How to Clean Unwanted Files from Your Mac

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Mac computers are well-considered, intelligent and secure machines. However, keeping them clean from junk is something that should be done on a regular basis by all users. Over the time, various types of junk files get stored on your Mac and clutter its system, preventing the device from smooth and fast work. Knowing what kinds of unwanted data can be found on your Mac and what are the best ways to get rid of them will make your life easier and your user experience way more pleasant.

This article offers you a roundup of the existing types of trash files and how to deal with them. Learn handy tips and clean junk files from your Mac like a pro!

Clean Unwanted Files

How do junk files get accumulated on your Mac?

Every time you view new Internet pages, the so-called cache or cookie files are being saved on your computer. Any media files may take most of the disk space. E-mail attachments that you’ve once downloaded are also stored in the system. Even iTunes backups occupy extra space on your Mac. Initially, all these types of files are helpful, but the problem with them is that they aren’t deleted from your Mac automatically once your software and system no longer need them. That’s how temporary files pile up with time and become system junk.

Why do you need to clean unwanted files?

Sum all types of the files described above, and with time you’ll get gigabytes of hard drive space wasted. When cluttered, Mac’s system may experience all sorts of problems such as slowdowns, errors, glitches, etc. Even if your Mac is relatively new or you do the system cleanup occasionally, some amount of junk still can be found in the system. To free up disk space and provide the fast and correct work of your computer, system cleaning should be done regularly.

Even Macs that run on the latest macOS High Sierra still have all types of unwanted files, which they don’t delete, but in most cases will move them into iCloud. Thus, it’s better to remove all junk before you have to pay extra for iCloud to store it.

What are the types of junk files and how to delete them?

Cache files

As mentioned above, caches are temporary files that contain media or logging data and are downloaded on your Mac from a website. Before cleaning cache on your Mac, keep in mind that it’s designed to speed up the work of your device when you are browsing the Internet. Unless your system is all clogged up, deleting cache is not something you have to do. Otherwise, to get rid of it, go to Finder – Go menu – “Go to folder.” Next, type in ~/Library/Caches and hit Enter. In a list that appears, empty the content of each folder, but remember not to delete the folders themselves. Next, type in /Library/Caches and repeat same steps.

Empty the trash once finished. In the dock, control-click the Trash icon and hit “empty trash.”

Don’t forget to restart Mac to set it to creating fresh cache files.

Duplicates of images

Duplicated media files are something that may take most of Mac’s hard drive space. Since 2015, photos on Macs are managed through the Photos app. This smart software, however, is not created to spot or delete any dubbed images, which may appear when photos are being transferred to Photos app from external storage sources. Therefore, you might have to remove all duplicates manually by finding them through the Finder.

Duplicates in iTunes

Duplicated songs in iTunes are something that almost every user comes across. Not only are they annoying but also they take extra disk space. To get rid of the duplicated tracks manually, in the recent iTunes 12 you should: start up the app, go to File – My library – Show duplicates. Click ‘All’ to see the list of all duplicates, next chose and delete the copies.

Old downloads

Old downloads such as email documents attachments may also take a considerable amount of Mac’s disk space. All attachments are available anytime through your email agent, so you don’t need to store them on your device. Other types of downloads take up space as well. To clean them all, go to Finder – Downloads folder and remove old downloads you no longer need. Next, you should clean Downloads history in your web browser. Finally, you have to empty the Trash. This process may take quite a long time though.

Free up more space

To reclaim even more space on your Mac, you can do the following:

  • Delete app leftovers;
  • Delete old unsupported or unused apps;
  • Delete large media files such as videos that you no longer need;
  • Get rid of development and trash junk.

Let software help you

All processes of deleting various types of junk files from your Mac manually can take pretty much time. That's why you might want to choose and download a trusted cleaning app to get the work done for you. MacProCleaner is a young but very effective tool to land you a helping hand here.