Mac Performance

5 Easy Ways to Free Your Mac of Junk Files

Every now and then, it’s a good idea to clear your Mac of junk files. Doing so can free up precious disk space, giving you more room for the files you want and potentially speeding up your Mac in the process. Hence, in this piece, our experts gathered the best five methods of getting rid of junk files on your Mac.  


Before we begin


Do you have the habit of removing your junk files from time to time to clean up your Mac? Or do you always forget to do it, thinking it can clutter a lot of your disk space? Junk files do more harm than you expect. Delete it automatically in just a few clicks with MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup:

  1. Download MacKeeper
  2. After installing the app, open it and choose the Safe Cleanup feature on the left
  3. Click Start Scan to identify the current state of your Mac’s storage
  4. Tick the boxes what to delete or click Remove Selected.


Ways to clear your Mac of junk files include:

Why do you need to clean junk files from your Mac?

The more you use your Mac, the more files it accumulates. That’s fine if you need those files or if they’re easy to find and remove. But that’s not always the case. Over time, your Mac will also fill up with data it doesn’t need, hidden in obscure places on your system drive. On top of that, Macs and macOS apps often come bundled with unnecessary language files, which waste disk space.

Cleaning up system cache on your Mac

The idea of system caches is simple: macOS apps will store certain temporary information on your Mac, so it doesn’t need to be created again the next time that app runs. The idea is to optimize Mac performance, speeding up loading times, but if caches grow too much, they can be counter-productive. 


How to clear system cache on a Mac:

  1. Click on your Mac desktop or a Finder window
  2. In the menu bar at the top, click Go
  3. Hold down Option. Select the Library folder when it appears
  4. Navigate to the Library > Caches folder
  5. Delete some or all of the files and folders in the Caches folder.
To clear up the system cache on your Mac, you need to open the Go tab in the Mac menu. The easiest ways to do it are from your Finder or Mac’s desktop.
Step 1. Open the Go menu
In the Go tab of your Mac’s context menu, find the Library option and click on it to open the corresponding folder.
Step 2. Click on the Library folder
In the Library folder, you’ll find the separate Caches folder, open it, and delete the specific/all the available files here by moving them to trash.
Step 3. Open the Caches folder

Check out our full guide to clearing Mac caches, which covers this and browser caches in more detail.  

Removing leftovers from uninstalled macOS apps

Although some macOS apps have uninstallers, most don’t. To uninstall them, you have to go into the Applications folder and drag their icons to the Trash. The problem with that is some apps leave behind files in other folders on your Mac. If you don’t intend to install those apps again, you should delete these unnecessary files from your Mac.


How to find and delete app leftovers on a Mac:

  1. In Finder, click Go from the menu bar
  2. Hold down Option to make the Library folder appear. Click Library
  3. In the search bar in Finder, type the name of an app you’ve deleted
  4. Make sure you’ve restricted your search to the Library folder
  5. Delete any files that come up in the search.
To delete leftovers from uninstalled macOS apps, you need to follow the same route to the Library folder first. When in this folder, type the name of an app you’ve recently deleted in the search bar of Finder to find the associated leftovers and remove them.
Step 1. Look for the searchbar
 In the Library folder, you now see the results of the user’s search associated with finding Photoshop’s leftovers. Now they all can be located and removed from a Mac.
Step 2. Restrict your search to the Library folder

Hint from our experts:


If you download MacKeeper, however, you can clean all of this with just a few clicks.


Learn more about deleting macOS app leftovers in our dedicated guide.

Deleting log files on your Mac

Log files are pretty much what they sound like: a record of things that have happened on your Mac. As with system caches, they serve a purpose, but they can also accumulate and waste disk space. In such cases, they can be considered as junk files and removed from your Mac.


How to delete log files on a Mac:

  1. From Finder, click Go in the menu bar
  2. Click Go to Folder
  3. Enter ~/Library/Logs, and click Go. This will take you to the Logs folder
  4. Delete some or all of the files in this folder.
To delete log files on an Apple computer, in the Go tab of your Mac’s menu, find and select the Go to Folder option.
Step 1. Open the Go menu > Go to Folder
Now, as your next step in the Go to Folder window, type ~/Library/Logs and click Go to open the Logs folder on your Mac.
Step 2. Go to the Logs folder
In the Logs folder, you can search for the specific folders and files to be removed from your Mac. Choose the ones you’re sure you don’t need first.
Step 3. Delete logs

Removing junk Xcode files from your Mac

Xcode is Apple’s programming tool, used to develop software for macOS, iOS and other Apple products. If you use it, you might benefit from occasionally cleaning out the caches and other data it creates. But be careful when deleting developer files from your Mac, as you risk losing files you need.  


Where to find junk files from Xcode on a Mac:

  • ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData
  • ~/Library/Logs/CoreSimulator
  • ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/iOS DeviceSupport
  • ~/Library/Caches/

You might also want to delete archived files in ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives. Take a look and remove anything you don’t need. Of course, if you don’t use Xcode but you have it installed on your Mac anyway, you may want to uninstall it.


It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup feature can help you remove junk files from your Mac without running into problems later.

To find and remove junk Xcode files from your MacBook, go to the archived files in ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives. As you can risk losing some essential files, delete only those files that you don’t need.

Deleting unused language files

Practically every app you have installed on your Mac will support multiple languages. If you’re like most people, you probably only speak one or two of them. And because each app installs its own language files, there are potentially gigabytes of unneeded language files on your Mac, which you can safely delete.  


You can delete junk language files from your Mac manually, but you have to do it for each individual app. If you have a lot of apps installed, that’s going to take a long time. Thankfully, MacKeeper can automate the process of deleting these unwanted files from your Mac.  


How to delete unnecessary language files from a Mac:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper
  2. In the sidebar, select Safe Cleanup
  3. Click Start Scan
  4. When the scan is finished, click Languages
  5. Select all the languages you want to delete, and click Clean junk files.
To remove unused language files on your computer, use MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup tool. Start with a scan and then delete the redundant files.
Step 1. Open the Safe Cleanup in MacKeeper
In the MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup window, you now see the results of scanning with the suggestions of the unnecessary files that should be deleted. Among them, there’s a category of Languages.
Step 2. Click on Languages after the scan is finished
In the Languages window shown in the MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup window, tick the boxes, identifying which ones need deletion, and click the Clean Junk Files button.
Step 3. Select languages you want to delete > click Clean Junk Files

Cleaning Mac junk files with MacKeeper

MacKeeper stands out among other Mac cleaners. Although we’ve only looked at using MacKeeper to clean out junk language files from your Mac, it does much more than that. In fact, it clears out every type of junk file we’ve looked at in this article, as well as things like duplicate files and old mail attachments. And, best of all, it automates the process, so you don’t have to go trawling through loads of different folders looking for junk files to remove from your computer.  


If you have a lot of apps installed, that’s going to take a long time. Thankfully, MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup can automate the process of deleting these unwanted files. Use our handy tool and form your new healthy removal habits easier.


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