MacBooks always had small hard drives that easily fill up nowadays. Fortunately, many quick and simple solutions make more room on your hard drive. Here’s how to declutter your Mac’s hard drive and free up some space on your drive.
Of course, you can free up disc space by quickly finding and deleting large files and other items you’ve downloaded, but that will only get you so far in practice. The user cannot recover most unused space on your Mac unless you dig far deeper, deleting duplicate files, language files, attachments, temporary files, and trash cans, among other things.
The dreaded “Your disc is almost full” error will ultimately appear if you don’t maintain your Mac’s hard drive clean, so you might as well begin now and free up some space.
Take the dazzling 256 GB capacities of the latest MacBook Air 2022 version. That is almost the same storage amount as last year’s iPad! And soon, you will fill up on that space, considering the current media consumption patterns? Quite soon. Additionally, 50GB of iCloud storage will cost users $0.99 per month as of the summer of 2022.
So it’s important to understand how to free up space on a mac if you have a new or older Mac. We will show you the top techniques for Mac space recovery further down. They resemble alchemy somewhat since we will convert waste into free space.
Before you start deleting something, it’s a good idea to make a backup. Maybe make a complete backup using a time machine because anything you delete during this process, if you don’t have a backup, there will be no way to get it back. So, let’s start with how to free up space on mac and the best 13 ways.
How to Check Storage on Mac
First, let’s check how much storage you have before we get down to deleting things. Go to the apple menu > selecting about this mac > and then clicking the storage tab.
Here you’ll see how much storage you have and which types of files are taking up the most space. Usually, there is a big piece taken by others. This might take a moment to load.
Anything that is not classified as a movie app audio photo or backup includes some documents, system files, and other stuff, and it can sometimes be tricky to locate. Here’s how to check storage to know how to free up space on a mac.
How to Take Backup
You can decide what you want to store in iCloud. When it loads up, click manage to see some recommendations for freeing up space. If your first recommendation is stored in iCloud, click on it and select what you want to store there. You can choose desktop and documents, photos, and messages. Storing files in iCloud uses the space in your cloud storage plan, so you might need to upgrade depending on your choice.
Next, if you click optimize storage, you can remove tv shows and movies you have purchased from the iTunes store and you’ve already watched. Of course, you’ll be able to download this again if you need to.
Another recommendation is to turn on the empty treasure. Automatically files you’ve moved to the trash will be permanently deleted after 30 days.
It makes sense to turn it on because sometimes you might forget about the files, and they are sitting in the bin. You can get to the same options if you’re in finder and select finder preferences and here in the advanced tab, click remove items from the bin after 30 days.
The last one is to reduce clutter if you press it; it will help you quickly identify large file downloads and apps you might no longer need. You can also free up some space manually from these categories on the site.
Like in applications, documents can clean the messages, music, and so on. You can sort it by size here to see which files are taken the most, then select which one you want to delete. This explains how to take backup and free up space on mac. It’s pretty basic and fast to clean things up like this.
How to See what’s taking Space on Mac?
How does the Full Hard Drive Affect your Mac?
Your Mac will operate considerably slower once your drive exceeds 80% of its capacity. This is because of the part of the alleged fragment. Every new file will be divided into parts or fragments and fitted into open slots somewhere else on your Mac when there is less and less disc space left.
This causes your Mac to process certain files more slowly. Additionally, a portion of your RAM would be used to compensate for the lost disc space.
14 Amazing Ways to Free up Space on Mac
1. Clean up the Downloads Folder
2–5 GB of space could be regained.
There is no better place to begin after you have decided to start cleaning up your Mac other than your Download folder. As consumers, we continuously download data onto our computers. Furthermore, we don’t need half of it. Let’s be honest. It’s time to purge the clutter by destroying all unnecessary files. This explains How to free up space on a mac by cleaning the unnecessary content from the Downloads folder, and it is as follows:
- Select Finder > Downloads.
- You can delete files by right-clicking them and choosing “Move to Trash.”
- Don’t forget to clear the Trash once you’re done deleting files.
2. Upload music and photographs to iCloud or external storage
2–5 GB of space could be regained.
You have now deleted the huge files that you no longer require. Your media will be the next subject for audit. We are well mindful that these are not simply ordinary files; they are snapshots of the precious memories they represent. Do you intend to keep them? Ultimately saving them to iCloud or an external drive is the best option and explains how to free up space on a mac.
- To upload your music and photographs to iCloud, take the following actions:
- Navigate to About This Mac > Storage > Manage from the main Apple menu.
- Select the item you want to store by clicking Store in Cloud.
- Once more, click Store in Cloud.
