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Is there a way to clean up the ~/Library folder of a user? My folder is about 32 GB! What the heck is all in there?

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Thank you very much for your answers! They were very useful so far! Is there a way to do it (semi-)automatically? E.g., clean cache files for all programs that have already been deinstalled? –  strauberry Aug 24 '12 at 18:21
This really depends on the origin of the big files. You don't want to delete your mails for instance. Everything in ~/Library/Caches can be deleted in principle but this only makes sense if it's significantly big. And don't forget to close all the apps before. –  patrix Aug 24 '12 at 21:13
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As usual for cleanup stuff, start with a visualizer like GrandPerspective or Disk Inventory X so you can see what folders take up space.

Be careful deleting stuff in your Library folder: apps store lots of different things in there, some of which are required for them to run.

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DaisyDisk is also pretty nice. –  myhd Aug 24 '12 at 19:00
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Your Library folder contains several things which may be quite large: all your mails (including attachments), various caches, databases of some applications (e.g. Evernote) etc., so the big size might be ok (or even desired!).

To identify the big stuff you can open Terminal.app and run

cd ~/Library
du -sm * | sort -n

which will show you the largest directories at the end. Use cd again to drill further done and repeat the du command.

PS: Just for reference: My Library folder currently holds about 16 GB of Evernote data, 4 GB Developer docs from Xcode, 1 GB mail and 1.5 GB iOS software updates.

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You could also enable calculating all sizes and sort by size in list view:

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