How do I delete system files from MacOS Mojave?

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by joshuaaravind, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. joshuaaravind macrumors newbie


    Jul 31, 2019
    How can I delete my system files? I don't have any time machine back-up and I don't use apple mail either.
    Please help!

    Attached Files:

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Personally, I'd run DaisyDisk to see what you've got there
  3. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    If you were to delete "system files", then the Mac would not boot. The question is, what's in there that the OS is classifying as "system files". Have a lot of VM's?
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Start at the root folder of your drive. Switch the view to detailed view. Then turn on "Calculate All Sizes" in the view options. From there you can sort through the folders. Going up levels through gigantic folders. To see if you can find a culprit database or log which has run out of control.

    You may need to show hidden files (Command-Shift-Period)
  5. Honza1 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2013
    macOS seems to have very broad definition of System Files. Basically, anything which does not fit in any other category is System File in this view. You will need to do more research to figure out if it is real problem, some type of data you have or even transient issue.
    macOS is doing snapshot backups to local disk, even if you do not use TimeMachine. It is keeping snapshots for a day or two. These can be listed, deleted, or thinned (google it, instructions are on line). But these would be thinned automatically if you started to run out of space, so if this is the case it is not a problem. In other words, it may fix itself if you have recently copied/deleted significant amount of data.
    There were (rare) reports, though, that system misbehaved and somehow created some System files which eventually filled the drive and crashed system. Search in this forum may help.

    I had very good experience with free tool OmniDiskSweeper (, which was able to read sizes of different folders on my disk surprisingly well.

    Do NOT delete any files unless you know what you are doing, it may destroy the system.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    From your screenshot, I can see why you're asking. When I check my disk using the same method, it started saying System was 197GB, but then after a few minutes went to 130 GB. But clicking on the "Manage" tab won't show any more detail for System, so DaisyDisk or OmniDisk Sweeper are good suggestions. I also use DiskInventoryX.

    The About This Mac - Storage tab shows you areas you put there, such as Documents, Movies, Photos. Everything else is lumped together as System. This is a very high-level view of what's happening in your Mac's storage. Use the apps mentioned above to see what you have that's taking up unwanted space.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you use time machine?
    If so, have you tried deleting "local snapshots"?
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Don't delete ANYTHING without a Time Machine or other backup, unless you want to just start over if it quits booting...

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7 July 31, 2019