Monolingual – Remove Languages You Don’t Use From Your Mac

Justin Pot 22-05-2013

remove languages from macFree up some space on your Mac – delete languages you will never use. Monolingual is a simple Mac app that anyone looking for more hard drive space should check out.


Modern hard drives are big, but sometimes we all need just a little more space on our primary drive. Whether you’ve installed a solid state drive in your Mac How To Swap Out Your Macbook's DVD Drive For An SSD Is your old Apple laptop starting to struggle? Is the boot time so long that you can actually go out and buy a coffee? If so, perhaps it's time to think about upgrading your main... Read More or simply filled up your primary one, sometimes a little extra space can help a lot.

Mac OS X includes hundreds of languages, most of which you don’t need. You might well need Spanish, Chinese or even Hebrew on your computer, but do you really need Yiddish? Or Welsh? Or for that matter, invented languages like Esperanto and Klingon, or dead languages like Latin or Sanskrit? All these and more are taking up space on your Mac, right now.

Which languages you need obviously depends on who are – I’m sure at least one person reading this has set Klingon to be their default. More power to you. But next to none of us need every language Apple offers – which isn’t a problem, unless you’re running out of space on your hard drive.

Monolingual removes these languages, and also frees up space by removing PPC-specific files from “Universal” applications.

Removing Languages from Mac

Open this program and you’ll see a complete list of languages included, by default, in OS X. Uncheck any language you want to keep.


remove languages from mac

Make sure you’re absolutely certain you’re not deleting any languages you need – there’s no real way to get those languages back. The program even warns you:

remove languages from osx

Again – make certain before going forward. Once you have the removal will begin:


remove languages from osx

If you’re expecting to save gigs and gigs of space you’ll be disappointed – the languages don’t take up that much. Still, I was able to shed over 100 MB.

remove languages from osx

You could say it’s not much, but I kept quite a few languages – and any space I can free up on my SSD gives me more room for installing games and apps (not to mention dual-booting).


Removing Architecture-Specific Stuff

Languages aren’t the only trick up this app’s sleeve – it can also delete excess files intended to allow apps to run on multiple architectures.

Confused? Maybe you shouldn’t mess with this, then, but I’ll provide some background. Macs switched from the PowerPC (PPC) processor to Intel back in 2005 – since then a number of apps have been designed to run on both PPC and Intel systems. Such apps are called “Universal”, and were an important part of why Apple’s transition from PPC to Intel was so seamless. In 2013, however, the PPC parts of these Universal apps just take up space on Intel Macs.

So Monolingual can remove the PPC parts of Universal apps. Running this is a bad idea if you plan on using Rosetta to run PPC software, but probably not a problem if you’re using Lion or later – Apple dropped all support for Rosetta with Lion.

Pick which architectures you’re willing to remove from your system:


remove mac languages

Monolingual will clean up “Universal” apps, turning them into Intel-only ones. How much space this frees up will obviously depend on how many apps you have installed – and whether they’re Universal – but for me this ended up freeing up more space than the language removal:

remove languages from mac

Okay, so I probably have more software installed than most – I test software for a living. But again, freeing up 200 MB could be useful for many.

Download Monolingual

Ready to try out Monolingual? Go ahead and download Monolingual from Sourceforge. You’ll need to install it the old fashioned way – dragging an icon. Stop complaining, it’s fun.

Other Ways To Save Space

Do you want to save even more space on your Mac? I highly recommend check out CCleaner for Mac Full Version of CCleaner Now Released For The Mac No matter how intuitive and reportedly "trouble free" Macs are to run, believe me, several months after you add hundreds of files, applications, and download thousands of webpages, your shiny new iMac or MacBook Air... Read More , which cleans up the crap left behind by a wide variety of apps. Mackeeper is also worth looking into, if you’re willing to pay for it. You can also find and delete duplicate files to save space, using Dupe Guru dupeGuru Finds Duplicate Files [Cross Platform] Quickly find duplicate files on your hard drive, so you can delete them and save precious storage space. You'll be surprised how much of your storage is used to house the same files twice. There... Read More . You might be surprised how many redundant files you have.

Do you have any other space saving tips for Mac users? Please share them in the comments below – your comments could help us build our best of Mac apps The Best Mac Apps to Install on Your MacBook or iMac Looking for the best apps for your MacBook or iMac? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for macOS. Read More page. Or, if you prefer, just share your thoughts about Monolingual.

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  1. macwitty
    May 23, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Remove printer drivers for printers you do not use. You can always add them later if you get a new driver.
    Remover sample files for Garageband if not using it

  2. dragonmouth
    May 23, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Too bad the same language surgery cannot be performed on Ubuntu and all its derivatives. Removing unwanted language packs would free up 200-300 MB of space based on space freed up in distros that do not tie languages into the system software.

    • justinpot
      May 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

      Yeah, that would be nice, but on the plus side Ubuntu works just about anywhere on the planet. Good with the bad, I suppose, and bad with the good.