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How to Clear Other Storage on Mac: 8 Best Ways

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Your Mac’s “Other” storage category can be a bit of a mystery. It’s a catch-all for all sorts of files that don’t fit into other categories, such as cache files, system logs, and temporary files. Over time, these files can build up and take up a lot of space on your Mac.

If you’re running low on storage, clearing Other storage on Mac can be a great way to free up some space. In this article, I’ll show you how to clear other storage on Mac manually and using third-party tools.

Before We Begin

Since deleting the Other storage on Mac is not possible as a whole, you need a safer alternative to do it, and MacKeeper can help you with that. It has plenty of features for Mac Other storage cleanup. So, download and install MacKeeper to safely clear your Mac’s Other storage.

What Is Other in Mac Storage?

The “Other” storage category on Mac refers to files that don’t fit into any of the other categories, such as Applications, Documents, Movies, Music, and Photos. This category can include a variety of files, such as:

  • 🗄️ Cache files: These are temporary files created by apps to speed up your Mac performance.
  • 📊 System logs: These files track system events and errors.
  • 🗂️ Temporary files: These files are created by apps when they’re running.
  • ⬇️ Downloads: These are files that you’ve downloaded from the internet.
  • 💻 Installers: These include installers, like .dmg, .pkg, used to install apps.
  • 📂 Other miscellaneous files: This category can include any other files that don’t fit into any of the other categories.

As you can see, the “Other” storage category on your Mac can contain a wide variety of files, from redundant installer files that you should have deleted a long time ago to important PDF documents you never want to lose. This makes it difficult to manage this storage effectively.

However, I know a great way to do it. Continue reading to learn more!

How to Check Storage on Mac

Before you clear Other storage on Mac, you must know where to look for this type of storage container. You can find it in your System Settings by following these steps:

  1. Open System Settings by clicking the Apple menu and selecting System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click General and select Storage.
click general and select storage
  1. In the Storage section, you will see a breakdown of how your storage is being used. The Other Users color represents the Other storage on your Mac.
other users color represents the other storage on mac

How to Delete Other Storage on Mac: The Best Method

Depending on your Mac usage and applications, the Other storage category might occupy a significant amount of space, which you can easily free up with MacKeeper.

This app is essential for any Mac user as it efficiently manages files, folders, apps, extensions, updates, mail attachments, and the Trash. Its primary function, however, is to optimize your Mac’s performance.

MacKeeper has different features you can use to clear the Other storage items, like cache files, temp files, duplicates, and system logs. Below, I’ve shared the step-by-step instructions for MacBook Other storage cleanup using MacKeeper:

a. Clean Cache Files Using Safe Cleanup

Here’s how to clean cache files on your Mac with MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click Safe Cleanup in the left sidebar.
click safe cleanup under the cleaning section
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in safe cleanup
  1. Wait for the scan to complete, and select the junk files you want to delete. You can also click Check All to select all.
select junk files to remove or click check all
  1. Click Clean Junk Files.
tap clean junk files
  1. A Cleaning Completed notification will appear with the size of junk files removed. Click Rescan to run the scan again.
click rescan in safe cleanup

b. Remove Duplicate Files Using Duplicates Finder

Follow these steps to remove duplicate files on your Mac using Duplicates Finder:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper on your Mac and click Duplicates Finder in the left sidebar.
click duplicates finder in the left sidebar
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in duplicates finder
  1. Select a folder in the left menu to review duplicate files before deletion.
review duplicate files before deletion
  1. Alternatively, you can click Check All and tap the Remove Selected button to remove all duplicate files simultaneously.
click check all and tap remove selected to clear other storage on mac
  1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up to confirm the deletion.
click remove on the pop up window in duplicates finder
  1. This will remove the selected files, and you’ll get a Removal Completed message. Click Finish to end the process.
click finish to complete the process

c. Delete System Logs Using Safe Cleanup

Here’s how to delete system data on your Mac with MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click Safe Cleanup in the left sidebar.
click safe cleanup under the cleaning section
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in safe cleanup
  1. When the scan completes, select Logs in the left panel and check System Logs in the right pane.
select logs in safe cleanup
  1. Select the System Logs you want to delete and click the Clean Junk Files button.
select system logs to delete then tap clean junk files in safe cleanup
  1. A Cleaning Completed notification will appear with the size of the System Log files removed. Click Rescan to run the scan again.
click rescan in safe cleanup

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides removing pesky duplicates, deleting cache files, and clearing system logs, MacKeeper can help you delete unwanted apps on your Mac and optimize your Mac’s storage. Learn more about its features in my detailed MacKeeper review.

