Twitter for Mac’s Cache Might be Eating Lots of Your Disk Space. Here’s a Fix.

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Today I posted on Twitter that I noticed Twitter for Mac (again) using lots of RAM. This problem is relatively easily solved by a simple quit-and-relaunch.

9to5Mac's Seth Weintraub replied that I should also check my "twitter icon cache." It was time to dig.

Twitter operates inside OS X's Sandbox, which means all of its application data lives inside your [home] / Library / Containers folder. For Twitter specifically, that's:

[home] / Library / Containers / com.twitter.twitter-mac

Doing a quick "Get Info" from the Finder's File menu I noticed that folder was taking up almost 13GB (yes, gigabytes!) of data. I dug deeper and found the offending folder to be Data / Library / Caches / com.atebits.tweetie.profile-images. It contained over 169,000 files for 12.79GB. That's a lot of data to cache. Would I ever need all that at saved on my Mac as opposed to re-downloading it? I mean... Twitter doesn't even work if I'm not connected to the Internet.

I quit Twitter and then felt safe deleting this folder... and immediately emptying the trash. Once I did that (it took nearly 5 minutes because of all the tiny files), I relaunched Twitter and... all was well.

You might want to do the same.

Edit: Seems at least some programmer(s) at Twitter know this is an issue because, as reader Paul points out in the comments below, there is a Twitter > Empty Cache command right there in the menu bar. When you run it the command asks, "Empty Cache? This will clear and rebuild username autocomplete." We've tested it a few times here, though, and in addition to clearing out autocomplete, it definitely does also clear out the aforementioned image cache (by deleting the folder just as above). This is a much simpler way of doing it, so long as you don't mind losing autocomplete data, too (it'll likely rebuild that just fine, though). Thanks, Paul!

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Randy Murray

Hmm. Alarmed by the warning I checked mine - just 204.6 MB. Not a problem.

Is this a widespread problem?

Dave Hamilton

@Randy - Seemed to be on Twitter earlier this morning when I asked originally. Many folks in the multi-gigabyte range.

Adam Tinworth

Just under 3Gb in my case. Deleted…

Paul Edwin

You could just use the menu option to do that for you, rather than doing it manually: “Twitter > Empty Cache”

Dave Hamilton

@Paul - Nice find! Thank you.

The text for Twitter > Empty Cache says, “This will clear and rebuild username autocomplete” but I just tested it and it most certainly empties out ALL of Twitter’s cache folders, including the image cache.

Lee Dronick

Why doesn’t “Disable Caches” in Safari disable all caches?

Ulvaeus Bjorn

Damn there was my 32GB of free space allocated for pron.

This was a big problem for me! Not that I know about it will clean it monthly.

I have 3 twitter accounts on the official twitter for Mac app… and with all 3 account in total I have 80K followers and I follow about 12K

Just got rid of it 712,942 images for me @ 32.02GB’s

Peter Dulliä

What are you doing guys? My Twitter for Mac cache folder is only whopping 7.3 MB.

Jim Sherhart

Nice tip Dave! Enabling camera upload on my Transporter meant looking for areas to purge. I got rid of over 6GB by emptying Twitter cache.

Cheers, Jim

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