How To Empty the Trash on iPhone

Iphone Storage

If you are running low on space on your iPhone, there are several ways you can free up space. One way to do it is to empty the trash on your iPhone. The iPhone does not come with one integrated recycle bin where you can empty it. Instead, you must empty the trash on your iPhone in several different apps. So, the question is, how do you empty trash on an iPhone? 

Quick Answer

There are plenty of ways to clear the trash on your iPhone storage. One way is to remove photos, videos, and notes. You can also clear the cache of apps on your iPhone. Also, you can empty the mail trash box on your Mail app. 

When you empty the trash on your iPhone, it saves you a lot of space. Since the storage space on iPhones is limited and not expandable, it is essential to optimize your storage space. So, instead of deleting important files to you, try emptying the trash first and see if the space it frees up is sufficient for what you want to do.

This article will explain more about how you can go about it. 

3 Ways To Empty the Trash on iPhone 

The more you use your iPhone, the more information that gets stored on its limited storage, and over time it will become full. So, if you want to prevent the accumulation of unnecessary and old files on your iPhone, you should get rid of them regularly by emptying the trash.

There are several ways you can empty trash on your iPhone to recover a substantial amount of storage space on your iPhone. Below we will discuss three ways you can empty trash on your iPhone. 

Method #1: Clear Photos, Videos, and Notes 

Photos, videos, and notes data consume a large portion of your iPhone storage space. If you use a gallery app like the Photos app or Google Photo on an iPhone, when you delete a video or photo, it does not completely delete it; instead, it goes to the trash bin. The file stays in the trash bin for 30 days before it is automatically deleted. You can go to the trash bin and empty the files to free up space. 

Here’s how to empty trash by clearing unnecessary photos and videos on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the “Album” section at the bottom-right side of your screen. 
  3. Scroll down and tap “Recently Deleted”.
  4. Select the option “Delete All” to empty the trash bin of photos and videos to clear up space on your iPhone. 

Here’s how to empty trash by clearing notes on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Notes app on your iPhone. 
  2. Tap the “Folders” page and tap the “Recently Deleted” option. 
  3. You can then choose to “Recover All” or “Delete All”; choose to “Delete All” to empty the trash on your iPhone. 
Keep in Mind

Photos, videos, and notes in the trash of your iPhone will remain in the trash for 30 days, after which it will automatically delete.

Method #2: Clear the App Cache 

The apps on your iPhone also store data in cache data on the iPhone as you use it. The more the cache files, the more storage space the app uses. This explains why some mobile apps on your iPhone are so heavy. It isn’t always because the app is downloaded heavy, but because of the several activities, you do on the app that saves as cache. 

Here’s how to empty trash by clearing unnecessary app cache on your iPhone.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your device. 
  2. Scroll down, tap “General”, and then tap the “iPhone Storage” option. 
  3. Select the app you want to clear cache and offload data. 
  4. Tap “Offload App” and then select “Offload App” when the pop-up is to confirm the action. 

Clearing your cache data on your iPhone may lead to the loss of essential data on your app, so take caution of the app you clear its data.

Method #3: Clear Mailbox Trash 

You should also not neglect to clear your mailbox trash. As insignificant as you may think, the storage space your mail takes can quickly add to something substantial. Mails often contain data like pictures, videos, and so on, making it quite heavy and consuming your iPhone storage space. 

Here’s how to empty trash by clearing mailbox trash on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Mail app on your iPhone. 
  2. Tap the “All Trash” option from the listed options.
  3. Click the “Edit” button at the top right corner.
  4. Select the message you want to remove from the trash or select all and tap the “Delete All” option at the bottom-right corner of your screen. 


To sum up, though the iPhone may not have an integrated trash can, you can recover the storage space by emptying the trash in different apps. Knowing this is very useful as an iPhone user as your storage space is very limited, and there is no way you can expand it. So, anything you can do to optimize your storage space is logical. 

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