How to Clear Other Storage on Mac

If you don’t have MacKeeper, you can manually remove unnecessary files from the Other storage. However, it’s not as simple as going to Apple’s Manage menu (About This Mac > Storage > Manage). You can only view how much space Other storage occupies on your Mac, but you cannot access the files.

So, how to get rid of Other storage on Mac? Below, I explain it in detail.

1. Clear the Cache on Your Mac

Although the quickest and safest way to clear the cache files on your Mac is with MacKeeper, you can do it manually, too. Here are the steps on how to clear the cache on your Mac manually:

  1. Open the Finder on your Mac.
click finder in your dock
  1. Click Go in the menu bar and select Go to Folder.
click go in the menu bar and select go to folder
  1. Type the following path into the search bar and press Enter:
~/Library/Caches/
type library caches in the window
  1. This will open the Caches folder. Select the folder for the system data you want to clear.
  2. Right-click the files and select Move to Bin.
right click the selected files and select Move to Bin
  1. Permanently delete the cache from your Mac by right-clicking the Bin icon and selecting Empty Bin.
right click the bin and select empty bin

If you’re uncertain about the nature of a file, refrain from deleting it. Apple intentionally conceals the Library for good reason, as even minor alterations can result in significant and long-lasting consequences.

2. Delete System Logs on Mac

System logs are files that track system events and errors on your Mac. They can be helpful for troubleshooting problems, but they can also take up a lot of space. If you’re running low on storage, you may want to delete some of your system logs.

You can manually delete system log files on your Mac by following these steps:

  1. Open Finder from your Dock.
click finder in your dock
  1. Click Go in the menu bar and select Go to Folder.
open finder click go menu and select go to folder
  1. Type the following path in the search bar and press Enter:
~/Library/Logs
type library logs
  1. You’ll see a list of log files. To remove a file, select and delete the folder contents instead of dragging the folder to the Bin.
select log files and move to bin
  1. After moving the files to the Bin, right-click the Bin icon in your Dock and click Empty Bin to delete the log files permanently.
right click the bin and select empty bin

3. Delete Application Support Files

Apps use application support files to store data and settings. They can be helpful for the app to run smoothly, but they can also take up a lot of space on your system even after uninstalling the apps on your Mac. Think of these like app leftovers.

You can delete application support files manually by following these steps:

  1. Open the Finder.
click finder in your dock
  1. Click the Go menu and select Go to Folder.
click go in the menu bar and select go to folder
  1. Type the following path and press Enter:
~/Library/Application Support
type library application support
  1. This will open the Application Support folder. Select the files you want to delete.
select files from application support folder to delete
  1. Right-click the selected files and click Move to Bin.
move to bin application support files
  1. Empty the Bin by right-clicking its icon and selecting Empty Bin.
right click the bin and select empty bin

4. Delete Old Time Machine Backups

One way to easily delete system data on a Mac to clear Other storage is by removing Time Machine backups. Although Time Machine backups are typically stored on external or network drives, macOS also keeps a duplicate backup copy on the startup drive.

⚠️ Please note that performing this action will erase the local copies of your backups. So, proceed only if you’re certain you won’t need them in the future.

Follow these steps to delete old Time Machine backups on your Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal application located in the Utilities folder within Applications.
launch terminal from utilities
  1. In the Terminal window, enter the following command and press Enter:
sudo tmutil delete /path/to/backup

Replace /path/to/backup with the actual path to the Time Machine backup you want to delete. For instance, if the backup is stored on an external hard drive called BackupDrive, the command would become:

sudo tmutil delete /Volumes/BackupDrive/Backups.backupdb/ComputerName/YYYY-MM-DD-HHMMSS

Replace ComputerName with your Mac’s name and YYYY-MM-DD-HHMMSS with the specific backup date and time.

  1. You will be prompted to enter your admin password. Type it in and press Enter.
  2. Terminal will initiate the deletion of the Time Machine backup. The duration of this process will depend on the size of the backup and may take some time.

5. Remove Extensions from Other Storage  

Apps have their own sit in your Mac’s storage — but not their add-ons (plugins and extensions). The latter usually falls into the Other category. If you know which plugins and extensions may be removed, you can free up a good chunk of storage by deleting them.

