How to Manage or Delete Purgeable Storage on Your Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever run out of storage space on your Mac and wondered where all your files have gone? Purgeable storage might be the culprit. Purgeable storage is a feature in macOS that automatically removes files from your computer when it runs out of storage space. However, these files can still be accessed by applications and won’t take up space until you need it.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how to manage or delete purgeable storage on your Mac.

What is Purgeable Storage?

Purgeable storage is a feature of macOS that automatically manages the storage space on your Mac. This feature allows macOS to remove files that have not been used in a while, compress and optimize storage, or store files in the cloud to free up space on your computer.

When macOS detects that your computer is running low on storage space, it will automatically start moving rarely used files to purgeable storage. These files will still be accessible to you but won’t take up actual disk space until you need them.

How to Check for Purgeable Storage

Checking your purgeable storage is crucial to knowing what files you should delete to free up space on your Mac. Here’s how to find out:

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Select “About This Mac.”
  3. Click on the “Storage” tab.

Here, you’ll see how much storage space you’re using and how much is free. You’ll also see a color-coded breakdown of your files, including purgeable storage.

How to Manage or Delete Purgeable Storage

Now that you know what purgeable storage is, it’s time to know how to manage or delete it. Below are some tips and tricks you can use to manage your purgeable storage:

1. Optimize Storage

Optimizing storage is an easy way to manage your purgeable storage. This method lets macOS manage your files by storing photos and videos in iCloud and automatically removing iTunes movies and TV shows you’ve already watched.

Here’s how to enable optimized storage:

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on “System Preferences.”
  3. Select “Apple ID.”
  4. Click on “iCloud.”
  5. Select “Options” next to “Photos.”
  6. Select “Optimize Mac Storage.”

2. Manually Delete Files

Manually deleting files is another way to free up space on your Mac. However, it’s essential to know which files you’re deleting and how they can affect your computer. When you delete a file from your computer, it will move to the Trash folder, taking up some storage space.

Here’s how to manually delete files:

  1. Click on the Finder icon on your dock.
  2. Select the folder or file you want to delete.
  3. Right-click on the selected item and click “Move to Trash.”
  4. Empty your Trash by right-clicking on the Trash icon and selecting “Empty Trash.”

Concluding Thoughts

Managing or deleting purgeable storage on your Mac is crucial to keep your computer running smoothly. By following the tips we’ve discussed in this article, you can easily manage your purgeable storage and free up space on your Mac.


Q: What happens if I delete all of my purgeable storage?

A: If you delete all of your purgeable storage, it won’t affect your computer’s performance or functionality. However, it’s crucial to know which files you’re deleting before removing them.

Q: Does deleting purgeable storage affect my iCloud storage?

A: No, deleting purgeable storage won’t affect your iCloud storage. Optimize storage only moves photos and videos to iCloud, freeing up space on your computer.

Q: How often should I manage my purgeable storage?

A: The frequency of managing purgeable storage depends on how much storage you use. If you’re always running low on storage, it’s crucial to check your storage regularly and delete files you no longer need.



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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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