Mac OS X Disk Cleanup

This is the latest and greatest, always up-to-date guide on freeing up disk space in OS X. On this page we will list all known tips and advices for OS X disk cleanup. We have verified every cleanup method mentioned ourselves.

Introduction. OS X Disk Cleanup is easy and simple, but be careful!!!

It’s easy to free some precious space on your Mac computer when you know where OS X stores useless information. One such place are cache directories. Cache helps to increase overall performance. But it’s anyway useful to clear caches once in a while, since they might contain stale information.

Other cleanup methods will remove unused functions. Most obvious candidate for removal here are language files. This is where you should be careful. You don’t want to delete something you actually need. Thus, we will add note next to risky methods, where you should be especially careful. Ready? Let’s regain some space!

Cleanup Mail Downloads Folder

Nearly every attachment, once opened using “Quick Look”, is saved into Mail Downloads folder. The possibility of those files being useful afterwards, is zero. That means, you don’t loose anything, if you delete those files from your computer, and it will free up some space. To delete these files, just perform a few simple steps:

  • Open up Spotlight by clicking Ctrl+Space
  • Type in “Mail Downloads”
  • Click on the “Mail Downloads” item in Spotlight list. This will open the folder. Select all the files and delete.

Alternatively, you can do the same more quickly by using Simply run this command in Terminal:

cd ~ && rm -rf "Library/Containers/ Downloads"

Delete Voices from OS X

You can remove downloaded voice files which are used for Dictation and Speech in OS X.

Run this command to delete ALL downloaded voice files. You will need to open up and copy / paste the command. When it asks you for user password, hit Enter to confirm.

sudo find /System/Library/Speech/Voices -type d -depth 1 ! -name '*Compact.SpeechVoice' -delete

If you want to selectively delete voice files, use Finder and Go To folder /System/Library/Speech/Voices to delete unused ones.

Delete Languages (increases overall speed, too)

Every downloaded app, and any of OS X default apps, has support for many languages. But the language files take up space too. Solution here is to remove all but the languages you use. Always keep English at the very least.

There are special tools to automatically delete specific language files from within all apps. Use Monolingual app for the job. But be careful NOT to delete the languages you actually use! Otherwise, you are at risk of malfunctioning operating system!

How do you regain space on your Mac? Let us know in comments.

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