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How to Free Up Disk Space on Mac

How to Free Up Disk Space on Mac

When the disk on your Mac is almost full, you may receive the above warning message and find that your Mac runs slower than usual. You can then take the easy steps below to check the disk space on your Mac, and may need to use the 10 methods provided in the second part to free up disk space.

Let’s get started.


How to check disk space on Mac

You can simply follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple Icon, and select About This Mac.

  2. Click Storage. And you’ll see how much free space is available and what are taking up the used space.

If you are running out of disk space, you can try the methods below to free up some.


How to free up disk space on Mac

Method 1: Use recommendations

A quick fix would be to click the Manage button to use recommendations for optimizing your storage. You’ll see fewer options if some of them are already enabled.

Method 2: Use cloud storage

Besides iCloud and iTunes, you can also use other cloud storage tools to store your content and save disk space on Mac. There’re many cloud storage applications available on the Web or inside the Mac App Store. Among them, you can try AnyTrans.

AnyTrans breaks the sync boundaries and builds highways between all your devices. With it, you can transfer your data and files across iOS devices, Android mobiles, PC/Mac, and cloud storage. Freely, flexibly and unlimitedly.

Method 3: Use external drives

You can also move big and infrequently used files (e.g. movies, photos and audio)  to a USB drive with a large storage capacity, say, 500GB, to effectively free up space on your Mac.

Method 4: Delete downloads

As you may frequently download files from browsers and mail, the Downloads folder is probably taking up several Gigabytes of free space. So you can navigate to the path below to delete downloads that are not needed any more to free up your disk space.

Machintosh HD > Users > Current User > Downloads
startup disk is full

Method 5: Clear caches

Caches in apps and browsers can pile up and occupy a good portion of disk space over time. So it’s a good idea to periodically clear caches and free up disk space. To do so, you can:

  1. In the menu bar, click Finder, then select Go.
  2. Click Go to Folder.
  3. Type ~/Library/Caches.
  4. Delete the files or folders that’re taking up the most space.
  5. Type /Library/Caches.
  6. Again, delete large folders/files.

Method 6: Remove logs

In the Library folder, you can also find the Logs folder, which stores some temporary files of the system, apps and mobile devices. You can remove unnecessary files/logs in it to free up space.
how to free up space on your mac

Method 7: Delete iTunes backups

If you often back up your iPhone with iTunes, the backups may take up much space on your Mac. To have a check, you can go to iTunes > Preferences > Devices.

You can then move the content to the cloud, then delete all previous backups on your Mac.

Method 8: Remove duplicate files

In iTunes, there’re other files you can remove to free up disk space — duplicate items.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Click the View tab, then select Show Duplicate Items.
    iTunes will show you a list of duplicates. You can then check and remove the unneeded.
    how to clean mac hard drive

Method 9: Remove software updates

If you have updated your iPhone or iPad via iTunes on your Mac, you’ve left update file(s) on the system. After the update, these files are not needed any more, and you can follow these steps to delete them.

  1. Click the Finder tab > Go > Go to Folder.
  2. To delete iPad update files, type ~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates.
  3. To delete iPhone update files, type ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates.

Method 10: Uninstall unneeded apps

Last but not least, you can consider removing unused applications on your Mac. It’s a great way to free up disk space.

You can use the free OS X tool AppCleaner or AppTrap to clean uninstall apps. Just drag and drop the app you want uninstalled into the tool.

Then select the files you want to be removed along with the app, and empty the trash and the uninstallation process is complete.

Just have a try now!

Feel free to leave a comment below to share your results or any other suggestions.

By Wendy Mai

Wendy is a technical writer who loves words and technology. In writing how-to articles, she helps people find quick solutions to their technological problems.


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