How to Free Up Space on Mac
If you’ve beenusing your Mac for a while, you might have come to a point where you don’t haveavailable storage. This makes it difficult to download files or install newprograms.
Mac doesn’t always make it easy or straight forward to clear up space. Use this guide to get more storage for your favorite photos or videos.
Freeing Up Space onYour Mac
Newer Macmodels are coming with more storage capabilities with each update. However,users also have more files than ever before. Thankfully, your Mac has a fewoptions to make storage management easier.
Checking youravailable disk space on your Mac is easy. Follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple icon.
- Click on About this Mac.
- Select Storage. On older Macs, you will need to select More Info and then Storage.
The menu willshow the basic breakdown of your hard disk management, and you can click oneach part to learn more details about it.
If you see alarge number of non-application files, such as photos and movies, these arefiles that are easiest to move elsewhere. We will show you a few handy methods forcleaning up your Mac.
How to Free UpSpace on Mac Startup Disk
If you’rereceiving a notification that your disk is almost full, your Mac won’t be ableto receive new updates. You will also have a more challenging time updatingyour applications.
Your startupdisk will contain your most used applications and most background data thatyour system uses. Over time, this will pile up so it’s essential to keep thesize of those files in check.
Astraightforward way to free up space is to empty your Trash. Whenever youdelete a file on your Mac, it goes to the Trash application’s storage. If youdon’t remove it from there, it will still take up space on your hard disk.
To deletefiles in the Trash, right-click on the docked app on your toolbar and pressEmpty Bin. Another way is to open the Trash application, then click Empty inthe upper right.
If you’reusing a newer version of Mac (macOS Sierra or later), you can also set up yourTrash to empty automatically every once in a while. To do so, follow thesesteps:
- Click on the Apple icon.
- Open About this Mac.
- Select Storage, then select Manage.
- Next to “Empty Trash Automatically,” select “Turn On.”
- Your Mac will continuously remove files in the Trash that are over 30 days old.
If you’restill low on space, you will want to remove your application caches. Removingthe cache can save a tremendous amount of space depending on how long and howfrequently you use memory-heavy applications, such as Photoshop.
To remove thecache of most applications, follow these steps:
- In Finder, go to Go, then select Go to Folder.
- Type in “~/Library/Caches.” This will open a menu of folders, each with a cache for an application on your Mac.
- Go to each of the folders and delete the files inside. This might be tedious if you have a lot of folders, so prioritize folders taking the most space.
- Repeat the process when you go to “/Library/Caches” without using the ~.
A handful of applications will do this for you if you install them on your device. A quick Google search will bring you to an application such as Clean My Mac X, CCleaner for Mac, Mac Cleaner Pro, or many others. Some of these you won’t have to pay for and will be available for trial.
When you do delete these files, make sure to clean up the Trash folder afterward.
Clear Browser Cache
Browsers canalso store a lot of data on your Mac, which can add up after a while. To removeSafari browser cache, follow these steps:
- Click the Safari icon to open your browser.
- In the menu, click on “Preferences.”
- Select “Advanced” and tick the “Show Develop menu” in the menu bar.
- Click the “Develop” button in the menu bar and choose the “Empty Caches.”
- Close the Safari browser to complete clearing the cache.
If you’reusing a different browser, go to its settings to remove its cache.
Another folder that can take up a lot of space is your Downloads folder. You can find it in the following location: /Macintosh HD/Users/Current User/Downloads
Delete olddownloads that you no longer need or any outdated application installations.You can sort the files in the Downloads folder by name, size, type, date, andvarious other options, allowing you to find what you don’t need and remove themquickly.
If you use thestock Mail application, you might need to check on it as well. The easiest wayto find the folder that contains these downloads is to type in Mail Downloadsin the search field of Spotlights.
Another way toopen the folder is to go to the Finder (shortcut Shift+Cmd+G) and then type in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail
Once there,select the files you don’t need and remove them. Make sure to empty the Trashafterward.
How to Free UpSpace on Mac by Deleting Photos
If you havemany photos, they are likely causing the bulk of your space issues.
The default destinationfor your photos is Photos Library, located in Users > [your username] >Pictures. You may be storing photos elsewhere on your Mac, so just adjust thesteps accordingly.
Once you openPhotos Library, you can remove any photos you don’t wish to keep.Alternatively, you can move them to an external hard drive or the cloud.
To storephotos in the cloud, open the Storage Management options as described above. Inthere, locate the “Store in iCloud” option. Click the option, then select thePhotos option there. All of your high-resolution images will be saved in thecloud and only the optimized versions will be on your Mac. Whenever you need toopen a photo, the Mac will download the full file from the iCloud for viewing.
The Cloudoption can also similarly save your Documents and can do the same with yourMessages.
If you want touse an external hard drive to store your photos, plug the drive into your Macand move the photos from the libraries that you use.
How to Free UpSpace on Mac Catalina
macOS Catalinais one of the newer versions of macOS and will have all the previouslymentioned options at its disposal. Most importantly, Catalina has access to theStorage Management options discussed above.
AnotherStorage Management option you can use is cleaning up clutter. This can beaccessed via the Storage Management menu. Select Reduce Clutter. Theapplication will open a list of all large files that you might no longer need.From there, you can easily remove them and save precious storage space.
Catalina canalso automatically remove old videos you’ve already watched. To do so, go toStorage Management and select the “Optimize Storage” option, In there, select“Automatically remove watches movies and TV shows.” Any movies you’vedownloaded and watched through iTunes will be removed this way.
How to Free UpSpace on Mac Yosemite
If you’reusing an older version of macOS, such as Yosemite, then the options are morelimited. Yosemite doesn’t have an integrated management option, as discussedabove, so the only way is to check for files you want to remove manually.Alternatively, you can download a storage management application to do thiswork for you.
How to Free UpSpace on Mac El Capitan
Likewise, asEl Capitan is older than the Sierra model of the macOS, it also doesn’t have anintegrated Storage Management option. To check which version of macOS you have,go to the Apple menu, then select the “About this Mac” option. The Overview tabwill let you know which version you’re running.
If you want to use Mac’s default management options, you will need to update your operating system. Otherwise, all you can do is search for files to remove manually or use some of the more popular software to do it for you.
Free at Last
Managing yourstorage in your Mac is a great way to dodge headaches with low space and theinability to download updates. Thankfully, newer versions of Mac have all theappropriate options to make this hassle-free, and all you need to do is checkthem and forget about them.
Which of thestorage management options worked for you? What macOS version are you using?Let us know in the comments below.