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The Case of the Disappearing Other

For those who have been following my on-going saga with the “other” category in iTunes, holding your breath as you wait to see who would win in this battle of wills (please, isn’t a blow-by-blow of phone issues a scintillating read?), I will tell you that the end of the story is like a magician’s trick: you have no clue what just happened, but it was definitely cool and there were lots of doves flying out of handkerchiefs and stuff like that.

Just to recap: the “other” category in iTunes had gotten so large that I couldn’t keep necessary apps on the phone.  “Other” was the largest use of space on the phone.  An aside: I am well aware that this is a first world problem.  But I was (1) cranky that I had a tool that couldn’t do what I needed it to do because I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, and (2) I felt so much anxiety having wasted space filled with corrupted files on the phone.  Let’s not discuss my mental state, but please remember that I am the woman who bleaches the inside of the dishwasher regularly.  I like things neat.  I do not like unnecessary apps much less files that I can’t find on my phone.  It was like carrying a mess in my pocket at all times.

So I was going to restore to factory settings to see if that cleared up the problem.  I decided that yesterday would be a good day to do this because if all went to hell — which it did near Thanksgiving when the phone was accidentally erased due to some bad advice I received as we tried to fix this problem — I had the rest of the week to haul myself back to the Genius Bar for help.

I synced the phone, and the “other” category was around 6 GB.  I synced the phone a second time, and the “other” category climbed to 6.24 GB.  I worried that some of my calendar information didn’t come over with the sync (what can I say?  I’m thorough and I bleach the inside of my dishwasher), so I synced one last time.

And then, without so much as a whisper of abracadabra, the “other” category showed 882.4 MB.  And I had a sea of free space.

I blinked at the screen a few times, synced the phone a few more times to make sure the free space wouldn’t disappear, and then loaded back on all the apps I haven’t been able to have for months due to my “other” problem.  Oh, and in a daze of disbelief, emailed Allison to say, “what the hell?”

I wish I knew what changed; what made the phone finally self-clean-up its mess.  All I know is that I felt a huge sense of relief, as if my phone had finally blown its nose and dislodged all the gunk it had been sniffling around for months.  It made me feel calm, collected, mentally clearer.

It’s sad when something so tiny can niggle me in such a huge way, and the inverse is equally sad too: that I can feel such a sense of inner peace at having this problem solved.  But I own both facts.  I feel really really peaceful having that mess cleaned up, even if I don’t quite know how it happened.

I like everything in order: from my notes to my phone.  Clean.  Neat.  Corners straight.  Apps in their proper place.


1 a.m.s. { 04.08.14 at 8:45 am }

I’m glad I could provide, if not ACTUAL help, moral support! I’ve been wondering now if I had just synced mine a few more times when I did the test run, if I could have avoided the thirty minutes of factory restore on mine. Oh well. Next time!

What bugs me the most is that Shannon NEVER has a problem with the Other category on his phone.

2 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.08.14 at 4:34 pm }

Yay! I’m glad you bleached your Other.

Further proof you’re the analogy queen: “as if my phone had finally blown its nose and dislodged all the gunk.”

3 Carli { 04.08.14 at 9:52 pm }

I can completely understand this frustration. I have had the same problem and I can’t figure it out. I tried all sorts of things from deleting all my text messages (which worked for the iPhone) to finally restoring from a backup (which fixed the iPad). I can’t understand it and I don’t have the patience for it and I silently curse Apple for days. Glad you got it worked out!

4 Tiara { 04.09.14 at 12:44 pm }

Jealous!! I will be syncing my phone…over & over again…tonight in hopes of that same magic!!

5 magpie { 04.14.14 at 9:04 pm }

about to sync. because tonight i tried to take a picture and there was NO ROOM.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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