Do you wonder what is ‘Other’ on Mac storage and why does it eats up so much space? Along with the answer to this perplexing question, we also have tips and trick on how to clear it up.
Just like the “Other” on iPhone and iPad, it is home to a number of files, cached data and more. This section houses a mix of junk and important files. Therefore, you will have to dig a bit deep to sort, save or eliminate accordingly. Just read along to retrieve plenty of precious storage on your Mac. To understand the scenrio in better way, I have divided the content in following sections.
- What is Other on Mac Storage
- How to Check Storage Space on Mac
- How to Clean Other on Mac Storage
- Free Up Mac Storage Manually
- How to Clear Cache Files on Mac
- How to Remove Downloaded Files on Mac
- Delete Old Device Backups on Mac
- Use Third-Party Software to Clean Up Mac
What is Other on Mac Storage?
The Storage tab under “About This Mac” gives a quick review of Mac’s storage space. A colorful storage map shows you the amount of storage taken by each file type. For instance, Photos take 3.38 GB in my Mac.
There is also an ‘Other’ section in the listing, that most probably takes up a sufficient space. While you may want want to clear up the space, stop before taking any critical step. First of all, understand what really “Other” means.
In the simplest of terms, the “Other” category is a combination of files that are not recognized as one of the other file types. Here are some examples:-
- Common documents and file types, including PDF, doc, PSD, etc.
- Any type of archives and disk images, including zips, dmg, iso, tar, etc.
- Your personal data.
- Files in the system folders of OS X, including temporary files, swap, voices, etc.
- Application Support, iCloud files, screensavers, etc.
- Cache items, including browser cache and locally stored message media files.
- Fonts, app accessories, application plugins, and app extensions.
- Various file and file types not recognized by Spotlight, for example, a virtual machine hard drive, Windows Boot Camp partitions, etc.
I bet you won’t want to clear up all the things after reading the list above. However, there are some useless things one would like to remove, such as system caches, temporary files, and other junk. Before we start with our spring cleaning, here’s how you can check the space occupied by the Other data.
How to Check Storage Space on Mac
Step #1. Click on the Apple () logo from the top-left of your screen and select About This Mac.
Step #2. Click on Storage tab, you will see a storage graph.
Step #3. Move your pointer over the graph to check the storage space used by each file type.
Step #4. Further, select Manage to view more options.
This will direct you to the Storage Management window. Here, you will see a proper listing of file types on the left hand side with their respective space usage. Click on any to see all the files segregated under the category. As for the options on the right-hand side, they are Apple’s built-in smart storage management features.
How to Clear Other on Mac Storage
You can manage Other storage on macOS catalina via multiple ways. One of which is using Apple’s Optimized Storage settings. Head over to this complete guide to free up some space on your Mac running macOS Sierra or later. The other method includes manual cleaning or using a third-party apps. Each of which is discussed in brief below.
Free Up Storage Space on Mac Manually
Though this method include some laborious steps, it also ensures that no important file goes missing. A word of advice from my side, don’t try these method if you are a novice in the field. You might end up deleting an important file, that might hinder performance of your Mac and Apps.
How to Clear Cache Files on Mac
Step #1. Click on Finder icon from the Dock.
Step #2. Select Go menu from the top right corner and click on Go to Folder.
Step #3. Then, you have to type
~/Library/caches into the text box.
Next, you will see the list of caches from active apps appear on your desktop.
Step #4. You need to choose the app folder you want to remove the cache from and then right-click (or control-click) on the app folder → Finally, click on Move to Bin.
How to Remove Downloaded Files on Mac
Downloads folder need to be cleaned up from time to time. All the important files you download on your computer remain in this folder. Hence, it’s better to keep a check on it regularly so that it doesn’t clutter your computer.
Step #1. Click on Finder icon from the Dock and select Go menu → Click on Downloads.
Step #2. Select the file(s) you want to get rid of. Right-click (or control-click) on the file and select Move to Bin.
Just in case you wish to save some files, move them to Dropbox or transfer them to the external drive. Else, don’t forget to empty trash. To do so, right click on bin icon, click on Empty Trash and confirm.
Delete Old Device Backups on Mac
If you regularly back up your iOS device on your Mac, you may have a lot of old unnecessary backups. Knowing each backup can consume space up to 5GB, it’s better to clear them off.
Step #1. Tap on the Apple () icon and open About This Mac → Storage
Step #2. Click on the Manage tab.
Step #3. Here select iOS Files and choose the backup and click on Delete.
Step #4. Confirm the action by clicking Delete.
In case, you haven’t upgraded to macOS Catalina and still have access to iTunes, the process can be done by iTunes as well. Just open iTunes → Preferences → Devices, select the backup and delete it.
Use Third-Party Software to Clean Up Your Mac Conveniently
Have any feedback?
So, did you try clearing up some space on your Mac? What is the size of “Other” storage space after you followed the steps above to free up disk space? Have something to say? Comments are open!
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