Storage is one of the many expensive parts of a Mac, and you want to make sure it’s being used sensibly. Otherwise, you risk running out of memory space on your Mac and thus you have no space to install and use your favorite apps.
Your Mac lets you see what’s consuming your memory. If you’ve ever looked at this menu, you may have seen your files split into various categories like documents, photos, and apps.
One such category is Other, and aside from the fact that it contains other files, it doesn’t tell you much about what exactly those files are.
What is other storage on Mac?
We’ll take a look at what exactly Other storage on your Mac is and how you can find and remove files for this category on your computer. We recommend doing this, especially if Other takes up a large portion of your hard drive or SSD.
The Other Storage category on a Mac contains files that don’t normally fit into one of the other categories available there. Includes the following file types:
- Your documents including but not limited to .doc, .docx, .pdf, etc.
- System and temporary files.
- Your user library files.
- App installers (.dmg) and archives (.zip).
- Fonts installed on your system.
- Plugins and extensions for your apps.
- Backups of your iOS device.
Typically, anything you don’t see in one of the other categories is found here in the Other category.
Remove other storage files on a Mac
Since the Other category usually contains files that aren’t used as much as other files on the Mac, finding and deleting those files to clean up the Other storage is a task in itself.
You’ll have to dig deeper into your Mac to find these system files, identify the ones you don’t need, and then delete them from your computer.
Search for other files using Finder and delete them
One of the ways to find files belonging to the Other category on your Mac is to use the Finder. Since you now know which files are part of that category, you can search for them using the file manager and then remove them from your computer.
- While inside a Finder window, click File top menu and select the option that says Find. It will allow you to find the files available on your Mac.
- You can then go through the list of files and delete the ones you no longer need.
Likewise, you can search for other file types as well, and remove files that you think you won’t need on your Mac anymore.
Browse system folders to remove files
Other also includes some of your system files, and you may want to remove them to clean up your Other storage space. You should be very cautious while deleting these system files as if you end up deleting an important file, it will cause your Mac to malfunction.
However, there are some types of system files like cache files that you can safely delete without any problems.
Cache files are temporary files created by applications on your computer. You can safely remove them as they will be created automatically when you run your apps again.
- Launch a Finder window, click to go top menu and select the option that says Go to the folder.
- When the Go to Folder screen opens, type in the following path and press log into.
~ / Library / Cache
- As a safety precaution, copy all the files and folders shown on the screen to your desktop so you can restore them in case things start to get worse.
- Select all files and folders, right-click on one of them and choose Move to Trash.
- Right-click on yours Garbage in the Dock and select Empty the trash.
The macOS cache files should be gone from your storage. Restart the machine and see if it works as it should. If so, you can go ahead and delete the backup stored on the desktop as 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 don’t need these old backups anymore, it’s a good idea to remove them from your computer. Deleting iOS backups will free up your Other storage space and here’s how you do it.
- Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen and select About this Mac.
- Select the Warehousing tab and then click Manage next to the main Mac drive. A detailed view of your storage space will open.
- On the following screen, select IOS files from the left sidebar so that iOS backups are shown on the screen. Then find the backups you no longer need and click X icon next to them. This will delete the selected backups from your Mac.
Delete the downloads folder
You want to clean up the Downloads folder on your Mac as it often contains app installers (.dmg) and archives (.zip), both of which you don’t need after installing an app in most cases.
- Click on to go menu in the Finder window and select Download.