How to clear document version history and autosave cache

Mac storage space is essential to all of its users. Why? Because Mac’s performance partially depends on how much available storage space you have. Macs with 'Your disk is almost full' warning are usually slow, making it hard for macOS and apps to run smoothly.

It's easy to identify big video files and other obvious storage space hogs. But what about apps that create small temporary and cache files? Today I want to discuss the silent storage killers: the Pages, Notes, and Keynote apps.

Why do documents use more space than you think?

If you are a regular user of Pages, Notes, or Keynote, you potentially have thousands of old documents, ancient versions of these old documents, and cache files from the same old documents...

Too many OLD files, don’t you think? 

I will show you how to clear out the junk and reclaim a nice chunk of Mac storage space in this article.

How to remove document version on Mac

How to clear document version history and auto-save cache manually

When working on a document, you can always roll back to a previous version with the Version History screen. But if you don’t want or need to roll back on certain documents, it would be beneficial to remove those document versions to free up some space.

Let me show you how you can accomplish that and clear cache for Pages, Keynote, and Notes. All you need is a Finder and a bit of bravery. Please make sure that your current documents are saved and that you no longer need their old versions before further actions.

To manually remove versions and cache from Pages:

  1. In the Apple menu, click Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Type in:/Users/<em>yourusername</em>/Library/Containers/
  3. To be safe, back up the Caches folder to an external location. 
  4. Then you can move the original Caches folder to the Trash and empty your Trash.

The steps for Notes and Keynote are the same, just using a different file path.

  • Notes:/Users/Username/Library/Containers/
  • Keynote:/Users/Username/Library/Containers/

Delete those folders, and your Mac will reclaim a significant amount of free space for personal file storage or a better-performing system.

The problem with the manual approach is that you can accidentally delete the wrong thing. Wouldn’t it be better if there was a way to remove the bulk of old document versions keeping a select few in case you ever need them?

Well, there is a way which we’re going to cover next.

How to safely & efficiently remove document versions

Instead of completely removing the file history of your Notes, Pages, and Keynote documents, why not get a clear overview of all your documents and then make your own decision? You can keep needed backup versions while removing file versions that you’ll never need.

Do it with this app!

CleanMyMac X is a utility toolbox your Mac needs. This decluttering app gives you a visual overview of version history for Pages, Notes, and Keynote. What’s more, it will help you keep only the latest versions of backup files from every four-hour timeslot working on the file. Let me explain.

Let’s say you were working on a Keynote presentation for 12 hours, and you have hundreds of versions auto-saved by the app. CleanMyMac X will keep the latest version from each four-hour block. That is three versions in total. Better right?

Let’s see how it works. To review and clean document versions, follow these steps:

    1. Get a copy of the CleanMyMac X app — its free version is available for download here.
    2. Click the System Junk module, then click Scan.
    3. Click Review Details.
    4. Find and click on the Document Versions folder.

    Now you can select either Pages/Notes/Keynote. Expand the document file and choose the versions you want to remove. Click the Clean button at the bottom, and all temporary versions will be deleted.

    Note: This way, CleanMyMac X removes only the intermediary versions, keeping the first and the last document versions intact.

    If you don't want to review documents but want CleanMyMac X to remove 99.9% of version history and cache junk, here’s the two-clicks solution:

    1. Launch CleanMyMac X.
    2. Click on the System Junk module.
    3. Click Clean.
    CleanMyMac X - System junk scan complete

    These methods work for apps like Pages, Notes, Keynote, and many other macOS apps that store caches.

    Cache and document version cleaning results

    We ran CleanMyMac X on a typical Mac system that uses Pages, Notes, and Keynote on a regular basis. The simple cache and version history removal can free up to 5 GB of space. Have you ever imagined that document apps could be wasting so much space?

    Try these cleaning methods yourself and see how much hard disk space you can reclaim. Time to become the junk killer! Easy cleaning, everyone!

      Laptop with CleanMyMac
      CleanMyMac X

      Your Mac. As good as new.