Ways to Free Up Space on Mac – When your Mac starts running slow, it’s hard drive must be full. You must have installed too many apps and programs, created and downloaded too many files. You might try to manually select and erase the items that you don’t need anymore, but this will take quite a lot of time and effort. Besides, apart from the software and content that you know and use, other elements clog up your computer’s memory and slow down your working process. Below, you’ll find useful tips on how to get rid of these unwanted elements quickly and efficiently.
10 Ways to Free Up Space on Mac
1. Empty the Trash Cans
When you remove an item to the trash bin, you don’t eradicate it from your computer’s memory. It still takes certain space, and you can restore it at any moment if needed. After you empty all the trash bins, the free space on your hard drive will considerably increase.
The general trash can is located at the right bottom corner of the dock. Right-click it or left-click it while holding down the Ctrl key and then choose the Empty Trash option. Then, do the same in your Mail, iMovie and iPhoto sections. They have separate trash bins that contain messages and multimedia content that you deleted within the corresponding folders.
2. Clean Up the Downloads Folder
Most likely, you’ll discover plenty of archives there. Once you unpacked their contents, you don’t need these archives anymore, so feel free to eliminate them.
3. Remove the Apps That You Don’t Use
Proceed to the Applications section of your Finder. There, browse through the list of the apps and relocate the items that you will hardly ever use to the trash bin. The Show Items In The List option will allow you to sort the apps according to their size and evaluate which ones you should get rid of first.
4. Get Rid of Temporary Files
Most of these files are stored in the Caches folder of the Library. There, you will discover dozens of sub-folders that you can clean. However, pretty soon your browser will build up a fresh collection of cache files. It needs them to quicker download the sites that you visit most often. So erasing temporary files won’t significantly speed up the computer but at least will free extra space that you might need to download a new app immediately.
5. Relocate Large Files to External Drives
You don’t need to store all your photos and videos on your Mac. Think of relocating them to an external drive or cloud storage. In the first case, you will be the only person who has access to this content, but a physical hard drive might be prone to damage in case you drop it or spill water on it. Cloud storage sometimes get hacked but they will save your data forever.
6. Delete Large Attachments in Your Mail
If you keep using the same email address for many years, your mailbox contains gigabytes of information. Fine-tune its settings so that it doesn’t download the attachments automatically. Gmail users can limit the number of messages that are synced over IMAP by default. This will prevent your mailbox from downloading the new incoming attachments but won’t clean the old ones from the memory. To do this, sort the messages in each folder by size, click on each message separately and opt for Remove Attachments.
7. Erase Duplicate Files
Sometimes you download the same file twice by mistake. Sometimes you try to remove a file from one folder to another and accidentally leave a copy of it in the old one. Duplicate files might take quite large storage space but you won’t pay attention to it because they are not stored next to each other.
The most efficient way to get rid of the duplicates is to install specialized software that will clean up your Mac much faster and smarter than you could do it yourself. It takes such an app just a few minutes to scan the whole system for unnecessary file copies, detect and delete them.
8. Clean Up Your iPhone and iPad backups in the iTunes
Depending on how often you did these backups, they might take dozens or even hundreds of gigabytes. To delete them, close iTunes and move to backup folders. It’s hard to tell which names they have since they differ from one device to another. Just as in the case with the duplicate files, a dedicated app will cope with this process in a matter of minutes.
9. Delete Language Files
For this, you’ll need a cleaning app as well. Many Mac apps are available in nearly all languages of the world, but you are using only one of them. As bulky as they are, language files don’t slow the computer down. However, after cleaning them you will get quite a lot of free space.
10. Resort to the Storage Tools
In macOS High Sierra, you will discover handy tools for memory cleaning and content storage:
- Optimize Storage. Thanks to this option you can remove from your computer those video files that you purchased and watched through iTunes. When needed, you can restore this content in a couple of clicks.
- Empty Trash Automatically. After you enable this function, your trash bin will empty itself every 30 days.
- Reduce Clutter. This one will detect the largest items that eat up your Mac’s memory and help you eliminate them.
- Store in iCloud. Use this solution to relocate your photos and videos to a cloud storage — but only in case your internet connection is speedy enough.
Please mind that these in-built storage tools can’t fully replace the cleaning apps because their functionality is limited.
Now you know how to clean space on your Mac quickly and with minimum effort. If you do it regularly, your computer will never run slow, and you will have enough free space to download new apps and files. Installing disk space cleaning apps would be a wise idea because they will complete the task much more efficiently if compared to the manual approach.