I checked the storage on my macbook and discovered the 'system' was using nearly 150 GB.

I looked around online and discovered the app OmniDiskSweeper. I gave it a go and discovered a massive file that appears to be related to google chrome, located in /private/var/folders/j9/T/com.google.Chrome/zip_cache-9F00A5C9-014F-4D48-AC13-2F74C26F4Fc7-31472-000034BBAF5DAD8A

Does anyone have any idea what this could be, and how it could be so large? can I delete it?

When i try manually searching for any of those files in finder, it turns up blank. omnidisksweep is the only way I can see it (that I know of anyways) and thus the only way to delete it as well. I really want to destroy this file but afraid to destroy some crucial thing on my computer.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

image of file

  • 1
    If it is in any folder called cache it is deletable. I would move it to the desktop, restart the mac and see how Chrome behaves, if it is fine, delete it. Otherwise put it back. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


It's a cache file with a name associating it to the browser Google Chrome.

Anything under the path /private/var/folders/* can be deleted and will be repopulated/rebuilt after the next boot.

That is: do not delete /private/var/folders/ itself!

But below that, you may trash anything and then reboot.

Note that a few files will be in use or protected, so you could only delete them via the Trash after a reboot.

In this case: make sure Chrome is closed, then trash only the big file you found and delete the file. Leave the rest as is.

  • To avoid problems with the running software it's better to remove the content of /private/var/folders from the Recovery system. In this way the OS is not running and it's safer to delete such folders.
    – Bemipefe
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 8:56

I just ran into this same issue, except my file was ~100gb and the only reason I noticed was my laptop started complaining about running out of disk space. I am puzzled what the file was since Chrome's own "Clear Browsing Data..." tool didn't show this, and I believe a user should be made aware if an app is going to fill up their disk!

In any case, my answer is simple: I decided to try restarting first, and that seemed to be sufficient, the file was gone afterwards.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .