How to Free up Space on Mac: Breathe a Sigh of Relief Once You Get Rid of Junk

Do you wonder how to wipe your hard drive to obtain more space for new exciting apps, videos, and increased overall performance? Read the ultimate guidebook below to find all existing approaches to cleaning hard drive on Mac.

In case you would like your computer to operate smoothly without any failures, ensure having a bare minimum of at least 10% of free space to have a more-or-less ‘healthy’ Mac. It is important to conduct a regular spring cleaning to avoid the situations when the amount of storage achieves the mark below 10-15 GB, and the computer starts slowing down in an annoying manner.

Mac Startup Disk Full: Reasons for the Issue

What to do when Mac won’t start? Having problems in the middle of your work is more disappointing than realizing the issue from the very beginning. Thus, it is better to fix the error ahead. MacBook Air / Pro, Mac Pro, iMac, Mac mini, and other Apple computers – they all may suffer from the lack of space from time to time. The most obvious solution is to clean up the system when it says that your startup disk is almost full on Mac. One way is to use built-in tools like Activity Monitor or Disk Utility. Unlike Mac OS X, Mac OS Sierra and High Sierra possess an Optimized Storage function to keep an Apple computer healthy and may show a message to notify you of the required action. Finally, a user may turn to the professional cleaning tool from the third-party developer. Such apps usually have everything a newbie or guru needs to support the perfect health of his device.

What Makes Mac’s Startup Disk Full

Here is what makes your Mac’s startup disk almost full:

  1. Photos
  2. Apps
  3. Movies
  4. Audio
  5. Backups
  6. Other

Under Other, Apple means:

  • Browser cache & cookies
  • Mail cache and content
  • Downloads
  • iTunes/iPhoto Backups
  • Game data
  • Stored data files
  • Call history and contacts
  • Notes
  • Media
  • Voice memos

Clear Out Unwanted Startup Items

Plenty of things exist that eat up precious space on Apple devices. You never know for sure what to erase without diagnostics. However, the first thing you should get rid of when it comes to the startup disk is the startup/login items. Not all applications ask for user’s permission to add login items. To eliminate them, take the offered steps:

  1. Launch Users & Groups in the System Preferences folder.
  2. Pick the Login Items tab. Look at the list of applications that launch along with the bootup
  3. Decide whether to add an item to the list manually by pushing the plus button, or delete an item with the help of minus.

Also, check /System/Library/StartupItems folder to make sure it is empty as it should be. If any files show up there, drag them to the Trash: the next time you boot your Mac, these nasty things will not slow down the process.

The article explains how to troubleshoot the “Your startup disk is almost full” message and other issues with the storage on the Apple computer. Find out how to check the amount of available space on Mac first.

How to Check Storage on Mac and Manage It Wisely

Sooner or later, Mac users ask themselves, “How do I check and manage space on my Mac?” Luckily for macOS High Sierra and Sierra users, there is an Optimized Storage feature in their systems. In short, it allows handling space issues with just several button clicks. Earlier Mac OS X (like Yosemite, El Capitan, and other) cannot enjoy this option, unfortunately.

So, how to activate Optimized Storage on the Apple computer to let the smart machine do the “dirty” job?

Here is the deal.

  • Launch an Apple menu to find About This Mac.
  • Pick the Storage tab in the popped up window. Select Manage then.
  • In a Storage tab, you can detect how much space is left as well as how the system uses it.

Find out how much storage each of the utilities requires and currently uses. Then, pick the Manage button. In the upcoming pane, a user will see four more features: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Trash Automatically, and Reduce Clutter. All of them are equally useful if you need to regain more free space ASAP.

Activity Monitor for Mac OS X Users

Mac OS X users will have to check the amount of available storage manually with the help of Activity Monitor. The good thing is that a built-in Activity Monitor utility will provide a larger picture for the user than the Optimize storage feature. For example, System Memory will show the amount of free RAM while CPU/Network will show real-time usage of CPU and network connections respectively. You will see which applications and processes consume most of the computer’s resources.

