What should I not delete from Mac?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

When it comes to managing your Mac’s storage, it’s important to be cautious and avoid deleting essential files or folders. While there are several files and folders that should not be deleted from your Mac, one of the most crucial ones is the iCloud folder located in the “Mobile Documents” directory. This folder resides in your user’s Library folder.

The iCloud folder is where various files and data related to your iCloud account are stored. It includes documents, application preference files, iOS app data, and more. This folder is synchronized with your iCloud account, allowing you to access your files across multiple devices. Deleting or modifying this folder can lead to data loss or synchronization issues with your iCloud account.

It’s worth noting that the iCloud folder consumes a significant amount of disk space if you have enabled iCloud Drive and store a lot of files in it. This can be especially true if you have opted to keep a copy of your files on your Mac in addition to storing them in the cloud. However, instead of deleting the entire iCloud folder, it’s recommended to manage your iCloud storage through the iCloud preferences in System Preferences.

In the iCloud preferences, you can selectively choose which files and folders are stored in iCloud and take up space on your Mac. By unchecking certain options, you can free up storage on your local machine without deleting the entire iCloud folder. This way, you can ensure that important files and data remain intact while still optimizing your Mac’s storage.

To access the iCloud preferences, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
2. Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
3. In the System Preferences window, click on the “Apple ID” icon.
4. In the Apple ID settings, click on the “iCloud” tab.

From here, you can manage your iCloud storage by selecting or deselecting various options such as iCloud Drive, Photos, Mail, and more. By disabling certain options, you can prevent those files from being stored on your Mac, thus freeing up disk space.

In addition to the iCloud folder, there are other files and folders on your Mac that should be handled with care and not deleted unless you know what you’re doing. Some of these include system files, application files, and user-specific files.

System files are essential for the functioning of your Mac’s operating system. Deleting or modifying these files can lead to system instability or even render your Mac inoperable. It’s best to avoid tampering with system files unless you have advanced knowledge and a specific reason to do so.

Application files, such as those located in the “Applications” folder, should generally not be deleted unless you no longer need the application or are performing a complete uninstallation. Deleting application files without properly uninstalling the application can leave behind remnants that may cause issues or prevent you from reinstalling the application in the future.

User-specific files, such as your user library folder located in your home directory, contain important data related to your user account and various applications. Deleting or modifying these files can result in a loss of personal settings, preferences, and data associated with your user account.

It’s crucial to exercise caution when managing files and folders on your Mac. The iCloud folder, located in the “Mobile Documents” directory, should not be deleted as it contains important files and data related to your iCloud account. Instead, use the iCloud preferences to manage your iCloud storage and optimize disk space. Additionally, be mindful of system files, application files, and user-specific files, as deleting or modifying them can lead to issues with your Mac’s functionality and data loss.