How To Clear System Data ON MacBook

mac book

If your MacBook’s storage is dwindling, despite not hoarding large files, it might be time to declutter your Apple device by removing unnecessary system data. This guide delves into understanding what constitutes system data, its locations, and how to clean system data on a MacBook.

Deciphering System Data on MacBook and Its Locations

Understanding how to clean system data on a MacBook is essential; it encompasses residual files from uninstalled software, temporary files, cache, disk images for upgrades, and various macOS files, including software installations, plug-ins, extensions, and more. The following categories provide insight into what system data may entail:

  • software residuals — lingering files post software uninstallation;
  • temporary files and cache — accumulated system, application, and browser caches;
  • disk images for upgrading — installer files for applications;
  • extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins — customization tools for browsers and applications.

To check system data:

  1. Navigate through the Apple menu to “System Preferences.”
  2. Access “General” and proceed to “Storage.”
  3. Hover over the gray segment on the multicolored graph to gauge system data space.
  4. Alternatively, scroll down to find this information under the System Data category.

Eight Effective Methods to Clear System Data on MacBook

Users can reclaim valuable storage space on their MacBooks by autonomously reducing the size of system data. Follow these steps.

Clear the Cache

To efficiently clear cache files on your MacBook, follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder, select “Go,” and choose “Go to Folder.”
  2. Enter alternately /System/Library/Caches, /Library/Caches/, and the same path without the tilde (~).
  3. Within the specified folders, delete unnecessary files to declutter your system.
  4. After deleting files, empty the Recycle Bin to free up disk space effectively.

Alternatively, use MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X:

  1. Open the CleanMyMac X application on your MacBook.
  2. On the left side of the application window, locate and click on the “System” section.
  3. Select the specific categories of system data that you want to clear. 
  4. Click on “Scan” to commence the scanning process. Once the scan is complete, click on “Clear” to promptly remove the identified system data.
  5. Allow the application to complete the cleanup process. Once finished, restart your MacBook to ensure the effective implementation of the changes.

Optimize Storage

Keep up with these instructions to control storage on your MacBook:

  1. From the Apple menu, go to “About this Mac” and then “More Info.”
  2. Access Storage Settings.
  3. Utilize “Store in iCloud” for data transfer.
  4. Delete redundant heavy files and unsupported apps.

Clear Application Logs

Follow the instructions below to manually process log files on your MacBook to avoid cluttering them:

  1. Navigate to ~/Library/Logs/ in Finder.
  2. Select files to delete and press Command+Backspace.
  3. Repeat the process for /Library/Logs/.

Delete Time Machine Backups

To efficiently manage your MacBook’s storage and eliminate unnecessary Time Machine backups, employ the following method:

  1. Open Terminal on your MacBook using either Spotlight or Launchpad.
  2. Input tmutil listlocalsnapshotdates in the Terminal and press Return to reveal a list of backups organized by their creation dates.
  3. To remove a particular backup, use the command tmutil deletelocalsnapshots “(backup date)”. For instance, tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2022-07-18-095939.
  4. If prompted, provide your account password and press Return to authenticate the deletion process.
  5. Execute step three iteratively to delete additional backups, either selectively or altogether, based on your storage preferences.

Delete iOS Backups

To swiftly eliminate unnecessary data, especially if multiple copies exist, look at this concise process:

  1. Link your iPhone to your MacBook using a suitable cable.
  2. In Finder, locate and select your iPhone from the sidebar.
  3. Click “Manage Backups” and delete any redundant or unnecessary backups.

Clear Downloads Folder

It is advisable to routinely purge your MacBook’s system data of irrelevant files to maintain an organized and efficient storage space:

  1. Navigate to Downloads in Finder.
  2. Delete unnecessary files.

Clear Recycle Bin

Clearing the Recycle Bin is a quick way to free up disk space on your MacBook by removing files. It is critical to exercise caution because permanently deleted files cannot be recovered, emphasizing the importance of evaluating their importance before deletion.

Remove Unwanted Video Screensavers

In macOS Sonoma, the video screensaver feature transforms into a static background image after its motion ends. As 4K resolution screensavers can accumulate up to 20 GB, delete them by navigating to /Library/Application Support/ and moving unwanted ones to the recycle bin.

Visit the Apple Parts website for genuine MacBook components, ensuring quality and authenticity. If unsure about part replacement, consider Apple Parts’ mail-in repair service for a swift diagnosis and resolution within 1-2 days post payment.

Source: Blog Apple Parts

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Written by Joshua White

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