What Is Purgeable Space On Mac Hard Drive

  1. How To Free Purgeable Space On Mac
  2. How To Use Purgeable Space On Mac

Nov 01, 2016 With this in mind, macOS Sierra includes a new feature set aimed at optimizing hard drive space. To optimize storage space, the OS analyzes the content of a user’s hard drive and sorts files into two camps: “purgeable” and everything else. I am a drive micro-management type of guy. I need to know at all times exactly how much free space I have, and that if I delete a 20gb file, it will immediately reflect on my drive. But it seems it's not so easy to COMPLETELY disable this purgeable space thing. I tried these steps: About this mac - Storage - Manage - Recommendations - set.

Mac Os X Hard Drive Space Purgeable Pro The first option, and the most visual one is your native storage tab. To access it choose About This Mac in the Apple menu then switch to the Storage tab.

Our resident Mac Help guru, Peter Cohen, previously told us about the 'Other' storage category on Mac computers and what it catalogs: In short, you're seeing space taken up by plug-ins, documents, and caches stored by OS X.

  1. Go to About this Mac. Click on the Storage Tab. Select Manage. Under the Manage section, you can see several options to optimize your Mac. You can view and check your iCloud Drive storage, hard drive storage, empty trash, and remove unimportant files.
  2. The result of the work done is a set of functions in macOS Sierra that relate directly to freeing up space on the Mac drive. One of the most significant changes is the way the free space is displayed. Source: 9to5mac.com Purgeable Space cleaning up issue.

It's worth noting that these files aren't normally harmful or wasteful to your computer's system; most are intended to help your Mac run efficiently, and ideally, you shouldn't ever have to clear out your Other files. Unfortunately, they can quickly clog up a computer low on storage — especially if you're storing a large number of iPhone or iPad backups.

Whether you're looking to free up space on your hard drive or just want to do some spring cleaning, here are some simple steps to get your Mac free and clear.

A note on what happened to 'Other' space in macOS Sierra and higher

When Apple added its storage management feature to macOS Sierra, called Optimize Storage, it reorganized what 'other' storage is and where it's located on the Mac. Much of it has been divided out through other categories so it's easier to find and remove.

The 100GB of Other storage I used to carry on my iMac is whittled down to just 5GB. You can still clean out old and unnecessary content from your Mac with macOS Sierra and High Sierra by using Optimized Storage. It's just a little easier to find those unused files than it was before.

A lot of the features of Optimized Storage remove content from your Mac and store them in iCloud. If you're concerned with how much storage you're using up in iCloud, you can customize or disable some Optimized Storage features to keep a balance between what's on your Mac and what's in iCloud.

What's this 'Purgeable' category all about?

If you check your system storage graph in macOS, you'll probably discover a category called Purgeable. This is part of Apple's Optimized Storage service. When you move your Documents into iCloud (part of the Store in iCloud component) and your hard drive gets low on storage, only recently opened files are kept on your Mac. Older documents are stored in iCloud, while a shortcut icon is kept on your Mac (files are automatically re-downloaded to your Mac as soon as you open them). The Purgeable files are what Optimized Storage will move to iCloud and delete from your hard drive only if your hard drive starts to get full. Purgeable files also include caches and temporary files that used to fit into the Other category, which will also be deleted as your hard drive starts to fill up.

Though your Other storage might have been spread out across categories in macOS Sierra and higher, you can still follow the below steps to manually clean up your Mac and get rid of unnecessary files.

How to check your storage space on your Mac

If you are concerned with how much storage space you have remaining on your Mac computer, you can check its usage folder to see how much space each category is taking up, including Other.

  1. Click on your desktop or the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Apple Menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on About This Mac.

  4. Select Storage.

Your Mac breaks down its storage categories as follows: Apps, Movies, Photos, Audio, Backups, and — that annoying, undescriptive category — Other.

How to remove cached files

Now that you know how much space your Other files are taking up, it's time to reduce their footprint on your Mac. You can start by removing items you don't need, including caches for your web browser, saved Apple Music streams, and photo previews.

A note on deleting cache folders: You only want to delete old and unnecessary files, as current cache files store your preferences. We strongly recommend only deleting cache files from old apps.

  1. Click on your desktop or select the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Go menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on Go to Folder.

  4. Type ~/Library/caches into the text box. A list of caches from active apps will appear on your desktop.

  5. Select the app folder you wish to remove the cache from.
  6. Right-click (or control-click) on the app folder.
  7. Select Move to Trash.

How to remove downloaded files

Chances are, your Downloads folder is stuffed with Other-type files, including installer packages, documents, and folders you have already made copies of somewhere else. If you want to make some room on your Mac, it may be time to clean out your Downloads folder.

  1. Click on your desktop or select the Finder icon from the Dock.
  2. Select the Go menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on Downloads.

  4. Select the file you wish to remove.
  5. Right-click (or control-click) on the file.
  6. Select Move to Trash.

If you want to save a file from the Downloads folder but don't want it clogging your drive, consider moving it to an external hard drive or flash drive, or uploading it to an online storage option like Dropbox.

