The iPhone and iPad are user-friendly devices, but iOS still gets clogged up over time with unwanted files and memory hogs. This can slow your device down.

In this article, we're going to look at how to clean out all the junk and memory-clogging files on your iPhone and get it to run a bit faster.

Giving your Apple device a spring clean and removing unwanted files will improve its performance, especially if it is an older model. But clearing out the memory also helps you get more out of iOS by enabling you to focus on the things you do need and use.

Apple iOS devices may not need the same level of maintenance as macOS (or, heaven forbid, Windows), but they still need some attention to run at optimum speed.

(For more general iOS speed tips, take a look at our broader tutorial: How to speed up a slow iPhone or How to speed up a slow iPad)

Step 1: Delete the Safari cache on iPhone or iPad

We're going to start by clearing out the cache in Safari. Note that this will log you out of any websites you've signed into. Follow these steps to clear out the Safari cache on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app, and scroll down to the fifth group of options (with Mail at the top). Tap Safari.
  2. Scroll down again and tap 'Clear History and Website Data'.
  3. Tap 'Clear History and Data'.

How to clear iPhone memory: Clear History and Data

Step 2: Clean app data on iPhone or iPad

Data stored by other apps can be cleaned out using the Usage option in settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage.
  2. In the top section (Storage), tap Manage Storage.
  3. Select an app that's taking up a lot of space.
  4. Take a look at the entry for Documents & Data. If this is taking up more than 500MB, it's worth deleting and reinstalling the app to clear the space.
  5. Tap Delete App, then head to the App Store to re-download it. This will be a clean install without all the data and documents.

How to clear out iPhone memory: App data

Step 3: Free up memory by restarting your iPhone or iPad

For the most part, iOS will manage your memory effectively without you having to do anything. But we do find that restarting an iPhone occasionally is a good way to clear the memory and ensure that important apps have enough to use.

Here's how to restart your iPhone:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button (on the top or at the top-right of the device) until "slide to power off" appears.
  2. Swipe the power off slider.
  3. Wait until the device has fully powered down, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn on the iPhone.

Doing this on a regular basis used to be vital on an iPhone, and it's still useful on older models.

Step 4: Download a cleaner app for iPhone or iPad

There are various apps available that can help you quickly get rid of files you don't need. These apps are normally downloaded onto your Mac or PC, which you'll then need to connect your iPhone (or iPad) to in order for it to work its magic.

A cleaner app is normally the fastest and most effective way to make space on your iPhone, but if you want a full-featured one they usually cost up to £20. That said, it's better than having to cough up for a whole new phone when you run out of space!

PhoneClean

PhoneClean by iMobie can be used to remove junk files from iOS. Follow these steps:

  1. Attach the iPhone to your Mac using the USB Cable.
  2. Open PhoneClean and click Scan.
  3. Once the scan is complete, click Clean.

Some PhoneClean features, including Photo Caches, are only available in the Pro version. This costs $19.99 (around £16) per year.

How to clear out iPhone memory: PhoneClean app for iOS

iMyFone Umate

Much like PhoneClean by iMobie, iMyFone Umate for Mac and Windows can be used to quickly and easily remove temporary and junk files from your iOS device. 

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  2. Open iMyFone Umate and click Scan on the Home tab.
  3. Clear Junk files and Temporary files to clear a lot of space on your iPhone (4GB on our test device).
  4. You can also clear out any large files (videos and so on) and see, at a glance, apps that take up a lot of space. These can also be deleted fairly easy using iMyFone Umate.

There's a free version if you want to try the application out for yourself. The paid version, which sets you back $19.95 (around £16), adds some more advanced features.

How to clear out iPhone memory: iMyFone Umate

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