MacKeeper has a one-click option for this, but you can also do it manually. You can delete plugins via Library: Finder > Go > Go to Folder > ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins.

To remove browser extensions, you should follow a set of instructions that are specific to your browser. Here are the most common ones. 

a. Remove Extensions from Safari

You can remove browser extensions on Mac from Safari by following these steps:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac, click Safari in the menu bar and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
click safari in the top menu bar and select settings
  1. Click the Extensions tab to view all the installed extensions.
click on the extensions tab to view all the installed extensions
  1. Find the extension you want to remove and click it.
find the extension you want to remove and click on it
  1. Click the Uninstall button to confirm you want to remove the extension.
click the uninstall button to confirm that you want to remove

b. Remove Extensions from Chrome

Here’s how to remove extensions from Google Chrome on your Mac: 

  1. Click the Google Chrome icon in your Dock or search for it in the Applications folder.
open google chrome on mac
  1. Click the three-dot icon in the top right corner of the Chrome window. Hover your mouse over More Tools and select Extensions from the submenu.
select more tools from the dropdown menu then select extensions from the submenu
  1. Find the extension you want to remove from the list. You can also use the search bar to find it quickly.
  2. Click the Remove button next to the extension you want to uninstall. Confirm the removal when prompted.
click the remove button next to the extension you want to uninstall

To temporarily disable an extension without removing it, toggle off the switch next to it. If you have trouble removing an extension, check the developer’s website, or contact Chrome support

c. Remove Extensions from Firefox

Follow these steps to remove extensions on Firefox:

  1. Open Firefox on your Mac by clicking its icon in your Dock or Applications folder.
open mozilla firefox on mac
  1. Click Firefox in the menu bar and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
select settings firefox
  1. Click Extensions & Themes in the left-hand menu to view all the extensions installed in Firefox.
Click Extensions and Themes in firefox
  1. Find the extension you want to remove and click the three dots icon. Tap Remove in the drop-down menu.
find and click the extension then tap remove in drop down menu of firefox
  1. Click Remove again to confirm that you want to remove the extension.
Click Remove again to confirm reomoval of extension

6. Delete Disk Images

Disk images (.dmg files) are often used to install software or to share files. They can be a good way to keep your files organized but can also take up a lot of space. Deleting unnecessary .dmg files can free up storage space on your Mac.

Here are the steps to delete disk images on a Mac

  1. Open Finder from your Dock.
click finder in your dock
  1. Click the small magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the Finder window.
  2. Type dmg in the search bar to show all files with the same extension in their name.
type dmg in the search bar
  1. Select the .dmg files you no longer need, right-click them, and select Move to Bin.
right click the dmg files and select move to bin
  1. Finally, empty the Bin by right-clicking it and selecting Empty Bin to remove the files from your Mac permanently.
right click the bin and select empty bin

Clear Other Storage on Mac to Optimize Its Performance

Clearing other storage on Mac can be a great way to free up space and improve your Mac’s performance. If you’re interested in further optimizing your Mac’s performance, here are a few more tips for you:

  • Regularly clean up your Mac to avoid performance issues, as junk files can pile up, causing your system to become slow and crash often.
  • Make sure you regularly delete junk files on your Mac to avoid unnecessary items hogging precious storage space on your hard drive.
  • If you’re getting the ‘Your Disk Is Almost Full’ on Mac error, it means your hard drive is full. So, it’s time to clear your Mac’s hard drive.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is Other storage on Mac important?

    The Other storage on Mac is important for a few reasons. First, it can help you track down files that you’re not sure where they are. Second, it can help you free up space on your Mac if you’re running low. Third, it can help you troubleshoot problems with your Mac if you’re having issues.

  2. How can I clear Other storage on Mac?

    You can clear Other storage on Mac in a few ways. You can manually delete files from the Other storage category, use a third-party tool to help you clear Other storage, or use Time Machine to restore your Mac to a previous state when Other storage was not taking up as much space.

  3. What are the risks of clearing Other storage on Mac?

    There are a few risks associated with clearing Other storage on Mac. You could delete important files that you need, damage your Mac’s operating system, or make your Mac unstable. It’s important to be careful when clearing Other storage on Mac. If you’re not sure what a file is, it’s best to leave it alone.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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