How to Clean Your Mac By Clearing The System Storage On Your Mac

SSD (solid-state storage) has changed our lives for good. This highly advanced technology lets the Mac run much faster and makes it way more effective. 

But on the other hand, by using an SSD, you have to pay the price of not being capable of keeping massive storage of files on your computer. Therefore if your job or hobby is highly related to taking high-quality photos or filming videos, this might become a serious problem over time.

Using might help you solve this problem faster and if you also read and adapt these tips about cleaning your Mac by clearing the System storage on your Mac, you will have no problems with storage whatsoever.

Files On System Storage That You Do Not Need

MacOS is a very advanced and smart operating system, therefore it deletes all of the used system-related files after macOS does not need it anymore. But on the other hand, it is a computer, so sometimes it fails to evaluate some files that it can actually delete. This is how we get these leftover files that we need to delete by ourselves. For those of you who already have many personal files to delete, for example, people who work in graphic design and use a Mac, this might seem like a double job but it is worth doing. 


After time, if you do not clear your System Storage, it might grow really big and take up a huge amount of space on your Mac. To avoid this, you need to get rid of files like old iOS backups, Time Machine backups, App cache files, Unused disk images, and File Vault files.

  • Removing Time Machine Backups Manually

Removing Time Machine backups is one of the most effective ways to clear some system storage on your Mac fast. Although these backups are mostly stored on a network drive, macOS still always has a copy of the startup drive – just in case it is not possible to connect to the server when you want to access these files. Therefore you can easily use your data at any time even if you are offline.


Sometimes macOS does delete these copied files when your Mac is running low on storage memory but sometimes it does not – that is why you need to check it. Before deleting it manually, always think if you will not need any of your backup files local copies because this action will delete them as well.

To start deleting these backup copies, follow these instructions:

  • Go to Applications, 
  • Click on the Utilities,
  • Launch the Terminal,
  • When you will see an opened Terminal window, type in “tmutil listlocalsnapshotdates”,
  • Click on the Return option,
  • A list of Time Machine backups will appear, ordered by date,
  • Type in “tmutil deletelocalsnapshots xxxxxxx” with the name of the Time Machine backup instead of xxxxxxx,
  • Click on the Return option,
  • Repeat for all the backups you want to delete.
  • Additional Tips For Clearing System Storage On Your Mac

First thing you should do is click on the Apple icon in the upper right corner and choose the option “About this Mac”, which you will find at the top of a drop-down menu. Then, click on the storage tab from the upper menu and wait until your macOS calculates. When you wait, you might notice that some system files that were located in one place at the beginning of the calculator are now placed elsewhere. So if you wait until the end of the calculator, you might discover that your system files do not take up as much space as you thought at first.

You should also place your attention on which files are recognized to be “System” files. Now you can click on the Finder that is located in your Dock. Press on the Go menu and select Go to folder. Then copy and paste these paths one after another: 

  • /Library
  • /System
  • ~/Library
  • ~/System

Run through all of the subfolders and click “Get Information” or press Ctrl-I on your Magic Keyboard to do it faster. This way, you will see how much data each subfolder holds. Now you can easily identify which subfolders are using the most of your storage.

Often the files that take up the most of your Mac’s storage are all kinds of cache files – browser cache, user cache, and system cache. All this data is collected by the macOS so it doesn’t need to download all these files all over again – this helps keep the performance at its highest.