Learn about “Other” in Mac Storage and how to delete them

Other Storage in macOS System
Mac Other Storage in macOS System

Intro what is Mac Other Storage

Mac Other Storage encompasses data on an Apple computer that doesn’t belong to typical file types such as documents, applications or media files. This category includes system files, caches, temporary files, plugins, app extensions and more.

Over time, this data accumulates and take up a significant portion of hard disk space, potentially affecting Mac’s performance. Users can locate the category in the “About This Mac” section under the Storage tab.

Mac Other Storage under Storage Tab

Image source from drbuho

More Details

Simply click the Manage button above the storage bar and once the window opens, the lower-left corner where you will find a category labelled Other and its space usage but accessing Other directly from this window is not possible because it appears greyed out in the left-hand column.

macOS Manage Storage Tab Details - Mac Other Storage

Image source from drbuho

Pro Tip 1

In case the Manage button is not visible above the storage bar, you can access the storage management window by following these steps:

1️⃣ Open the Terminal, which you can find under Utilities.

2️⃣ Type the command: “open -a “Storage Management.app”” and this command will initiate the opening of the storage management window.

How to see what is in them

macOS Go to Folder

1️⃣ Open Finder.

2️⃣ Click on the Go option in the menu bar.

3️⃣ Select Go to Folder.

4️⃣ Then type in ~/library and press enter.

Go to Library folder in macOS

Image source from Macworld

Then an extensive list of folders and most of them categorized as Other by macOS will be shown and it is advisable to be careful with them but there are a few folders, such as Caches and Application Support which you can consider deleting certain items.

Pro Tip 2

By default, Apple has hidden certain folders and files but if you wish to view all the files, simply press Command + Shift + . (full stop) on your keyboard.

How and What to delete on Mac Other Storage

Warning: If you come across a file name or folder and you are not sure about its purpose or function, it is best to refrain from making any changes because it could potentially be a crucial macOS system file and deleting it may result in system errors and issues.

A good starting point for freeing up space is to locate and delete DMG files which are program installers that can surprisingly occupy a significant amount of storage.

Another area to consider is temporary files created by macOS which are essential for performance but they tend to become outdated over time so once you are certain that your Mac no longer requires them, it is safe to delete them.

Caches are another file type that can occupy space in the Other category and it is important to be careful since your Mac may rely on these files to function properly.

Time Machine snapshots can also consume considerable space on your Mac. While Time Machine backs up your Mac to an external drive, it also creates local snapshots on it thus resulting in significant storage usage.

Not sure what to delete on Mac Other Storage

If the extensive file list and unknown files make you feel uncomfortable, you can consider utilizing 3rd-party macOS system cleaners like Clean My Mac or MacCleaner Pro but it is important to note that these software options often offer trial versions and to access the full feature scanning, a fee is usually required.

Alternatively, there is another method, which is time-consuming and which involves backing up all your data, erasing your macOS and starting with a fresh copy of macOS. You can find a guide for this process here.

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