Free up System Storage for a Better Mac Life

System Storage

If you’ve ever checked your storage (Apple Menu then About this Mac and then Storage) you have probably seen a storage category called System. Normally System hovers at around 12 gigabytes. If you notice your System storage is greater than this, then the chances are it is time to perform some maintenance and reclaim valuable storage space.

What is System?

System is where cache data and backups are stored. Often, these become outdated and or outmoded and can be deleted. If you were to breakdown System you would find it is full of:

  • iOS backups
  • Time Machine backups
  • App cache
  • Temporary Files
  • Unused disk images

By design, your Mac should delete the unneeded data from System storage. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen and under these circumstances, we have to go now and delete the files manually.

Let’s start with app cache data.

Deleting App Cache Data

Deleting app cache data is a good move as this can easily free up 3-4 gigabytes. So how do you do it?

  • Open Finder and Go and then Go To Folder
  • Paste ‘~/Library/Caches’ in the command box and click Go
  • You’ll be presented with subfolders. Press CMD+I and you’ll discover what each folder contains. Delete whatever you don’t need.
  • Once this is done repeat the process by pasting ‘~Library/Logs’ to review logs for deletion.

Once complete move on to System cache 

System Cache

Before deleting System cache take a backup. It is very easy to delete much-needed files without which your Mac will not function properly. So:

  • Open Finder and Go and then Go Folder
  • Paste ‘/Library/Cache’ into the command box. Click Go
  • With the list of files shown go into the folder and delete files you don’t need.
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Remove Time Machine Backups

We all love it that our data is backed up by backups. Time Machine backups are stored in System storage and if your Mac is not deleting the older backups then space starts to disappear. So let’s delete them. Go to:

  • Finder and Application and go to Utilities and launch Terminal
  • Paste ‘tmutil listlocalsnapshotdates’
  • Press Enter
  • You’ll be presented with a list of backups in date order. To delete type in: ‘tmutil deletelocalsnapshots xxxxxxx’ where xxxxxxx is the name of the backup. This will delete the file and free up space.
  • Delete all the redundant ones. The more you delete the more space you’ll have.

Delete iOS Backups

iOS backups are a great thing but if the old ones are not being deleted you’ll have to do it. So, go to:

  • Finder
  • Go to Folder
  • Type in ‘~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/’
  • You’ll be presented with a list of backups. Delete all but the most recent backup.

Once you have purged unneeded files from your Mac’s storage, you could well free up several gigabytes of space. This space can be used for more fun and essential side of your Mac experience.

If you visit Apple Support you’ll find more information to help you have a better computing experience.

Keep your Mac storage as free as possible for a better Mac life.