To improve the quality and performance of its iOS devices, Apple routinely collects diagnostic and usage information from customer’s iPhones and iPads. Diagnostic data includes information about system performance, such as the popular low memory warnings, and other details about your specific device and OS specifications.
End users have the option of sharing this information automatically with Apple, but it can also be turned off. You’ve probably all seen the option during the initial setup of your iOS device to automatically send diagnostic and usage data to Apple.
Inside, we’ll show you where you can go to view your device’s logged diagnostic data, and manage how it is used. We’ll also show you how to completely remove the diagnostic logs from your device.
What the Diagnostics & Usage Data logs contain
Generally speaking, the logs don’t contain any specific app usage data. They may contain information on how the app was used, i.e. why it crashed, but they don’t generally contain specific information about the data used within the app — such as what web sites your visited, or what you typed in your personal diary app *sob*.
The details contained in these logs pertain to hardware and operating system spec, performance stats, and data about how a particular app was used. In other words, the data contained is primarily analytical data that can help Apple research issues and track trends if the need arrises.
Where to find Diagnostic & Usage Data
Finding this data is a bit tricky, because it’s buried several levels deep in iOS’ Settings. To find your device’s diagnostic data, venture to the following location:
Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage > Diagnostic & Usage Data
Here, you will find all of the logs that have been generated and collected on your device. You’ll find logs regarding crashes, low memory warnings, etc. It’s pretty interesting stuff. Unfortunately, even on the brand new iPad Air, you’ll still find a lot of low memory errors when using memory intensive apps. This is largely attributed to the fact that Apple still has yet to break the 1 GB threshold in its mobile devices.
If you don’t have any logs listed, you can quickly generate a low memory log by opening a bunch of Safari tabs. While switching between them, you should eventually notice some of them refresh (white screen, and the page reloads). Once you see that, you’ll find a low memory warning logged to your Diagnostic & Usage Data section.
How to delete Diagnostic & Usage Data from your device
Removing the diagnostic data is as easy as syncing your device to iTunes. When syncing your device, it will copy the diagnostic information to iTunes and delete the information from your iOS device. I’ve yet to figure out just where Apple is copying this data to your Mac or PC, but it definitely appears to be removed from the iOS device.
Video How To:
Here’s a quick video that shows exactly how to remove your diagnostic data from your device.
If you rarely sync your device, then the space these logs take up can potentially be significant. Unfortunately, the only way we know how to remove these logs is by performing a sync with iTunes.
How to prevent Apple from receiving your Diagnostic & Usage Data
Apple likes to view the diagnostic logs generated by your device in order to troubleshoot problems, track trends, and provide a better overall user experience. Although none of the data is said to identify you personally, if you don’t feel comfortable letting Apple in on what your device is doing, you can easily disable the Automatic Send option via the Settings app. To do so, go to the following:
Settings > General > About > Diagnostics & Usage
Once there, tap on the option that says Don’t Send. This will prevent Apple receiving any of the daily diagnostic and usage data that your device generates.
How to disable your location in the Diagnostic & Usage Data
Although Apple claims that personal data is not logged or is removed from any reports before they are sent to Cupertino, Apple does use location services to identify the general location of a device. It does so in order to analyze wireless or cellular performance issues when looking at the diagnostic data.
If you don’t mind Apple receiving the crash and error logs from your device, but would rather your location not be included in the logs, you can turn off the Location Services for Diagnostics independently of the data. To do do, go to the following:
Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > and disable the toggle for Diagnostics & Usage
Hopefully, this overview of your device’s diagnostic data provides a better look into what the data contains, how it’s used, and how you can personally manage it. If you have any additional questions, observations, or concerns, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.