Temporary Mac Storage: Everything You Need to Know


Temporary Mac Storage: Everything You Need to Know: Any app or browser that you use stores temporary files on your system to make it easy for you to switch between tabs or perform an action. This also happens if an app crashes unexpectedly. Your session is saved temporarily to help you get back to your work.

But these temporary files eventually add up and clutter your system, causing performance issues. Let’s dive into which apps are responsible for this over others, how you can clear your storage, and what to do to prevent this from becoming an ongoing issue. 

Apps That Create Tons of Temporary Files

#1. Xcode 

If you are a developer, you probably know what Xcode is. It is a native app that allows you to create apps for Apple devices. 

It is notorious for creating a lot of temporary files that can fill up your hard drive very quickly. The best way is to delete xcode derived data by going into the ‘Preferences’ and finding the location where all the derived data is stored and deleting it. 

#2. Steam

Steam is a well-known app in the gaming community. It allows you to access tons of games online. But because it is a gaming app, a lot of temporary files get created to allow you to have a better gaming experience.

You have to clear Steam’s Download cache through ‘Preferences.’ It will have you log out of the app, so you will need to log in again. 

The added benefit is clearing the cache also makes the app faster.

#3. Photoshop

A staple app in every designer’s MacBook, Photoshop allows you to create visual art with the array of options available. When your storage runs low, you will keep saying a ‘scratch disk is full’ error which prevents you from using the app. 

The scratch disk is a virtual memory when the app doesn’t find enough RAM to work with and is usually full due to temporary files. 

To clear your Photoshop cache, you can make use of the ‘Purge’ option. Make sure you back up all your data because it cannot be undone.

#4. Browsers

Just like apps, browsers generate temporary files and cache to help you load sites faster. Depending on the browser you are using, you can easily delete cache through the settings. 

Whether it is Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, it is important to clear your cache regularly to prevent your browser from becoming slow. You should also look to protect the browser to improve privacy and security online.

How to Clean Temporary Files on Mac

Aside from these apps mentioned here and your browser, all other apps also contribute to temporary files. 

Here’s how you remove them from your system manually – 

  • First, quit all apps. 
  • Open the Finder
  • Long press the Shift button
  • Select Library
  • Visit the Caches folder
  • Choose the files you want to delete
  • Drag them to Trash
  • Delete files from Trash

You can also benefit from restarting your Mac. If you are someone that leaves your MacBook on all the time, you should make it a habit to shut it down from time to time. Having your laptop on all the time generates a bunch of temporary files and cache. 

Prevent Temporary Files from Hogging Your Memory

We just discussed how you could clear your temporary files and cache manually. But the problem with that method is that it is manual, so it requires you to actively do it at regular intervals. It is not feasible since there is some effort required, so it is likely that you won’t keep up with the cleaning schedule. 

Another problem is that even if you find the time to do it manually, you might not know what you can or cannot delete. If you end up deleting files that are important, you could end up with some data loss. It is best to take regular backups to prevent this from happening. 

Given the flaws in fixing this problem manually, you should instead look for cleaning software that automates the entire process for you.

Not only does the cleaning software find and remove temporary files, cache files, and duplicate files, it also makes other recommendations to get rid of files that are already synced to your cloud. It can also find hidden folders that are difficult to locate on your laptop. 

This makes sure your laptop is free from temporary files at all times, and you don’t have to guess whether you should keep certain files or get rid of them.

All In All

Try to purchase a MacBook with more storage to prevent temporary storage from affecting your performance. If that is not possible, you should take regular backups using Time Machine and a combination of cloud storage services and avoid saving files to your laptop. 

You should also be aware of the apps that can cause this and see if you use an online version of the app instead. 

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Liza David
I Liza David, studied at harvard university. Currently, I am working as a marketer for the website I am passionate about writing blogs and articles, especially in the field of technology. You can visit many of the websites to find out my valuable articles.