My MBA (OS 10.9.5) is showing messages of full disk. So I checked the big files in the system. However I don't want to mess with system files as I don't know anything about them. So asking the fellow gentlemen, if it is safe to delete any of the following files:

  • snapshots.db 2.1 GB '/private/var/db/systemstats/snapshots.database'
  • swapfile1 1.1 GB '/private/var/vm/swapfile1'
  • sleepimage 1.1 GB '/private/var/vm/sleepimage'
  • general.svc 488 MB '/System/Library/Speech/Recognizers/SpeechRecognitionCoreLanguages/en_US.SpeechRecognition/Contents/Resources/lm/combined/general.svc'

  • dyld_shared_cache_x86_64 , dyld_shared_cache_i386 386 & 274 MB '/private/var/db/dyld/dyld_shared_cache_x86_64'

  • safebrowsing.db '/private/var/folders/s2/_szqd_q13kq9lyl32lv0jz7h0000gn/C/com.apple.Safari/SafeBrowsing.database'

It's not about the memory(RAM), it's about the hard disk space.

Also I'll be glad if someone can point me to which other junk files I can delete from the mac. I prefer to delete files manually rather than using any app but if there's any simple no frills utility app which works, I'll happily use that.

3 Answers 3


The sleepimage file can safely be deleted by the user. It will be recreated the next time the Mac is put to sleep due to a default setting which can be disabled. This page at TechRadar shows how to delete the sleepimage file, as well as how to disable the recreation of the file.

The sleepimage file is a snapshot of the contents of RAM taken just before the Mac is put to sleep. When the Mac is awakened, this file is used to recreate the RAM contents, ostensibly to make the process quicker.

Swapfiles will always be created, and there's little you can do other than increasing the amount of physical RAM in your Mac.

Please edit your question to indicate if you are asking about RAM usage, or if you are getting Startup Disk is Almost Full messages.

  • So is it safe to disable sleepimage ? Deleting seems safe & deleted it. Also will deleting swapfile cause any issue ?? it seems fine if they're rebuilt but that should be according to requirement. If there's sufficient RAM it should be auto deleted. Just thinking !!
    – lawsome
    Jul 11, 2017 at 7:12
  • It is safe to delete the sleep image file. Leave swapfiles alone and find other ways to make space. If you update your iPhone and iPad through iTunes, not through OTA, the update installer files can be found at ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates or ~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates. Older macOS versions may keep these files here: ~/Library/Application Support/iTunes/. Note: ~/ is the shorthand for your user account. If there are other users of this mac who update their iDevices through iTunes, the files will exist in their account directories as well.
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 11, 2017 at 11:17

Honestly delete nothing in those directories manually. You'll likely crash your system if it even lets you delete them. Stick with files in "userland." which would be at the path /Users/[YOURUSERNAME]/."

If you are running out of disk space (which is completely different from running out of memory) I would use a gui tool like Grand Perspective and then delete the files that you no longer need that occupy locations in your user directory.

I'm sure there are shell commands to list, recursively, files in specific directories in order of file size, but I don't know how to do that, preferring GUI tools that do the same thing.

If you are running out of memory in your MBA then the only choice you have (as all MBA memory is non-upgradable) is to see if you have a bunch of things running at startup (system preferences > users > [YOUR USERNAME] > login items) and remove some of them or just run fewer apps at the same time.

  • good advice, 'll stick to userland ! Grand Prespective is looking good. I used "Find Any File" app to search big files. It is simple & very useful app.
    – lawsome
    Jul 11, 2017 at 6:54

I suggest you get a tool like CleanMyMac that is very efficient in this situation. I use it regularely to cleanup all the thrash that applications/tools & other stuff store on my drive for caching, app builds etc..

It has many usefull features aside from removing unecessary files, to optimise your mac in general

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