full reset and erase every 6-12 months to clear “other” storage buildup. Check your usage breakdown monthly. When “other” is consistently over 50% even after trying the above tips, it’s time for a reset.
Will I lose all my data if I erase my Apple Watch?
You will lose any music, photos, apps, and non-synced data on the actual watch. But contacts, calendars, settings, activity data, and anything synced from your iPhone will transfer over fine when you re-pair.
Can I backup my Apple Watch before erasing?
Yes, unpairing your watch will automatically back it up to your iPhone as long as you stay connected to WiFi during the process. You can also do manual backups in the Apple Watch app.
Does deleting “other” storage improve Apple Watch battery life?
Possibly. Having lots of apps and cluttered storage running in the background can drain battery. After cleaning it out, your battery life may improve slightly. But other factors like usage and watch age impact this more.
Is it safe to delete “other” storage? Will it break my Apple Watch?
It’s totally safe to delete “other” storage by resetting or unpairing your watch. This process is recommended by Apple. It will not cause any harm or break your watch. Just make sure to back it up to your iPhone first.
Mysterious “other” storage filling up your Apple Watch is a common headache for users. But thankfully, it’s easy to delete and reclaim that wasted space by resetting your watch or trying some alternative maintenance tips. Keep an eye on your storage breakdown, don’t let “other” get too high, and perform a fresh setup periodically. With this simple watch care, you’ll always have room for more apps, music, and features.