What Is 'Other' Storage on macOS Big Sur & How to Delete It
In macOS Big Sur and earlier versions, you may notice a storage space named Other, which varies in size from tens to hundreds of gigabytes. If you are suffering from insufficient storage space, clearing the Other storage space will undoubtedly free up the most disk space. So, what exactly is the Other storage on your Mac? Can you delete it? And most importantly, how should you clear it?
Keep reading, and you will find the answers you want.
What is 'Other' in Mac Storage
System files and files that the system cannot recognize will be labeled as "Other." Here are some things that may be included in other storage.
- macOS system and temporary files.
- PDF, .psd, .doc and other files.
- Cache files, such as user cache, browser cache, and system cache.
- Installer packages, such as .dmg and .pkg files.
- Browser plugins and App extensions.
- All other content that does not fall into the main macOS category.
How to Check the Other Storage on Mac
Apple has made some changes to the storage category in a recent update to macOS Monterey. On the new operating system, there is no more Other storage. However, if you're using macOS Big Sur or an earlier version, the Other storage is still there. You can check it by following these steps.
- Click the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Storage.
- After the storage calculation is complete, you will see that your storage space is divided into several different colored sections, including Apps, Documents, Movies, Photos, System, Other, and more.
- Click the Manage button above the storage bar to open the storage management window. In the lower-left corner of the window, you will see a category named Other and the size of the space it occupies.
Can I Delete the Mac Other Storage
Yes, but be careful. Things like .dmg files and leftovers from uninstalled apps are safe to clear. However, when deleting cache files, especially those in the system, you should be careful because you don't know what impact your macOS will have if you delete them by mistake.
As a rule of thumb, if you don't know what the file is or what it does, leave it be. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you make a full backup of your system before deleting anything to avoid disaster.
How to Delete 'Other' Storage on Mac
As you can see, the Other storage is not accessible. We don’t know exactly what it contains, which means we can’t get rid of it completely. Nevertheless, we can do something to reduce it to some extent, such as clearing cache junks, deleting useless documents, getting rid of unneeded downloads, and removing useless application logs and support files. Let's take a look.
Delete Cache Files
Cached files are temporary files that Mac downloads and stores after you open an app or visit a page for the first time. They are there to speed up the loading of an app or a page. If you are running low on storage space, clearing them will help you free up some space.
There are two ways to delete cached files on Mac. One is to use BuhoCleaner, the best Mac cleaner for macOS Monterey and M1 Macs, and the other is to use Finder.
How to Quickly Delete Cache Files with BuhoCleaner
- Download and install BuhoCleaner on your Mac.
- Launch it and click the Scan button.
- A few seconds later, you'll be able to clear caches from browsers, systems, and applications in one click.
**How to Manually Remove Cache Files with Finder **
- From your desktop, press Command + Shift + G.
- Type in ~/Library/Caches and press Return.
- Drag the cache files you want to delete to the Trash.
- Empty your Trash.
- Follow the steps above to check /Library/Caches and ~/Library/Logs.
Remove Unneeded Documents
You may be surprised at how many unneeded documents you have on your Mac. To find them, you can follow the following steps.
- From your desktop, press Command + F.
- Click This Mac.
- Tick File Size and File Extension in the Search Attribute Window.
- Click the Kind menu and choose File Extension to find and remove files in a specific extension, such as .pdf, .doc, .psd, and more.
- Click the Kind Menu and choose File Size to find and get rid of documents that are equal, less than, or greater than the size number you enter.
Delete Downloaded Files
Do you clean up your Download folder often? In our daily use of Mac, we download a lot of files, which may be useful at the time and then never used again. If you don't clean them up often, they will pile up and take up your storage space for nothing. Follow the steps below to delete the files you don't need.
- Click Finder in the Dock.
- Select Downloads in the sidebar of Finder.
- Sort files by size, time, or any attribute you like, then delete unnecessary files.
Remove Application Logs and Support Files
Applications running on the Mac will create logs and support files in the system library folder and user library folder. These files may also take up a lot of your storage space. If an application is no longer in use, you can follow the steps below to remove all its related files.
- Open Finder and press Command + Shift + G.
- Type in the folder addresses below:
- ~/Library/Application support
- /Library/Application support
- Delete the files you don't need.
Delete App Plugins and Extensions
Popular applications, such as Safari and Chrome, offer plugins or extensions to help you have a better experience. However, these extensions and plugins can take up storage space and can also make your app heavy. It's a better idea to remove the ones you don't use.
Let's see how to remove extensions from Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
- Open Safari browser.
- Go to the Safari menu and click Preferences.
- Select the Extensions tab.
- Select the extension you want to remove and click the Uninstall button.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of your browser.
- Hover your mouse over More tools and choose Extensions.
- Disable or remove the extensions you don't want.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Click on the three-line menu in the top-right corner and choose Add-ons.
- Disable and remove the extensions or plug-ins you don't need.
Now you have learned a lot about how to delete the Other storage to reclaim more space for Mac. All in all, if you don't want to do the cleaning in a manual and tedious way, you can try BuhoCleaner. Not only can you use it to delete cache junks and log files, but you can also use it to uninstall unwanted apps and clean up duplicate files and large files. Have a try now. It's free.
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