The other day a client contacted me panicking about one his new macOS running out of disk space. He told me his System Data storage shows over 300GB of space. I quickly remembered a related issue on older macs on how to clean system data storage using the terminal.

I quickly put my moka pot beanie, so I can think better. Then I ssh to the client’s mac in their office. After using our friendly commands to find more about disk space:

du -sh - Displays usage info for each file and directories.
df -h - Displays in human readable info on file system disk usage

Check the man pages for more details about the above commands.

To start to clean System Data storage using the Terminal I had to:

sudo su

In order to gain access to other users directories. So, I went to the only user for this mac:

/Users/paco

I noticed the user’s Library folder was HUGE. Then I went for it:

/Users/paco/Library

Ran the below du -sh * to get all folders and their respective size. Wow! ScreenRecordings was taking a huge amount of space.

sh-3.2# du -sh *
452K	Accounts
1.1M	AppleMediaServices
188K	Application Scripts
5.5G	Application Support
2.6M	Assistant
  0B	Assistants
8.0K	Audio
  0B	Autosave Information
 92M	Biome
475M	Caches
4.5M	Calendars
  0B	CallServices
  0B	ColorPickers
  0B	Colors
  0B	Compositions
4.0K	Contacts
 12K	ContainerManager
415M	Containers
  0B	Cookies
299G	ScreenRecordings

In this case ScreenRecordings solve the issue. Other locations you can check are:

~/Application Support

~/Caches

~/Containers

~/Group Containers

~/Logs

~/Mail

~/Messages

~/Mobile Documents

clean system data storage
macOS storage

Remember to contact me if you have any questions or want to collaborate. Thanks!

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