WE all know the drill when our computers get slow: it’s time to start deleting all those unneeded files.

That’s when Macbook users often start looking at that mysterious storage category: ‘Other’.


But what type of files are in ‘Other’ and where will you find them on your Mac?

Whether they’re duplicates, outdated caches, broken downloads or holiday pics with your ex, you’ll probably find a lot of unwanted files filling your Mac.

And while devices like the Macbook Pro, Macbook Air and this year’s iMac boast ever-increasing levels of internal storage, you should still stay on top of what’s being kept there.

But very few people have the time (or the willpower) to comb their device and sort through years-old, half-forgotten files.

Seriously, decluttering in real-life is hard enough.

That’s why it’s worth seeking out the services of CleanMyMac X, a downloadable tool from MacPaw that does all the work for you – and all with the simple click of a button. 

It won’t automatically delete any files: it’s down to you to decide what you keep and what you don’t.

But it will pull all your files together into place

e for you to go through – and that includes your ‘Other’ files which, as we’ll explain, are often scattered far and wide across your Mac.

Read on to find out more about just what that ‘Other’ category in your Mac storage is – and how you can clear it to keep your Mac running at full speed.

How to check disk space usage on Mac

Here’s how you can find out how much storage you’re currently using on your Macbook or iMac.

  1. Click on your desktop, or the Finder icon in the dock. 
  2. In the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll find the Apple menu – click on that.
  3. Click on About this Mac.
  4. Click on the Storage tab.

Here, you’ll see a meter that lets you know how much of your device’s storage you’ve used, and how much you’ve got left.

It’s divided into colour categories, and you’ve guessed it: one of them is ‘Other’.

What is ‘Other’ in Mac storage?

Really, ‘Other’ returns to miscellaneous content – files that don’t fall into any particular category such as audio, video or images.

In ‘Other’, you can expect to find things like PDF and .doc files, caches files, disk images and .zip files, and app extensions. 

It’s typically a really eclectic collection of file types – and that’s what makes ‘Other’ such a hard category to both manage.

It’s also one that you’ll need to be careful about when you’re deleting – this is something we’ll come to in a later section. 

Where is ‘Other’ storage on a Mac?

There’s no simple answer to that question: like we say, the categories of ‘Other’ covers a sweeping of different file types.

In reality, the contents of ‘Other’ is likely to be located across a number of different locations on your computer.

For example, a large number of ‘Other’ files for Macbook are cache files that your device will automatically store away. 

How to find out what’s in ‘Other’

Given that all those files are so often tucked away in multiple locations, doing this manually isn’t something we recommend.

Instead, we suggest you download CleanMyMac X.

This is a built-for-purpose scanning tool that does all the hard work for you – once you’ve got it installed, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Click the big ‘Scan’ button to start searching.
  2. Take a look through the various categories you’ll find in the results – you should see things like photos, videos, archives, music and, you’ve got it, ‘Other’.
  3. Start searching through each category to see what files can be deleted.

If that sounds incredibly easy, that’s because it is.

CleanMyMac X works by scouring the nooks and crannies of your Mac device, and pulling the results into one handy location for you to go through.

Best of all? It’s free.

Can I delete ‘Other’ files?


Yes, but we don’t recommend you don’t delete them all at once.

That’s because a lot of those files, however anonymous they look, are often vital system files that ensure your Mac works correctly.

But annoyingly, they’ll often sit alongside ones that are no longer needed.

Luckily, CleanMyMac X comes with a System Junk module that separates important from unimportant files, and automatically deletes the deadwood.

How to clear ‘Other’ storage on Mac

That’s where CleanMyMac X steps in: click on the ‘Other category’, and you can sort through the pooled results on a file-by-file basis.

In that window, you can also sort by file size to remove those troublesome big ones, and by type too if there’s a specific kind that needs to be purged from your device.

Outside of the ‘Other’ category, CleanMyMac X will also gather up all your files based by size – and this is where we suggest you start looking for unwanted files.

Trust us, you’ll be surprised at what turns up there.

How much space can I expect to save by clearing ‘Other’ storage?

This depends on what’s been lurking in there, and your own habits as a user. 

Remember, a lot of what lives in ‘Other’ needs to say there: these files are often essential for the safe running of your Mac, and should be left alone.

Ultimately, if you want to keep your Mac as tidy and free of clutter as possible, but without accidentally deleting anything you shouldn’t, we suggest you use the best tools out there.

If it’s your phone that’s filled up, read our how to clear storage space on your iPhone without deleting any apps explainer.

If you need to tidy your pics, there’s our article on how to delete iPhone photos to save space WITHOUT losing them forever.

And for extra storage, don’t miss our pick of the best external hard drives.

If you click on a link in this story we will earn affiliate revenue.

This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk

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