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How to Clean Up Other Storage on Mac


How to clean up Other storage on Mac

In your Mac’s Storage Other is terra incognita. Apps, Photos, Audio — these are pretty self-explanatory. Other, on the other hand, could mean anything, and the worst thing is it hogs the biggest part of your hard drive. To help you get that disk space back, let’s figure out what Other data is and how to remove Other from your Mac.

What’s included in Other on Mac storage?

1. Files like PDFs, DOCs, TXTs, PSDs

These are all your files that are not images, music files, apps, backups, or videos. Simple, right? A Word document is none of these, so it’s categorized as “other.” The same goes for a Keynote presentation or a large Excel file you need for work.

How to clean up Other storage on Mac: delete unneeded files

You’re probably ready to part with some of these files, but finding them manually is quite the mission. You’d have to sift through all your worldly possessions and sort them by Kind, Date Modified, and Size to identify which files are part of Other data, and which of them you can let go. Luckily, an app like CleanMyMac 3 makes the job much easier. Here’s how to reduce Other storage on Mac with it:

  1. Open CleanMyMac 3 and click on Dashboard in the upper right corner.
  2. In the Dashboard, you’ll see a color-coded storage chart, similar to your Mac’s native Storage bar. The key difference here is that CleanMyMac lets you jump straight to the files in each category (in our case, it’s Other).
  3. Double-click on Other, and you’ll get a Finder window with your other files, like documents and PDFs.
  4. Look through your files and delete the ones you no longer need.

Clear Other Space on Mac with CleanMyMac

There’s a different strategy, too: you can start by deleting the largest other files. CleanMyMac will help you identify heavy neglected files (e.g. PSDs or presentations), which are part of Other data. Here’s how to spot them quickly:

  1. Go to the Large & Old Files module in CleanMyMac 3.
  2. Hit Scan.
  3. CleanMyMac will find large files that haven’t been opened for a while, including those other files. Preview them right in the app and tick the ones you’re ok deleting.
  4. Hit Remove.

You can download CleanMyMac 3 and see how it helps you slim down Other storage on Mac. Deleting your old files alone can recover you tons of space, but there are more space hoggers that fall under the Other data category.

2. Files in OS X system folders, like logs and temporary files

Every second your Mac is on, the OS X creates and piles up system files — logs, for example. At some point, the system needs these files, but they quickly become outdated and just sit there wasting your disk space. And guess what, they are in the Other Mac storage category, too.

How to reduce Other storage on Mac: clean up system junk

So where do you even look for system files? Apple doesn’t make them easy to find, and there’s a reason for that. The reason is most people don’t know their way around system files all that well and can accidentally delete something important. That’s why we suggest you use CleanMyMac 3 for the job. It has a System Junk module that specifically looks for useless system files and knows what’s safe to delete. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to System Junk in CleanMyMac 3.
  2. Hit Scan.
  3. Hit Clean.

That’s pretty much it. Seriously. If this is the first time you ever cleaned your Mac, you’ll see that the OS X Other storage tab has considerably shrunk after the cleanup. Download CleanMyMac 3 and see how much Other storage it can clear on your Mac.

3. Cache files of different kinds

There are three kinds of cache on your Mac: user cache, system cache, and browser cache. Cache files are meant to help your system work faster, but when they add up to gigabytes, they slow it down instead. You’d be surprised how much of that Other data in your Storage bar is attributed to cache.

How to remove Other from Mac: clear the cache

Cache files sit in numerous folders, located in ~/Library/Caches, and with a little patience, you can clean them out manually (read more detailed instruction on clearing cache).
But if you don’t want to waste your time digging through all the folders, you can easily get rid of cache with CleanMyMac 3. In fact, when you use its System Junk module as described above, CleanMyMac wipes out both log files and cache. In case you haven’t done it yet, download CleanMyMac 3 and follow these steps:

  1. Go to System Junk in CleanMyMac 3.
  2. Hit Scan.
  3. Hit Clean.

Free Up Other storage on Mac

This will clear all the cache files on your Mac and considerably reduce Other storage on your Mac.

4. App plugins and extensions

While apps are, unsurprisingly, categorized as Apps on the Storage bar, their add-ons are under the Mac OS X Other storage category.

How to reduce Other Mac storage: remove extensions

Tracking down all your add-ons can be a hassle. Some you’ve forgotten you had (like that nCage extension for Chrome), others you didn’t know of in the first place. And that’s one more thing CleanMyMac 3 makes so much simpler. It has a whole module for managing add-ons, so you can easily remove them by doing the following:

  1. Go to Extensions in CleanMyMac 3.
  2. Look through the list of add-ons (they’ll be grouped into Login Items, Launch Agents, Chrome Extensions, and so on).
  3. Tick the ones you can go without and hit the Remove button.

Important! If you’re not sure what a plugin does, don’t rush to remove it. Try disabling it first and see if your apps and your system work as expected. You can always remove that add-on later.

Remove useless extensions with CleanMyMac

5. Disk images and archives (DMG and ZIP files)

Normally, these are files you keep for a reason, but if you think there might be useless ZIPs or DMGs on your Mac, review them, too.

How to clear Other data: delete unneeded ZIPs and DMGs

You can find these files using Spotlight search:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Type DMG/ZIP in the search field.
  3. Select Search: This Mac.
  4. Sort the results by Size.

Finder will show you all files of the format you’ve specified, sorted by size. You can clean out those you don’t need, especially the large ones.

6. Other files (oh, the irony)

Other storage on Mac can also include:

  • Files in your user library (screen savers, for example).
  • Files Spotlight search doesn’t recognize.

Typically, they won’t be as big a share of Other data on your Mac as cache files or logs. However, if you’re determined to clean out as much Other Mac storage as possible, here’s how you can delete screensavers:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. In the Menu bar, select Go > Go to Folder…
  3. Type this: ~/Library/Screen Savers and click Go.

You’ll see the screen saver files now — they are really lightweight, but for the sake of being thorough, you can trash them as well.

As for files Spotlight doesn’t recognize, they are not a common case. These are files like Windows Boot Camp partitions or virtual machine hard drives, and if you don’t recall putting anything like that on your Mac, it’s probably not there.

How much can you expect to delete from Other storage on Mac?

The Other data section of your Storage bar will never approach zero, as much of it represents the core of OS X. However, with the help of CleanMyMac 3, you can trim gigabytes off Other storage on your Mac, so download it now and see how much space you’ll recover.

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