How to Purge Purgeable Space on Mac

If you’re a Mac user, you may have noticed something called “Purgeable Space” when checking your storage usage. This has caused some confusion and questions among Mac users, especially those who are running Sierra. So, what is purgeable space and how can you get rid of it to free up more space on your Mac?

First, let’s see what is taking up your space. To do this, go to the Apple menu, click on “About This Mac” and then click on “Storage”. Here, you will see a breakdown of what is on your Mac, including apps, system files, iOS files, and more. You may also see a sliver labeled “purgeable space”. This is where things can get confusing.

According to Apple, purgeable content is when you’ve turned on Optimize Mac Storage and it’s stuff that can be taken off your Mac because it can be downloaded again. This includes things like iTunes, movies, TV shows, and email attachments. They don’t exist only on your computer, they actually exist primarily online, and your Mac is just storing a copy of them. Additionally, purgeable space also comes from iCloud Drive.

If you go to System Preferences, then iCloud, and then iCloud Drive, you can see the option to “Optimize Mac Storage”. This allows your Mac to offload some of the files that you have so that they exist on your iCloud account but not on your Mac. They look like they exist on your Mac but there will be a little cloud symbol next to them. If you try to access them, it’ll download them again so you can view them. It does this for files that primarily are large and you haven’t accessed in a long time.

So, how do you get back that space so you have more free space on your drive? The answer is that you already do. The whole idea behind purgeable space is that your Mac will free it up if you need it. Say you have 40 GB available on your drive and 10 of them are purgeable. Well, you can consider that you’ve got 50 GB available on your drive. But that extra 10 GB isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t need it. It’ll be just sitting there blank.

The idea is that it’s keeping iCloud Drive files and it’s keeping media files there since you have the space it might as well leave those files there and not offload them to iCloud. It may be a tough concept to understand, but if you just consider this as space that’s being used by your Mac, it has things on it, files that you can actually see like movies or files on iCloud Drive. So it’s not really free space but your Mac does recognize that if it runs into trouble and you need that space, it can get rid of it because it can easily add it back if needed.

In conclusion, purgeable space is not something that you need to worry about too much. Your Mac is capable of managing its storage space, and if you need the space that’s labeled as “purgeable”, your Mac will take care of it. So, just sit back, relax, and let your Mac do its thing.


How do I force my Mac to purge purgeable space?
Restarting your Mac can help you delete all cache files and get rid of the purgeable space. But if you are unable to do that due to important tasks in progress, there is a way to delete cache files using Finder. Open Finder, then click Go >, Library. Click Caches and delete files you no longer need.
What does purgeable space mean on Mac?
Total capacity. Amount of space available, which can include both free space and “purgeable space”—or space that macOS can free up when needed by removing files from your computer (you can't manually remove the files that are designated purgeable, but macOS removes them as space is required)
How do I purge data on my Mac?
Delete files in your Downloads folder. Open this folder from the Dock, or by choosing Go >, Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder. If you use the Mail app for your email, choose Mailbox >, Erase Junk Mail from the menu bar in Mail. Also choose Mailbox >, Erase Deleted Items.
How to purge hard drive?
To wipe your drive in Windows 10, go to Settings >, Update &, security >, Recovery, and then click the Get Started button. When prompted, choose the option for Remove everything. You should then choose the Local reinstall option to reinstall Windows from your computer.