Figure Out What Is Taking Up So Much Space On Your iPad or iPhone With iExplorer [iOS Tips]

Figure Out What Is Taking Up So Much Space On Your iPad or iPhone With iExplorer [iOS Tips]

The other day, I was setting up an iPad for a client of mine when I noticed that there was 5 Gb of space being used on the device. When I plugged the iPad into my Macbook Air and opened iTunes, it said that the iPad had 3.9 Gb of space in the “Other” category, but none of the files in the file sharing section of iTunes were that big. This conundrum led me to today’s tip.

iExplorer is a Mac or Windows app that allows you to see the file structure of your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad when it’s plugged into your computer with the white USB sync cable. Developer Macroplant provides iExplorer for free, only asking that you share their website with others.

To use it on the Mac, you’ll need Mac OS X 10.5 or later, iTunes 8 or later, and a USB sync cable. It’s also compatible with Windows and iTunes 9 or later.

Simply download the disk image from the developer’s site, and open it. Drag the iExplorer app to your Applications folder, and then double click on it from there. You’ll see the splash page, which asks for some social media sharing, and why not? The app is free, so it seems like a simple thing to do for the developer.

Once you close that window, you’ll see the main iExplorer browser window. In that window, you’ll see your iOS device once you plug it into the USB port on your Mac or Windows PC. Expand the folders by clicking on the little triangle to the left of each, and you’ll see the size of the files and be able to know what’s on your device.

If you have the Auto Preview button clicked, you’ll see a quick preview of media like pictures you’ve taken with your device right in iExplorer. Kind of a nice way to see what’s on there. We’re not reviewing this app here, so go ahead and try it out to see how it works for you.

Got an iOS tip of your own? Need help troubleshooting your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad ? (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)or leave a comment below.

  • joewaylo

    Will it let you delete the “Other”? I’d like to purge that off my iOS hard drive. Just as long as it doesn’t purge your OS that robs 3GBs of my capacity.

  • mr_bee

    Isn’t it easier to just look in the settings app on your iPad/iPhone? Tells you all this stuff right there.

  • ereins158

    Please, please stop putting so many damn links in the articles – it makes them unreadable.

  • tiapia

    Thanks for the tip, but you didn’t leave steps for Windows users.

  • soycuate

    Why exactly was that “other” that u cleared out? Pls respond…I have 3gbs of “other” and don’t want to have to restore

    Hit me on twitte if u have an answer

    @soycuate

  • Ross McDonagh

    I’ve got 3.8G of other on my iPhone-how exactly do I clear that off with iExplorer??

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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