- Remember that you can save up to 5 GB of data on the iCloud free plan. You must purchase a paid storage plan of 50 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB if you want to transmit more data than that.
- Now, comply with the guidelines below to upload media files to external storage:
- Go to Apple > Go > Home from the menu.
- Drag the Pictures folder to spot one of your external storage devices after selecting it.
Done! You can now remove the original Photo library to free up some storage. Move it to Trash. Next, take out the trash.
3. Look for Duplicate Files and Eliminate them
This explains How to free up space on a mac by finding and removing duplicate files if your Mac’s disc space is running low. Why is your drive filled with duplicate files? It’s a component of the user experience, after all.
We frequently download the same app downloads or zip files, edit images, copy documents and other files, and execute other file-related tasks. In other words, duplicates are unavoidable. Additionally, they can take up as much as 30% of system storage space.
On your Mac, keeping duplicate files is a waste of space. It would be time-consuming to remove them physically. For this reason, a lot of Mac users download Mac cleaning. Use MacKeeper because its handy Duplicate Finder tool may quickly locate duplicate files on your Mac and free up space.
It goes as follows:
- Open MacKeeper and choose Duplicate Finder from the left-hand menu.
- Choose “Start Scan” from the menu.
- Select Auto-selection from the list, then click Remove Duplicates.
4. Eliminate any Leftovers such as Unused Apps
There are various ways to free up space on mac by removing the unneeded programs in macOS.
Let’s begin with the most straightforward:
Select Applications in Finder.
Drag a pointless program to the Trash to clear the trash.
Through Launchpad, you can also remove unnecessary apps:
- Start Launchpad
- The moment an app icon begins to shake, click and hold it.
- Select the app and then click the X.
- You may address the immediate problem, the apps themselves, by deleting them from Launchpad or the Trash. However, depending on how much you use your Mac, software leftovers might consume up to 10% of your storage space.
- Using a cleaning tool like MacKeeper, follow these steps to effectively remove programs and the excess system clutter effectively:
- Launch MacKeeper
- From the left sidebar, pick Smart Uninstaller.
- Click Remove Selected after checking the checkboxes beside the applications you want to remove.
- To confirm the deletion, click Remove in the newly opened window.
5. Delete the Browser’s Cache
What is the main browser you use? These are the types of bookmarks that each website you visit will leave on your hard disc. Your Mac’s drive is likely overflowing with browser cache if you use the internet frequently. For Chrome and Safari, see the following solutions.
To empty the cache of Chrome,
- Tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of Chrome.
- Choose More Tools. delete browsing history
- To erase the history of your browsing, pick a time frame.
- Remove “Cached images and files” as well.
- To empty the Safari cache
- From the top menu, select Develop.
- Press Empty caches.
6. Make your Desktop Empty
In terms of storage capacity, a desktop may not appear to be a huge concern, but only because few people utilize it. It’s common knowledge that a disorganized desktop takes up a lot of space and, more significantly, slows down your Mac. This explains How to free up space on a mac by cleaning the desktop of your Mac.
Here’s a quick tip for keeping your desktop organized: Use Stacks can be selected in the window by clicking right anywhere on the desktop. Everything will be orderly and categorized, such as Screenshots, there. The hundreds of screenshots that most of us have can now be deleted in bulk.
You can manually free up some space on your Mac Desktop if you are running macOS High Sierra or an earlier version.
- Navigate to Finder > Desktop.
- Select the 3-line symbol under View.
- You can now clear the largest files after sorting everything by size.
7. Locate Huge Files that You Don’t Require
- 2–5 GB of space could be regained.
- Press Command + F while on your desktop.
- Decide on “This Mac.”
- Head toward the dropdown menu and select Other.
- Tick the boxes next to File Extension and File Size in the Search Attributes menu. The results can now be sorted by size when you enter various file extensions. I advise starting with the application installers or DMG files. Anyone will manage without them since they are merely unnecessary dead weight. Zip archives are comparable.
8. Remove large & old files with CleanMyMac X
- The fastest approach to free up more space is to delete huge files. This explains How to free up space on a mac with the help of CleanMyMac X.
- But it can take a lot of time to hunt for those things.
- You can rapidly complete the task with CleanMyMac X thanks to its Oversized & Old Files module, which finds and deletes the largest files.
- Open CleanMyMac X; if you don’t already have it, download it here.
- Select Large & Old Files, then click Scan.
- Examine the specifics and choose what you would like to delete.
- Select Remove.
9. Make your Files Small
- A suitable substitute for permanent deletion is to archive or compress files. However, not even all file formats compress equally effectively. Compression, for instance, can significantly reduce the size of documents and presentations, whereas movies are more difficult to compress.
