5 Ways to Remove Purgeable Space on Mac

Wendy Wu
Last updated: Feb 28, 2024
Summary: In this article, we will explain what purgeable space is on your Mac, how to check it, and various methods to clear it.

Upon closer examination of your Mac storage, you might notice a category named "Purgeable". So, what is it? How do you check for it? And, more importantly, if it's cleanable as it indicates, how do you clear it? Look no further; here, you will find all the answers you need.

5 Ways to Clear Purgeable Space on Mac

What Is Purgeable Space on Mac?

Purgeable space is the space that macOS can free up automatically when needed. It contains files and data that are designated unnecessary or can be regenerated, such as cache files, snapshots of Time Machine, files in your iCloud, movies, and TV shows you watched, other temporary files, etc.

How to Check Purgeable Space on Mac

Apple has made the purgeable space visible since macOS Sierra (10.12). Here's how to check it on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select About This Mac.
  2. Click the Storage tab and wait for the system to calculate your storage usage.
  3. If you see a white-gray striped section, it indicates the presence of Purgeable space.
  4. Hover over the section to view the amount of space it occupies.
How to Check Purgeable Space on Mac

However, if you don't see the white-gray striped section, it does not necessarily mean that there is no Purgeable space. On macOS Ventura and Sonoma, you cannot view purgeable space through Storage. In this case, you can use Disk Utility, a free built-in tool on macOS that allows you to format and repair drives and check storage usage.

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Click on Macintosh HD in the left column.
  3. Select the Data tab, and you will see the usage of your internal drive in the right column.
  4. In the graph, you will be able to identify the space occupied by the Purgeable category.
Check Purgeable Space on Mac with Disk Utility

The purgeable space is dynamic and can be regenerated if needed. Most of the time, we don't need to clear it manually, because macOS will automatically delete it when your storage space is low. However, if you want to do it yourself, follow the steps below.

How to Delete Purgeable Space on Mac with One Click

To quickly remove the purgeable space on your Mac, you need a third-party tool. BuhoCleaner is just the tool you need. It's an easy-to-use Mac cleaner that effortlessly removes purgeable space.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide

Here's how it works:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click Scan > View Results.
  3. Select Purgeable Space and click the Remove button.
Quickly Delete Purgeable Space on Mac with BuhoCleaner

In fact, BuhoCleaner offers much more than just purging space. It provides a wide range of cleaning features, including the removal of large and duplicate files, app uninstallation, startup program management, Mac system status monitoring, and much more. With this powerful tool, you can reclaim gigabytes of space in just a few simple clicks.

How to Manually Clear Purgeable Space on Mac

Not everyone likes to use third-party tools, so we have collected some manual cleaning methods for you here.

Optimize Mac Storage

  1. Click the Manage button on the storage bar.
  2. In the storage management window, you can find four optimization recommendations: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Trash Automatically, and Reduce Clutter. 
    • Click the Store in iCloud and uncheck all the boxes.
    • Disable the Optimize Mac Storage: click the Apple icon > System Preferences>Apple ID > iCloud to uncheck all the possible applications and the Optimize Mac Storage button.
    • Keep Empty Trash Automatically turned on.
    • Click the Review Files button to remove large files and outdated files.
  3. Restart your Mac.
Optimize Mac Storage

Disable Time Machine Backups

If you still reduce the purgeable space, you may check your Time Machine Backup. Follow the following steps to disable it from your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple icon > System Preferences > Time Machine.
  2. Uncheck the Back up Automatically button.
  3. Quit the Time Machine.
Disable Time Machine Backup

Remove Cached Files

Rebooting your Mac will help you get rid of the purgeable space, but it will terminate all the tasks on your computer. If you don't want to restart your Mac, you can delete cache files manually using Finder. 

  1. Open the Go menu in Finder and select Library.
  2. Click Caches, open it, and delete the files you don't need.
  3. Empty your Trash.
Remove Cached Files on Mac

However, there is a risk that you may delete an important file by mistake with this method. At this time, you can use a third-party tool like BuhoCleaner to clean up your system cache and system logs, delete large files, and remove unnecessary duplicates in a few clicks.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download and install BuhoCleaner on your Mac.
  2. Launch it, select a cleaning option in the sidebar, click the scan button, and remove the files you don't need.

It's that easy!

Clear Cache Files with BuhoCleaner

Purge Purgeable Space on Mac via Terminal

There is another complicated but effective method to clear purgeable space. That is to create large files on your Mac to use up your storage space, thereby forcing your macOS to free up space.

  1. Open Terminal from Launchpad or Spotlight.

  2. Paste the command into Terminal: mkdir ~/largefiles. (This will create a new folder named largefiles in your home directory.)

  3. Execute the command: dd if=/dev/random of=~/largefiles/largefile bs=15m. (This will create a file called largefile in the largefiles folder, which contains the random output from /dev/random.)

    Your Terminal may look frozen as the command runs.
  4. A few minutes later, press Ctrl + C in the Terminal to stop the command from Step 3.

  5. Run the command: cp ~/largefiles/largefile ~/largefiles/largefile2.

  6. Continue to run the copy command from Step 5, but remember to change the largefile2 to a different name each time. 

  7. Once you see a message telling you that the disk is critically low, run the command: rm -rf ~/largefiles/ to delete all of the largefiles from your Mac.

  8. Empty your Trash.

The rm -rf command is dangerous. Please use it with caution.

The Bottom Line

Having read this far, you probably have a better understanding of how to delete the purgeable space on your Mac. Since your macOS will automatically clear this space when your storage is running low, it is not recommended that you clean it manually unless you need to.

Wendy Wu is a tech enthusiast with a deep passion for all things iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Wendy is always on the lookout for Apple products and is committed to providing Apple users with some of the latest information and useful tips.