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Your Guide to Freeing up Storage Space on a Mac

how to free up space on your mac

If you are here, it means your Mac is showing your warning messages that your disk is full. Also, as your Mac’s storage is at 80%, the overall performance of your device will slow down. It’ll undoubtedly be an unpleasant experience to work on a sluggish machine. Your apps may take forever to load, and even shutting down may be a task.

So, here’s how you can free up storage space on your Mac.

Erase all Data

If you want your Mac to feel brand new, you can log out of all your accounts and erase all data on Mac.

Monterey and Ventura users can leverage Erase Assistant to reset their Mac to factory settings. With the Erase Assistant, you will be signed out of iCloud and other Apple s services, turn off Activation Lock and Find My, erase all the apps installed on your device, and erase all content & settings.

Also, all the volumes will be erased, and the user accounts.

However, if you are running older macOS versions, you may have to jump through hoops to erase all data or use CleanMyMac X and let the app take care of things on your behalf.

But erasing all data on your Mac might always be the ideal solution. For example, you may have essential files, documents, and photos that you want to keep. In that case, continue reading through the list. And don’t forget to back up your data to iCloud or an external drive.

Do Away With Browser Cache

Are you a heavy Internet user? If so, your device’s drive might be full of the browser cache. These include the host of bookmarks left on your drive and the data downloaded whenever you visit a website. Although cache helps to load the website faster when you visit it next, it can bloat your device’s disk and impact performance.

Clear Google Chrome cache by opening Chrome > clicking the three-dot icon > navigating to More Tools > selecting Clear Browsing Data > choosing a time range to clear the browsing data. You must also check the box next to Cached images and files and select Clear Data.

Clear Safari cache by launching Safari > going to Settings > checking the Show Develop menu option in the menu bar under the Advanced tab > selecting Develop > choosing Empty Caches.

Clear cache in Mozilla Firefox by going to Settings > clicking Privacy & Settings > selecting Cookies and Site Data > Clear Data > mark Cached Web Content > clicking Clear. You can also choose Clear History from the menu bar and choose Cache from the list.

Uninstall unneeded Applications

Do you have tons of apps installed on your Mac? If you love trying out new applications, your device is likely filled with apps you probably used just once.

These unused apps eat away at the space you need for other tasks. Therefore, delete the apps you no longer need and free up space.

You can manually delete the apps by going to the App Store, clicking the app name you want to delete, and then clicking the Uninstall button.

Clear up Unnecessary Media Files

You can audit the media files on your device to clear up space. For example, if you want to store pictures and videos as a keepsake, you can transfer them to cloud storage or an external drive. Then, delete them from your Mac.

To transfer photos to iCloud, click the Apple logo > About This Mac > More Info > Storage Settings > Store in Cloud > select what you want to store > click Store in Cloud again.

iCloud gives users free 5GB of storage space. If you need more, you must expand storage space and buy a paid storage plan.

Similarly, you can transfer videos to the cloud and remove them from your Mac.

You can also delete all the movies and songs you downloaded but don’t watch or listen to anymore.

Attack the Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder is often overlooked and forgotten. In this folder, you will find heaps of files, and they are mostly duplicates.

You may have downloaded the same email attachment several times, or there are multiple PDF documents you don’t need. For example, the folder may have movies, songs, pictures, videos, and different types of files you have downloaded from the web or your email.

These files take up a lot of space, and you will probably find them in other locations on your Mac. Therefore, do not forget to delete the files in the Downloads folder to clear space.

Finally, you must check out the Trash on your Mac. The deleted files are sent to Trash and remain there for thirty days unless you permanently delete them. Remember to clear the Trash.

The Bottom Line

Boost your Mac’s performance by clearing the storage space. You can perform routine clean-ups once every month to ensure your disk always has enough space to breathe.

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