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Save Space -- Make Your Mac Monolingual

By default, Macs come loaded to the gills with language files for the operating system, printer drivers and such, as well as all of the iApps (iTunes, iPhoto, Safari, iEtc). For multilingual types it's nice as it allows them to use their Mac in their native tongue with just a couple mouse clicks. For the rest of us though, it also means there are literally thousands of useless files crowding your Mac which collectively waste several gigabytes of space -- not a huge deal for massive desktop hard drives, but certainly an issue for most laptops. So the fix is to delete the ones you don't use. In our experience we freed up about 5 gigs on an old laptop with a 60 gig hard drive -- a substantial difference.

The files you're looking for have the file ending .lproj but don't do a willy-nilly search and destroy for them -- if you accidentally chuck the English (or Br_Eng, which is British English) you may be locked out of your Mac. Also, the system software requires a specific set, and there are some programs (like MS Office in particular) that will bug out if you delete them. So the best way for most users then is to open Applications, select an Apple app and then right-click (or control+click) and select Get Info. In the window that pops up go to Languages. Then select all but the English (or Br_Eng where applicable) and hit remove; you can select several at a time by holding shift down and clicking on them. As you do this, notice in the top of the window how the file size of the app is cut nearly in half in many cases! Now try running the application. If all is hunky-dory, empty the trash and move on the next app.

More advanced users might try Monolingual, a free, open source app that automates the process, however be very sure you know what you're doing before fiddling with it or you can brick your Mac with a click of your mouse by deleting system fonts or other files the OS requires. You have been warned.

Tags: foreign language, ForeignLanguage, language files, LanguageFiles, lproj, mac, os x, OsX, techtip, top