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I have an old iMac running High Sierra. I have an internak 250 GB drive and a 4 TB eternal hdd. My internal drive is about full. I was going to clear up some room but I noticed my library folder has over 100 GB. Is there anyway to delete some of the files and folders in the library folder. Can the library folder be moved to the HDD instead.

I asked a similar question a couple of months ago and was told to turn on disk opimization. I've done that. Now i'm asking if there is anything I can do about the library folder?

  • Your entire user folder can be moved, that’s the easiest way if you have growth in your user library and can’t find other easy things like photos / music / large VM files to move to the external. Splitting your user folder from your user library will be hard and likely cause some apps to break. Many fewer apps will break if all your home folder is moved together. – bmike May 25 at 19:39
  • You really need more info about what's taking the space before deciding what to do about it. There are several Library folders, and each contains a variety of different things; some important, some not. Drill down and find out what it is inside the Library that's taking most of the space. – Gordon Davisson May 25 at 19:43
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Is this the root-level /Library, or the user ~/Library ?

The former contains things installed by applications: this could include large data like audio sample instruments for Garageband/Logic.

The user Library contains settings and preferences, but it can also contain iPhone and iPad backups, which can take up a lot of space. You can manage these in iTunes' preferences.

You can use an app like OmniDiskSweeper which will show you the contents of your disk, sorted by size. You can drill down through each folder and see what's taking up space, and delete files if you wish. However, remember that it is very easy to delete files that may be critical and necessary to your Mac.

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I recommend using a program like Grand Perspective to first figure out why your library folder is so big and what files are the biggest. I also have a large spinning disk for bulk data and try to use my internal SSD for core data.

With many programs, you can specify the storage location for large amounts of data. If a program allows it, you usually need to close the program, move the folder and then tell it where the folder was moved to. (and maybe restart the program again after that)

In some cases, like Spotify offline downloads, specifying the download location doesn't actually help with storage as Spotify won't save the large downloads in the specified location.

If you really want to dig deep, you might be able to move the folder to the other disk and put a symbolic link to the new location of the data in the original location although some programs might not follow the symlink.

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