February 4, 2018. Originally posted on January 10, 2018

In order for swapping to work, your Mac usually needs one of those contiguous stretches, which can be difficult to find on a drive as it increasingly fills up with data. To mitigate this, OS X will generate a number of these swapfiles so that it can write or page, or swap to them whenever it needs them. Just click on an open part of your desktop and mouse up to the bar at the top of your screen. Finder will pop up with a new window listing the swapfiles your Mac currently has active.

How many files appear depend on a number of factors: Shut it down and restart it, and then check your swapfile directory again — they should either be gone or substantially reduced in size.

Why is sleepimage taking up so much space? 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, etc?

Should you keep running into an issue, however, take a look at the apps you run on a regular basis, and try playing around with them one at a time. You might find that one app has a memory leak, and by rebooting after use or finding an alternative app, you can avoid the big swapfile issue altogether! Swap files are easily misunderstood.

Mac OS X : Delete Sleep Image

Note that if an application allocates a lot of memory, and a new swap file is created, it is because the system is moving other stuff out of the way to make room in RAM for the active application. So if you quit that application, the swap file will generally not disappear right away. The swap space is being used for something else.

The system has direct access to the the internals of the file. The modification time will not change.


It is meaningless for judging when the file was last used. You can not delete a swap file.

Apple Footer

As long as the file is in use it will not be deleted. That is why the disk space is not released. The file is still there and still in use. By removing the directory entry, you can no longer see the file. You can not monitor whether it is still there except indirectly, by watching disk space. You, as a user, no longer have any link to the file.

All replies

But the system does have a link to it, and the file can not be deleted until the system releases it. The mere existence of swap files has no effect on system performance. The performance hit only comes when memory is being moved in or out of RAM. If something in the swap file is needed, it is moved into RAM. There will be a temporary lag as the swapping takes place, but then the memory remains in RAM as long as it is active.

Remove sleep image for more space (Example)

Search titles only. Search Advanced search…. Buyer's Guide. Installation Guide. Guides Start Here! What's new. Latest activity. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Remove "sleepimage" and get many GBs back and faster sleep!

Thread starter qwerty Start date Jan 21, I was so puzzled about this.

  • What Is Sleepimage??
  • how to stop sleepimage file from rebuildi… - Apple Community.
  • What is the Mac Swapfile? Can You Delete It?.
  • Can I delete Mac swapfiles and how? | Fall in love with Mac!
  • retina display mac pro worth it.
  • How to Delete Sleepimage on macOS.
  • mac g5 will not boot from cd?

Then I discovered the culprit: But here's the kicker: So you could easily get this space back. On top of that: There's a previous thread started asking about whether it's ok to do this here: But I thought this was a significant enough gain to point it out with a separate thread! Here's the guide I followed: Thanks for pointing this info! This is such a simple trick to save lots of space and only laptops really benefit from hibernate mode 3 that everyone who discovers it is usually very excited about it.