I recently deleted (Oops!) my swap files and thanks to some great help on this forum, I was able to re-start my Mac and there is now a new swap folder.

I had used Grand Perspectives in an attempt to clear up some RAM, and that's how I even found the large swapfiles.

As I have a MacBook Air with only 2 GB of space, I imagine this problem might happen again. I noticed my computer 'whirring' a lot before I cleared the files (internal fan of some sort?). I took it to mean the computer was working harder than usual to run my the programs I had open: Excel, Word, Preview, Mozilla, and Safari; is this typically a sign that I have too many programs open and risk filling my swap files?

I'm wondering what to do if my swap files again get so big? Will re-starting the Mac clear the swap files?

Thanks & Cheers, Cynthia


1 Answer 1


I’m writing this answer assuming you are bad with the technicalities. Please tell me, if you are not :)

The only way to reduce the size of your swap is to use apps that use less resources of the computer to run. When thinking of resource-heavy apps, Excel, Firefox and Safari immediately come to mind, especially if you open a lot of tabs.

Keeping your (underpowered, if you will) computer running nicely will require some effort on your side. Quit apps that are not in use. Close tabs that are not in use. Restart apps if they stop responding.

Also, if you can update your computer to Mountain Lion, please do so, as Safari on Snow Leopard is really heavy.

And yes, restarting the Mac clears your swap files.

  • THANK YOU! I really appreciate the clear answer (and yes, I'm a computer-incompetent, but that was rather sweet that you put in a disclaimer). I will take your advice to heart. I think I had an awful lot of tabs open (bad habit!). Cheers!
    – Cynthia
    Nov 15, 2012 at 16:46
  • You’re welcome!
    – duci9y
    Nov 15, 2012 at 16:51

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