Is it important? Can you delete it? You might have run across something called swap, or a swapfile. Before we delve into what the swapfile is, we have to talk about swapping in the context of how your computer works. When you run a program on your Mac, it gets loaded into your memory RAM.
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You can access your own folders, Private var vm macintosh not those of other users. I'm running an Private var vm macintosh server for development. Thank you so much for yr help. Asked 4 years, 7 months ago. May 17, at pm. Matias Burni says:. Grow up…. This works for me, I'm the sole user of the machine. Mail will not be published required. I'm guessing job postfork become user is called every time a user logs in. From Asian mandarin duck Sponsor If you want to purge them, you should reboot afterward, to minimize the likelihood of problems.
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If it isn't useful or needed , is there any way to prevent it from reappearing in the future? I don't know why it isn't deleted after waking up from sleep though. It might be to ensure that there is enough free disk space for it or so that it won't be stored on non-contiguous blocks if disk space is low. From man pmset :. The system will not back memory up to persistent storage. The system must wake from the contents of memory; the system will lose context on power loss.
This is, historically, plain old sleep. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage the disk , and will power memory during sleep. The system will wake from memory, unless a power loss forces it to restore from disk image. The system will store a copy of memory to persistent storage the disk , and will remove power to memory.
The system will restore from disk image. If you want "hibernation" - slower sleeps, slower wakes, and better battery life, you should use this setting. I used hibernatemode 0 with my MacBook Air.
Even if the MacBook Air went to sleep when the battery was nearly empty, the battery didn't usually drain out completely during sleep.
Addition: What Dan Barrett said about the sleepimage re-creation is true. However there's a way to get around it and therefore permanently free the disk space occupied by sleepimage. This worked perfectly for me and I've not seen any problem on my Mac for 4 months. If it's not taking too much space like in your case I would leave as it is. Things in the private folder are not meant to be messed with. It's why they call the folder private. But software, like you used, made it visible, which is not a good thing.
That being said, you can delete this sleep image without any problem, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you really need those 4GB, try to use a hard drive for your movies, music or so and save space with your own files, not the systems files. Since you can either choose to disable the sleepimage, or activate it but then be forced to keep it after wake up, i found a dirty little trick for my preferred solution: Have a sleepimage but delete it after wakeup to free the disk space.
If you are someone like me who constantly hovers at around GB free space on your small SSD, this might be your solution. Just point the sleepimage to your. Trash folder and empty your trash bin after wake up. This is only a viable solution, if you only use one account on your mac. You wont be able to easily delete the sleepfile from another account Of course you could if the other account has sufficient rights, but it would loose it's simplicity because it would not just mean clicking on the trash bin.
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Viewed k times. Wolf Wolf 2, 16 16 gold badges 40 40 silver badges 71 71 bronze badges. Are you still interested in the prevention tack on question? That might be better asked separately now that you have an answer to the main aspects of your query. JakeGould 3, 6 6 gold badges 22 22 silver badges 42 42 bronze badges. Lri Lri When you need less swap or you reboot the OS will reduce the number of files it uses here.
Reminds me of the saying. If it aint broke, don't fix it! I deleted my entire vm folder thinking that the system will recreate when needed, but that did not happen. When the system wanted to use swap files, it froze and restarted. I now have created the vm folder and swapfile, hoping this will fix the issue. So, DON'T delete it!
CajunLuke Michiel Michiel 9, 9 9 gold badges 38 38 silver badges 82 82 bronze badges. The next time your Mac goes to sleep it re-creates the sleep image, so there's no point in removing it. It's not immediately urgent right now, but I'm considering it. An additional note to the top answer: Since you can either choose to disable the sleepimage, or activate it but then be forced to keep it after wake up, i found a dirty little trick for my preferred solution: Have a sleepimage but delete it after wakeup to free the disk space.
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What is the Mac Swapfile? Can You Delete It?
Reason i ask is also cause i've been a bit suspicious that it might be malicious, only based on the fact that i feel like it hasn't been there all the time, and i didn't put it there myself intentionally at least. Posted 30 August - PM. A swapfile is when your computer is running low on memory and it starts storing things on Disk part of virtual memory. Swapfiles are also used when you put your computer to sleep where the contents of your RAM are stored on disk, so if the power runs out, you don't lose your data.
This is a normal part of a Mac and it is not a good idea as it will cause problems with virtual memory. Also, it can not be opened in TextEdit as it will just show gibberish. Posted 04 September - AM. Posted 04 September - PM.
Windows also has it's own form of virtual memory, with the files on disk being pagefile. It is hidden as well, so you need to change the settings to show hidden files. If you hibernate your computer or use Fast Startup, it uses a different file called hyberfil. Posted 06 September - AM.
Thanks for your reply! A few questions: Is the file there because my computer is running low on memory, or in case my computer is running low on memory?
When you say that it is not a good idea, what do you excactly mean isn't a good idea? And would it cause any problems if i moved the folder? Posted 06 September - PM. Is the file there because my computer is running low on memory, or in case my computer is running low on memory?
If there still isn't enough memory, it will compress least accessed pages think of pages as a chunk of memory. If there still isn't enough memory, only then it will move these pages to disk. This is because anything that is stored in RAM is gone when the power goes out as it is a volatile memory. I just meant deleting it is not a good idea. Also probably keep the file in there in case Apple moved the location of the swap file in one of the updates. Posted 09 September - PM.
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Started by wellwell , Aug 21 AM. Please log in to reply. Posted 21 August - AM Hello. Posted 04 September - PM Windows also has it's own form of virtual memory, with the files on disk being pagefile. Posted 06 September - PM Hi Is the file there because my computer is running low on memory, or in case my computer is running low on memory?
Posted 09 September - PM aight thanks guys. Site Changelog. Need an account? Register now! I've forgotten my password. Sign in anonymously Don't add me to the active users list.