How to delete old device backups in iTunes

If you tend to get new iOS devices fairly regularly, you may have unnecessary device backups stored on your computer via iTunes. Backups take up 4-5GB each, on average; there's no need to hold on to older device backups if you no longer have the device or have it stored in iCloud.

Third-party software that can help

While you don't need any third-party app to 'clean' your Mac, there are some very handy system access tools out there that make it easier to regularly remove unwanted files.

CleanMyMac 3

With CleanMyMac, you have easy access to a list of features that help you keep your Mac free of unnecessary junk. It scans your entire system and recommends files you should delete based on how old they are and whether they are considered unnecessary to your workflow. It's a lot like Apple's Optimized Storage, but with a few additional features. My favorite is the recommendation to delete all content related to an application. Sometimes, you'll end up with a couple of files left behind by an app when you delete it. CleanMyMac provides a one-button purge of everything associated with that app.


DaisyDisk scans your Mac and gives you a pie chart that makes it easy to see what files are using up the most space. You can identify files that are in the Other storage category and drag them to the delete box.


Onyx is a robust Mac system access tool that, in-part, can delete caches, logs, temporary items, and other files that find their way into the Other storage category.


Cocktail is another useful system access tool that you can use to clear caches, purge memory, and manage hidden Apple app settings, which might be automatically sending files into the Other category abyss.


Still having trouble with Other? Let us know in the comments.

Updated June, 2018: Updated the section on deleting iPhone and iPad backups in iTunes to direct people to the article about doing that. The rest of these steps are still correct.

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Your Mac is smart enough to understand what files are redundant and can be removed. Your Mac calls these files Purgeable Data. Usually, it’s about outdated caches, duplicates, and any kind of files that can be deleted without any impact on your system.

Mac Os Clear Purgeable

To see purgeable data, you should enable the Optimize Storage feature on Mac. Go to the Apple menu, click About this Mac and then the Storage tab. If you’ve activated storage optimization, you’ll see that next to colour-coded sections for Documents, Apps, Photos, etc, there’s one called Purgeable.

The Optimize Storage feature allows you to quickly identify files that are taking up lots of space on your startup disk and either delete them or move them to iCloud, depending on the type of file. There are a couple of different ways to use it, one of which uses CleanMyMac and which adds an extra tab – ’System Junk’ – to the Manage Storage window. Here’s method one.

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The fastest way to clear Purgeable space from Mac

If you have CleanMyMac installed on your Mac, you’ll have noticed an additional section – System Junk. These are system files CleanMyMac has identified that can be safely trashed. All you need to do is click on System Junk and click Run.

If you don’t have CleanMyMac installed, it’s available in Setapp – just launch Setapp, search for CleanMyMac and click Install.

Here’s what to do next.

  1. Launch CleanMyMac, click the Smart Scan tab and then click Scan.
  2. When CleanMyMac has finished scanning, click Run to perform cleaning.

Also you can perform clean up with Cleanup section – System Junk, Photo Junk, Mail attachments, etc and review the results. You may be surprised by the results and by just how much space you can reclaim.

To see in detail what CleanMyMac has found in each section, click Review Details. From there, you can uncheck any items you don’t want to delete. When you’re ready, click Clean to delete the junk.

When you’re done, you should have got rid of several gigabytes of purgeable data and freed up lots of room on your hard disk.

Other methods for identifying and removing purgeable data

Disk Drill, also available in Setapp, has a Clean Up section, which allows you to identify and delete files you don’t need.

  1. Install Disk Drill from Setapp if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Launch it and click ‘Clean Up’ in the toolbar.’ In the next window, click ‘Let’s get started.’ Click on the drive you want to clean up, then click Scan.
  3. Disk Drill will now scan your Mac identifying all the files on the drive you selected. When it’s done, it will list the folders on the disk in order of the amount of disk space they are occupying. By default, it doesn’t display system or hidden files. To display those, click the left most menu and select ‘All files (including system and hidden ones).’
  4. Starting at the top, click the drop down arrow to display files inside the folder. If there are more folders inside, click the drop down arrows on those. You’ll soon tunnel down to the files that are taking up the most space on your drive – they’ll be labelled in red.
  5. To change the way Disk Drill displays files, use the other menus. For example, you can display files by the percentage of the total disk space they use, or only display files that take up more than the space your specify.
  6. To delete a file you no longer need, click the checkbox next to it and click ‘Remove file.’

Another way to free up disk space is to get rid of duplicate files. Gemini, another app available in Setapp, does exactly that.

  1. Install Gemini from Setapp and launch it.
  2. Read the information cards that appear and click Next when you’re done.
  3. When you see the window with a big ‘+’ in it, drag a folder onto it to identify duplicates. For example, open a Finder window and drag your user folder onto the ‘+’.
  4. Gemini will start scanning the folder for duplicate files. When it reaches your iTunes and Photos libraries, it will ask you to open those applications. You can either do so, or skip them and Gemini will leave those libraries alone.
  5. When it’s finished, click Clean Up to remove all the duplicates it’s found, or click Review Duplicates to select the ones you want to remove yourself.
  6. In the review window, click on the drop down arrow next to folders of duplicates, make sure they really are duplicates, then check the box next to the one you want to delete and click Remove.

