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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Housekeeping - how do I remove redundant files?

Housekeeping - how do I remove redundant files?
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Aug 14, 2014, 12:23 PM
 
I am trying to clear HD space and wanting to clear redundant files but don't know how to identify and validate them prior to removal. Obviously some are recognisable but not all and I'm very unsure. I am fully backed up on external disk. Can anyone advise me on a safe method? Thanks.
     
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Aug 14, 2014, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
I am trying to clear HD space and wanting to clear redundant files but don't know how to identify and validate them prior to removal. Obviously some are recognisable but not all and I'm very unsure. I am fully backed up on external disk. Can anyone advise me on a safe method? Thanks.
Since you have everything already backed up, you could start by having files listed by date, with oldest being listed first. You should be able to do that at "any level", that is, by the entire volume (probably not too good an idea, as there would be a number of OS-related files that are required), by folder, by sub-folder, etc. Here are the results of a google search for "Listing Files on a Mac by date modified":

https://www.google.com/search?q=List...x-a&channel=sb

Hopefully, some (maybe quite a few?) of those methods should reveal a number of files that you can "easily" delete. But, if there are still some which you have questions about, you should then be able to double click on it, so that the application that created it will launch.

Not sure if that's the fastest way, but it's a start. Maybe someone else has a more efficient, faster solution.
     
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Aug 14, 2014, 02:21 PM
 
I read the question as how to slim down OS X rather than personal files in the home folder. The original post is ambiguous.

If this is about slimming OS X, be very careful. You can delete any application or utility that you never use. Tossing stuff in the root Library or System folders could get dicey fast. In fact, you could spend enough time restoring from mistakes, that your labor could exceed the cost of buying/installing a bigger drive.
     
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Aug 14, 2014, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I read the question as how to slim down OS X rather than personal files in the home folder. The original post is ambiguous.
I kind of read it as "all files". But yeah, it is not clear what the op means.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If this is about slimming OS X, be very careful. You can delete any application or utility that you never use. Tossing stuff in the root Library or System folders could get dicey fast. In fact, you could spend enough time restoring from mistakes, that your labor could exceed the cost of buying/installing a bigger drive.
Definitely! That's kind of one reason why I stated that listing all files at the "Volume level" could be problematic. Even at the folder/sub-folder level, one needs to be careful, as what you say about tossing stuff in the Library or System folders (there is more than one Library folder, so that makes it more dicey) is certainly accurate.
     
Topaz  (op)
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Aug 15, 2014, 11:05 AM
 
Ok I probably didn't explain clear enough. I have no intention of going into the root Library or System folders or any OSX operational folders. I am however concerned about redundant and duplicated third party drivers particularly amongst others. I have been recommended to check out OmniDiskSweeper and Disk Inventory X as apps that can assist in this. Anyone had any experience of these?
     
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Aug 15, 2014, 02:19 PM
 
I can't speak about Disk Inventory X - never tried it.

OmniDiskSweeper sorts everything in a volume by size. And allows one-click deletes. You should run it as root user if you want it to see everything - such as if you suspect lost space in a restricted folder. Running it from an admin account will cover most files outside the System folder.

ODS is a very handy program, but you have to know what you are deleting. It does not offer advice or analysis.
     
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Aug 15, 2014, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
ODS is a very handy program, but you have to know what you are deleting. It does not offer advice or analysis.
Well said, reader50. Hopefully, the external backup that the op has is made prior to using ODS, and subsequently deleting anything.
     
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Aug 18, 2014, 11:49 AM
 
ODS is great, as noted, as long as you know what you're doing in using it. That's why I started this thread about apps to identify duplicate files. The first thing to do is to identify what files you want and those you want to eliminate... In particular, don't rush into deleting anything that OS X has hidden from you. Research it first, and know whether or not it's really something you want to remove before you do anything to it.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 27, 2014, 06:54 AM
 
After successful completion of scanning process, If duplicate files are less enough to manage and remove then it can removed manually but the range is large enough then definitely it requires an efficient software to find and remove Duplicate and unwanted stuff.
     
   
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