So, to open Activity Monitor:

  1. Go to the Applications folder → Utilities.
  2. The icon with a green heartbeat line is what you are looking for; double-click it. Alternatively, you can launch Activity Monitor by typing its name in the Spotlight.
  3. Once the utility launches, click different buttons in the lower half of the window to see each different type of usage.

Basic Ways to Optimize Mac Storage​

Let’s dig deeper into the details of the Optimized Storage option in mac OS High Sierra. Thanks to it, a macOS user can remove the outdated or large files of any type: from photos to television shows and movies. The feature will take care of the email attachments as well. Do not be afraid of losing any important email: find a necessary one on the iCloud server. As for the videos, a user can download them for free once again as he/she has already paid for them. So, how to use Optimized Storage on a Mac for the best effect?

manage mac storage
  1. Optimize Storage by automatically deleting large and outdated files. You may command to erase videos you have already seen on iTunes. Why would you leave them on your Apple computer? Sierra will also store only the latest attachments instead of keeping all your outdated emails.
  2. Automatically empty trash. What does this option and why may you need to enable it? Mac owners often forget to check their trash cans and get rid of the items saved over there. Once the file is simply placed into the Trash can, it does not go away from the system. Thus, it would be a good idea to let your Sierra empty trash automatically. You may turn off this option at any time if you wish to check the content regularly and revive some items.
  3. Reduce Clutter. A person may minimize the amount of clutter thanks to the corresponding Sierra option. Such feature eliminates the outdated documents. Pick Review Files to have a look at what a system identifies as the large files, file browser, and downloads. Not only you will be able to see the biggest items on Mac, but view the details such as the file’s size and most recent date of access. It will help to decide whether the file is necessary. Pick the magnifying glass icon to preview the item. Erase duplicates, large files, and old items first of all. You may purchase an external HDD or SSD to save the files there, but it might seem a bit expensive compared to the manual cleaning or third-party tools.

There is one more effective way to free up some valuable hard drive space on a Mac – move things to iCloud. Actually, this one is so efficient that we will examine it in the separate section below.

Save in iCloud

Save in iCloud as this action provides a user with an opportunity of keeping files in iCloud. It has its price, of course, if you need more than the offered 5 GB. Keep in mind the pricing policy as it is quite fair:

  • 5 GB free;
  • 50 GB $0.99 a month;
  • 200 GB $2.99 a month;
  • 2 TB $9.99 a month.
Check Storage

First, it is important to understand that you must have iCloud and know personal Apple ID. These two are interrelated as Optimized Storage automatically sends the largest files to the iCloud service to release some space on Mac. Also, a user may command to move any heavy files like huge images, music files, and videos to iCloud Photo Library.

Remember, that saving images and video files in iCloud has nothing to do with having them gone form the target computer. iCloud Photo Library reflects the photo libraries on your computers and mobile gadgets. It means that except for the ability to view the pics saved in the library, a person will also view the pictures saved on all devices on every device.

Once the user switches on iCloud Photo Library, it leads to downloading images from other devices to your Mac. That is an issue here. All those images from other devices you own may take the space instead of reclaiming it. That is why experts recommend launching iPhoto and going to Preferences → Optimize Mac Storage prior to the process of downloading.

A better idea might be to deactivate iCloud Photo Library. Even if the user disassociates with iCloud Photo Library and removes the images on his Mac, they will remain in the cloud.

It is possible to get the optimized versions once more. Mind that I case you decide to disconnect from iCloud Photo Library, any uploaded to Mac images will not show up on the rest of the devices later. It will become another photo library. It will remain this way until a user links it up.

You may choose to locate Photo library on an external drive to reclaim free space:

  • Quit Photos.
  • Copy Photos Library to an external drive. Press the Command key when dragging the files over to transfer them.
  • Once the process is fished, push the Option or Alt button while opening Photos.
  • Move to Preferences. Go General → Use as System Photo Library.
  • In case iCloud Photo Library is activated, the Apple computer may get busy trying to figure out which pictures remain in iCloud.

