11 Ways to Reclaim Disk Space on Mac

Written by twitiq

Did you know that you need to have at least 10% free disk space on your MacBook for it to function properly? If you have been noticing performance issues or see an error message about full storage, you have too many files on your hard drive.

Instead of trading in your laptop for a newer model or trying to upgrade your SSD, here is what you can do instead.

  1. Delete all the unnecessary apps

Remember that app you downloaded and used once 6 months ago? You don’t need to keep it installed on your laptop. Most apps come with a browser version that works just as well, if not better. You can delete anything that you have not used more than once or do not plan on using it regularly.

This will save you a considerable amount of space. Also, remember to get rid of the app installation files.

  1. Empty your cache

Anytime you browse the web, your browser creates a cache which is a collection of temporary files that helps you load sites faster. The same happens with apps as well, so that when you switch between them, you can pick up from where you left off.

It is recommended to regularly empty caches mac system creates. Having a full cache on the computer is slowing it down.

  1. Remove temporary files

Temporary files are created by apps when you have some drafts in progress. But these files accumulate over time to become a massive space hogger.

It is slightly more complicated to find temporary files since you need to use the Terminal, but if you follow the step-by-step guide to remove temporary files, you will be able to do it yourself. If you are unsure of whether the file is important or not, you should leave it alone until you take your laptop to get it serviced by a professional.

  1. Remove duplicate files

Duplicate files on Mac are another problem. You can find these by using filters on Finder. But it can be quite cumbersome if you have lots of duplicate files on your laptop.

You can automate this process with the help of cleaning software that can easily weed out duplicate files, and you can delete them. This will significantly improve the laptop’s performance.

  1. Check your downloads

Mac 2Your Downloads folder can also become a major contributor to your storage being full. Check whether you have some old large files that you no longer need and can delete. You can use Finder to filter it by file size and date created to find them.

  1. Empty your Trash

After you delete unnecessary files, be sure to also delete them from Trash. If you don’t do this, those files still remain on your system, and you will not be able to reclaim any space. You can empty your Trash automatically every 30 days.

  1. Sync to iCloud

One recommendation Apple provides when you try to manage your storage is to sync your files to iCloud. This saves you from the hassle of deciding what is important and what is not, and files get saved directly to your cloud instead of them being saved locally.

You can also use other cloud storage services like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, among others.

  1. Save to external drive

Another space-saving hack is to use Time Machine. You can also opt to back up your data on an external storage device using Time Machine to save some space. External drives are generally inexpensive, so you do not have to worry about deleting anything as long as you take regular backups.

  1. Optimize Storage

Another Apple recommendation that you can turn on is ‘Optimize Storage’ Any shows you have already watched will get deleted automatically. You can redownload these shows or change them in your TV preferences later.

  1. Remove browser extensions

Extensions on your browser also take up a lot of space. Review the ones you have and determine if you need them all or if you can live without them. You can disable them all and turn them on one by one when you need them.

  1. Restart your computer

If you are the type of person who leaves their computer on all day every day, you should consider restarting your MacBook. When it is on for prolonged periods of time, there are tons of apps and processes in the background that keep running and create unnecessary temporary files. Restarting your computer gets rid of all of these issues.

To sum up

Upgrading your hard drive is not a possibility on newer models. So if you can purchase one with more storage space, do that. Or be prepared to invest in cleaning software for Mac that regularly cleans up unnecessary files and backup your data to external devices and cloud storage services to circumvent the issue.

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