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What Is the Other in Mac Storage and How to Delete Other on Mac

By Carrie Murray, Monday, November 05, 2018

Your Mac storage is almost full so you go to check what is taking up space on your Mac. Then you find more than 100 GB of "Other" storage is hogging memory space on your Mac, which make you wonder: What is the Other in Mac storage? How to get rid of Other storage on my Mac? This guide will not only tell you what Other means on Mac storage, but also show you how to delete Other on Mac to regain your Mac storage space. Follow this guide to free up space on your Mac.

Other Storage on Mac

What Is the Other in Mac Storage?

When you check storage on Mac, you can see the used Mac storage are divided into different categories: Apps, Documents, iOS Files, Movies, Audio, Photos, Backups, Other, etc. Most of the categories are very clear and easy to understand, such as Apps, Photos, but Other is very confusing. What is Other on Mac storage? Simply put, Other includes all files that won't fall into the categories of Photos, Apps, etc. The following are some examples of the data types that are classified in Other storage.

  • Cache files of browser, photos, system and apps.

  • Documents such as PDF, DOC, PSD, etc.

  • Archives and disk images, including zips, dmg, iso, tar etc.

  • System files and temporary files, such as logs, preference files.

  • Applications plugins and extensions.

  • Files in your user library, such as screen saver.

  • Virtual machine hard drive, Windows Boot Camp partitions or other files that cannot recognized by Spotlight search.

So we can see that Other storage is not totally useless. It contains many useful data. We have to delete Other on Mac carefully. Follow the steps below.


How to Delete Other on Mac?

To get rid of Other on Mac, you have to identify the unneeded files and be careful not to delete the useful files. So the more secure and easy to do that is by using some third-party software that can help you clean up your Mac, such as FonePaw MacMaster. Or you can delete Other storage on Mac manually.

Clean up Other on Mac Easily

FonePaw MacMaster can present you what files are taking up your memory space and then help you remove the files easily. So it can help delete Other on Mac more conveniently. Here are what FonePaw MacMaster can clean to get rid of Other on Mac.

Download

Clear cache and system files: Open MacMaster on your Mac and click System Junk. Click Scan and after scanning, you can view system caches, app caches, system logs, etc. and how many space they are occupying. Click Clean to remove them and shrink Other storage.

Delete Other Storage of System Files

Large & old files: Since Other storage contain files such as pdf, psd, zip, dmg, iso, you may use FonePaw MacMaster to quickly find out the large files. Click Large & Old Files > Scan. It will show how many space taken by large and old files on your Mac and sort them according their size and created date. You can enter keyword in the Search bar to find files such as dmg, pdf, zip, iso, etc. that you don't need any more. Click Clean to easily clean up the files from Other storage.

Delete Other Storage of Documents

Clean browsing history and downloaded files: Downloaded files and browsing history of your browser could be storage hoggers if they haven't been cleared for a long time. Select Privacy on MacMaster. After scanning, it will present you a view of how many space used by each of your browsers. And you can select downloaded files, cookies, visit history to clean.

Delete Other Storage of Downloaded Files

FonePaw MacMaster can also remove iTunes backups, iOS upgrade files, mail trash and attachment, photos cache, app cache and preference files, and many other files to delete Other on your Mac. Just download the free version to have a try. Other storage will be significantly cleaned up after cleaning with MacMaster.

You can also clear Other space on Mac without third-party application. Since macOS Sierra, Optimized Storage tools is introduced to help users clean up storage on Mac, including storing photos and files to iCloud, removing iTunes films and TV programs, automatically emptying Trash, looking through documents to delete files. But if none of the optimized storage tools help you to delete Other storage. You can follow the steps below to do it manually.

Optimize Storage on Mac

Delete Cache Files

You can start with deleting cache files. To manually delete cache files on Mac:

Step 1 Open Finder, click Go > Go to Folder.

Step 2 Enter ~/Library/Caches and hit Go to go to Caches folder.

Step 3 Caches of different apps on your Mac is presented. Select the folder of an application and delete the cache files on it. You can start with the applications that you haven't use for a while as well as applications with large-size caches files.

Clean Cache on Mac

If you have FonePaw MacMaster on your Mac, you can easily remove cache files from Other storage without go through all folder one by one.

Clean up System Files in Other Space

As you continue to use your Mac, system files, such as logs could pile up in your Mac storage, becoming a part of the Other storage. To clean up Other space of system files, you can open Go to Folder window and go to this path: ~/Users/User/Library/Application Support/. 

Delete System Files on Mac

You may find many files that are unfamiliar to you and you should not delete files that you don't know about. Otherwise, you could mistakenly delete important system files. If you are not sure, use FonePaw MacMaster to clean up system files.

Delete Applications Plugins and Extensions

If you have extensions and plugins that you no longer need, it is a good idea to remove them to free up Other storage. Here is how to delete remove extensions from Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox.

Safari: Click Preferences > Extension. Select the extension you want to delete and click "Uninstall" to remove.

Uninstall Extension in Safari

Google Chrome: Click the three-dot icon > More tools > Extensions and remove the extension you don't need.

Mozilla Firefox: Click on the burger menu, then click Add-ons, and remove the extensions and plugins.

Clean Downloaded Files to Release Other Storage

Files on your Download folder sometimes are wasting your storage memory. You may don't need the downloaded files or have added the files to other applications. So there is no need for them to stay in the Download folder.

Step 1 Open Finder. If you couldn't see the Downloads folder. Click Go > Downloads to open it.

Step 2 You may view the downloaded files by size and get rid of the files that are large in size and you don't need.

Open Downloads Folder

Remove iTunes Backups

If you have been using iTunes to back up your iPhone, iPad, you may have old backups that are taking up several gigabytes of Other storage. Learn more: How to Remove iTunes Backups on Mac.

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