When you look at the Mac models in Apple store, all types (MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air) are sold starting from 512GB storage. This is a decent storage space for a solid state drive (SSD). But the storage space can quickly wiped of based on your usage over period of time. For example, storing huge number of high quality photos, videos, audios and downloading large disk image (.dmg) files will quickly eat up the disk space. Therefore, it is important to keep your Mac’s disk space free, in order to easily access the files and documents you want. It will also allow your Mac to run faster without sluggishness. In this article let us explore how to cleanup your Mac.
Here is a summary of how to Cleanup Mac Disk Space to Increase Storage.
1. Preliminary Cleanup
- Cleanup desktop
- Cleanup Trash
- Delete unwanted apps
2. Using default Mac tools
- Move files to iCloud
- Cleanup iTunes movies and audios
- Enable auto Trash cleanup with 30 days frequency
- Check larger files and apps
3. Using third party apps
- Check junk files
- Check duplicate files
1. Cleanup Your Desktop
Deleting all the unnecessary files on your desktop is the first step to make your Mac clean and looks pretty.
We recommend, you can organize the files in an easily accessibly manner and store inside the “Documents” folder. Remember you can customize the options available in the right sidebar of the “Finder” app from “Finder > Preferences > Sidebar” section. So, cleanup your desktop and choose to view the “Desktop” folder when opening Finder. This will not only help your housekeeping easy but also load the Finder faster.
The latest macOS version also comes with two handy options to arrange desktop icons neatly – Stacks and Clean Up. You can right-click on the desktop and select “Stacks” option to group similar file types together. Similarly, cleanup option helps to arrange the icons in a neat manner based on your selection. Though these options will not increase the space, you can still use them for keeping the desktop clean.
2. Cleanup That Trash Bin Too
Most of us never have the habit of cleaning up the trash bin. Over the period of time, large number of deleted files will start accumulating in the trash. This will not only occupy the storage space but also slow down your applications. You can easily setup auto cleaning for trash with every 30 days. Let us look at that option later in this article.
3. Delete Unwanted Applications
When you are using Mac for years, you might have installed and uninstalled multiple apps. Some of the old apps you downloaded from internet may not even work with the latest macOS version. So, it is a good time to look out how many applications you have inside the “Applications” folder and delete all unwanted items. Do not worry about wrongly deleting of purchased apps through App Store. You can go to App Store, select your account name and re-download the apps from iCloud.
Using Default Mac Storage Tools
Mac offers some built-in tools to keep your storage space free. Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your Mac and go to “About This Mac”. Click on the “Storage” tab to see the available space on your SSD.
Click on the “Manage” button to go to the “System Information” application. Alternatively you can press “Command + Spacebar” to open spotlight search and look for “system information” application. Apple offers four useful options here to free up the disk space.
1. Store in iCloud
Before using this option ensure you know what is iCloud and purchased the required storage space. iCloud offers 5GB of free space which is not sufficient to use this option since your SSD drive should have 512GB space already. Click on the “Store in iCloud…” button and enable this option. When your Mac is running out of storage space, this option will automatically help to move files and photos to your iCloud drive. Only those recently accessed files and optimized photos will remain on the Mac’s storage space thus allowing you to free up the space.
2. Optimized Storage
This option is for those who watch movies and TV shows in Apple TV. Enabling this will help to delete all the watched medias and old email attachments from your Mac. Only the recent email attachments will be kept in the “Mail Downloads” folder thus allowing to have sufficient free space.
3. Empty Trash Automatically
Enable this option to automatically cleanup the deleted files in your trash bin every 30 days.
4. Reduce Clutter
Probably this is the most useful option though you need to manually look in to the size of the files. Clicking on the “Review Files” will take you to sidebar items where you can see the size occupied by the files. If you organized all working files under “Documents” folder, you can easily view the file size in one single place. Under “Documents” tab you can see three options like large files, downloads and file browser. Checkout the larger and unwanted files and delete them to increase the storage.
Note: Sometimes, you may notice large amount of storage space is occupied by “System” or “Others” categories. Check out our article on how to cleanup this junk data from your Mac.
Using Third Party Apps
Well, if you are not happy with the default options then no need to worry. There are handful of fancy apps available in the Mac App Store for system cleanup. Out of those, we explain here with Dr. Cleaner app. This app offers basic features for free with an option to upgrade. Below is how the app will look like after installation on your Mac. Along with the CPU / Network usage, you have two options to cleanup junk files and optimize memory.
After optimization, you can see there are no junk files in the system.
Clicking on the “System Optimizer” button will show all the options offered by Dr. Cleaner.
- Junk Files (Free) – scan and remove junk files
- Big Files (Free) – scan and remove bigger files
- Disk Map (Free) – view the folders similar to default “Reduce Clutter” option explained above.
Big and junk files can be scanned and deleted in bulk. You can either send the deleted files to trash or choose to delete permanently.
The remaining options – Duplicate Files, App Manager and File Shredder – are premium options. But you can still use those options to find the files and apps occupying the storage. Purchasing is required only if you want to cleanup those items.
When you delete the apps, the files outside the “Applications” folder created by the app will not be deleted by default. Dr. Cleaner will remind you there are left over files and allow you to deep uninstall the apps completely from your Mac.
Whether you use Apple’s storage options or any third-party app, ensure to have housekeeping as a habit as explained in preliminary cleanup section. It will help to organize your files in useful manner and allow to have sufficient storage space.