How to Delete Temporary Files on Mac

Last updated: Dec 22, 2022

Temporary files are eating up your precious storage space? Read on to learn how to get rid of them from your Mac.

Did you know that temporary files are constantly created on your Mac? While some of them are automatically cleared, most are still stored on your drive, eating up your precious storage space.

Wondering what temporary files are, where they are stored, and more importantly, how to clear them? Look no further. Here you will find all the answers.

Let's find them out.

How to Delete Temporary Files on Mac

What Are Temporary Files?

Temporary files are files that are created automatically when we use apps and visit websites. They are designed to help apps run faster and pages load without delays. The main forms of temporary files include caches, log files, browser cookies, and intermediate document versions.

Regularly, we don't delete them because we don't know where they are. But it's necessary because they can take up several gigabytes of space.

So the question is: where exactly are the temp files? Keep reading.

Where Are the Temporary Files on Mac?

As we mentioned earlier, temporary files come in several forms. So it's hard to find all of them. But luckily, you can use Terminal to quickly find the main temporary folder on your Mac. Here's how:

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Paste open $TMPDIR into Terminal and press Return, you will see the path to the main temporary folder.

In addition to the main temporary folder, there are other temporary folders on your Mac, which are located in the following locations:

  • /tmp
  • /private/var/tmp
  • /private /var/at/tmp
  • /private/var/spool/cups/tmp

The cache is also part of the temporary files. The Caches folder in the user directory holds all of your app's temporary files. If you are having problems with an app, clearing its cache may solve your problem.

Now that you know where your temporary files are, let's see how to get rid of them from your Mac.

How to Clear Temporary Files on Mac

Temporary files can be cleared safely. But that doesn't mean you can delete them all from your Mac. If you're not sure whether a file is critical to your app or system, leave it alone.

Follow the steps below to safely delete temporary files from your Mac.

Quickly Delete Temporary Files on Mac with BuhoCleaner

Finding and deleting temporary files manually on a Mac is time-consuming. The best way to do that is to use BuhoCleaner, a handy cleaner for Mac. This tool helps you remove temporary files like log files and caches with only a few clicks.

Here's how to delete temporary files on Mac with BuhoCleaner:

  1. Download, install and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click the Scan button, and it will automatically scan your Mac for unnecessary files.
  3. Delete the file results according to your needs.

Manually Delete Temporary Files on Mac

If you prefer to do it manually, here's what you need to do:

1. Clean App Cache:

  1. Quit all the apps you're using.
  2. Open Finder, then press Shift + Command + G to open the Go to Folder window.
  3. Type ~/Library/Caches/ and press Enter.
  4. Highlight the cache files you want to delete and drag them to the Trash.
  5. Empty the Trash folder.
We do not recommend that you delete any files that you are not sure can be deleted.

2. Clear Browser Temporary Files


  1. Launch Safari.

  2. Click the Safar menu and select Settings > Privacy.

  3. Under Cookies and website data, select Manage Website Data... and click Remove All.

  4. Confirm and click Remove Now.



  1. Open Chrome.

  2. Click the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of the Chrome window.

  3. Select More Tools > Clear Browsing Data.

  4. Select the data to delete and click Clear Data.



  1. Launch Firefox.

  2. Open its Settings, then click Privacy and Security.

  3. Under Cookies and Site Data, click Clear Data... and Manage Data, and all temporary files in Firefox will be deleted.


The Bottom Line

We hope you learned more about temporary files on Mac. Go ahead and choose your preferred way to remove them from your Mac so you can have more space to do what you want on your Mac.