How to reduce Purgeable space manually

Mac Purgeable Hard Drive Space

It’s always better if someone can do the cleaning for you, both at home and on your Mac. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to learn how to free up space manually. While purgeable information can be restored at any time, there’s little risk you’ll remove any important data:

  1. Click on the Apple menu at the left of the Finder menu bar and choose About this Mac.
  2. Click the storage tab and you’ll see a bar with different colored sections on it. Each of these sections describes a specific type of data. Documents is first, followed by System, then Apps, and so on. Towards the right, you’ll see a section called Purgeable.
  3. Click Manage to free up space on your Mac. The next window that opens, launches with the first tab on the left, Recommended, selected. You’ll see four options. The first allows you to store all files on the Desktop or in your Documents folder in iCloud and only keep those you’ve opened recently on your Mac. To enable it, Click Store in iCloud.
  4. The next three options allow you to remove movies and TV programmes you’ve already watched in iTunes from your Mac; empty the Trash automatically every 30 days; and review files in your Documents folder and delete any you don’t need.
  5. Once you’ve been through the Recommended options, you can click on the other sections on the left and follow the instructions to either delete files or review them before deciding what to do.

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Mac Os Purgeable Hard Drive Space Windows 7

Without regular cleanups, purgeable data can pile up on your Mac, lightning fast. In fact, the redundant file caches and duplicates can occupy up to 30% of your disk space. That’s a lot of storage you could use for valuable things. With cleaning utilities and a few minutes of your time, you can free it up and forget about the problem of limited storage.

What Is Purgeable Space On Mac Hard Drive

Instead of working hard, Apple chooses to work smart (for the most part, looking at you, G4 Cube). Instead of making your hard drive bigger, they’ve tackled the problem of limited space on your Mac with cloud storage. Which, in its turn, created a slice on your storage bar named “Purgeable.” Now let’s take a look at how did that come about.

What is Purgeable disk space on Mac?

Purgeable storage consists of files that macOS deems suitable for removal. Something that can be literally purged away from your drive and cause no trouble. The appearance of Purgeable storage is connected to the feature of Optimized storage in macOS. When Optimized storage is turned on, loads of files get moved into the cloud, and for some of them, actual presence on your drive is optional. But for which exactly?

Which files are considered Purgeable?

Nobody can be a hundred percent sure, but the main guess is that these are both your files and system-generated files that comply with two criteria:

  1. They’re really old, and you haven’t opened/used them in a while.
  2. They are synced with iCloud so their original file can be removed from your Mac.

Purgeable files can be of any type. From watched movies in your iTunes to applications languages, you’ve never used.

But what renders them purgeable, and what does it mean? The system finds these files and knows that when you start running out of space and have your Optimized Storage turned on, it can remove these files to give you more space.

How do I view my Purgeable Storage?

You can see how much space your macOS can purge in a number of places:

  • The first option and the most visual one is your native storage tab. To access it, choose About This Mac in the Apple menu, then switch to the Storage tab.
  • In the Status Bar of your Finder, when it’s turned on (to turn it on, click on View and then Show Status Bar).
  • Another way would be to click on Go in the top menu, choose Computer > right-click on your hard drive > Get Info
  • Finally, you can simply ask Siri how much free space you have left.

How To Free Purgeable Space On Mac

How to clear Purgeable space on Mac?

How To Use Purgeable Space On Mac

You don’t usually need to delete purgeable space on your own, but if it really bugs you, jump to the next headline. Purgeable space is labeled so that you know: whenever there’s a free-space issue, you’re safe because your macOS will automatically clear up that purgeable space, and it will become free space instead.

The only thing you need to do to have your macOS removing these files when it’s needed is to have your Optimized Storage turned on. To do it, go to the Storage tab in the About This Mac menu and click Manage. Now you can turn any option you’d like to be synced with iCloud. You can read more on Optimized Storage and how to use it.

Is there a way to force remove Purgeable space on Mac?

Yup. It’s pretty easy, and all you need is a Mac maintenance app like CleanMyMac X that does exactly what macOS does — detects useless files — but unlike macOS, it lets you remove them quickly.

Now, to remove purgeable space in just a few clicks:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free.
  2. Go to the Maintenance tab.
  3. Choose Free Up Purgeable Space.
  4. Hit Run.

Once you’ve reclaimed purgeable space, use CleanMyMac’s Smart Scan tool to remove junk files, speed up the system and scan your Mac for malware — all in one go.

Also, it’s a good idea to clear your browser extensions, old Wi-Fi connections, and apps you don’t use once in a while. Simply in the form of general Mac system hygiene.

That’s about all you need to know about what purgeable space is on Mac, so we hope this article has been of help. macOS is a great addition to Mac, we’re glad it has space-saving features and other cool stuff (Siri!), but it could’ve been a bit clearer to users, that’s for sure. Anyway, have a good day and keep your Mac clean.