It would take a genius to read and understand all 60+ languages available on a Mac, and from what we've noticed most people use only one or two languages – dominated primarily by English – when using with their computers. Some say that “the more languages you know, the smarter you are” and we have to say this is probably true, but do we really need every localization file macOS and third party software includes?
Including a localization file in the software shows the developer’s effort to establish a better communication channel with the user, which is great, but there are situations where you simply don't need all those language files, and they take up precious disk space that can be used for other purposes.
Where Are Localization Files Stored?
Localization files are stored inside application packages that are installed onto your Mac. Did you know that the ultra-popular PDF file reader Adobe Acrobat Reader includes multiple language files, including everything from Spanish and French to Hungarian and Ukrainian? When Acrobat Reader is installed, it will default its interface language to the one used by the operating system. So, if you are using a Danish macOS, Acrobat Reader will operate in Danish thanks to the localization files included in the app package. Other third party apps will let you set the desired language.
Localization files will become visible if you right-click on an application icon in the Applications folder and select “Show Package Contents”. As you'll see in doing this, packages contain multiple files and folders, but in this case your interest should turn to the Resources folder, which contains subfolders ending with “lproj”. Those are the language files you are looking for, and each folder contains a particular language, hence the naming of the folders such as “ru.lproj” or “en.lproj”.
How to Manually Remove the Language Files You Don't Need
It may be tedious work, but you can manually remove language files from all third party software installed on a Mac by streamlining the steps we described above: right-click on the app and select Show Package Contents > Resources and select all the folders ending with lproj except the ones that you want to keep. Move each of these to the trash but, once you reach the bottom of the list, don't forget to empty the system trash.
How to Remove Language Files the Easy Way
When encountering emergency situations such as the “Your startup disk is almost full” message, it’s time for quick and efficient intervention and the manual removal of a few files won't save the day unless you recover enough space to run macOS smoothly. That actually means roughly 10% of total available disk space.
The quickest and most efficient way to remove language files (as well as junk files) is by using a Mac optimization app such as CleanMyMac, CCleaner, MacKeeper, or the like. Shortly after initialization, the Mac optimization app identifies the language files and their locations and will help you remove any unnecessary ones with a click of a button, all without the risk of accidentally deleting any essential files.
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