How to Clear Disk Space on Mac by Deleting Unnecessary Images

MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac (Pro), Mac mini… Those are all great Apple devices, which can slow down over time. Why does it happen? Well, the overloaded disk is one of the primary reasons. Thus, the primary thing to do while deciding to reclaim some free space is to choose the items that take most of the space. A Photo library is a perfect location to start.

Manage Disk Space

At least once in a while, it is worth removing the images you share on a social network – they are kept in a specific album. A user may also be surprised to discover duplicated pictures, which emerged after migrating from iPhoto and Aperture to the Photos app. Look for those files in the Pictures folder in a user directory. Right-click on iPhoto file to “Show package contents” and delete all bar the Masters file.

So, do you need more hard disk space right now?

Before listing the possible ways to reclaim space manually, with the help of extra utilities, pay attention to the new Optimize Storage feature offered for macOS users. If you have Sierra or High Sierra installed on your computer, take these simple steps to keep your Mac clean and fast all the time:

  • Click on the Apple logo. Choose About This Mac.
  • Select the Storage tab to see the amount of free space.
  • Pick Manage to launch the optimization options. Inside, decide how often you would like your macOS to get rid of the junk files.

So, how to get more disk space if it is not enough to download more exciting apps, media files, and surf the web without significant drawbacks? Before you move to the clearing process, spend some time to detect the health of your Apple computer. With the help of its built-in analyzer, which is an Activity Monitor tool, view the amount of available space and memory/RAM. Perhaps, the situation is not critical. No matter how much storage is currently available, it is still important to do the seasonal cleaning to keep your Mac speedy and productive.

If you do not want to start with downloading a third-party cleaner, use the built-in utilities. With the help of Activity Monitor, it is possible to identify the amount of disk space used and remaining on the Apple computer. Thanks to this data, the user will realize which files have to be removed and whether it is time to take care. While hard disk space stands for the virtual memory, it is critical to check the physical RAM as well.

  • Go to the Utilities folder in Launchpad.
  • Launch Activity Monitor.
  • Pick System Memory. You will see the following:

Free – Unused memory, which is currently available.

Wired – Type of memory with data that should remain in RAM forever.

Active – This one has info that user currently uses.

Inactive – Type of memory, which possesses information that is not actively being in use.

Used – A processor/system currently use this memory.

VM size – The total number of virtual memory space taken by the Mac OS X/macOS and user’s apps.

Page ins – The number of data cloned from the HD to RAM.

Page outs – The number of data cloned from RAM to the HD.

Swap used – The number of HD space being used as virtual memory.

It is possible to detect the system memory usage in the Dock.

  • Move to the Utilities folder in Launchpad.
  • Launch Activity Monitor.
  • Select View-> Dock Icon -> Show Memory Usage.

A user may change the color of items in the system memory usage graph.

  • Choose System Memory in the Activity Monitor window.
  • Pick the color box next to every item.

One may argue that there is a way quicker method to check the space on Mac. This person will be right as all you have to do is:

Click the Apple icon on the menu bar and select About This Mac. Find Storage over there. However, Activity Monitor provides more detailed information.

If you want both fast and accurate method, try one of the available cleaning solutions for Mac. Find the details in the last section of this article.

So, you have discovered that the lack of free space on your disc is the main reason why Mac OS X or macOS runs dramatically slowly. It is time to discuss some of the possible solutions to the problem like, “disk space full” or “low memory” on Mac.

To make it short, in order to reclaim space on your Apple computer, do one of the recommended or all below:

  • Remove files & folders from the Apple computer.
  • Move items to an external hard drive, solid-state disk, or iCloud.
  • Insert another internal hard drive.

In this article, focus more on the ways to gain more available disk space with the help of Mac’s built-in utilities. There are several types of junk to take care of, and here is how you can eliminate the most annoying ones.

  1. Clear Cache Files.

Overall, cache prevents your browser from loading the regularly attended web pages for too long by saving various page elements such as images, banners, etc. These files are like blueprints for a house. However, you do not visit dozens of websites frequently, do you? It makes the system stuck with the numerous cache files, part of which is useless.

