Skip navigation

can i delete the data in the system log? it takes up 26 GB of my hard disc! help please!

2043 Views 54 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2013 1:16 AM by denise CLARK RSS
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)

    OK. Well, the log file is supposed to be rotated every day at midnight. That's not happening. To find out precisely why would involve some complex manipulations that I think are beyond your experience level, and may also be beyond my ability to remember the details of an OS X version I no longer use. So I'll stick with the suggestion I made earlier to reinstall the OS, or alternatively to get help at an Apple Store. Good luck.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,060 points)

    It should under normal circumstances be rotated the moment you reboot your computer, if you don't have it on overnight.  The only time that would not happen is if you have optimizers such as Onyx, Macaroni, or AppleJack interfering with the operation.   Those tools should only be used for troubleshooting a backed up system.  Macjanitor used to be a tool that would clean the log files alone without affecting anything else.   I've written a script that does it without having to enter the terminal called Periodic Logfile Cleanup.

    OS X Mountain Lion, * Links may give me compensation
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,060 points)

    As a troubleshooter of Mac OS X since the beginning, the only harm that can come of deleting a log file is that you won't be able to see software errors that might have happened since the last rotation that wipes them out automatically on a daily, weekly, monthly rotation.  Since this is a system based operation that is normal, you are merely speeding that operation up.    Cache files are much different. The operating system creates them to optimize its performance.  Sadly the cache cleaning software does not know how to distinguish between a cache file that is being written to and open, and one that is just stagnant.    As a result, since programs use it to find what they were last doing, deleting one, leaves a program hanging.    System cache files are always open.    Many utilities delete them indiscriminately, and cause the system to be unable to launch its own programs.   Sometimes they get so bad, the programs won't launch without an erase of the entire drive.    You may even find manually deleting cache files, only results in the same corrupted cache file being created on the next reboot forcing the same cache files to stop the launching from working properly.   It is for this reason I say, stay clear of those cache files.

  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,595 points)

    Assuming that you've backups, I would simply trash system.log.0 & empty the trash.

    Logs normally seem to go system.log; system.log.0.bz2; system.log.1.bz2 etc so I can't say why you've one with that exact name, but it's not been modified since May.

  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,595 points)

    The others look normal, & unless you notice problems or shortage of space, are better ignored.

  • andyBall_uk Level 6 Level 6 (17,595 points)

    Either method should work, I've not used discsweeper to know for sure.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (1)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.