How to Clean system junk files on your iMac or MacBook Pro

How to Clean system junk files on your iMac or MacBook Pro

Before starting a new article, I’d like to ask gadget cleanliness and order fans if you have ever thought about how much unnecessary stuff is stored on your Mac?

You probably haven’t. Neither have you thought about the fact that there are several types of junk files that accumulate on your Mac.

Today I will tell you about "system junk" definition, how it affects your Mac’s performance, as well as how to get rid of it completely.

What is Mac system junk files?

There are many files whose existence and purpose we have never even thought about, and we might never even use them. They are the so-called "system junk":

  • caches
  • language files
  • development junk
  • configuration files
  • logs, etc.

Let us take a look at each category separately.

What is cache files on Mac?

We all like to browse the Internet, read the news, watch videos, etc., but few people know that the browser automatically saves our browsing data on the Mac’s hard drive.

This data is saved so that when you reload the page, it opens more quickly. This happens, because the information is already stored on the hard drive. Everything would be great and convenient, except that we do not need most of the cached data.

As time goes on, a large number of "temporary files" accumulates on the hard drive and unnecessarily takes up a lot of space that could be used for more useful things.

What are language files?

All text files, messages, text information that appears on your monitor while you are using your Mac is stored in a separate language file. It helps to translate the interface into other languages. Language files are used as sources of text data to allow applications to support several dozen languages that are unlikely to ever be used.

What is development junk?

As a result of installing and removing applications, visiting web sites, installing games and more, your Mac gradually accumulates obsolete temporary files, unused shortcuts, etc. All this is called development junk. It can often slow down the system. The catch is that these files are invisible, as they are stored in hidden folders.

What are configuration files?

Configuration files are files that contain the parameters of all the installed and currently running applications. Those parameters that affect the Mac’s performance are stored in configuration files. As time goes on, these files get damaged and can negatively affect your Mac’s performance, to the extent that the application will freeze and slow down the Mac as a whole.

What are action Mac logs files?

Action logs is special files that contain the records of the events that take place on the Mac. For example, user login, application errors, etc. The errors are logged and can be viewed. The entries can be useful for those who send an error report to Apple Inc., but it is unlikely you have sent errors reports or viewed the logs even once. Over time, these files grow in number and take up too much disk space.

I think that your Mac has a lot of this junk that takes up space and might slow down your Mac’s performance. Now we will explain how to get rid of it.

Scheduled Cleanup for your Mac

You might not be aware that your Mac has a scheduled cleanup feature that includes cleaning system junk. There are 3 levels of cleanup: daily, weekly, and monthly. Daily cleanup, like all the others, is done strictly on schedule at the same time. But as always, there is a snag. A scheduled automatic cleaning can only be done if the Mac is on, otherwise the cleaning is postponed, which is often the case.

We'll tell you how to carry out unscheduled system junk cleaning of your Mac.


Clearing your Mac of System Junk

If you do not want to leave your Mac on for the night for automatic cleaning, there is a way to have an unscheduled cleanup. This can be done using Terminal:

  • open Terminal and type in sudo periodic daily, sudo periodic weekly, sudo periodic monthly, (depending on how often you want a cleanup, obviously)
  • it’s not necessary to enter all three cleanup types; at your discretion, it may be limited to one, which can be enough
  • press Enter
  • restart your Mac after an automatic cleanup

A little something needs to be said about this method. We cannot say that it is not effective, but neither is it the best. After this type of cleanup, the system can easily start glitching. You will need to correct errors in authentication for some applications to get them to work, but that's another story.

Let’s take a look at a more effective way of cleaning system junk: CleanMyMac X application.


Cleaning System Junk with CleanMyMac X

You can Download CleanMyMac X app right now (it's free for download).

To get rid of the system junk that we described above, we need to:

  1. Open the CleanMyMac X app
  2. Go to System Junk tab located on the left side of the interface

    clean system junk files mac image1
  3. Click Scan, and the system automatically starts scanning for system junk: caches, language files, development junk, configuration files, logs, etc.
  4. Once the scanning is over, we can clean the Mac by clicking Clean

    clean system junk files mac image2

Then CleanMyMac X displays how much space is freed after the cleanup.

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This type of maintenance can be useful for your Mac’s health. Removing junk can never hurt, especially if it may take only a few minutes even at first scan.