Instagram is a social network centered around photos and photo sharing, and each time you open the app and browse around at pictures, caches of those photos are stored on your iPhone (or Android for that matter). While many apps uses caches to speed things up and to prevent having to re-download images and data you’ve already accessed, the Instagram cache can grow quite large and end up taking up a lot of storage space on a device.
This article will show you how you can delete and clear the Instagram cache on an iPhone so that you can free up some storage space on the iPhone. This is really only relevant if your iPhone is really tight on storage space, and if Instagram cache is taking up a lot of storage room, obviously if that isn’t the case then this won’t be helpful to you.
Note for Android users; the Android version of Instagram has a direct “Clear Cache” button under the Settings section of Instagram. Thus Android users can just use that to achieve the same effect. For now, the iPhone version does not include a Clear Cache option, thus they must manually delete the app and reinstall it to clear the Instagram cache.
The Instagram cache is contained within the apps “Documents and Data” storage. As you may recall, the only way to reliably delete Documents and Data from an iOS app is by deleting it and reinstalling the app, because currently there is no built-in option to remove Documents and Data manually either in iOS, or in the Instagram app itself. As you may have guessed by now, that is exactly what we’re going to do with Instagram app on the iPhone.
How to Clear the Instagram Cache on iPhone
Note this process requires an active internet connection, and you will need to login to the Instagram account again when finished.
- Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone
- Go to “General” and then to “iPhone Storage”
- Wait for all storage data to load
- Scroll down to locate the app list and find “Instagram”, next to it will be the total storage size taken up by the app
- Tap on “Instagram”
- Tap on “Delete App”
- Confirm that you want to remove Instagram by tapping “Delete App”
- Now open the App Store on the iPhone
- Locate the “Instagram” app (using Search or otherwise) and download it again
Once you redownload and install Instagram again, you’ll need to log back into the Instagram account. The caches will be deleted and the total size of the app will be reduced, you can confirm that manually if desired by returning to Settings “Storage” section and finding the Instagram app again.
This is arguably more relevant on earlier iPhone devices and Instagram versions where the storage space is tighter, and Instagram appeared to be a little more aggressive with caching, whereas newer versions of the app and obviously larger storage space iPhone models are going to be less impacted. I have seen the Instagram app cache be over 1GB on multiple occasions, but by deleting and reinstalling the app as described the app cache will shrink back to nothing and the app will only take up about 80mb or so on it’s own. Of course once you start using Instagram a lot again it will cache more data again, so you may need to repeat the process sometime down the road.
It’s important to point out the necessity to actually delete the app from iOS and then reinstall it again. If you choose to offload the app instead, it would delete the Instagram app but preserve the caches contained with “Documents and Data” and have basically the opposite effect that is intended by not freeing up that cache space. With that said, using Offload Apps or automatic Offload Apps is a very useful iOS feature for freeing up storage from an IPhone or iPad automatically, but just remember it won’t help clear caches, it only removes the app itself.
As mentioned before, this is the one consistently reliable way to clear Documents and Data from apps on iPhone or iPad, regardless of what the app is. There are some third party apps that contain built-in data and cache removal tools, for example you can manually empty Google Maps cache on an iPhone and Twitter has a clear cache option too, but at the moment the Instagram app for iOS does not have this feature.
Do you know of another way to delete Instagram cache from an iPhone? Let us know in the comments!