[Complete Guide] How to Delete System Log Files on Mac?

By Gina Barrow, Last updated: August 30, 2019

All Mac has the system log files. The system logs files to capture and saves the activities of system applications, problems, internal errors, and other services on the Mac which can be sent to developers for debugging purposes. It usually happens when an application crashes.

The system log file is typically smaller files that accumulate a lot of information that takes up tons of space. However, you can clean up system logs to maintain app performance and save some space on your Mac.

If you are wondering how to delete system log files on Mac and how does it affect the entire operating system, we have compiled all the important information needed including the steps on how to delete the system log files on Mac manually or automatically.

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Part 1. Where Are System Log Files LocatedPart 2. How to Automatically Delete System Log Files on MacPart 3. How to Manually Delete System Log Files on Mac

Part 1. Where Are System Log Files Located

Before you remove system log files from your mac, it is also a necessity for you to know about where are system log files located. If you have known this part, please skip it and go to the next part.

You can easily locate the system log files on MacOS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, and OS X Yosemite, by simply following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Finder on your Mac
  2. Enter: ~/Library/Logs or /var/log folder

You will now see the entire system log files on your Mac.

Use Console

The console is usually used to view the log messages that were accumulated and collected by Mac and as well as other connected devices. All other communication failures, errors, texts, messages, and system events are also stored inside the Console.

If there are issues with the system, you can view the console or the log activities. Other connected devices include iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. You can refer to the color legends below for the statuses:

  1. Red- Faults
  2. Yellow - Errors
  3. Light Gray- Info log messages
  4. Dark Gray- Debug log messages

You can view the log messages or activities in the console to check the status of the given item. If there is a specific log message you are looking for, you can simply press Command-F and it will give you the desired item.

Note: If there is no colored dot then it is the default type of log message.
Clear Log Files

Part 2. How to Automatically Delete System Log Files on Mac

To better and safely delete system log files on Mac, you need FoneDog Mac Cleaner to ensure that the important files are not deleted. Remember that some files are important so if you are not familiar with how to do it then we recommend that you do automatically use FoneDog Mac Cleaner to eliminate any unwanted scenarios and issues.

Follow these steps on how to use FoneDog Mac Cleaner:

1. Download FoneDog Mac Cleaner, follow the onscreen prompts.

Free Download

2. Launch the program and check the system status. Click the "Cleaner", then you will see "System Junk".


3. Click " System Junk" and start to scan.

System Junk Scanning

4. Review the items and select desired log files you want to delete. You also can back to the Previous page to Re-scan.

System Junk System Log

5. Click the Clean button to delete system log files on Mac. All unnecessary files will be deleted.

System Junk System Log Delete

FoneDog Mac Cleaner also includes cleaning application cache, system cache, user logs, trash bin and more. It scans the status of the Mac including the disk usage, CPU, memory usage, etc. FoneDog Mac Cleaner is safe to use and easily cleans up and speeds up your Mac any time anytime.

Part 3. How to Manually Delete System Log Files on Mac

Most users are asking if it is safe to delete system log files on Mac all by themselves. Well, we recommend that you should open the log messages first to see if there are programs going crazy and not performing on your Mac.

If you are quite familiar already, then you can choose to delete them manually by following the methods below.

To manually delete the system logs on Mac, first you must do the following:

  1. Launch the Finder on your Mac
  2. Enter: ~/Library/Logs or /var/log folder
  3. Highlight all files and press “Command + backspace
  4. Restart Mac

That’s it! You now have cleaned the system log files.


  1. Only remove the files inside the folders but not the folder itself. Some applications may have their system log files located somewhere inside the Mac like the Mail.
  2. After manually deleting system log files, and if you want to free some space on your Mac, you can also clean up the Trash folder
  3. Some files are stored inside the /var/log but not all the logs inside are safe to remove.

Manually Clear Log Filess

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You have just learned how to save up a decent amount of space on your Mac by following our suggested methods above. To ensure that your Mac works on its optimum performance, check and view the system log files for the total accumulated space which can alter Mac's speed.

You can delete system log files on Mac using two options: manually by accessing the system log files folder itself or by using an effective program called FoneDog Mac Cleaner for auto-cleaning.

As for us, we highly recommend that for better and safer cleanup, use FoneDog Mac Cleaner. It will scan, sort and clean the system log files without removing the important ones. This will help you save more time and fewer hassles too!

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Gina Barrow

Technical/Creative Writer

Kitchen, my safe space; black, my favorite color

Was a Technical Specialist for a while, troubleshooting Smartphone and Software-related issues until a writing stint caught my attention.

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