This option to free up disk space on an old Mac saved me from tricky situations

We have seen many ways to free up disk space on Mac through tools or tricks designed for that, which any user can use. But there are times when a Mac is old or has an operating system incompatible with modern versions of applications that would solve a space problem in minutes.

That’s why it’s always good to have a few aces up your sleeve in the back of your mind, such as the one we’re going to tell you about today: Manually browse a macOS folder containing temporary files. We only recommend it if nothing else works, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it.

The macOS temporary folder, tricky but useful

First of all, this is the right situation if you have an older Mac that is experiencing performance issues or errors due to memory being exhausted. There may not even be enough storage space to install new apps.

If this is the case, first close all applications that you have open on the Mac. You should only have the Finder open (which, after all, cannot be closed) and the Terminal application, which is what we’ll need for this. You can find and open it in the Applications directory under the Utilities subdirectory.

Once you open the terminal, Enter the command “open $TMPDIR”.. You will see that a system folder will open immediately, containing several directories and files:

MacOS terminal temporary folder

MacOS temporary folder

Caution: Do not delete or change anything here lightly. Make sure all other applications are closed, then look for directories with the names of applications that you no longer have or use. You can delete these folders (you may be asked for your Mac’s administrator password to do this). Bear in mind that deleting data from this folder may corrupt some files and applications, requiring you to reinstall them.

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It’s not the most normal thing to resort to, but like I said, it can be an interesting technique when you have no other choice and the saturation of the space is preventing you from doing anything else. Some of these temporary folders can store very large files. So if you don’t use the applications where they are stored, you can easily delete them.

image | Anh Nhat

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