How to Free Purgeable Storage Space on Mac


In this modern age of computers, the most precious commodity is storage space, and saving that space is a task that you need to attend in regular intervals – every extra megabyte counts and it is not always easy to save all that precious MBs. There are many ways you can save and clear your space and clear those purgeable files. So, what actually is purgeable space and how can you remove the files from that space?

Purgeable space on the Mac is a mix of things, they are from caches to temporary files your backup files, and if you use Optimize Mac Storage, there are a few files and data which come from iCloud too.

Purgeable files will be removed automatically by macOS when your Mac needs storage, but they can also be cleared out manually or indirectly by managing the features that are generating files to be marked as purgeable.

Mac OS will remove the purgeable space automatically if the storage is needed by the OS.

If you don’t want macOS to manage the purgeable disk storage on its own and you want to remove and manage it on your own you can do so by turning off the Optimize Mac Storage setting.

Before using any of the tips, you should backup your Mac, and use the Time Machine feature, better safe than sorry.

Turning Off the Optimize Mac Storage

Turning off Optimize Mac Storage will have some impact on the data stored on iCloud, but it can also take out or clear the “Purgeable” storage space on a Mac.

  1. Go to the Preferences setting which is located in the Apple menu
  2. Click your Apple ID or iCloud settings
  3. Uncheck the box for “Optimize Mac Storage”
  4. Done.

This will need your Mac to download some files from the iCloud to the local storage device.


Reboot Your MacOS

Rebooting the Mac takes out temporary items, tmp files, and caches, which are the things that macOS also thinks are purgeable. Typically this thing is much smaller than data from iCloud however, so you may not see a huge change in the size of the purgeable space.

But, rebooting the Mac is easy and will typically take down the purgeable storage that comes from tmp files and various caches.

Now Head to the Apple menu and click “Restart”.

Empty the Trash

Yes, this is very important emptying the Trash Can may free up space assigned as “Purgeable” in many situations, particularly when the files are tmp or cache from some of the system apps.


Other techniques to clear Purgeable disk storage on Mac

Purgeable space is actually storage the Mac has chosen can be cleared out when needed, simply using the Mac will generally cause the purgeable storage total to change.

Clearing caches yourself and temporary files can at times decrease the purgeable space.

At times quitting apps with hefty iCloud storage can decrease the purgeable space too.

There are varied reports that if you turn off iCloud Desktop & Documents, and even when disabling iCloud Drive reducing the purgeable storage, but that’s not ideal if you use iCloud Drive or the iCloud Documents & Desktop components.

Some users also reported that emptying the Trash can also reduce Purgeable disk space, especially if the Trash can has evolved to be extremely large, or loaded with tmp files from an app on the system.

There are third-party apps that also aid you to clear caches and temp files from the Mac, effortlessly.

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