  • Launch a Finder tool.
  • Pick Go in the menu bar. Select Go to Folder.
  • Enter ~/Library/Caches. Remove the items that are ‘eating up’ most of the space.
  • Move to Go to Folder…
  • Enter /Library/Caches. Process with the deletion again.
  1. Toss away Unneeded Language Packs

Why in the world would you need more than 10 language packs installed on your Mac? Even if you know several languages, leave only those that you use in communication.

  • Launch Finder again.
  • Move to the Applications folder.
  • Push Control+click on an app.
  • Pick Show Package Contents.
  • Next, move to Contents -> Resourcesand look for files ending in .lproj. Toss away the languages you do not need into the Trash.
  1. Erase Outdated iTunes backups

The latest versions of the popular Apple’s application generate backups of the user’s iTunes Library each time he/she updates the app. Get rid of those items!

  • Launch Finder.
  • Pick Go ->Go to Folder…
  • Type ~/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Libraries. Have a look at the dates and remove the files according to them.
  1. Uninstall Useless Software

An experienced Mac owner may quickly use Terminal to get rid of any third-party application. Watch out for the operation may be dangerous for the newbie!

  • Trash the known app’s files.
  • Launch Terminal.
  • Enter the offered command to detect the related components:
    • mdfind -name [app’s name]
  • Delete the related items using rm:

sudo rm -rf /Whatever

Another method is to apply the built-in uninstaller and just follow the instructions. Mind that not all third-party applications arrive with the native uninstaller.

Manually, the user can drag-and-drop the unwanted software’s icon to the Trash, but be ready that some associated files may stay even after the Empty Trash operation. Check the offered locations to make sure whether no related files stayed in the system (such files are also called leftovers):

  • /Library
  • /Library/Caches
  • /Library/Preferences
  • /Library/Application Support
  • /Library/LaunchAgents
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons
  • /Library/PreferencePanes
  • /Library/StartupItems
  1. Eliminate Startup/Login Items

In order to get rid of the useless things that boot along with your Mac (startup items), do the following:

  • Launch System Preferences.
  • Move to Users & Groups.
  • Select your nickname.
  • Pick Login items tab.
  • Look at the list of startup programs.
  • Push the minus button next to every useless one.
  • Reboot the computer.
  1. Organize Mac’s Desktop.

Simply hide the icons you do not need or delete the useless files and folders.

  1. Empty Trash Regularly!

Remember: The Trash bin will not empty on its own – help it by choosing the Empty Trash option.

Is the available space not enough all the time? Are you running out of freshly freed up gigabytes in a matter of days? Are you sick and tired of all those manual procedures? It looks like there is a great solution right for you! Those users who wish their system to be scanned for the junk like duplicates and cleaned at the same time would enjoy an option offered by a tough third-party developer!

The idea behind every professional cleaning application is to kill two birds at a time by checking the junk items on Mac and eliminating them all at once for a cleaner disk and better performance. If you are sick and tired of a sluggish snail instead of a fast Apple device, you should think about downloading and setting up a third-party solution. It is better to get one from the App Store or official developer’s website. This way, you can be sure about the security and reliability of such app. Moreover, these apps are almost 100% accurate when it comes to detecting duplicates, cache, cookies, temporary files, login/startup items, outdated files, large files, and more. Once you launch such software, just command it to Scan the system for duplicates or other garbage. In a few seconds or minutes, depending on the amount of information stored on your computer, the app will show the results. A user will have to decide whether the tool can delete the entire list, or leave something necessary in the system. It is a two-click solution, and you should definitely try it if you care about your Mac!

Clean up Mac Hard Drive Space and Unleash Your Computer's Potential

Clean Mac HD

To free up space on any computer, it is important to take care of the contents. The cluttered files filling up your Mac’s hard drive are very different: from tiny text files and icons to the large image and movie files. A Mac owner may have no idea he/she does not need every single item stored on the computer. Moreover, the system, as well as some apps, create useless files without a user’s permission or acknowledgment. It happens quite often. Here is an answer to an all-time relevant question like why Apple computer starts running like a snail over time.


