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Etcetera blog



macOS keeps a huge wallpapers cache
By Giulio Magnifico on 26/09/22

Since I’m a very “optimizer and minimalist user” I check for the waste of space in my tiny SSD. For three reasons: Apple’s storage prices are terribly high, the fuller a SSD is, the less it will last, why keep useless files? It’s a waste.

Indeed my main storage drive is a 256GB drive, and all my system takes about 60-80GB (depending on the cache and apps)

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 09.01.14

So I discovered a weird folder inside my Home directory: 2.66GB for a photos/wallpapers folder. Why? I have no idea, it’s just one of the (many) folders that macOS keeps forever without any reason.

I’ve investigated into this folder and I discovered that is a stupid cache folder that keeps all your wallpapers that you set from Apple Photos app:

sizing copy

sizing Full size

A totally useless cache folder that macOS don’t delete after “x” time. Just consider that every image inside takes about 5-10MB, so in order to reach almost 3GB it takes a long time. macOS has never cleared it during these 3-4 years.

The folder path is: Macintosh SSD > Users > [yourHome] > Library > Containers > Photos > Data > Library > Application Support > Photos Desktop

And is safe to delete all the subfolders inside. PSA: You will have to set again the wallpapers of your “Desktop 2/3/4…” because this folder is where macOS keeps the cache of them, but don’t set again the wallpaper from Photos.

Instead, to avoid this pointless behavior of macOS, set the wallpaper from the macOS System Preferences and not from Photos:

syspref Wrong way: Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 07.53.53

And if you want, report in a comment the size of this cache folder for you. Just out of curiosity and to make some stats.

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Copyright © 2022 Giulio Magnifico