Location of Temp Folder on Mac OS? & Way to Open Mac Temporary Directory

Temp FolderThe Mac OS has enormous system-level temporary folders that have temp files just used by the macOS itself through different Mac applications. However, these temp folders are also not deliberated to be user-facing. But in some infrequent condition, an advanced Mac utilizes probably find themselves needing in order to locate the temp folder & also probably be even to interfere in there, if for systems administration causes, troubleshooting, digital forensic causes, or also another appropriate reason.

Location of Temp Folder on Mac OS? & Way to Open Mac Temporary Directory

So guys in this we will display your location of the temp folder on Mac OS & the way in which you are able to access them.

However, this may go without saying, but this is pursued just at new Mac users. Nearly nobody should go through the temp directories of macOS / Mac OS X. And you must not effort to manually remove any data just from any of the temp directories. Guys as you probably crack something or entirely screw up your system installation. Or an application, or even active document data. In order to incurring data loss or also requiring the reinstalling Mac OS X / or reinstalling macOS. Or also restoring simply from a backup. Whether for whatever cause you like to clear out the temporary items files just on a Mac, simply you have to restart the PC just to target system-level temp files, whilst user-level caches & also temp files are also able to be manually removed whether essential for some purpose or another.

Once more, don’t attempt in order to manually clarify anything & you do not remove any files found in the Mac OS system temp folders. Whether you somehow or screw-up & remove a critical system file or directory, so then you will have to abide by these tips in order to restore deleted system files just by reinstalling core macOS system software.

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Find Where is the Location of Temp Folder in Mac OS

The simplest way in order to find that where is the location of the Temp Folder of macOS / Mac OS X in order to use the echo command just on the $TMPDIR environmental variable at the command line:

  • You have to head to the Terminal app, just found in /Applications/Utilities/ & must type the following command string:

echo $TMPDIR

  • Guys now the command output will also be the Mac temporary directory

Moreover, the TMPDIR will always be a path just to an apparently illogical directory structure. Just because it is not intentional to be user-facing or also user serviced, so it is a temp system folder above all.

For instance, just by using the above command so then you probably view something such as the following just as the command output for echo $TMPDIR:

$ echo $TMPDIR

Similarly, in this case, the path just to the macOS temp folder is “/var/folders/g7/7du81ti_b7mm84n184fn3k910000lg/T/”

To be rigorous, you are also able to use printenv to print environmental variables. And use grep like this:

printenv |grep TMP

However, this will also release the exact TMPDIR path by printing out something just like the following:


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Access and Open the Temp Folder in Mac OS

So guys you are also able to now immediately access & head to the Temp folder in a current Mac OS Finder window just by using the ‘open’ command & also pointing it at the environmental variable $TMPDIR like so:

  • Just from the Terminal app, so you have to type the following command string:

open $TMPDIR

  • Here you have to hit Return and a current Finder window simply with the $TMPDIR will open instantly

Particularly, $TMPDIR is also not protected just by System Integrity Protection (meaning if SIP is turned on or turn off that you are also able to still clarify, edit, remove, & write to that directory). So then you have to be cautious as many files & items in the $TMPDIR will be actively simply used by recently open applications. Simply within $TMPDIR you will find all kinds of media caches and further files. Although as explained before, so you do not manually modify or remove anything in these directories except you know entirely what you are doing.

On the other hand, you are also able to change the recent working directory. At the command line to the temporary directory. Just from the command line with a pretty straightforward cd command:


However, the $TMPDIR is only as any other directory

Further MacOS Temporary Directories

Similarly, another temporary directory in Mac OS is general to all users, just found at the following location:


For what it’s worth, /tmp in Mac OS basically only links to /private/tmp/.  So you are also able to only navigate to /private/tmp/ in order to find the exact data. If it is lots of caches or contents of a ramdisk or anything else hold therein.

There are also different utilizer level temporary folders, such as the user ~/Library/Caches/ caches folder. And some applications also have appropriate temporary directories. For instance, Outlook also contains a temp folder. Simply as does the Mac App Store (which is tucked into $TMPDIR). And many Mac apps dump temporary files in the user-level cache directory.

The main user temporary folder is located at:


As already explained, that you should not attempt. In order to remove or clarify anything in the temp folders, just no matter where they are. Whether it is in your user folder or $TMPDIR or elsewhere. As you are also able to easily screw something up or end up just with unplanned results. Whether for whatever purpose you are concerned about the $TMPDIR contents or further similar type of files & data. Simply quitting all open applications, next rebooting the Mac will also remove temporary items from /private/var/ folders & much of what is found in $TMPDIR.

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Are you also know further helpful tips or tricks pertaining to the temp folder on Mac OS / Mac OS X? In case of queries so then you can ask using the comments section below.

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