I am cleaning up my Library from junk on an MacBook Air (MacOS 10.8.4). Over time I have downloaded, installed and deleted Applications (they are no longer in my Applications folder).

However, lots of them (some I no longer have clue what they are) are still in my Library in different places.

The ones I can find and recognize I can delete manually (like Wondershare)...but!

Question: Is there a safe and clean way using Terminal or other application, to compare my Applications folder for installed applications to the Library and delete unused folders and files.

In other words: If the application is NOT in my Applications folder, then it should not be in the Library.

  • Is this basically "How do I know which system files are needed" but expanded to include arbitrary third party software as well? It seems like it's too broad for a quick answer - but I'd rather get it honed down before closing it for that reason.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 18:20
  • Got it, I'll try somewhere else.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 18:22
  • Sounds good - ping me if you want this reopened. You'll want to be precise about what "Unused" means since OS X writes files once the first time you boot, but the files are still "used" each boot to know that a certain setup is complete. In practice, deleting files from Library is a really nice way to break things at a later date when a seldom used file is needed and missing.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 18:25
  • Unused means if it is not in my application folder nor it belongs to os x ! or when I delete it it should remove any residue from the Library., I decide to try the omnidisksweepr app.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 18:32
  • Let's give it a shot - try to take an edit to remove most of the answer from above and answer the question - perhaps that will reduce the chance of votes to close.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


Other options:

  • Sort ~/Library/Preferences or ~/Library/Containers by modification date
  • Enable calculating all sizes and sort folders by size in Finder
  • for f in ~/Library/Containers/*; do osascript -e "app id \"${f##*/}\"" &> /dev/null || echo $f; done
  • cd ~/Library/Application\ Support; for d in *; do find "$d" -exec stat -f "%m $d" {} + | sort -n | tail -n1; done | sort -n
  • cd ~/Library/Preferences; find . -name \*.LSSharedFileList.plist -mtime +30 -delete; ls -rt *.plist | grep -v apple | sed 's/^/rm /'

Using the OmniDiskSweeper would work, but i will require me to search and destroy one by one while been very careful what.


OmniDiskSweeper found 1.5 Gig in Library of the GarageBand that I removed while back using Finders "move to trash".

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It looks like the omnidisksweep is the current choice to do it.

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