And once it's at capacity, your speed will be slashed as the computer has to use virtual memory, which is physically written onto the hard drive and thus much slower to create and access than standard storage space. Don't let that happen to you! Freeing space on a Mac is easy to do, and your computer can easily optimize the process in a few ways so it does most of the clutter clearing for you.
If you know you have lots of large or redundant files or apps that you don't need, simply delete them and then clear them from the trash. This is the simplest way to free up space on a Mac, but it's not an ideal fix if all of your files or programs are important, and it can also be time consuming. To reduce the storage space used by files without deleting them, you can also create zipped files, compressing many files together. This limits access until you unzip the compressed file, but it means you don't have to delete anything.
Your Mac makes it easy to identify, manage, and remove files and programs that are taking up too much space.
There are four different approaches you can take, and if you use them all, you should free up more than enough space. They all start using the same steps.
This is assuming you are using a computer with the Sierra OS, updated after , for the record. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of the screen. Click "About This Mac" on the dropdown menu. Click the "Storage" tab on the popup window. Now wait a moment as your Mac calculates how much space is used up and what is still free. It will color code the different file and program types taking up space and display free space in white on the right side of the display bar.
Now that you know how much or perhaps rather how little space you have, if you need to make more, click the button that says "Manage…" pictured above. If you say yes, it moves all of those extra pieces into the trash for you.
AppTrap is a free download. Cocktail is like an all-in-one package for helping your Mac run smoothly, and it can clean out old cache files users, the internet, applications, the system.
It also handles other taskes like checking hard rive S. From there you can see how much space different types of content take up, and you can delete files and apps from here, too. The paid version will clean up those files automatically, while the free version makes you do it one-by-one.
How to free up storage space on your Mac. macOS Sierra and later can save space by storing your content in the cloud. And new tools make it. Luckily there are quick and easy ways to free up space on your hard drive. Here's how to clean up your Mac and reclaim some drive space.
We recommend the latter anyway, so you don't accidentally delete something you need. Your computer keeps a collection of temporary files on its hard drive so it can re-access them later. Many people advocate clearing these caches occasionally to free up space, but unlike the above tricks, clearing temporary files only helps you Those caches will fill right back up as you continue using your computer, so this is only worthwhile if you're extremely low on space and just need to get by for a few days while you finish that large project, or wait for a bigger hard drive in the mail.
CCleaner is a free program that will scan your system for temporary internet files, system logs, and other unnecessary files.
Install the app, open it up, and click the Analyze button in the bottom-right corner. It'll present you with a list of removable files, and you can click Run Cleaner to delete them.
This is assuming you are using a computer with the Sierra OS, updated after , for the record. If you never plan to use Aperture or iPhoto again, you can get rid of their libraries, but we'd recommend archiving them on an external hard drive just in case Note, there can be some confusion about your photo library in Photos and iPhoto - the apps are accessing the same images, so your whole library isn't duplicated, but there are associated files that you no longer need. Read on to see some of our favorites. Take a look at the files at the top of the list and see if you can live without them. The first action you should take is to turn on the feature that automatically empties the Trash after 30 days. IDG With a few stray clicks, the Mail Downloads folder can balloon in size, holding megabytes' worth of files you didn't even know were there.
If you're still low on space after going through all the above steps, it may be time to bite the bullet and upgrade your storage. You can upgrade the internal drive on some older Macs, but most of Apple's modern offerings solder the storage onto the motherboard. As a result, you are then forced to buy a new Mac if you want more internal storage.
Google your specific model of Mac and see what your options are. If you can't upgrade the internal storage, hope is not lost: you can still grab an external drive and offload some of your less-used files to that instead.
Check out our list of the best external hard drives and those that work especially well with Mac to see what's available. Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn't get grease on his mechanical keyboard. Contact him on Twitter WhitsonGordon. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links.