A cool thing about being new to the Mac — I’ve had my MacBook for only a few months — is that I still have the joy of finding out new things about how the operating system works, what the default programs can do (I didn’t know Spotlight had a built in calculator, for example), and so on.
Today I learned a great way to free up some disk space by cutting out unused languages from installed programs. If you’re willing to pay, you can do this automatically with Xslimmer, which I hope to someday have a license to… but for the time being, here’s a quick and easy way to free up lots of space; I’ve seen programs drop from around fifteen megabytes to three!
That image is a snapshot of my Applications folder, with the DVD Player program highlighted. Pressing ⌘+i will bring up an window full of info for whichever program was highlighted Most programs will have a “Languages” pane in that window, and that’s where we’ll be focusing.
Now, unless you’re an über-polyglot, you’re not likely to need the myriad of languages present in this file — that’s right, every language listed in that Languages pane is stored as part of that application file.
I speak pretty much only English; do I really need a DVD Player that can speak to me in Finnish or Italian? I think not. How much of that 42.8 megabyte program seen in the first image above is “language bloat” that I simply don’t need?
So what I do is highlight all of the languages in the list which I want to dump, making sure that I keep English!
Once the to-be-dumped languages are highlighted, it’s a simple matter of pressing the “-” button underneath the list and accepting the “Are you sure?” message which pops up upon clicking “-.”
Success! And look at that space savings:
The DVD Player program dropped from 42.8 megabytes down to just 9.4 megabytes! Hard to believe, but 33.4 megabytes were being wasted by languages which I would never use.
Not every program can be trimmed in this way, but I’m going down my applications list, and the savings are adding up quickly.
If you’re pressed for space on your Mac, this is a great way to reclaim some of it. It’s feasible that your programs will actually work a little faster, too, as there are fewer files for them to process within the
Note that this only works with Mac OS X Leopard, not previous versions. Thanks, kristarella for pointing this out.