Picture this: you are working on your trust Mac. We all know how powerful of a device it can be, but as time goes by, you notice that the once spacious storage is diminishing. You will begin wondering about where the storage space went. Well, the answer lies in understanding the term “purgeable space.”

Hence, this article aims to uncover the purgeable space phenomena and how to clear it on macOS. So, if you are grappling with constraints, this guide is for you. From understanding the concept of purging files to mastering removing them, this step-by-step guide is for beginners and tech-savvy users.

What Is Purgeable Space?

What is purgeable memory? It is the category of data stored on macOS that the operating system deems safe to delete automatically. It consists of files and data that macOS can regenerate or recreate as needed. But knowing how to clear purgeable space on macOS becomes vital. It allows you to reclaim storage. Setapp has an excellent guide on how to purge hard drive Mac for optimal performance. To reduce purgeable space, you need to understand the step-by-step process. Removing purgeable space from Mac enhances your system’s stability and boosts your system backup process.

Step-by-Step Guide: Clearing Purgeable Space

If your Mac is feeling sluggish, it is time to dive into the steps to clear disk space on your Mac. We will address how to do so by eliminating purgeable files safely. Before discussing the steps, let us discuss how to see storage on Mac. To check the overall space left, head to the Apple menu, click “About This Mac,” and then click the “Storage” tab. Now, follow the instructions below to carefully reclaim valuable storage space.

Step 1: Backing Up Your Data


Before diving into your cleanup, it is crucial to back up your Mac drive. While clearing purgeable space is typically safe, having a backup ensures that essential documents are protected. You can do so through the built-in feature known as “Time Machine.” Simply connect an external storage space and complete your backup.

Step 2: Removing Temporary and Cache Files

Part of clearing memory on Mac is removing temporary files and app caches. They often take up an ample amount of space as time passes by. To clear them, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Finder” on your Mac and click “Go” in the menu.
  2. Press and hold the “Option” key on the keyboard.
  3. Click on “Library”.
  4. Within the Library folder, look for the “Caches” directory. Search the subfolders and delete the files of applications you no longer use or recognize.
  5. Then, navigate to the “TemporaryItems” folder within the “Library” and repeat the same process.

Step 3: Managing Downloads and Unused Apps

Head to your “Downloads” folder to check for any files you no longer use. Part of the macOS purge disk space process is manually removing files that accumulate over time and consume space. You should also review the installed apps. To check macOS system information about installed tools, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Finder” and click on “Applications” in the sidebar.
  2. Find the app you want to remove, right-click it, and select “Move to Trash.”
  3. Empty the trash to permanently remove any applications.

Step 4: Clearing Mail Attachments


To clean up Mac storage, you also need to check your email attachments. These quickly build up over time, taking space without your knowledge. Here is how you clear them:

  1. Open the Mail app on your device.
  2. In the search bar, type “kMDItemHasAttached” and press Enter. This way, you can see all email attachments.
  3. Review the emails and delete old and unnecessary attachments.

Keep in mind that deleting attachments does not delete the corresponding email.

Step 5: optimizing iCloud storage

Aside from learning how to purge Mac hard drive, checking iCloud is vital. It accumulates backups, photos, and documents. Here is how you can check it:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences.”
  2. Select “Apple ID,” then click “Manage.”
  3. You will see different categories in the sidebar, such as “Backups” and “Documents.” Review each one and remove data you no longer utilize.

Step 6: Managing Time Machine Snapshots

Clearing space on Mac also involves managing snapshots. Time Machine creates local snapshots when your Time Machine backup disk is not connected. These often take up an ample amount of purgeable space. You can control them by:

  1. Open “Terminal” from the “Applications” then “Utilities” folder.
  2. Type the command “tmutil listlocalsnapshots /” and press enter.
  3. Use the command “tmutil deletelocalsnapshots [snapshot date]” to delete particular snapshots. You can also thin them using the command “tmutil thinlocalsnapshots [amount] [snapshot date].”


To conclude, removing purgeable space on macOS helps you reclaim valuable space. It also pushes your device to optimize performance and maintain a stable system. By following the above step-by-step guide, you can confidently gain space.

You do so by removing temporary files, cleaning attachments, and reviewing your iCloud storage. Learning how to clear Mac disk space is essential. You can fully unleash your creativity and productivity with a clutter-free and high-performing Mac.