I recently noticed that there's only 60 GB of my 250 GB Macbook Pro diskspace left. I have been using it for only a few months and have only a few applications installed.

Disk Inventory X showed me that there are about 80000 textEdit Documents with 62 GB on my Mac. The Preview Document Category shows 18 GB. Are these necessary?

I regularly use Cleaner and delete things manually.

Can I delete some of these contents without doing harm to the system? I really need to clear some space and have no idea where all that diskspace went...

Thanks for your help, much appreciated!


In general, anything visibly stored inside your own User directory is fair game to delete if you no longer want it.

I say visibly because the Library folder in your User directory has some file that are safe to delete and others that may have unintended, nasty consequences.

Finally, some Applications and Applications bundles do contain stuff that you could delete safely, but, like the Library folder, it may be best to leave alone just in case.

BTW, unlike the suggestion below, I'd avoid using the rm command unless you know exactly what you are doing. Just drag the files you no longer want/need to the trash and empty it.

  • Thanks for all the answers. Using the above software I've found 60 GB of iPhone Backups since the iOS 8 beta alone. Deleting only stuff in my user folder certainly is the way to go for me since I'm inexperienced with Mac OS. – Jan Oct 4 '14 at 14:48

It depends on where they are located and what the contents are. I use DaisyDisk when I have disk space issues on my macbook pro. Disk Inventory X sounds like a similar program. With DaisyDisk you can see what and where the files are located that are taking up so much space. You can download and use the free trial version of DaisyDisk from http://www.daisydiskapp.com/.

Maybe that will allow you to navigate to some of the files taking up so much space so that you can open some of them up to see if they are important or not.

As for how to remove the files:

Once you know the location of the files you can easily remove them from terminal. Just run the following command in terminal.app:

sudo rm -rf /Path/To/FolderToDelete/

That command will remove the FolderToDelete folder and all files inside of it.

Be careful with sudo command. See comments below.

  • 2
    Be careful when using sudo with rm command. In most cases files would be stored inside $HOME dir and sudo is not needed. – Mateusz Szlosek Oct 3 '14 at 13:47
  • Mateusz is correct. Sudo runs as root which has access to EVERYTHING. Only run sudo if running the command as yourself does not work. – Andy Batey Oct 3 '14 at 13:50

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