How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone/iPad

Q: How do I delete “documents & data” that is consuming space?

“My wife’s iPhone 6 has 11.1GB of ‘documents & data’ that is Messages (saved). How the heck do we get rid of those so she can free up needed space on her iPhone? Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

Sometimes, you may find your iPhone or iPad is low on storage space and discover that certain apps with huge “Documents & Data” items that taking up a lot of storage. In order to free up space and get the device to run a bit faster, you may come up with the question: how to clear documents and data on your iPhone?

Don’t worry. You are now in the right place. In this post, we’re going to explain what is Documents and Data on iPhone storage and show you how to delete app documents & data on an iPhone or iPad. Also, you’ll find a professional tool for backing up files on your iPhone/iPad before deleting. Continue reading!

Part 1: What is Documents and Data on iPhone/iPad

Your iPhone and iPad store two types of “Documents & Data”, both with the potential of consuming large amount of storage space on the device. They share the same name but are entirely different in their functions and locations within the iOS Settings.

Typically, when you use a third-party app, some extra data like app caches, cookies, preferences, login details, message history, downloaded images and videos will be created by the app and saved in its “Documents & Data” folder on your iPhone or iPad. The “Documents & Data” could take up a lot of storage space if the app creates many large files and cache data. Separately, the “Documents & Data” stored in iCloud are files and documents associated with the app itself. They are typically seen when you browse your iCloud Drive.

Part 2: How to Check Documents and Data of An App

Before deleting iPhone documents and data, let’s first check which apps have the most Documents and Data. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  2. You will find a list of installed apps and the amount of storage each one uses.
  3. Tap on an app’s name, you’ll see how much Documents and Data this specific app has.
    How to Check Documents and Data of An App

Part 3: How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone

Apple does not provide iOS users with a way to manually clear only cache and app data. To delete Documents & Data on an iPhone or iPad, the quick option is to remove the app itself completely and re-download it again. And that means you’ll lose all the data such as login info or history associated with such app. So, you’d better create a backup for your iPhone/iPad in case important data loss. Then follow the steps given below to delete documents and data on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone, then go to General > iPhone Storage.
  2. Locate the app with the “Documents & Data” you would like to delete.
  3. Tap on that app and then choose “Delete App” at the bottom of the screen. In the pop-up, tap on “Delete App” to confirm the action.
  4. To re-download the app you deleted, go to and search for it in the App Store.
  5. After reinstalled, you will discover the app uses less storage space since the documents and data associated with it have been cleared.
    How to Delete Documents and Data on iPhone

You can go through other apps and follow the above steps to delete Documents and Data associated with them. Note that this action would also upgrade the app you deleted and re-downloaded to the latest version.

You can also choose to offload unused apps without having to remove their data. When you reinstall the app, the data is restored automatically. If you don’t want delete and reinstall the app, you can choose to manually clear caches and history by logging in the related app. And then try to find the related settings to clean your apps’ caches, downloaded files, media files, chat history, etc.

Part 4: How to Delete Documents and Data from iCloud

You can delete documents and data stored in iCloud directly without the need to remove the app. Please note that these types of data do not impact your iPhone’s memory space since they are stored in iCloud. For this reason, the majority of iOS users don’t bother themselves with manually clearing Documents and Data related to iCloud storage. Nevertheless, follow the steps outlined below to delete documents and data from iCloud:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and tap on “Manage Storage”.
  2. You will find a list of Apps on your iPhone along with the amount of storage space used by the Apps on iCloud.
  3. Tap on the App that you want to delete Documents and Data from iCloud.
  4. On the next screen, tap on “Delete Data” and then confirm “Delete” on the pop-up message.
    How to Delete Documents and Data from iCloud

This will delete Documents and Data related to the specific app from iCloud account. You can repeat the above steps for other Apps to clean iCloud storage space. Also, you can set only selected apps to store their data in iCloud and save your iCloud storage space in this way.

Part 5: Backup Files on iPhone Before Deleting

Remember, we mentioned earlier that deleting and re-downloading an app would cause you to lose all the data associated with that app. It is therefore important to back up the files on your iPhone/iPad to avoid data loss. Here we recommend you use Gihosoft iManager – a professional iPhone file manager, transfer and backup tool that gives you the ability to backup iPhone apps and data with ease. As one of the best alternatives to iTunes, iManager allows you to backup and export photos, videos, contacts, text messages, WhatsApp, notes, Safari history and more from iPhone/iPad to your computer.

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Gihosoft iPhone Manager works well on all iOS devices and iOS versions, including the latest iPhone 11/11 Pro and iOS 13. You can download the program for free and install it on your computer, then follow these steps to do the backup:

  1. Launch Gihosoft iPhone Backup tool and connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer using USB cable.
  2. Once the device is detected, click on “Backup Now” to initiate the process. Ensure the device stays connected to the program.
  3. When the backup is completed, you can freely view your data and export them to computer of your choice.


In this post, we’ve explained what the “Documents & Data” mean on iPhone and revealed the exact steps you can follow to delete documents and data from iPhone as well as from iCloud. Also, we’ve shown you how to backup your iPhone/iPad to computer, making sure you don’t lose important data. Have any questions or problems? Let us know in the comments.

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