What Is Other Storage On Mac & How To Clean It Up.
Storage is one of the many expensive parts of a Mac, and you need to make sure it’s used wisely. If you don’t, you run the risk of running out of memory space on your Mac, and then you won’t have room to install and use your favorite applications.
Your Mac really lets you see what your memory is using. If you’ve ever looked into this menu, you might have seen that your files are divided into different categories, such as documents, photos, and applications.
One of these categories is “Other”, and apart from the message that it contains other files, there is little to say about what the files are.
What are the other storage units on Mac?
We’ll take a look at what Other Storage is on your Mac and how you can find and delete files in this category on your computer. You will want to do this, especially if Other takes up most of your hard or SSD drive.
There are files in the Other Storage category on Mac that don’t usually fall into any of the other available categories. It includes the following file types:
- Your documents, including but not limited to .doc, .docx, .pdf, etc.
- System and temporary files.
- Your custom library files.
- Application installers (.dmg) and archives (.zip).
- Fonts installed on your system.
- Plugins and extensions for your applications.
- Backups of your iOS device.
Usually, anything you don’t see in any of the other categories is here under the Other category.
Remove Other Storage Files on Mac
Since the Other category usually includes files that are not used as often as other files on your Mac, finding and deleting those files to clear the Other storage is a task in itself.
You will need to dig into your Mac to find these system files, identify the ones you don’t need, and then remove them from your computer.
Find other files with Finder & Delete Them
One way to find files belonging to the Other category on your Mac is to use the Finder. Since you now know which files are in this category, you can find them using the file manager and then delete them from your computer.
- From a Finder window, click the File menu. at the top and select the option labeled “Find”. This will allow you to find the files available on your Mac.
- On the next screen, you will need to specify the criteria by which your Mac will search for files. Since PDFs also fall under the Other category, let’s find all PDFs on your Mac. Set the following criteria on the screen.
Search – Choose This Mac to search your entire Mac.
“Type” – select “Any” to search all files.
- Click the + (plus) sign and add a new filter. File extension – enter pdf in the field.
- Finally press Enter and your Mac will search for all PDFs in your repository.
- Then you can go through your list of files and get rid of the ones you no longer need.
Likewise, you can search for other file types and delete files that you think you no longer need on your Mac.
Browse system folders to delete files
The other also includes some of your system files, and you can delete them to clean up other storage. Take extra care when deleting these system files, because if you end up deleting an important file, your Mac will crash.
However, there are certain types of system files, such as cache files, that can be safely deleted without any problem.
Cache files are temporary files created by applications on your computer. You can safely delete them as they will be automatically created when you restart your applications.
- Launch a Finder window, click the Go menu at the top and select the option labeled Go to a folder.
- When the Go to Folder screen appears, enter the following path and press Enter.
~ / Library / Caches
- As a precaution, copy all the files and folders shown on the screen to your desktop so that you can restore them in case something goes wrong.
- Select all files and folders. , right-click any of them and select Move to Trash.
- Right-click the trash can in the Dock and select Empty Trash.
The macOS cache files should be removed from your storage. Restart your computer and see if it works as expected. If so, you can go ahead and delete the backup stored on your desktop since you don’t need it.
Remove iOS backups from your Mac
IOS backups also fall under the Other Storage category on your Mac, and if you no longer need those old backups, it’s advised to delete them from your computer. Deleting iOS backups will free up your Other storage, and here’s how you do it.
- Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen and choose About This Mac.
- Select the Storage tab and click Manage next to the primary Mac drive. A detailed overview of your repository will open.
- On the next screen, select iOS files from the left sidebar to display your iOS backups on your screen. Then find the backups that you no longer need and click the X next to them. The selected backups will be deleted from your Mac.
Empty downloads folder
Clear Downloads folder
You want to clean up the Downloads folder on your Mac, as it often contains application installers (.dmg) and archives (.zip) that in most cases you don’t need after installing the application.
- Click the Go menu in the Finder window and select Downloads.
- Select the files you no longer need and move them to the trash.
You can now go to About This Mac Storage on your Mac to see if other storage is less full than before.