How to save space on your iPhone by flushing Dropbox caches

Low on storage, you say? If you’re a heavy Dropbox user who’s running out of storage space on their device, clearing the app’s cache should be first order of business. The mobile app keeps a cache of files for efficiency and emergency purposes, aside from doubling as a staging area for downloading and uploading.

Flushing the cache should help free up some storage space on your iOS device.

Doing so is likely to cause files to load longer, but none of the offline items will be affected. If you’d like to free up some storage space on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, follow the steps outlined in this tutorial to clear the Dropbox cache with just a few taps.

Unfortunately, the Dropbox app does not provide the option to set a limit on cache size, meaning it’ll use as much free storage space as iOS’s automatic storage management lets it. iOS does manage app caches, temporary files and other cruft on your device, deleting items automatically, as needed, to free up space.

However, that feature lacks a user-facing interface that would let you adjust how it worked or set a custom size for the Dropbox cache. This is why you’re advised to always use storage management features in your favorite apps.

Dropbox’s cache-clearing option requires version 38.2 or later of the mobile app.

How to clear caches in Dropbox mobile app

1) Launch Dropbox and tap the rightmost Account tab at the bottom.

2) Tap the Settings button in the upper-left corner (it’s a gear pictogram).

3) Scroll down to the bottom, then tap the Clear Cache option.

4) Choose Clear Cache from the popup menu. “If you continue, some files may take longer to load. Your offline files won’t be removed,” reads the prompt.

Clear Dropbox cache on your iPhone

Know that the size of Dropbox’s cache accumulated on your device depends on how you use the app, how many files are stored offline and a number of other factors.

If you’d like to see how much storage space the offline files are taking up on your device, you can do that too: choose Offline Files from the app’s settings screen.

View offline files size on iPhone

On desktop, the Dropbox cache is a hidden folder named “.dropbox.cache” and stored invisibly in your root Dropbox folder. The desktop helper app automatically clears its cache folder every three days, but you can safely delete it manually.

TUTORIAL: how to set the Finder to show hidden files and folders

Do you use Dropbox? If so, have you used the app’s cache-clearing option yet? And speaking of storage, is your iPhone low on storage space, anyway?

Chime in with your thoughts in the comment section below.