What is Other in Mac Storage and How To Clear it

what-is-other-in-mac-storage

Ever gone through your Mac’s storage usage and discovered a category called “other storage” has a king’s share of space on your storage drive? Unraveled in this article are ways you can easily identify this mysterious space, what they are, and how to get rid of them.

 

What Is Other Storage On Mac?

Other storage is a category on your disk space usage that houses all other files that don’t belong to a specified standard category (categories the likes of Apps, Audio, Movies, Documents, Photos, etc.) usually displayed on a storage chart.

Have it at the back of your mind that not all storage files are garbage, some useful files can also be found in this category.

It is advisable to take precautions before deleting anything off your mac, know what files are actually saved in a category before deleting so you don’t have regrets thereafter.

Below are the different types of files that can be found in other storage category:

  • Personal user data
  • System temporary files
  • Cache files
  • MacOS system folder
  • Fonts, plugins, and extensions
  • Disk images and archives (.iso, .zip, etc.)
  • Hidden files
  • User’s library files (iCloud files, Application support, screensavers, etc.)

 

How To Locate Disk Storage On Mac

Before moving forward, let’s take a quick look at how to check disk storage space usage on mac.

Below are few easy steps to enable you view your disk storage space usage on your mac:

  • First, click on the Apple icon located at the menu bar.
  • Click on “About this mac”.
  • Select the “Storage” tab.

library-folder-mac

In most cases, the category called “other” in your mac storage occupies the most space as compared to other existing file categories. If this is the case for you, there is no cause for alarm because the purpose of this article is to teach you how to get rid of other storage on your mac.

 

How To Locate What Files Occupy Other Storage On Mac 

Majority of files found in other storage are located in the hidden library folder, the library folder was created by Apple to house important files capable of causing applications or system operations problems if deleted. It is advisable to stay away from strange-looking files you know nothing about when clearing out this folder. It would be wise to carry out a complete system backup before moving on.

Here are few steps to enable you navigate to the library folder:

  • Launch finder
  • Click on Go located in the menu bar
  • Click on “Go to Folder”
  • Go to the library directory (~/Library)

In the library directory is where you will find a majority of files that makes up the “other” category in your mac storage.

 

How To Get Rid Of Other Storage On Mac

As earlier said, not all files belonging to other storage are garbage. Some files support system or apps processes to assist them run smoothly. With time these files increase, clogging up your mac drive which in turn reduces your system’s performance.

There are basically two methods of clearing out other storage on your mac, either you do this manually or you use a free or paid special software tool.

Below are the manual processes involved in clearing out other storage on your Mac:

 

  1. Get Rid of Extensions From Other storage

Depending on what you use your pc for, if you can do without the features web browser extensions, plugins, and other extension files provide, finding and removing them will free up space on your mac. Have it in mind that some extensions may slow your system’s performance which is a negative effect on your Mac.

 

  1. Get Rid of Unwanted Screensavers

Although screensavers don’t make use of the majority of space on your mac, the need for space requires you clear up every unnecessary files.

Screensavers can be easily located through:

  • Opening finder
  • On your keyboard press Command + Shift + G
  • Locate the subfolder ~/Library/Screen Savers
  • Move the unwanted files found in this folder to trash.

 

  1. Get Rid of Cache From Other Storage

The Cache folder is a subfolder that can be located in the library folder. To clear cache from other storage, one has to:

  • Open finder
  • On your keyboard press Command + Shift + G
  • Locate the subfolder by copying and pasting the directory ~/Library/Caches
  • Move the unwanted files found in this folder to trash.
  • Do check the directory; /library/caches for unwanted files too.

 

  1. Get Rid of Unwanted Plugins

Finding and deleting unwanted internet plugins from other storage could save you some space. To delete unwanted internet plugins one has to:

  • Open finder
  • Press Command + Shift + G
  • Locate the subfolder by copying and pasting the directory ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins then click Go
  • Go through your plugins and remove the unwanted ones to trash.

 

  1. Delete Installation Files

Removing unwanted installation files could be a great way of saving up space on your Mac.

Files downloaded from the internet are kept in the Downloads folder, this is by default. Right here, you will find useless or unwanted installation files that can be deleted.

 

  1. Do Away with Application Support Files

Files the likes of preferences and logs are support files created and stored by applications you have on Mac. To find these files:

  • Open finder
  • Press Command + Shift + G
  • Locate the following directories:

~/Library/Containers

~/Library/Application support

~/Library/Logs

/Library/Containers

/Library/Application support

/Library/Logs

  • Go through your files and remove the unwanted ones to trash.

 

  1. Remove Unwanted Files In Other Storage

 

A feature called Smart Folder Finder has made easy for finding and removing files from other storage. To do this:

  • Press Command + F shortcut while on your desktop
  • Note, “This Mac” is where the search should be carried out
  • Select “Other” from the dropdown menu
  • Select file extension and files size from the attribute list and click okay
  • Input the file extension and file size, after that a list of files will be displayed.
  • Go through your files and remove the unwanted ones to trash.

 

  1. The Final Step

The final step towards manually getting rid of other storage on Mac would be emptying your trash after going through and removing your unwanted files.

Conclusion

With the above ways, getting rid of Other storage and saving up space on Mac is easy. As earlier mentioned, getting rid of Other storage can either be done manually or through specific software the likes of CleanMyMac, etc. Some of these software offer free features, some don’t. At times owing to corruptions in the Mac OS, it will be next to impossible to get rid of it – not to worry, we offer affordable mac repairs. We’re always around if you need help.