I'm trying to free up disk space, and I came across this:

large file D:

I've read reports of a 600M file, or a 1GB file but never something like this.

Is it safe to delete or does rebooting frequently help clear some of these files?

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    possible duplicate of what is com.apple.coresymbolicationd in caches? – Rob Mar 4 '14 at 7:40
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    @Robuust they seem different to me. This asks about how they clear and the other asks what they are. Good to link both, but unless edits happen I don't see them as exact duplicates. – bmike Mar 4 '14 at 12:58
  • The file is clearly large in size. From what I've scoured on the 'Net, it is safe to delete. – IconDaemon Mar 4 '14 at 13:02
  • I was doing some spring cleaning using GrandPerspective running as root via sudo GrandPerspective.app/Contents/MacOS/GrandPerspective and found that my /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd is 3.0 GB. I am running 10.10.3 Yosemite and I have Xcode and the latest command line tools package installed. – Lanny Apr 23 '15 at 2:30

Using things from this link (http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/how_to_recover_missing_hard_drive_space/) I found a file - com.apple.coresymbolicationd of 133GB.

To delete, boot in Safe Mode (Cmd-S before the Apple logo comes up), run a filesystem check, mount the drive and then just sudo rm the file

  • @patrix In my case rm doesn't work, but sudo rm do. (With guidelines of @patrix) – Hoseyn Heydari Jan 23 '16 at 15:29

No. Rebooting doesn't clear cache files in system. You would need to dig into exactly which subsystem creates here caches and determine of there is a way to manually flush them or move them to trash and then reboot to see when/how/what size they get recreated.

I would boot to single user mode and use rm to clear that file since nothing is using it then. You could also use sudo mv /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd/data /tmp and then reboot. After the reboot you can delete the file from /tmp with sudo rm /tmp/data.

My hunch is you have Xcode installed and have introduced a large number of symbols into your database from one or more iOS versions so that Xcode can symbolicate crash dumps to assist in debugging apps using Xcode. However, it could also be a bug and whenever that subsystem starts recycling the cache, it will clear itself. If you can limit the number of SDK you use in Xcode, that might help as well. My feeling is the people with 60m files don't use Xcode, those with 1MB developer for one version of iOS at a time and those with larger size databases have multiple OS X and iOS SDK activated from within Xcode.

  • I have indeed installed Xcode. – tekknolagi Mar 4 '14 at 22:58
  • @tekknolagi I've expanded on my thoughts on Xcode in relation to the big one you see. Perhaps you can confirm my suspicion? I haven't found a way to access the data file yet - it's probably going to take someone to spill the beans on how it's encrypted. – bmike Mar 4 '14 at 23:10
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    bmike, I have just gone ahead and deleted the file. Seems fine so far. – tekknolagi Mar 5 '14 at 0:06
  • @HoseynHeydari this answer was posted before SIP - maybe open a new question and link here? – bmike Jan 23 '16 at 15:57

Just to pile on here...

I ROUTINELY delete the contents of the various Caches folders on my Macs and have since O/S X came out. By routinely, I mean "when I have a problem that might be caused by a damaged cache file."

I will also use utilities like Onyx to do the same thing from time to time, as it does other maintenance things at the same time.

They are temporary files and, just like on Windows, can safely be deleted. I will often reboot after deleting them, just to be safe but regardless the contents of those directories can be safely deleted.

One thing to note, if that file keeps getting created and is VERY large like it is now, then you have some troubleshooting to do.

  • Steve is correct that on OS X, even if you delete a file using rm or moving it to trash, that once all the files that are using the file release it, it will actually go away (and hence the reboot portion to finalize the cache clean up.) There is a down side to deleting caches, the system will slow down and re-create them unless the conditions that caused the files to grow large are changed. In the case of thousands of small files - this slow penalty is bad. With a large file of 9 GB, you might be waiting a long time for it to recreate itself. – bmike Mar 4 '14 at 14:22
  • I strongly recommend against ROUTINELY clearing caches. They exist for a reason. – Alexander Apr 20 '16 at 9:10

I ran Mavericks Cache Cleaner to clean out all my Caches folders - the user ~/Library/Caches folder, the top-level /Library/Caches folder, and the system's /System/Library/Caches folder, including a 2GB coresymbolicationd. Nothing bad seems to have happened as a result (and I reclaimed some disk space).

It is probably wisest to do this the way the OP eventually did it, namely, boot with Safe Mode, clean the caches, and reboot.

I do not feel, however, that we are getting to the bottom of this. 9GB is big. What is causing such a large file to accumulate? I don't think we know that. Deleting the cache deals only with a surface manifestation of something that may have a deep cause.

  • I have no idea, to be quite frank. My disk space just shrunk a ton again, and the coresymbolicationd is 729M. – tekknolagi Mar 6 '14 at 21:23

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