Who needs a slow Mac? The amount of mess saved on your computer is interconnected with the overall performance. If you notice a significant drop in speed, know that it is time to get enrolled in a spring cleaning. It does not matter which time of year it is out there, it’s never too late or too early for the spring cleaning if your Mac is fed up. Preventive measures will avert troubles with the computer’s speed and productivity.

The methods of Mac disk cleanup described below work equally well on both OS X and macOS.

One of the most frequent questions that Mac users ask themselves is “How do I clean my Mac’s hard drive when its space is full?” Though, you may not even guess how many ways to wipe the hard drive exist. Some of those methods would suit newbies while the advanced techniques are just what experienced Mac owners need to take care of the hard drive space.

Those who have already switched to macOS Sierra or High Sierra should be aware of the new “Optimize Storage” option. This built-in feature allows cleaning your Apple computer automatically, without having to do it manually all the time. Besides, there is no way a user will forget to do it as it is possible to specify the interval of time with which you would like your system to auto-clean. Every week/month your macOS will get rid of the outdated, large, temporary, and duplicate items on its own.

Mind this easy way to benefit from Sierra’s “Optimize Storage” option!

  • Pick the Apple logo. Choose “About This Mac”.
  • Select the “Storage” tab. See how much space is left.
  • “Manage” button will display all optimization options for you.

The list will reveal where all of your files are stored and how much each of them weighs. The system will also recommend the next steps to be taken. It is up to the user to decide whether he/she agrees to follow the recommendations or re-checks the list of potential junk to make sure only useless items are there. You may ask the system to arrange the files and folders by date, size, or type. It will make it simpler to reveal the old, large, or simply unwanted items. It is better to get rid of the outdated and large items first. Click on any file/folder on the list to delete it.

You may pay attention to what your smart system says in the “Recommendations.” It may save plenty of time as macOS will then act on its own, preserving the space in the best possible way. It barely deletes something of value, so do not worry. The most typical and effective tips include moving some part of files to iCloud, clean up Mac mail attachments, deleting iTunes films and shows that a user has already watched, optimizing image sizes, decreasing the amount of clutter, and emptying the trash regularly. The recommendations vary based on the user’s habits.

One more useful thing you may notice in macOS Sierra/High Sierra is the “Store in iCloud” function. It allows accessing the files saved on the desktop across all user’s devices. Use this feature with caution as iCloud does not offer unlimited free space. Rely on 50GB you have, or purchase extra storage.

If you would like the system to get rid of the iTunes films and shows automatically, apply “Optimize Storage” option. This function will download the latest attachments in Mail.

“Reduce Clutter” feature shows all docs stored on the Apple computer categorized by size. It also offers “Empty Trash Automatically.” The system will toss away the older items to iCloud. The recent data will stay on the computer.

Optimizing Mac is not the same as erasing the entire data. When may you need it?

Several years may have passed since you first took your Apple device in hands. The lifespan of each HDD and SDD is limited. As far as you can purchase the new disks whenever you want, that is not the core reason to buy another computer. However, having a strong desire to become an owner of the most recent Mac model is a good one. Do not hurry to give away or sell your old Mac unless it is fully clean – you may never know how curious the new user will be, and if he/she can reveal the important personal information. Such private data may include various compromises or, even worse, your payment details. Those could be bank account and different login details. Thus, if you do not want to wake up bankrupt one day because of your old Apple computer, read this section carefully to learn how to erase the entire data from your device.

The shortest guide to wiping your Mac before selling/giving it as a gift will look this way:

  1. Come up with a backup of all your personal information.
  2. Log out of various Apple services and disable the third-party
  3. Completely delete files from the hard drive and reformat it.
  4. Reinstall operating system.
  5. Increase Mac’s resale value.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the details.

