How to manage Diagnostic & Usage Data on iPhone and iPad

By , Nov 11, 2013

Diagnostics and Usage

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.

Diagnostics and Usage Data

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.

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  • Brett

    You can view (and delete) all of those logs in Console on the Mac.

    • http://bnjm.org/ Jeff Benjamin

      Right. But what about the Diag logs that are copied from iOS?

      • mahe

        on a Windows PC they are copied to:
        %AppData%Apple ComputerLogsCrashReporterMobileDevice[devicename]

      • Brett

        My iOS logs show up in Console. I can’t check right now to see where they’re located in there.

  • lanceuppercut47

    Sync’d and there are still a boatload of these logs showing up on my device. Is there a tweak to remove them entirely?

    • No Bush!

      What to do if iTunes sync does not clear your iPad diagnostic log.
      (1) Back up your iPad to iCloud or PC.
      (2) Settings/General/Reset/Erase all content and settings.
      (3) Restore from backup.
      (4) Go to iTunes sign out then sign back in.
      (5) Sync with iTunes via USB cable to PC.

      The diagnostic file(s) should be gone, the files do not get erased if there is a corrupt file within the file system. This process will correct the issue.

      SteveP

  • Anonymous

    Hi! There’s a much simpler way of removing iOS diagnostics and usage data. It can be done from the iDevice itself but the device needs to be jailbroken. The name of the tweak is “iCleaner.” It can be downloaded from the BigBoss repo for free :)

  • ConduciveMammal

    Can this diagnostic information be used by Apple to find out if the iPhone is jailbroken?

    • Brett

      I would think so, but they couldn’t really do anything about it.

  • Bob roberts

    be sure to turn this off before a jb

  • leart

    Itools its a great tool, and you can remove any of this reports in any time, jailbroken or not

  • http://www.designersport.in/ Fernald George

    A long time i search for this….today i got it from this blog……….Useful block of information….thanks

  • No Bush!

    What to do if you iTunes sync does not clear your iPad diagnostic log.
    (1) Back up your iPad to iCloud or PC.
    (2) Settings/General/Reset/Erase all content and settings.
    (3) Restore from backup.
    (4) Go to iTunes sign out then sign back in.
    (5) Sync with iTunes via cable to PC.

    The diagnostic file(s) should be gone, the files do not get erased if there is a corrupt file within the file system. This process will correct the issue.

    SteveP

  • Lalo N Sylvia Ayala

    Ok so I am really confused and I am hoping someone can provide me with some answers. I have an iphone 4 and I was reviewing all of the diagnostic and usage data on my device however I don’t understand what any of it is. Do the logs on my device mean that I actually visited any specific websites that are in my logs? Do the logs on my device reflect any type of my activity? Because in the logs it states all kinds of weird websites and states my iPhones info. Like the model of my phone n things? So I guess I just want to know if there is ANYTHING at all in my diagnostics and usage info data that is actually really logs or data in any way connected-to actually anything or any websites or apps I’ve used? I’m so confused.

  • Charlie

    How do I read or parse these files? I’ve been having battery issues and I want to know if any processes are going out of control.

  • Ramit Kapur

    any way to roll back to the carrier update ? cant toggle between 2g,3g,lte even after ios 8.1.

  • Binky

    Piece of crap, won’t sync with Itunes over Windows. Going into the garbage in a few minutes, going to get me a Microsoft Pad and the H with this thing.!@!!!!