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Top 5 Tips on How to Delete Temporary Files on Mac in 2020

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Tata Davis

September 10, 2019 (Updated: May 15, 2020)• Filed to: Clean up Mac

4 min read

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A lot of times we notice that there is very less space available on our disk. And those temporary files are one of the big issues for causing that. They occupy a lot of space on your device and also make it slow. Just simply delete those temporary files on the Mac to reclaim more extra storage. 

Here is the question: how to delete temporary files on Mac? We’ll be discussing reasons to delete temporary files and best ways to get rid of them. But before we move on the main topic, it is important to understand what are temporary files. Read below discover more.

What Are Temporary Files on Mac 

The temporary files are created by a app or a program on your Mac to keep the data temporarily. As the name suggests, these files are temporary and will be deleted automatically. They will be normally removed by the app that created them, usually when the app closes, or during the restart or shut down cycle. Temp files on Mac have 4 main types:

Following are the types of temporary files on your Mac.

  • Intermediate document versions
  • Outdated system logs
  • Browser cookies
  • Application cache

An overloaded hard drive can slow down your Mac. So, if you want your device to perform better, then you should remove the temporary files from your disk.

Should I Remove Temporary Files on Mac by Myself

The macOS has its own maintenance routines that work at particular times to remove the unnecessary temporary files. Although, the manual removal might be best in some situations. And specialists will suggest you to regularly clear the temporary files like cookies, browsers cache to enhance the performance of your Mac.

One more common reason to delete the temporary files is to free up more space on your Mac. Sometimes these useless files might be taking up a lot of space on your storage without any particular reason.

But before you clear temporary files on Mac, keep in mind that the temp files are created to enhance the function of a process or an application. So, if you have enough free space on your disk, and all of the applications are working fine, it is probably a better decision to keep the temporary files and let the macOS manage them for you.

Where Is The Temporary Files Folder on Mac

It is not easy to find the Mac temporary files location. The Mac itself creates a directory in the /private/var/folder, which indicates that the temporary files 's precise location will not be the same as anyone else’s. Don't worry! You can still find the folder by follwing the steps below:

  1. Go to Finder, and find Terminal.
  2. Then open Applications and go to Utilities.
  3. Write echo $TMPDIR to display the temporary files folder name, or you can write open $TMPDIR to locate the folder in the Finder.

find temp files folder

A number of other temporary files directories can also be found in some /tmp folders.

Top 5 Tips - How to Remove Temp Files on Mac

There are a lot of different ways to delete different temporary files on Mac. The first one is to use a Mac cleaning tool, which is the most efficient way to delete your temporary items. We have mentioned one of the best app below, just check it out.

Tip 1: Use A Mac Cleaning Tool That Can Do Everything for You

If you have been looking for the perfect software to delete the temporary internet files from Mac, then you can use Umate Mac Cleaner. The app is a very effective tool that can remove temporary files like caches, cookies, and log, etc with in seconds. So it is trusted by a lot of users all around the world and highly recommended by famous technology websites, like Cult of Mac, Macworld, techradar, etc.

As we mentioned above, the temp files on Mac includes document versions、 system logs、app junk and browser cookies. Umate Mac Cleaner can help to delete all of these temp files with its two of main features: Clean Up Junk & Erase Private Data. The app can automatically detect all of the unnecessary temporary files. Once the files are detected, you can easily delete them on Mac with a single click. Don't worry about the safety of this app. It is 100% reliable to use for its developer (iMyFone) is a leading software company that focus on developing utility products. Moreover, Umate Mac Cleaner allows you to clean up more than 40 types of junk files, not only for temporary ones. Next let's see how to use the app.

  1. Download Umate Mac Cleaner and launch it on the Mac.
  2. Mac version

  3. Select “Clean Up Junk” or “Erase Private Data” for scanning temp files that can be deleted from the system.
  4. umate clean up junk

  5. Select the unnecessary things and delete them in 1 click.
  6. umate deep clean


Umate Mac Cleaner offers a free trial now, so you can test the tool first without paying a single penny.

Tip 2: Clear Caches and Temporary Log Files

So, it is the time to follow the steps to help you clean the temporary log files and caches on the Mac. Follow the below steps to clean these annoying files:

  1. Exit all of the running apps.
  2. Go to “Finder” and pull down the “Go” menu.
  3. Open the “Library” by scrolling down.
  4. In “Library”, look for “Cache”.
  5. You will now the temp files and cache for every installed app on Mac.
  6. You can now select all of the cache files or caches of particular apps.
  7. Click “Right Button of Mouse” and Choose “Move to trash”.

clear cache on mac


Before you do anything, always make a backup of all of the important data.

Tip 3: Delete Temporary Internet Files in Browsers

You can easily delete the temporary internet files in different browsers by following the below steps:

Delete Temporary Internet Files in Safari

If you clean your web browser every so often, it will run faster, yet it might do some uncommon things. So, if you want to remove the temporary files from Safari, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Safari from the menu bar.
  2. Choose “Preferences”.
  3. Choose the “Privacy” tab.
  4. Select “Remove All Website Data” and click on “Remove Now” to remove the temporary files.

safari remove temp files

Delete Temporary Internet Files in Chrome

Follow the below instructions to remove the temporary files in Chrome:

  1. Open the Google Chrome on your system and go to the Chrome menu.
  2. Go to the “Tools” and choose “Clear Browsing Data”, you can also use the shortcut keys, Command+Delete+Shift.
  3. Choose the options you want and click on “Clear Browsing Data”.

chrome remove temp files

Delete Temporary Internet Files in Firefox

To remove the temporary files in Firefox, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Firefox on your system and go to the Firefox menu.
  2. Choose the “Preferences”.
  3. Go to the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Choose “Network” sub-tab.
  5. Choose “Clear Now” in “Offline Web Content and User Data” or “Cached Web Content”.

firefox remove temp files

Tip 4: Clear Temporary System Files on Mac

Those softwares and apps from Mac system can also create temporary files and cache files. However, most of them should not be deleted manually, because it will cause some unexpected issues on your Mac. Instead of manual deletion, you can turn to Umate Mac Cleaner for help. The app can safely remove those junk files in a flash without affecting other important ones. Equipped with updated safety database, the app will do the job perfectly.

mac system storage

Tip 5: Restart Your Mac

As we mentioned above, temporary files will be automatically removed during a restart or shutdown cycle. So, this also brings another way to get rid of temp files - restart your Mac. With this way, you can safely delete some temporary files, cookies and cache, and also helpful for smoother running of your Mac. However, Restarting your Mac is not that effective on deleting temp files, for it only available for few types of items.

restart mac


So, you now know how to delete temp files in Mac? Among the 5 tips offered above, the best method is to use the Umate Mac Cleaner as it can scan, detect and remove all of the temporary files with a few clicks. You can download the free version of this app below to experience it first.

Mac version

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