What are the “Other” files?
On macOS, other files are like that-files other than neatly sorted files such as music, movies, documents, and photos. Usually, these other files are system files that Apple doesn’t want you to interact with, simply because you don’t normally need them.
Many of these files may be cache files, which are designed to help applications and services start and run smoothly. However, over time, these files will accumulate, and their overall storage size may be more problematic than their value, especially when you no longer use the applications or functions to which they are linked.
However, not all other files are junk files. Apple includes certain types of files in this collection, such as PDFs, zip files, dmg files, fonts, and other useful or important data. This may be why even though Apple has improved its storage management system in recent years, it still does not want you to interact with or delete other files.
You can check how much storage space these “other” files occupy on your hard drive by clicking Apple in the upper left corner, and then clicking About This Mac> Storage. After letting the system scan, you will see multiple file types. The others will end up in dark gray.
Cleaning your cache
If you are looking for a quick and easy solution to erase your other files, please clear the cache first. Although Apple has not announced where it stores these files, you can get there by pressing Shift + Command + G, typing ~ Library, and then finding the Caches folder. Although you can delete this folder completely, you may delete content that is important to one of your active applications.
The best way is to scan this list and delete content related to applications you don’t use, especially when these files are large. However, keep in mind that the cache will continue to fill up the applications and services on your computer. Once you continue to use your Mac, the cache will start to fill up again.
Use a third-party cleaning tool
One way to circumvent Apple’s restrictions on other files is to use a third-party cleaning tool. These tools can bypass macOS and show you all the files on the system. The best thing to do is to let you clearly see what you are seeing, so you don’t need to be a Mac file expert to understand what you’re doing.
One of the best is DaisyDisk, but it sells for $10 after a free trial. CleanMyMacX is another fan’s favorite, but its functions are mostly locked behind paid subscriptions. If you want to pay, do it; both are great apps. However, you can take advantage of some free features to help you clean up files.
Let us take CleanMyMacX as an example. Start using System Junk. For a more complete analysis, please provide full disk access to the application. Click “Grant access”, and then click “System Preferences” in the pop-up window. Now, click on the padlock in the lower left corner, verify yourself, click on the checkbox next to CleanMyMacX, and then “Exit and Reopen”.
After the application restarts, return to System Junk and click Scan. When scanning, grant CleanMyMacX permissions to various folders on the computer. When finished, click “View Details” and you will see a complete list of files that CleanMyMacX found to be wasting space. Click “Show” next to each item to see a complete breakdown of the files below. Right-click on each file and select “Show in Finder” to go directly to junk files.
Now you can simply delete the file, return to CleanMyMacX, and repeat the process for all the files you wish to disappear. Although it may be tedious, it is free, and you are deleting some large files that you may not find yourself.
You can also use CleanMyMacX to clean other parts of your computer, which will definitely help save storage space. But please note that other categories will only be affected by “system junk” files.
This is not your only free choice. Applications like OmniDiskSweeper are 100% free and can help you find large files. The problem is, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be a bit tricky; the app looks like a Finder by nature, except there is a file size next to each item. It is easy to see which files are taking up the most space on your computer, but it is difficult to know if these files belong to other files or if they are important files that should not be deleted.