  • Do a backup of everything you consider important as you never know what may go wrong during the cleaning process. Apple’s Time Machine and iCloud would be the best options, but space is limited in both cases. Luckily, the prices for additional iCloud space do not bite, so you may simply buy extra storage depending on your needs. Having two backups in two different locations is a 100% warranty on the data safety.
  • Launch Time Machine. Check its preferences in the menu. System Preferences from the Apple menu also will do.
  • Pick Select Backup Disk/Add or Remove Backup Disk.
  • From the list of available options, select a backup disk. Select Use Disk afterward. Start the backup process then.
  • In order to sign out of the Apple services that you use, just go to the personal accounts on iTunes, iCloud, iMessage, and so on to log out. There is no need to delete the accounts themselves. In all situations, you will need to go to the Preferences tab to sign out of each service. Deactivate a serial number/license key and uninstall each third-party app installed on your Mac. Remove other connected devices with the help of the Trusted Devices list (those are all devices related to your Apple ID).
  • To delete files on Mac completely and reformat the disk, do the following:
  • Once you switch on/reboot Mac, hold down Option+Cmd+R keys. It will activate the Recovery partition. Wait until the Apple logo shows up to release the keys.
  • After the bootup process is over, launch Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Apply it to remove the entire data from the built-in hard disk. It is better to use Secure Erase if possible (not all operating systems have that feature).
  • Reinstalling the current operating system is quite simple. Get the device back to the initial factory settings.
  • Pick Reinstall OS. This option is located in Utilities.
  • Stick to the offered instructions.
  • After the process, an Apple computer will reboot, and you will see a setup helper. Just push Cmd+Q keys. Select the Shut Down button.
  • As for the maximizing Mac’s resale value, grab a damp microfiber cloth or gadget-friendly wipe to clean the surface of your Apple computer gently. That is right – it is critical to keep Mac clean both outside and inside to make the person want to buy it from eBay, Craigslist, or another available store!

Are you not planning to sell your MacBook Pro, Air, Mac mini or iMac computer? You can still back up the important files or reinstall the operating system to make the device faster. The best way to clean out the trash on your Apple computer is to install a third-party cleaning software, but here are some things you can do manually first.

Reduce clutter on your Mac’s desktop. Many users forget to keep their desktops organized and clean. Just arrange the files and folders properly, hiding those items you barely use. Eliminate the useless files and folders.

Erase the space-hogging mail downloads/attachments. Mac’s Spotlight will help you in doing so.

  • Push the Cmd+Space buttons to call a search field. Enter “Mail Downloads.”
  • Another alternative is to launch Finder and move this way: GoàGo to Folder and typing ~/Library/Containers/ Downloads.
  • Manually select stuff you don’t need any longer.

Purge unwanted software. Mac OS X users will need to search for the unwanted app in the Applications folder to drag-and-drop its icon to the Trash. Once the Trash is emptied, the application is gone. However, such way to uninstall an app on mac does not guarantee its complete deletion – some leftovers can be detected. Read the final section of this article to find out how to get rid of the app’s leftovers.

macOS users have another option called “Optimize Storage.” It was discussed above. Once you reach the “Manage” section, pick Applications. Choose the unwanted software and click the X button next to it. It works for the App Store’s applications only.

Take care of the computer’s cache. Start with ~/Library/Caches. It may take a while to erase all caches from all possible directories.

Have a look at your Apple services and delete the useless associated files. It would be a great idea to get rid of the iTunes library. A user may either clone the entire stuff from Music directory and point iTunes from the Preferences.

We have reached the final cleaning technique. It is the fastest way to clean any type of MacBook or Mac desktop. The option is called a cleaning software. Many third-party solutions are available in the app market today. You should be really careful when choosing. Just make sure the app is not a virus or malware itself by reading the expert reviews and comments left by other Mac owners.

After downloading a free trial version or purchasing a paid cleaner to get a full spectrum of options, do the following:

  • Install the chosen cleaning tool.
  • Launch it to start the System Scan. This process will detect all the junk files on your Mac (duplicates, outdated/large items, temporary files, cache & cookies, login items, etc.)
  • Choose Uninstall App in case some of the unwanted apps just won’t go. This action will help to remove the associated leftovers.
  • Finally, select Clean if you are sure the offered file and folders are really This way, you will free up a lot of space in a couple of clicks!

That is how every caring mac owner can clean up Mac hard drive space to make the machine faster or just get it ready for the sale!

