Why is my iPhone Synced Media so big

You may have arrived here because, like me, you noticed that your iPhone Storage media is quite large.

Synced Media Storage

If you go to Settings – General – iPhone Storage (this is the same for iPad as well), you may notice this additional line item called Storage Media that is taking a lot of space.

Apple iOS17 Synced Media Change

It turns out, it’s not as bad as you think

Before iOS 17, all media for the core Apple apps (Books/Music etc) was shown within that app’s storage.

So for example, if you had a bunch of music, let’s say 10 Gb, that you synced to your iPhone you’d see the size of the Music app as being 10 Gb plus a bit more for the app size and a bit more for the cached music that you steamed.

After iOS 17 Apple divided the storage.

The files downloaded from App Store, stay within the app’s storage while the stuff transferred from computer is listed as ”Synced media”.

So Synced Media is made of any files synced to the device from your computer to a core Apple app.

This does not apply to non-core Apple apps.

If you’ve transferred videos from your computer via iTunes, to VLC Player or Infuse, those files will stay within that app’s storage category.

But if you have transferred from your computer via iTunes, music or video or audiobooks to play on Apple’s Core apps (Music, Books, Podcasts, iMovie etc), that storage will be shown under Synced Media.

What can I do?

I have about 15Gb of music and some audiobooks stored on iTunes. As a result, prior to iOS 17, both Music and Books had huge storage under Settings | General | iPhone Storage.

Now? Both apps have tiny storage showing and Synced Media increased.

The interesting fact is that the Music is still shown within Settings | General | iPhone storage under Music or Books.

Music app


In conclusion, you have the same storage occupied as before, it’s just that now it’s all under one bucket.

If you want to clear some storage, go to iTunes and check what you want to sync to your phone. Or as I did here, go to the Music app and remove all songs. That immediately cleared up my Synced Media.

What else is stored in Synced Media?

Another item stored here is the iCloud Drive files.

I choose to sync my data so I can see it on my Mac, iPad and iPhone. That also takes a bit of space.

Hope this clarifies for you.

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