How can I view files on iPhone?

Check storage space on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

iOS and iPadOS monitor the storage space on your device by analyzing how much storage space each app is using. You can also check your device's storage in Settings, iTunes, or your computer's Finder.

Storage optimization under iOS and iPadOS

If your device is low on space, it will automatically free up space when you install an app, update iOS or iPadOS, download music, record a video, and more.

To make more storage space available, your device can remove some of your items, such as: E.g. streamed music and videos, files in iCloud Drive and parts of apps that are not needed. It also removes temporary files and clears the cache on your device. However, your device only removes items that can be reloaded or that are no longer needed.

Use your device to check memory

Go to Settings> General> [Device] Storage. You may now see a list with recommendations for optimizing the device memory and below that a list of the installed apps with an indication of the memory used in each case. Tap the name of an app for more information about storage space. Cache data and temporary data may not count as used space.

In the detailed view you have the following options:

  • You can outsource the app, which frees up storage space used by the app, but the associated documents and data are retained.
  • You can delete the app, which will remove the app and all of its data.
  • Depending on the app, you may be able to delete some of its documents and data.

If your device is almost full and there is no more space available, you may see a "Storage Low" warning. If you see this warning, you should check the recommended storage space. You may need to outsource less frequently used content such as videos or apps.

Content categories

The content used on your device is divided into the following categories:

  • Apps: Installed apps and their content, as well as content stored in the "On my iPhone / iPad / iPod touch" directory in the Files app, and Safari downloads
  • Photos: Photos and videos stored in the Photos app
  • Media: music, videos, podcasts, ringtones, graphics and voice memos
  • Mail: Emails and their attachments
  • Apple Books: Books and PDFs in the Books app
  • Messages: Messages and their attachments
  • iCloud Drive: iCloud Drive content that has been downloaded locally to your device. This content cannot be deleted automatically.
  • Other: Non-removable mobile items such as Siri voices, fonts, dictionaries, non-removable logs and caches, Spotlight index and system data such as keychain and CloudKit database. The system cannot delete cached files.
  • System: Storage space used by the operating system. This can vary depending on the device and model.

Optimize storage space based on recommendations

In the "Storage" section of Settings, your device may offer recommendations for optimizing your storage. Tap "See All" to see all of the recommendations for your device.

Read the description of each recommendation, then tap Enable to turn it on, or tap the recommendation to review what you can delete.

Use Finder or iTunes to check the storage on your iOS device

  1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes.
  2. Connect the device to your computer.
  3. Select your device in the Finder or in iTunes. A bar shows how much storage space your content is using, broken down by content type.
  4. Hover your mouse over the bar to see how much memory each type of content is using.

Here is a list of the types of content on your device and what each type includes:

  • Audio: songs, audio podcasts, audiobooks, voice memos, and ringtones.
  • Video: Movies, music videos, and TV shows.
  • Photos: the content of your photo library, your recordings and your photo stream.
  • Apps: Installed apps. The contents of the apps are listed under "Documents & Data".
  • Books: iBooks books, audiobooks, and PDF files.
  • Documents & data: Safari offline reading list, files stored in installed apps and app content such as contacts, calendar, messages and emails (and their attachments).
  • Others: Settings, Siri voices, system data, and cached files.

Information about cached files in Other

Finder and iTunes categorize cached music, videos, and photos as "Other" instead of actual songs, videos, or photos. Cache files are created while streaming and viewing content such as music, videos, and photos. When you stream music or videos, that content is saved as cached files on your device so that you can access it again quickly.

Your device will automatically remove cached files and temporary files when your device needs more space.

If the space on your device is different from what you see in Finder or iTunes

Because Finder and iTunes categorize cached files as "Other," the reported usage for music or videos may be different. To see usage on your device, go to Settings> General> [Device] Storage.

When you want to delete the cached files from your device

Your device automatically deletes cached files and temporary files when more space is required. You don't have to delete them yourself.

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