- Fortunately, your macOS comes with has a built-in tool, so you wouldn’t need any third-party solution to zip up your files.
- Navigate to your Documents in Finder.
- On a folder, use Command + Click (or multiple folders).
- Select Compress.
- You can delete the original folder if you have the archive because macOS leaves the original file alone. Once finished, you can move the freshly formed archive to an external device.
10. Dispose of Unwanted Mails
- Reclaimed space potential: 50 MB
- All detest junk email. Apple feels the same way because they built automatic junk mail removal into their Mail program. While junk mail doesn’t have much weight, removing it is important for your Mac’s hygiene.
- Open the Mail app.
- On the Mailbox tab, click.
- Select Delete Junk Mail.
- Be aware that this procedure cannot be reversed.
11. Throw Away Previous iPhone Backups
- Reclaimed space potential: 10–20 GB
- Older iPhone backups may take up a lot of room. Your Mac likely houses all of your phone’s data if you’ve ever backed up your iPhone on your computer. Checking your drive for outdated backups makes sense before they get out of control.
- Here’s how to delete outdated backups to free up space on your Mac:
- Browse to Finder. Click Select “Finder” from the menu. Open the folder.
- Paste the following location: /Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
- After that, empty the folder’s contents into the trash.
- Here’s how to delete a particular backup if you want to:
- Utilize a cord to connect your iPhone to your Mac.
- Select your device by going to Finder > Locations.
- To manage backups, click.
- Right-click the backup file’s name to see the “Show in Finder” command. Move the backup to a different location or use the Delete option to remove it.
- Remember only to do this if you are positive and won’t require your iPhone backups. This explains How to free up space on a Mac by removing old iPhone backups.
12. Remove Extra Languages
- More than 25 languages have been localized for macOS, each installed automatically during installation.
- To simplify switching between languages, head towards System Preferences > Language & Region. Here, languages can be arranged in the order you like.
- When choosing a language, if an app doesn’t support your primary language, many popular apps also support multiple languages.
- The issue is that many of your apps and macOS are bloated with all the additional languages if you only want to utilize one or two.
- Head to the Resources folder and search for folders ending in .lproj to eliminate unnecessary language files you don’t know you’ll use.
- A language file will be present in each of the folders.
- These directories ought to be easy to remove from your computer. This explains How to free up space on a mac by removing the extra languages provided into the system.
13. Use Cloud Storage Space in Your Mac
- Although iCloud has already been covered, there are additional cloud storage solutions.
- Services like cloud storage are excellent for making data accessible from a distance. However, they can also use storage capacity on your Mac.
- If you have the Dropbox or OneDrive app installed, both services sync up everything you store there with your Mac.
- It’s not a big deal if Dropbox only gives you access to the standard 2GB of storage for free.
- However, Microsoft provides 1TB of space for free to Office 365 members, so if you utilize that to store a lot of files, you may quickly run out of storage space. The same remains true if you pay for extra Dropbox storage. This explains How to free up space on a Mac using cloud storage.
14. Delete iTunes Backup
Your iPhone, iPod, or iPad’s backup on your Mac may take up a lot of space, depending on how much data, images, messages, and other items you have stored there. Here it is shown how to free up space on a mac by deleting the iTunes backup.
It’s a good idea to keep gadget backups. Your device’s data can be restored using your backup if something were to happen to it (or to another device). These backup files, though, can be incredibly large, and you might never use them. To save space on your Mac, think about backing up your gadgets to iCloud instead.
Go to Settings > (owner’s name) > iCloud > iCloud Backup to configure your device to backup to iCloud.
Connect your device to a source of power and a Wi-Fi network in order to start a backup. Last but not least, make sure your device’s display is locked and that there is adequate space in iCloud for the backup to be stored.
15. Archive or Backup
- Any files you won’t use frequently should be archived.
- Click on a folder with the Ctrl key and choose the compress option.
- (Read more about zipping Mac files here.)
- Depending on the type of file being archived, different amounts of space can be saved. JPEGs and DMGs, for example, are uncertain to compress very much.
- Archives can be stored to an external device or left on your Mac after creation.
- Finally, always make a backup of any files or folders before deleting them.
You will occasionally need to clear up space on a Mac unless you have a high-end version with terabytes of storage. If routinely wasting so much time on this isn’t appealing, think about employing a Mac cleaning tool with an integrated program remover. This article explains 13 ways to answer how to free up space on a Mac.
Your Mac will thank you with greater speed and more storage for your priceless files and memories if you remove file attachments, temporary files, system garbage, and other intrusive data.