The directory ~/Library/Containers has a size 39GB on my system. This is huge. I guess that the directory contains some files created by running various apps. So the more applications I use, the more is being stored within the directory. It thus seems to be a cache-like directory. Can I safely just delete it?

PS. It turned out that the majority of the space (37GB of 39GB) was taken up by files from a single app: CamWiz Webcam Recorder. But still, 2 GB are in the other directories and files, so I should be able to do a cleanup and delete most if not all of the files there.

  • 1
    Depends on the app - they copy data to keep as well as caches
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 17:18
  • Yeah, I'd leave it alone. Throw out a movie instead, you'd save more space, with less unintended effect.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Go to ~/Library/Containers/ and type du -h command. Now you will be more able to see which folder/file is taking most of the space in the system. My main culprit was Docker.


The ~/Library/Containers folder contains files saved by sandboxed apps - i.e. typically apps downloaded from the Mac App Store.

These apps are not able to write to files anywhere they like on your system, but are constrained to save inside their own folder in the Containers folder.

This means that it is not a specific type of data saved here. This means that it is not solely for configuration files, cache files, user data, game levels, etc. - it is a mix of them all.

Therefore you cannot say that this folder is just safe to delete. Some parts will probably be safe to delete without loosing anything - others won't be. So you'll have to handle it application by application.

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