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How to Delete System Log Files on Your Mac Correctly

18.10.2021

Any kind of computer stores a plethora of log files. This is not only limited to desktop or laptop devices only. In fact, even our phones and tablets store many of these files. True, if they exist, it is for a reason. After all, these log files can be extremely useful when requesting technical support from a specialist. However, more often than not, these tiny files will simply remain in our systems, and can eventually take a lot of space. And also, besides the space they take, it is also possible that too many of them can cause severe lags on the system.

However, this is something that we can easily get rid of. There is lots of software out there that specializes in making a thorough check of the system and then asking users for a final confirmation before deciding to clear log. However, before going deeper into the software themselves capable of doing these tasks, let’s understand a little bit more about those files.

Where do Mac systems store their log files?

It was previously said that there is lots of software out there which is truly capable of removing those annoying log Mac files that can take up valuable space. However, it is also possible to remove them manually. Before trying to delete any of these files in the first place, of course it is important to know their location. Fortunately, they are much easier to find than some people might think.

There are basically two kinds of log files, which are summarized in the following table:

  Mac application logs Mac system logs
What do they store? Information about applications and software installed in the Mac system Information about the Mac system itself
Where are they located? ~/Library/Logs /var/log
Is it safe to delete them? Yes Yes

As it can be seen, the locations where these log files are located are normal folders that are placed in different places of the storage unit. Therefore, users of Mac devices can find them only by using Finder. By using that application to navigate to said folders, it will be possible to quickly find them and eventually delete their content if necessary.

Is it possible to delete log files in a Mac system? If so, is it safe to do so?

The short answer to both questions is yes. These system log on Mac files only have information records. Once they are stored, the system will not need them for anything else. The only reason why those log files might be needed at some moment is in case someone needs technical support on an application or the Mac system itself. Technicians will use those files in order to determine what is working badly in a particular system. However, they are purely informational. They are not critical components of the system in order to work.

Deleting the log files will of course affect the Mac system, but in a positive way! In general, a few log files here and there won’t have too much of an effect. However, literally gigabytes of them can accumulate in a directory. This not only means that valuable storage space is taken. This can also result in the system running slower than usual. This is why it is considered a good practice to clean the system log Mac regularly, for the sake of our system’s health.

Examining Mac log files by using the console

Of course, so far we have only spoken about removing those files. However, sometimes it is also a good idea to review those files in order to see what information they are containing. Thankfully there is nothing obscure about these files. After all, the Mac system log is simply made up of simple text files that store a lot of technical information.

One of the best ways to examine these files is by using the Console app. They can be reviewed in an extremely simple way. Let’s go through the simple process of reviewing these files. It looks like this:

● first, users must open a file explorer such as Finder;

● later, users need to select the GO menu, and then GO TO;

● users now will be asked to specify the directory where they want to go to, here it is possible to choose any of the aforementioned directories where these files are located;

● once inside the directory, locate any file of interest;

● double click on it and see how the Console app opens and displays the file in its entirety!

It is important to mention that the Console app only allows users to read the Mac system logs files but not to edit them. However, still being able to review them can be extremely beneficial, especially for those who are in need of technical support for whatever reason.

As it can be seen, there are huge benefits in deleting these log files. However, if there are any problems with the software being used in the system, or with the system itself, it is a good idea to keep those files intact. After all, these log files also contain critical information that technicians can use to troubleshoot any machine that needs it.

 


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