Current Mac models are equipped with fast, but fairly modest in terms of SSD-drives. 128 or 256 GB quickly clogged with useful data, games, documents and content.
Over time, there is a shortage of free space, quick cleaning does not give results, and the analysis of the system load indicates the main devourer of space – the “Other” section.
What falls into the category “Other”
In this category, the system relates:
- documents stored on disk or in the application cache (for example, during automatic saving);
- archives and disk images;
- temporary files and user data;
- library files, application cache, plugins, add-ons and program extensions;
- virtual machine files.
As you can see, the list is quite extensive, after reading it, several associations immediately appear in the memory.
Perhaps, somewhere they saved a couple of installation archives for programs or games, made a backup copy of the documents, or installed a second OS via a virtual machine, and then they simply forgot about it.
Cleaner utilities, the most popular of which is CleanMyMac, do not allow to completely remove all system cache and garbage.
I personally have nothing against the utility from MacPaw, but I myself have long ago refused to use it.
The developers of such programs lay in the cleaning algorithms all the places and back streets of macOS, which should be checked when searching for garbage and cache. If you give the program too much space, the probability of deleting the necessary data is high. So programmers specify the paths and folders in which by default most programs save their data and documents.
After the next update, third-party applications can start using another folder or location of the temporary directory, and the cleaning utility will no longer know where to look for this garbage.
Developers cleaners try to keep abreast of and regularly update such data, but to keep track of all the applications is simply impossible.
Sometimes developers wake up greed and new cleanup rules they call a key update, demanding payment of a license even from current program users.
For the most effective cleaning system without manual cleaning and removal is indispensable.
How to search “Other” on Mac
Instead of an automatic “cleaner”, it is better to get a sensible “informer”. I have been using the DaisyDisk utility for a long time, which visually displays the structure of files and folders in the system. With its help in a couple of clicks you can be in the most “voracious” directory and manually clear it.
Developers of such applications do not make sense to cheat and cash in on paid updates. In fact, the utility only displays a diagram of the occupied space, and it is the user who decides what to delete.
- To start, look at the Download and Documents packs for large files, document archives, or under-downloaded data.
- View the folder with the cache on the path ~ / Library / Caches /. There are often stored data even long-removed programs and games.
- With the help of Smart Folder you can find the largest files in the system (create a smart folder with a filter for a file size larger than 150-200 MB).
- Try the DaisyDisk utility (there is a free trial version) to search for garbage in the system.
There is another reason for the “disappearance” of memory on Mac
Sometimes a certain amount of disk space is not occupied by any data, and the system simply does not perceive it.
This happens if the Mac has not produced a clean installation of macOS for a long time, but only updated over the installed system.
It is necessary to check the disk for errors by regular means.
- Disable FileVault encryption system for the time it checks and corrects errors.
Go to System Settings – Security and Security and go to the FileVault tab. Click on the lock icon and enter the administrator password. Disable FileVault.
- Boot up your Mac in Safe Mode. To do this, at the very beginning of the computer boot, hold down the Shift key.
The computer will boot from a special area on the disk. So you can quickly test the system partition for errors.
- Use the Disk utility. Launch the application from the safe mode menu, select the system disk and go to the First Aid section.
Run the disk check and wait for it to complete. If errors appear during the process, use the Repair Disk button.
- After the verification procedure is complete, restart your Mac and do not forget to re-enable FileVault encryption (System Preferences – Security and Protection).
After all the manipulations done, the “Other” section is simply obliged to seriously lose weight.