Eliminate Items Stored in the Downloads Folder

In Downloads, a user may have a lot of junk. Most often, the Downloads folder is full of useless, huge files like PDFs, HD photos, videos, and more. Begin with the disk images. In case you have installed their contents, there is no reason to keep them any longer.

Empty Trash
Free Up Space

What Apps Are Eating up Your Mac’s Disk Space?

Have you handled the basic culprits? It is time to go under the hood of your Mac to discover more underlying causes of the decreased performance. Mac owners may download and set up some applications to detect the items that ‘eat’ most of the space. Such tools also allow arranging items in the Finder concerning their size.

Many free third-party solutions provide users with an opportunity to display the size of each item stored on Mac. Another group of applications makes it possible to display a disk usage and provide in-depth cleaning for fair money.

Though, if you would like to detect the largest and most memory-consuming files, it is not necessary to purchase a special application. Di this:

  • Launch a new Finder window and move to the Home folder;
  • Pick Other at the window’s top;
  • Then, scroll down to find a File Size feature. Put a tick in the corresponding box;
  • Choose ‘greater than’ in the upcoming drop-down menu.
  • Modify the file size units to MB. Then, enter ‘100,’ for example, to show the files in the Home folder. It means the system will display only those files and folders that weigh more than 100 MB. A user will have to decide which items should stay and which should be gone to reclaim the disk space.

Don't Forget to Empty Trash

It is important to get rid of the files stored in Trash regularly. Many single-click third-party tools will help to get rid of the apps that would not go that way.

Empty Trash

Stop Software Working in the Background

Shutting down applications that have been open for several days and longer or fully rebooting the system will also assist in cleaning hard drive. Apps generate temporary files to save data. It means that the longer these apps work without being shut down, the bigger those items become. Once you quit the application, the cache files are removed which means the increase of the free space.

Check Storage

Erase Unnecessary Language Packs

Free Up Space

macOS has more than 25 languages to offer for your interface. They are set by default and, of course, each of them includes corresponding files. The language packages may ‘eat’ some space as well. If you want to leave some languages, it is easy to arrange them in System Preferences -> Language & Region.

Most of the basic apps support numerous languages as well. In case a user needs no more than a couple of languages to work with his Apple computer, the system gets bloated with the rest of the options.

To remove the languages you find unnecessary, move to the Resources folder. Search for the folders that have .lproj in the end. Eliminate these language folders without any obstacles.

Delete the Useless Developer Code

You may download and install a special third-party solution to get rid of the particular architectures together with certain languages. It is important to use such tools and work with preferences carefully not to harm you Mac unknowingly.

Delete Unnecessary Files

Let Cloud Storage Serve You Well

Even though Mac owners initially use Cloud services to free up space on Mac’s drive. However, most of them have no idea that Cloud is taking too much space as well. Let’s take OneDrive and DropBox as two examples. These services sync every file a user saves in them with the user’s Apple computer automatically. While many users believe that buying more space on Dropbox is a solution to their problems with limited space, it may, vice versa, lead to the noticeable loss of Mac’s space because of the problem described above.

Do not panic – just select to sync only those items you consider necessary. To do so, pick the menu bar in Dropbox. Pick the cog to get to Preferences. You will need a Change Settings option on the Account tab. Remove the ticks from the items you do not want to be sent to your computer. Go to the OneDrive menu as well. Pick Preferences. Select Choose Folders. You will need to find Click Folders to sync. iCloud storage s another good option, but as we’ve seen above, it costs money.

If You Wish to Keep as Much Data as Possible...

  • Archive the items you don't use too often. Control-click on a target item and pick the compress feature. It depends on the type of file of how much space you will save this way. Mind that files like DMG compress insignificantly.
  • Apply an external drive. Be ready to invest some money.
  • Back up files before any risky procedure!
  • Transfer iTunes Music folder to an external drive. Relink within iTunes.

Knowledge is power.

We hope that thanks to this comprehensive guidebook, you will obtain the power to keep you precious Apple computer in good shape - clean, stable, and fast!