How to Clear Your System Storage on A Mac (Answered!)

Having enough storage on your computer for your files and photos is important, and your Mac is no exception. 

Many files in the system storage seem to be useless, but can you delete them? How do you clear up the system storage on your Mac?

How Do I Free Up System Storage On My Mac?

To clear the system storage on a Mac, use a Mac cleaner application or delete the backup information for apps that have since been updated. Restarting a Mac typically reduces the space that system applications use. Optimize storage to reduce the space that system applications are using.

It is relatively easy to clear up storage on your Mac, but it is harder to remove system applications, as some are required for your Mac to work properly. 

Read on to find out how to clear space on your Mac.

Freeing Up Space On In Your Mac’s System Storage

One thing you can do to increase the storage on your Mac is to restart it. 

Restarting it forces the system to evaluate the available storage space and what applications are being used. 

Restarting your Mac will likely reduce the amount of storage space that system applications are taking up.

You can also optimize the storage space on your Mac. To optimize Mac storage space, complete the following steps:

  • Click on the Apple menu that is in the corner of the Mac’s screen
  • Click on About this Mac
  • Click Storage
  • Click on Manage
  • Click on Optimize Storage or Reduce Clutter

If you want to store certain applications on iCloud, you can also choose to do so. 

The option will appear alongside Optimize Storage and Reduce Clutter. 

However, this will likely not remove any system applications from your Mac.

System files surprisingly don’t take up much space on your Mac

Typically, they only take 10-80 GB of storage space. 

If you want to potentially reduce the amount of space that system files use, update macOS if an update is available.

You can also use a Mac cleaner application like Mac Cleaner or MacKeeper. Mac cleaners typically cost between $3-$80, although some are free. 

The more expensive Mac cleaner applications are made for businesses and clean multiple Mac computers. 

Mac cleaner applications help you determine which applications to delete, including system applications.

How Do I Manually Remove System Storage from My Mac?

How to Clear Your System Storage on A Mac

If you don’t want to purchase a Mac cleaner to remove system storage space, you’ll have to do it yourself. 

Follow these steps to manually remove system storage space on your Mac:

  • Touch and hold the keypad until an X appears in the top right corner of all downloaded applications
  • Click on the X
  • The application is now deleted, and storage space is available.

Keep in mind that if no X appears on the side of an application, it can’t be deleted from your Mac. 

For example, macOS system files can’t be deleted. 

If they are somehow deleted, your Mac will no longer work properly.

To manually free storage space on your Mac, empty the trash bin. 

Files that you delete are stored in the trash section and take up space. 

Deleted storage files may still be stored here.

You can also delete cache files to free up system storage space. 

To delete cache files from your Mac device, complete the following steps:

  • Open Finder
  • Go to Folder
  • Type ~/Library/Caches/ in search bar
  • Press enter or click Go (This will take you to the cache file folder)
  • Delete unnecessary cache folders by right clicking and clicking Delete on the pop-up option menu that will appear

If nothing pops up, make sure you are searching “This Mac” not just in the selected folder. If nothing appears again, search “cache” instead. 

This should show you a variety of cache folders.

Remember that if you are running out of space on your Mac computer, you can transfer most files to your iCloud account. 

You can still access files when they are on your iCloud account.

How Do You Clear System Files On a Mac?

To remove system files on your Mac, delete backup files for applications that have since then been updated. 

For example, if iTunes was recently updated, but there are still backup files on your Mac for the previous version of iTunes, you can delete the backup files.

How to delete old backup files for various applications on Mac devices:

  • Open app you want to delete old files from
  • Open the app menu
  • Click on Preferences
  • Click on Devices tab
  • Highlight backup files that are no longer useful
  • Click Delete Backup

Make sure you don’t delete the backup information for the updated version of the app that you are using. 

If you do, the app will likely stop working, and you will have to delete and re-install the app for it to start working again.

If you need to free up storage on your Mac computer, but have been unable to delete any system applications because they are needed cannot be deleted, you will have to delete personal files. 

However, if you still want to keep some personal files, you can transfer them to your iCloud account rather than just deleting them.

If you store them on your iCloud account, you can still access the files, but more storage space will be available on your Mac computer. 

Personal photos are commonly stored on iCloud because they take up quite a bit of storage space on computers.

Although it is relatively easy to delete files on your Mac, it is harder to delete system storage and system files because they are needed to make your computer work properly. 

The last thing you want to happen is you delete a system file, only to find that your Mac no longer works.

If it doesn’t work because you deleted an important file, you will have to take it to an Apple store and see if one of the employees can somehow re-install the file or application.

Many system applications can’t be deleted because they are necessary for your Mac to work.

If you do somehow find a way to delete an important system app, your computer will no longer work. 

Try to free up storage space by deleting other, unused apps on your Mac.

If you need free space on your Mac and can’t figure out what to delete, download a Mac cleaner application.

It will help you determine which apps and files you should delete.